|First Period - The match consists of three (3)
two-minute periods. At the beginning of the first period, both
wrestlers start in the neutral position. This means that both are
standing, and neither wrestler is in control of the other one.
Second Period - For the second and third periods, the two
wrestlers alternate with a preference of starting position. In
tournament play, the referee flips a green and red disk that determines
which wrestler has the right to choose the starting position for the
second period. In dual meets, the wrestlers with first choice are
predetermined and alternate every weight class. (For example, team
A has the right of choice in the 106 pound match, and team B has the
right of choice in the 113 pound match, etc.) The wrestler that earns
first choice must choose between the following options: beginning the
second period in control (on top), under control (on bottom), without
control (standing/neutral), or defer (giving the choice to the opponent,
thus saving the choice for the beginning of the third period).
Since wrestlers earn one point for an escape, many wrestlers choose the
"down" position with the hope of escaping from their opponent and
scoring a point.
Third Period - The wrestler who did not
make the choice at the beginning of the second period chooses at the
beginning of the third. This wrestler can choose top, bottom, or
neutral (standing) only. Since the third period is the last period
of regulation, it is not possible to defer.
(if necessary) - If the match is tied at the
end of the third period, overtime will be
needed to resolve the match. There are
no ties. At the beginning of the first
overtime, both wrestlers will begin in the
neutral (standing) position. They will
wrestle with one minute on the clock. The winning wrestler will be the wrestler who
gains the first point (or pinfall). The bout ends immediately at this
point. This is called sudden victory. In cases where a
takedown immediately exposes the opponent's
back, the referee will wait to see if the
wrestler can secure a fall before declaring
him the winner.
(if necessary) - If neither wrestler scores a point in the first
overtime, then a second overtime is needed. Second overtime
consists of two 30-second periods. These periods are mandatory and
must be wrestled (unless a wrestler wins the match via pinfall,
disqualification, or default).
The second overtime does not take place under sudden victory
rules. The referee tosses the disk and awards first choice to one
of the wrestlers. This wrestler must choose top, bottom, or defer.
Neutral cannot be chosen. The first 30-second period will take
place under the chosen starting position. Points may or may not be
scored. Regardless of points scored, there will be a second
30-second period. In the second 30-second period, the other
wrestler must choose top or bottom. Again, the 30-second period
will be wrestled to its conclusion regardless of points scored (unless a
pinfall, disqualification, or default takes place). The wrestler who has more points at the end
of both 30-second periods is declared the winner.
(if necessary) - If the score is tied after the second overtime, then
the third, and final, overtime is needed. The wrestler that scored
the first point in the match gets to make the choice of starting
position. The wrestler can choose top or bottom. The
wrestler that scores the first point during the 30-second period will be
declared the winner (for example, the top wrestler earns near fall
points or the bottom wrestler earns an
escape). If there is no scoring during
the 30-second period, then the top wrestler
will be declared the winner. In this case,
the referee will award the top wrestler one
point and the victory.
Starting and Stopping During the Match - Throughout all three
periods (and any overtime periods if necessary), the clock starts and
stops on the referee's whistle only. The referee can stop the
match to award penalty points, declare a stalemate (when both wrestlers
are "stuck", and neither wrestler can improve position), declare a
potentially dangerous situation, allow for injury time (up to one and
minutes per wrestler per match), allow for blood time (up to five
minutes per wrestler per match), or declare a pinfall or technical
Restarting the Match - If the referee blows the whistle to stop wrestling action when one wrestler is in
control of the other, the wrestlers will restart the match in the same
fashion. Likewise, if action stops with neither wrestler in
control, then both wrestlers will restart in the neutral/standing
position. If wrestling stops due to the end of a period, then the
referee will follow the wrestler choice
sequence to decide the position for
restarting the match.