As a strategic sport, wrestling immerses both the player and fan in a game of risk versus reward. While it may not receive much attention in the media, this impeccable sport requires sophisticated skill and a powerful mind to become the leader of a weight class. Wrestling is entertaining, invigorating, and exciting. In this blog, we dissect the rules to demystify how scoring works and provide others with a guide for engaging fans in between the action on the mat. 

Styles of Wrestling 

Of the three different styles of wrestling (Folkstyle, Greco-Roman, and Freestyle) we will be focusing on the most commonly used in high schools in the United States—Folkstyle. This form of wrestling is most commonly described as native. Though freestyle and folkstyle share the same method of takedown, the two are very different. Folkstyle rewards control and scoring is calculated differently than the other styles. 

In high school wrestling there are three periods for each match—each lasting two minutes. The only time the match is completed before the three periods are over is when a pin occurs or a tech fall. Pins end the entire match and a wrestler is declared victorious. Beyond pins, the sport is broken down into a point system that includes take-downs, escapes, reversals, near falls, and penalties. Examine the chart below for a quick overview of each action. 

wrestling-blog-chart-styles-lrg (1)

How to Score Wrestling

Once you understand the different actions, you can begin to keep score. Each action enables a certain amount of points; while penalties present the opportunity for the opponent to receive points (see chart below). If you’re using our Wrestling Scorekeeper App, each action appears highlighted when it is a possibility and once selected it will automatically add the appropriate points and display it on the scoreboard. It also recognizes the rules of the match—including time restraints, number of periods, green/red assignments, warnings, and more. You can adjust these rules in the SV Cloud. Let’s walk through a scenario to better understand the scorekeeping aspect.


Example Scenario 

Rob Alex with 1:45 seconds performs a takedown against Stanley Merrin. (+2 Rob Alex)

After the takedown, Stanley Merrin Escapes. (+1 Stanley Merrin)

Rob Alex with 1:12 seconds performs another take down against Stanley Merrin. (+2 Rob Alex)

This time, Stanley Merrin performs a Reversal and puts Rob Alex in a near fall position for three seconds, receiving a Near Fall. (+2 Stanley Merrin for Reversal & +2 again for Near Fall) 

Rob Alex gets back up. (1+ Rob Alex) 

[The 1st Period Ends | Stanley-5 points & Rob Alex-5 points]

Rob Alex performs a takedown against Stanley Merrin and receives a Near Fall. (+2 Rob Alex & another +2 for the Near Fall) 

Rob then pins Stanley.

[The Match is over. | Stanley-5 points & Rob Alex-9 points]

Rob Alex wins because of his pin.

In this example, the match ends immediately after the pin. If the scenario were to end in a tie, then the scorekeeper must continue to the overtime rules. These overtime rules are automatically programmed into the scorekeeper for those using ScoreVision—such as sudden victory. 

How to Calculate Team Scores in Wrestling

Once the match is over, points are given to the team based on the results of the individuals. For example, six points are awarded to the team whose player pinned the other. See the chart below for more examples of how team points are assigned.


In conclusion, mastering the scoring system in wrestling is essential for both participants and spectators to fully appreciate the dynamics of the sport. While it may seem complex at first, understanding the various actions and their corresponding points adds depth to the viewing experience and empowers fans to follow the match with greater engagement.

By dissecting the rules and mechanics of scoring in folkstyle wrestling, we've provided a comprehensive guide that not only clarifies the intricacies of the sport but also serves as a valuable resource for both beginners and seasoned enthusiasts alike. Wrestling, with its blend of strategy, skill, and athleticism, captivates audiences with its fast-paced action and moments of intense competition.

Whether you're a wrestler aiming for victory on the mat or a fan cheering from the sidelines, the scoring system serves as a roadmap, guiding you through the twists and turns of each match. Every action contributes to the drama unfolding on the mat, from takedowns to escapes, reversals to near falls.