The Rules of Collegiate Wrestling (NCAA College Wrestling) – EXPLAINED!

Published by Jan Heaney on

The Rules of Collegiate Wrestling (NCAA College Wrestling) – EXPLAINED!

Ninh explains, the Rules of Collegiate Wrestling.
Collegiate Wrestling, otherwise known as college, folkstyle, scholastic or NCAA Wrestling, is
a form of wrestling that is very popular in the United States.
Wrestling matches are contested between two people on a rubber mat, that measures a maximum
of 42ft in diameter for college and 28ft in diameter in high school.
The start lines are 3ft apart and have different coloured start lines for each wrestler.
Each wrestler is tagged with a different coloured band around their ankles.
The object of the game is to wrestle the opponent and win by either pin or by points. To win by pin (also known as winning by fall)
you must get your opponent onto their back, so that their shoulder blades touch the floor.
If you successfully pin your opponent’s shoulder blades to the floor, the referee
will tap the mat and you win the contest automatically. This is known as winning by fall, or winning
by pin. If neither wrestler can pin each other, you
can score points tin win the contest instead. But before I explain how to score, you must
understand the positions of a wrestler. This is the neutral position, this is where
both wrestlers are on their feet and facing each other.
This is the defensive position, where one wrestler is on his hands and knees and generally
on the bottom. This is the offensive position, where one
wrestler is above with hands on the waist and forearm, and generally on the top.
These two positions collectively is known as the referee’s position.
There are 5 main ways of scoring. If you manage to take your opponent down onto
the mat with control over them, this is a takedown and is worth 2 points. Whilst in a defensive position, if you manage
to get away from the wrestler or get yourself into the neutral position, this is an escape
and is worth 1 point. Whilst in a defensive position, if you manage
to come from the bottom and take control of your opponent on top, this is a reversal and
scores 2 points. Whilst in an offensive position, if you almost
pin your opponent, and are in a dominant position with control, the referee will start counting
down. This is known as near fall. You get two points if you hold the wrestler
in this position for two to four seconds. You get more points for holding the opponent
for longer, and this is denoted in the table on the screen. You get 3 points if you hold the wrestler
for 5 seconds in high school and 4 points if hold for 5 seconds results in injury and/or
bleeding. 4 points if you hold the wrestler for 4 seconds
in college. And if you do something wrong, the referee
may award Penalty Points to your opponent. There are numerous ways this can happen which
are denoted here. But the most common penalty is stalling – where
one wrestler repeatedly prevents the other from scoring by avoiding action or intentionally
protecting a lead by moving out of bounds. A wrestling match is contested in three periods
of 2 minutes each. If someone doesn’t win by fall, the wrestler
with the highest score at the end of 3 periods, wins.
If the scores are tied, extra periods are played to determine the winner.
That’s the bare bones of Collegiate Wrestling, but there’s a few other things you’ll
need to know before watching or contesting a match. For example:
Start Position: At the beginning of the first period, both
wrestlers start in neutral position. At the beginning of the second period, one
wrestler is given the choice to start in either an offensive or defensive position, or to
defer his choice until the third period. At the beginning of the third period, the
other wrestler is given the same choice. Technical Fall.
If one wrestler accrues a 15 point advantage over their opponent, the referee will end
the contest immediately and that wrestler will win by technical fall.
Win by Decision or Major Decision. If a wrestler scores 1 to 7 points more than
their opponent at the end of 3 periods, this is known as winning by decision.
If a wrestler scores 8 to 14 points more than their opponent at the end of 3 periods, this
is known as winning by major decision. And as previously mentioned, winning by 15
points or more results in a win by technical fall.
Win by Default, Forfeit or Disqualification. If the wrestler cannot continue during the
match, the opponent will be awarded a Win by Default.
If the wrestler fails to appear onto the mat before the contest, the opponent will be awarded
a win by Forfeit. If a wrestler accrues too many penalties or
is banned from competing further by the referee, the opponent will Win by Disqualification.
Riding time (Time Advantage) – (In NCAA only), If a wrestler is controlling an opponent
in a way that prevents an escape or reversal, a running clock will count how long he is
in that position. This is known as Riding Time. This happens with both wrestlers, and
at the end of three periods, if one wrestler has a time advantage of at least one minute
more than his opponent, he will be awarded a bonus point at the end of the third period.
This could be the difference between winning, or not.
That’s a lot to take in, but once you’ve watched wrestling for a while, the rules will
become clear. If you have found this video at all helpful,
please be sure to like share and subscribe. It takes me ages to make one of these things
and good karma is much appreciated. Follow me on Twitter also and share on Reddit,
but in the meantime – enjoy Collegiate Wrestling. Ninh Ly @NinhLyUK


MrRara2000 · May 6, 2017 at 7:04 pm

can you do Greco Roman and freestyle? I know the rules cause I do train in wrestling in a gym but I love these videos oh and can do rugby 7s too

Ice meme van · May 6, 2017 at 7:15 pm

Can you do the differents of NCAA and NFL Football because i heard there are a few rule differents like: NFL 2pt conversion from the 2 yard line NCAA 2pt from the 3 yard line

Caden Robl · May 6, 2017 at 7:23 pm

rules of sambo please

JUJU · May 6, 2017 at 7:35 pm

cool video can you do the rules of a demolition derby please.

Ninh Ly · May 6, 2017 at 7:35 pm

Ninh explains – The Rules of Collegiate Wresting (College Wrestling). Also known as NCAA Wrestling, Folkstyle Wrestling and Scholastic Wrestling, this is a variation of wrestling that is very popular in the United States of America.

Watch this short beginner’s tutorial video guide on how to wrestle in college amateur wrestling.
Learn about takedowns, reversals, escapes, near fall, pin, riding time and more.

Ninh Ly · May 6, 2017 at 7:37 pm

PLEASE READ: This is how long it took me to make this video.
(3 HOURS) – Research and finding decent footage.
(1 HOUR) – Scripting
(1 HOUR) – Recording Audio, Editing, Fixing Levels and EQ
(3 HOURS) – Hard Edit, cutting clips and making them fit the audio
(1 HOUR) – Soft edit, editing timings, re-find new footage for missing examples.
(1 HOUR) – Title screens, colouring and adjustment layers
(2 HOURS) – In screen graphics, animations, transitions.
(1 HOUR) – Encoding, uploading to YouTube, editing closed captions, adding tags, custom thumbnail, updating on website, pre-load on social media.


Please bear this in mind before you make any asinine suggestions on sports that no-one cares about.
Do you even need an explanation of the rules you're suggesting? Because most of you seemingly already know what they are?

Unfortunately I cannot magic these out of my ass in 20 minutes, so please be patient. I am working on them.

JUJU · May 6, 2017 at 7:39 pm

can you do how to help you self motivation

Jack Digan · May 6, 2017 at 7:44 pm

Could you please do the rules of canoe polo

JUJU · May 6, 2017 at 7:44 pm

can you do how to overcome a rejection or a breakup

Dan Leach · May 6, 2017 at 7:45 pm

The hours of work show. These videos are stellar. Loved learning about cricket and snooker.

Inspired Milk · May 6, 2017 at 8:04 pm

Great video Ninh I love these videos, and I could watch them all day! 😀😀

Anderson Ferreira · May 6, 2017 at 8:09 pm

Thanks for the upload, amazing vídeo, greetings from Brazil

Arne Stare · May 6, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Great video, just the right mixture of self-help and Explained videos! 🙂

Arthur Channell · May 6, 2017 at 10:28 pm

The explination for individual scoring was explained. What about TEAM scoring?

Alex Devonport · May 6, 2017 at 10:44 pm

Such a great sport. Look forward to more sports in the future ninh

Fabian Menes · May 6, 2017 at 10:57 pm

Thank you for this great video!! I have never heard of Collegiate Wrestling before but it was very interesting to learn about it! Greetings from Germany!

Inspired Milk · May 6, 2017 at 11:10 pm

So what's the main difference between this, and Greco roman in the Olympics?

OrangeRobot 99 · May 6, 2017 at 11:54 pm

No offense, but this is kinda gay.
Seriously it's two sweaty guys hugging each other.

Kyle Richardson · May 7, 2017 at 2:00 am

No one says fall and when you win by pinning it has to be in a certain amount of time after the whistle

Daniel K · May 7, 2017 at 2:33 am

Yay! Your back! I'm looking forewad to your upcoming videos? What sports are your planning to do next?

Ace In The Outfield · May 7, 2017 at 4:25 am

Loved the video. The work that is put in really shows. I know you don't really like requests but if you did a video on Greco-roman wrestling it would be appreciated. Keep up the good work 🙂

panoC97 · May 7, 2017 at 9:47 am

That looks very similar to Greco-Roman wrestling.

we Hsueh · May 7, 2017 at 12:48 pm


we Hsueh · May 7, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Suplex City

Thot Partol · May 8, 2017 at 3:22 am

I wrestle for highschool this was really entertaining and I never knew the offensive position was called that and the defensive position I call it top and bottom great video keep it up

Pawndexter · May 8, 2017 at 10:23 pm

YES!!!!!! On of my favorite sports to do.

JUJU · May 8, 2017 at 10:44 pm

I copulent find how to get over a relationship nihn where is it

Daniel Benigno · May 12, 2017 at 1:10 am

I have read your comment about sports videos. This is just a suggestion for a sport you can add to your list. It is a relatively new sport called 360-ball. It seems pretty cool and I am pretty sure other veiwers would like to see it.

blackandblue10 · May 17, 2017 at 2:31 am

It's so interesting that there's so many wrestling variants. Even high school wrestling is a little different than college I believe.

Which wrestling variant had that weird mid-match ball lottery thing with the blue/red balls after 0-0 periods? It was one of the Olympic ones. The Olympics almost cut wrestling out because of that!.

Mordecai The Awesome BlueJay · May 18, 2017 at 8:35 am

How about the rules of Mixed Martial Arts (UFC)

Ryan Collie · May 21, 2017 at 1:30 am

Hey Ninh, love the videos. I read your pinned comment and this is just a video suggestion for the future: the differences between freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling. I know these videos take a lot of time to make and I appreciate them. Keep up the good work!

Logie Bear · May 30, 2017 at 11:34 am

Do the rules of WWE!!!

Joseph Black · June 6, 2017 at 4:11 pm

In college wrestling the first period is 3 minutes long followed by two 2 minute periods.

Rampage Buddy · June 8, 2017 at 9:04 am

please do one on kabaddi

Ruben T · June 18, 2017 at 1:00 am

Not making a request here. I just think it would be funny if you made a video explaining the rules of professional wrestling, even though that's all staged.

Ben Mogensen · July 10, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Don't you love it when you stumble across one of Ninh's videos you haven't seen😃

Mike Albee · July 15, 2017 at 5:51 am

I enjoyed this video… seems like folk style wrestling is only popular in the US. I wonder if there are any high school wrestling leagues that give a point for riding time. I wrestled at a small high school in Iowa (US) and we never got any riding time points.

eddsork · August 11, 2017 at 9:27 pm

Olympic wrestling is like physical numberwang.

trey williams · September 24, 2017 at 3:29 pm

As a wrestler I love seeing the word spread about the rules. However parts were left out such as dual meets, and how teams win. And how team points are scored.

Ethan Tokko · September 28, 2017 at 7:10 am

The rules of olympic wrestling?

c a t · February 11, 2018 at 5:04 pm


Tom Fussell · March 9, 2018 at 4:28 am

what's the difference between this and freestyle wrestling?

Dallas Tringali · May 3, 2018 at 5:22 am

Great videos, Ninh! The only update to this video is in college wrestling, the first period is 3 minutes and second and third periods are 2 minutes. In high school, all three periods are 2 minutes. This is otherwise the best overview of a very complicated sport I've seen!

Jesse Gandy · June 28, 2018 at 12:35 am

Wow, so many rules. Gotta watch this many times. I can already tell I prefer freestyle rules more. It just seems less complicated.

Harvey B · August 16, 2018 at 3:24 pm

Jiu jitsiu or bjj?

VGTPortfolioReviewer · August 24, 2018 at 10:20 pm

Thank you for these; the approach you take to explaining these sports makes it easier to learn them.

The ice mask gang · September 12, 2018 at 3:20 am

Do WWE!!

Vamoo · January 17, 2019 at 1:29 am

Chael Sonnen brought me here.

Bryan Niederman · March 22, 2019 at 5:12 am

very nice and easy to understand explanation. well done

Jessie Franklin · April 7, 2019 at 3:15 am

i'm a wrestler

Jessie Franklin · April 7, 2019 at 3:18 am

also I fell like i/ my oponent get penalty points by locking hands

Steelie007mma · May 8, 2019 at 1:24 am

Luv it 😉

Judy Chen · May 10, 2019 at 8:31 pm

0:02 but don’t get confused of pro wrestling because it’s fake

Ray Vincent · June 26, 2019 at 3:50 pm

I've never personally done freestyle, and I grew up doing folkstyle. so obviously I'm biased, but in terms of the concept, I like how folkstyle wrestling expands more on the bottom position. If you're taken down, instead of having to anchor down and lay flat waiting to be reset into standing, I like how there's an added dynamic and incentive for escaping. It sucks how the rest of the world does freestyle, and some have argued the U.S should switch, but collegiate wrestling is already so ingrained, and quite frankly it does have it's appeal.

Huskies19 · August 4, 2019 at 5:39 am

My buddy wrestles for our school and I’ve gone to all the matches but I have no clue what’s happening. Hopefully this will help me understand more

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