Types of Wrestling

Types of Wrestling

There are 4 main types of wrestling contested today.

Collegiate or Folkstyle

The main style of wrestling indigenous to the United States. Collegiate or Folkstyle is contested in youth leagues and schools, interscholastically and collegiately. Points are awarded in Folkstyle Wrestling for controlling an opponent. The primary season for Folkstyle Wrestling is during the winter months, November-March. However, with the tremendous growth of wrestling in the United States, off-season clubs, camps and tournaments can be found year round.


One of two forms of wrestling contested in the Olympics and internationally. In Freestyle wrestling, points are awarded for takedowns and back exposure rather than control. Freestyle is the main form of wrestling throughout the world. The growth of Freestyle Wrestling in the United States over the past three decades has quickly caught up to the rest of the world. Freestyle wrestling in the US is primarily contested at the youth and high school level during the spring and summer months.


Also contested in the Olympics and internationally. Greco-Roman maintains similar rules for scoring points as Freestyle regarding takedowns and back exposure. The main difference in Greco-Roman is that there are no leg attacks. It is illegal in Greco-Roman to grab a leg to score or defend. All attacks or maneuvers in Greco-Roman must be from the waist up. This results in more upper body throws for scoring. Not quite as popular in the US as Freestyle, Greco-Roman Wrestling has still grown tremendously over the past three decades. Like Freestyle, Greco is primarily contested at the youth and high school level during the spring and summer months.

Women’s Freestyle Wrestling

Relatively new considering wrestling’s ancient historical roots. Women’s Freestyle Wrestling has grown in popularity and acceptance in the United States as well as worldwide. For years, women trying to break into the sport had the only option of competing against men. Now, women have an opportunity to compete in women- only competitions nationally and internationally. Women’s Freestyle Wrestling is now contested in the Olympics as well.