What Is the Difference Between Freestyle and Folkstyle Wrestling?By Coder| August 30, 2023 Wrestling Freestyle and folkstyle wrestling are two distinct styles of wrestling that are practiced worldwide. While both styles share similarities, they also have several key differences that set them apart. In this article, we will explore the dissimilarities between freestyle and folkstyle wrestling. Freestyle Wrestling: Overview: Freestyle wrestling is a highly dynamic and fast-paced style of competitive wrestling. It is an Olympic sport that is widely popular across the globe. In freestyle wrestling, the objective is to pin your opponent’s shoulders to the mat or score points by executing various techniques such as takedowns, throws, and exposure moves. Scoring System: Freestyle wrestling has a complex scoring system that rewards both offensive and defensive maneuvers. Points are awarded for executing takedowns (1-5 points depending on the technique), exposing an opponent’s back to the mat (2-4 points), and performing reversals (1 point). Additionally, wrestlers can earn points for successfully executing high amplitude throws or combinations of moves. Attire: In freestyle wrestling, competitors wear a tight-fitting singlet that allows for maximum movement while providing adequate coverage. The singlet helps prevent opponents from grabbing onto clothing during matches. Key Differences in Rules: No Back Exposure Rule: One significant distinction in freestyle wrestling is that there is no requirement to maintain control when exposing an opponent’s back to the mat. Even if only momentarily, any exposure counts as points. Out-of-Bounds Rule: In freestyle wrestling, if both wrestlers go out of bounds simultaneously during a move or if one wrestler intentionally takes their opponent out of bounds to avoid being scored upon, the referee can award a point or caution against the offending wrestler. Leg Attacks: Freestyle wrestling encourages more leg attacks and allows wrestlers to use their legs for both offensive and defensive moves, providing more opportunities for exciting maneuvers. Folkstyle Wrestling: Overview: Folkstyle wrestling is primarily practiced in the United States and is the style used in collegiate wrestling. It focuses on control, positioning, and strategy. Folkstyle matches are generally slower-paced compared to freestyle matches. Scoring System: The scoring system in folkstyle wrestling differs from freestyle. Points are awarded for executing takedowns (2 points), exposing an opponent’s back to the mat (2-3 points), performing reversals (1-2 points), escaping from the bottom position (1 point), and accumulating riding time (1 point for every 1 minute of control). Attire: Similar to freestyle, folkstyle wrestlers also wear a singlet during matches. Key Differences in Rules: No Back Exposure Rule: Folkstyle wrestling requires wrestlers to maintain control while exposing an opponent’s back to the mat. A wrestler must hold their opponent with both shoulder blades or any part of both shoulders or scapulae continuously exposed long enough for a near-fall count. Out-of-Bounds Rule: In folkstyle wrestling, if both wrestlers go out of bounds simultaneously during a move, the action is stopped, and they are brought back to the center of the mat to resume wrestling. No Leg Lace or Gut Wrenches: Unlike freestyle wrestling, certain leg attacks like leg laces and gut wrenches are not allowed in folkstyle. In conclusion, freestyle and folkstyle wrestling may share some similarities, but they also have distinct differences in rules, scoring systems, and techniques. Freestyle wrestling allows for more dynamic moves and emphasizes quick action, while folkstyle wrestling focuses on control and strategy. Whether you prefer the fast-paced excitement of freestyle or the tactical approach of folkstyle, both styles offer unique challenges and opportunities for wrestlers to showcase their skills on the mat.