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Collegiate and freestyle wrestling, unlike Greco-Roman, also both allow the use of the wrestler's or his opponent's legs in offense and defense. However, collegiate wrestling has had so many influences from the wide variety of folk wrestling styles brought into the country that it has become distinctly American. Collegiate wrestling differs in a number of ways from freestyle and Greco-Roman.

There are some scoring differences. For example, in collegiate wrestling, "exposure" points are not given to a wrestler for simply forcing the opponent's shoulders to quickly rotate and be exposed to the mat. Instead, for example, a wrestler must control one of the opponent's shoulders on the mat and have the opponent's other shoulder forced to the mat at an angle of 45 degrees or less for two to five seconds to score.

The points generated in this situation are called "near fall" points. This shows a difference in focus: while the international styles encourage explosive action and risk, collegiate wrestling encourages and rewards control over the opponent. This emphasis on control was present in collegiate wrestling from its earliest days.

Since , collegiate wrestling officials have recorded the time that each participant had in controlling his opponent on the mat known as "time advantage" or "riding time". Early on, this was the major way to determine the winner in the absence of a fall. Over time, the significance of such timekeeping has declined, and now such "time advantage" only counts for one point in college competition at the most.

In collegiate wrestling, there is an additional position to commence wrestling after the first period, and also to resume wrestling after various other situations. All three styles begin a match with both wrestlers facing each other on their feet with the opportunity given to both to score a takedown and thus gain control over the opponent. In collegiate wrestling, once a takedown is scored, the wrestler under control in the inferior defensive or bottom position remains there until he escapes the move, until he reverses the position, until the period ends, or until various penalty situations occur.

The inferior position is one possible choice for a starting position in the second and third periods, known as the referee's position. The referee's position is roughly analogous to the "par terre" starting position in the international wrestling styles. In the international styles, the "par terre" starting position is not utilized as often as the referee's position is in collegiate wrestling.

In the two international styles, the inferior position in the "par terre" starting position is now used to penalize a wrestler who has committed an illegal act. In collegiate wrestling, there is a de-emphasis on " throws ", or maneuvers where the other wrestler is taken off his feet, taken through the air, and lands on his back or shoulders. This lack of emphasis on throws is another example of how collegiate wrestling emphasizes dominance or control, as opposed to the element of risk and explosive action.

A legal throw in collegiate wrestling is awarded the same number of points as any other takedown. In freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, points awarded for a wrestler's takedowns increase with the level of explosiveness seen in the throws. Well-executed throws can even win a period in the international styles, especially when a throw is of grand amplitude a throw in which a wrestler takes an opponent off of the mat and controls his opponent so that his feet go directly above his head.

In collegiate wrestling, some of the throws seen in the international styles may even be illegal, such as a full-back suplex from a rear standing position. However, many collegiate wrestlers still incorporate some throws into their repertoire of moves because a thrown opponent often lands on his back or shoulders and thus in a position more conducive to producing near fall points or securing a fall.

Generally, rather than lifting the opponent or throwing him for grand amplitude in order to win the period as in the international styles, the collegiate wrestler most often seeks to take his opponent down to the mat and perform a "breakdown" that is, to get his opponent in the defensive position flat on his stomach or side. With the opponent off of his base of support that is, off of his hands and knees , the collegiate wrestler in the offensive position would then seek to run pinning combinations, or combinations of techniques designed to secure a fall.

Failing to gain a fall could still result in an advantage in riding time and potential nearfall points. The defensive wrestler could counter such attempts for a takedown, or when once taken down try to escape his opponent's control or reverse control altogether. In a last-ditch attempt to foil a fall, the defensive wrestler could also "bridge" out of his opponent's control that is, pry his head, his back, and both of his feet up from the mat and then turn toward his stomach.

Collegiate wrestling

Overall, a collegiate wrestler in his techniques would most likely emphasize physical control and dominance over the opponent on the mat. There were already wrestling styles among Native Americans varying from tribe and nation by the 15th and 16th centuries, when the first Europeans settled. The English and French who settled on the North American continent sought out wrestling as a popular pastime. Soon, there were local champions in every settlement, with contests between them on a regional level.

The colonists in what would become the United States started out with something more akin to Greco-Roman wrestling, but soon found that style too restrictive in favor of a style which a greater allowance of holds. The Irish were known for their " collar-and-elbow " style, in which wrestlers at the start of the match would grasp each other by the collar with one hand and by the elbow with the other. From this position, wrestlers sought to achieve a fall.

If no fall occurred, the wrestlers would continue grappling both standing on their feet and on the ground until a fall was made. Irish immigrants later brought this style to the United States where it soon became widespread. There was also what became known as "catch-as-catch-can" wrestling, which had a particular following in Great Britain and the variant developed in Lancashire had a particular effect on future freestyle wrestling in particular. By the 18th century, wrestling soon became recognized as a legitimate spectator sport, despite its roughness. Since "catch-as-catch-can" wrestling was very similar, it gained great popularity in fairs and festivals in the United States during the 19th century.

After the Civil War , freestyle wrestling began to emerge as a distinct sport, and soon spread rapidly in the United States. Professional wrestling also emerged in the late 19th century not like the "sports-entertainment" seen today. In , the first intercollegiate dual meet took place between Yale University and Columbia University. College and high school wrestling grew especially after the standardization of the NCAA wrestling rules, which applied early on to both collegiate and scholastic wrestling with high school modifications.

More colleges, universities, and junior colleges began offering dual meets and tournaments, including championships and having organized wrestling seasons. There were breaks in wrestling seasons because of World War I and World War II , but in the high schools especially, state association wrestling championships sprung up in different regions throughout the s and s. As amateur wrestling grew after World War II, various collegiate athletic conferences also increased the number and quality of their wrestling competition, with more wrestlers making the progression of wrestling in high school, being recruited by college coaches, and then entering collegiate competition.

For most of the 20th century, collegiate wrestling was the most popular form of amateur wrestling in the country, especially in the Midwest and the Southwest. The USWF, with its membership of coaches, educators, and officials, became recognized eventually as the official governing body of American wrestling and as the official representative to the United States Olympic Committee , in place of the Amateur Athletic Union. The NCAA awards individual championships in the 10 weight classes, as well as a team title.

The NCAA generally sets the standard for weight classes for college-level dual meets, multiple duals, and tournaments. The weight assessed is then his minimum weight class. The athletics medical staff member and the head coach then review all of the assessed weights of the wrestling team members and certify them online at the website of the National Wrestling Coaches Association NWCA. After the certification, the wrestler may not compete below that weight class and may only compete at one weight class higher than his minimum weight. If a wrestler does gain weight over his certified weight class and wrestles at two weight classes above it, he forfeits his previous lowest weight class for the one weight class below where he wrestled.

If a contestant wishes to weigh-in and wrestle at only one weight class above his certified weight class and later return to his lowest certified weight class, he may do so. However, the wrestler may only return to that certified weight class according to the weight-loss plan of the National Wrestling Coaches Association. This weight loss plan takes into account potential dehydration during the wrestling season and minimum amounts of body fat.

All of this has been done in order to protect the wrestler's health and safety.

Folkstyle, Freestyle and Greco-Roman Explained

The collegiate wrestling season customarily runs from October or November to March. Regular season competition begins in late October or early November and continues until February. Post-season competition usually continues from February to March depending on, if individual wrestlers or teams qualify for a conference, regional, or national championship.

Normally, wrestling teams from two different colleges or universities would compete in what is known as a dual meet. It is possible for there also to be a multiple dual , where more than two wrestling teams compete against each other at the same event on the same day. For example, one college wrestling team may face another wrestling team for the first dual, and then a third wrestling team for the second dual.

Also, those two wrestling teams may compete against each other in a dual meet as well. Colleges and universities often compete within their particular athletic conference; though competition outside a team's conference or even outside its division within the NCAA is not uncommon. Dual meets usually take place on evenings during the school week Monday through Friday ; on Saturday mornings, afternoons, or evenings; or even on Sunday mornings or afternoons during the wrestling season and begin with weigh-ins at a maximum of one hour before the meet begins.

No weight allowances are made for dual meets and multiple-day dual meets. Wrestlers are also examined by a physician or a certified athletic trainer for any communicable skin diseases. If a student-wrestler does not make weight, he is ineligible for that weight class and a forfeit is scored. If there are any communicable skin diseases, it is a ground for disqualification.

The wrestler's coach or athletic trainer can provide written documentation from a physician that a skin infection of a wrestler would not be communicable. The final judgement for whether a wrestler would be allowed to compete lies with the meet physician or athletic trainer on site. One of the visiting captains will call a disk toss. The colored disk will then fall to the floor and determine: 1 which team has the choice of position at the start of the second period and 2 which one of the team's members is to appear first on the mat when called by the referee for each weight class.

The wrestler-captain who won the disk toss may choose the even or odd weight classes. That is, he may choose the weight classes, from lowest to highest, that are numbered evenly or oddly. During a dual meet, the top varsity wrestlers usually compete against each other. There can also be junior varsity matches, such as in Iowa , which are rare, that would take place immediately before the varsity matches. Also, before both varsity and junior varsity competition, there can also be an exhibition match in one or more weight classes.

The exhibition matches do not count towards the varsity or junior varsity team score, but such matches allow wrestlers, especially at the freshmen level, to gain more competitive experience. Wrestling matches usually proceed in each of the 10 weight classes. The order the matches occur in is determined after the weigh-ins either by a mutual decision of the coaches or by a random draw choosing a particular weight class to be featured first.

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In either case, the succeeding wrestling matches will follow in sequence. Often, many colleges and universities in the United States will compete with their teams in what is known as a tournament. This allows many schools to establish their rankings, not only for individual student-wrestlers, but also for college and university wrestling teams as a whole e. A tournament committee usually administers the event and after individual and team entries have been verified, the officials then determine the order of the matches called "drawing" by certain brackets e.

The tournament officials when doing this drawing take into account each wrestler's win-loss record, previous tournament placements, and other factors that indicate the wrestler's ability. With that in mind, wrestlers who are noticed as having the most superior records are bracketed so that two top-ranked superior wrestlers in each weight class do not compete against each other in an early round. This is called seeding. Tournaments are often sponsored by a college or university and are usually held on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or over any of two days within the weekend.

Admission is often charged to cover costs and make a small profit for the host. A tournament begins with weigh-ins starting two hours or less before competition begins on the first day or one hour or less before competitions begins on any subsequent day. An allowance of one pound is granted for each subsequent day of the tournament.

If there are not enough wrestlers to fill up the bracket in a weight class, a bye will be awarded to a wrestler who does not have to compete against another wrestler in his pairing. After taking account the number of byes, the first round in each weight class then begins. Most college wrestling tournaments are in double elimination format. The last two wrestlers in the upper championship bracket wrestle for first place in the finals, with the loser winning second place.

In other words, a wrestler cannot place higher than third if he is knocked down to the lower wrestle-back bracket by losing in the championship semi-finals. This is largely the result of time constraints: one-day tournaments often last into the evening. If the winner of the wrestle-back bracket were allowed to challenge the winner of the championship bracket in the championship, the tournament could continue well past midnight before finishing. After the first match of the round of 16 in a championship bracket in each weight class, the wrestle-back rounds would then commence, beginning among all of the wrestlers who lost to the winners of the round of The winner of the wrestle-back finals would then win third place, with the loser winning fourth place.

In tournaments where six places are awarded, the losers of the wrestle-back semi-finals would wrestle for fifth place, with the loser winning sixth place. If eight places are awarded, the losers of the wrestle-back quarterfinals would wrestle for seventh place, with the loser winning eighth place, and so on.

After the championships finals, the awards ceremony usually takes place with plaques, medals, trophies, or other awards given to the individual and team winners with the highest placements. Precise rules for tournaments may vary from one event to the next. Each intercollegiate athletic conference or geographic area features two or three "elite" tournaments every year.

These events are by invitation only. Hence, the commonly used name for them, Invitationals. Tournament sponsors which are usually colleges and universities, but sometimes other organizations invite the best varsity wrestlers from their area to compete against each other. Many elite tournaments last two or even three days. For this reason, elite tournaments are often scheduled during the college's or university's winter break.

Between one season and the next, postseason tournaments and preseason tournaments are often held in collegiate wrestling and also in freestyle and Greco-Roman. The most active wrestlers often take part in those to sharpen their skills and techniques. Also, clinics and camps are often held for both wrestlers and their coaches to help refresh old techniques and gain new strategies. College wrestlers often serve as referees, volunteer coaches, assistants, or as counselors during many of the camps, clinics, and tournaments held during the off-season.


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The match takes place on a thick rubber mat that is shock-absorbing to ensure safety. A large outer circle between 32 and 42 feet in diameter that designates the wrestling area is marked on the mat. The circumference line of that circle is called the boundary line. The wrestling area is surrounded by a mat area or apron or protection area that is at least five inches in width that helps prevent serious injury.

The wrestlers are within bounds when any part of either wrestler is on or inside this boundary line.

Improvise in Finnish Folk Style

Wrestlers are encouraged to stay near the center of the mat within the inner circle, or else they risk being penalized for stalling that is, deliberately attempting to slow down the action of the match. Each wrestler begins action at one of two one-inch starting lines inside the inner circle that is three feet long. Two one-inch lines close the ends of the starting lines and are marked red for the wrestler from the visiting team and green for the wrestler from the home team. This rectangle designates the starting positions for the three periods. Additional padding may be added under the mat to protect the wrestlers, especially if the wrestlers are competing on a concrete floor.

All mats that are in sections are secured together. Injuries and infections are not uncommon in the sport of wrestling since there is so much contact. Also, infections occur frequently due to body secretions sweat, saliva, and blood. Common ways of getting concussions are any head to head hits or any hits that involve a hard blow to the skull. Every year nearly , children ranging from age 5 to 18 are treated for concussions and other head injures from sports or other recreational activities. Wearing head gear can help prevent concussions. Also wearing a frontal paid that protects the forehead and top of the head is very effective in protecting the head from a hit that may cause a concussion.

Wearing a mouth piece can help prevent concussions as well.

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Cauliflower ear is a blood clot that forms under the skin in the ear, causing there to be a large bump in the ear; the bump tends to be extremely hard. To develop cauliflower ear one must be hit in the ear many times or hit hard for it to form into a blood clot. Otherwise the ear will require surgery to return to normal shape and size.

The best way to prevent cauliflower is to wear headgear. This will protect the ears from taking hard hits. Knee ligament injuries are a common injury in wrestling. One being an injury to the Medial collateral ligament which is also known as the MCL and is located on the inside. Leg or knee injuries are commonly caused by over twisting the leg outward from the middle of the body. Ankle sprains and wrist sprains are common in wrestling.

Ankle sprains typically occur from twisting the ankle and injuring the ligaments within the ankle. Wrist sprains occur from falling hard on the wrist and damaging the ligaments in the wrist. Prepatellar bursitis. Is caused from the inflammation of a sac in the front of the knee cap which swells up and can be painful. Preventing this can be done by wearing a knee pad to help reduce impact on the knee. Is caused by overexerting.

Ben Askren: Folkstyle Wrestling

The body symptoms are fatigue, lack of motivation, losing body weight, decreased performance, depression, insomnia and immune system weakening. This can affect the athlete mentally as well as physically. Taking showers regularly, wearing clean clothes for practice, mopping the mats with an antiseptic solution will also prevent spread and growth of diseases [24].


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Impetigo is a highly contagious skin infection. They appear as red or yellowish bumps and sores that are clustered together they may increase in size. The sores can burst which then crust over with a yellowish or brownish scab. Another way to contract impetigo is by touching or using equipment or from the mats that are infected by the bacteria.

If impetigo is left untreated other infections could occur which can cause serious health issues. The bumps cause no pain although, they may be itchy. Once the blisters pop they crust over with a yellow brownish scab but, they can still be red and itchy. The sores usually occur around the nose and mouth but can be spread to other areas of the body by fingers, clothing and towels".

Also, one should resist from trying to give themselves self care. When getting MRSA treated for they tend to make an incision and drain the infected area. Is a fungal or yeast infection on the skin in the shape of a circle. It appears to be red and the outer ring may be slightly raised. The infection grows while in warm moist places and tends to be itchy. One can contract the infection by touching the area that is infected or items that are contaminated. These lesions are all Type one infections also known specifically as Herpes simplex , Herpes Zoster, and Herpes Gladiatorial are all types of herpes that are common in skin to skin contact sports.

Type two herpes is known as herpes on the genitals which is spread through sexual contact. Wrestling Logo. Folk Style Wrestling The objective of folkstyle wrestling is to force your opponent onto his back, to pin your opponent. Escape 1 When a defensive bottom wrestler gains a neutral position and his opponent has lost control while at least one wrestler is inbounds.

Reversal 2 When the defensive wrestler comes from the bottom position and gains control of his opponent, either on the mat or in a rear standing position, while the supporting points of either wrestler are inbounds. Near Fall 2 or 3 When near fall criteria are met for 2 seconds. Near fall criteria is: When any part of both shoulders or scapula of the defensive wrestler are held for a least 2 seconds within four inches of the mat When one shoulder or scapula is touching the mat with the other shoulder or scapula held at an angle of 45 degrees or less.

If near fall criteria are met for two continuous seconds, 2 points are awarded when the defensive wrestler is out of the predicament. If near fall criteria is met for five continuous seconds a 3 point near fall is awarded when the defensive wrestler is out of the near fall situation.

These points are awarded according to the penalty chart. Team Scoring The table below shows the team points scored for an individual match in both dual meet two teams wrestling each other and tournament competition Team Scoring Won By Dual Match Tournament Match Pin 6 Points 2 Points Forfeit, Default, or Disqualification 6 Points 2 Points Technical Fall won by 15 or more 6 Points 2 Points Major Decision won by points 6 Points 2 Points Decision won by less than 8 points 6 Points 2 Points In tournament competition, each time a wrestler advances in the Championship bracket he scores an additional 2 team points, each time a wrestler advances in the consolation bracket he scores an additional team point.

From a neutral position both standing with neither wrestler having control a wrestler gains control over his opponent down on the mat while the supporting parts of either wrestler are inbounds. When a defensive bottom wrestler gains a neutral position and his opponent has lost control while at least one wrestler is inbounds. When the defensive wrestler comes from the bottom position and gains control of his opponent, either on the mat or in a rear standing position, while the supporting points of either wrestler are inbounds. When near fall criteria are met for 2 seconds.

A wrestler is awarded point s for the technical violations or infractions of the rules committed by his opponent. In tournament competition, each time a wrestler advances in the Championship bracket he scores an additional 2 team points, each time a wrestler advances in the consolation bracket he scores an additional team point.