Wrestling Competition Format

The competition for each weight category begins and ends in a day. The competition takes place in the following manner: Preliminary rounds, Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals, Repechage, Finals

The competitions take place by direct elimination system with an ideal number of wrestlers, i.e. 4, 8,16, 32, 64, etc. If there is no ideal number of wrestlers in a category, qualification matches will take place. If there are fewer than six wrestlers in a weigh-in category, the Nordic round will take place (each wrestler against each wrestler). 

Each category weigh-in takes place the day before the beginning of the category concerned and lasts 30 minutes. Athletes are paired off for each round by the drawing of lots during the weigh-in.

Event Categories
Freestyle Wrestling is contested at the Commonwealth Games across seven weight categories for both men and women.
Male:  57kg, 61kg, 65kg, 74kg, 86kg, 97kg, and 125kg
Female: 48kg, 53kg, 55kg, 58kg, 63kg, 69kg, and 75kg
Each country is permitted to enter up to two athletes per weight category, with a maximum of seven women and seven men in total.

All wrestlers who lost against both finalists will have repechage matches. There are two separated groups of repechage: one group of wrestlers who lost against the first finalist, and another group of wrestlers who lost against the second finalist. The repechage matches begin with wrestlers who lost in the first round including in matches to obtain the ideal number against one of the two finalists up to the losers in the semi-finals by direct elimination. The winners of the two repechage groups will wrestle for the bronze medal.

Medals distribution

Six or more contestants: gold, silver and two bronze medals

Four–five contestants: gold, silver and one bronze medal

Three contestants: gold and silver medals only

Two contestants: gold medal only


Freestyle Wrestling was developed in Great-Britain and in the United States under the name of catch-as-catch-can and became the favourite attraction in fairs and popular celebrations during the 19th century. The goal of this discipline was to bring the adversary’s shoulder to the ground and almost all holds were allowed.

Women’s Freestyle Wrestling is similar to men’s, but it forbids double head locks (Double Nelsons) which are dangerous for women.


Each contest lasts for two periods of three minutes with a 30-second break in between. The aim is to ‘pin’ the opponent or to win on points.

Before the bout begins, each opponent is called and takes his place at the corner of the mat which matches their clothing. The wrestlers shake hands and then start the bout on the referee’s whistle.

For all the competitions, the timing displayed on the scoreboards will start from 0 to 3 minutes. Points are added during each period and a bout is won:

  • By ‘fall’, which occurs when a wrestler is held by their opponent with two shoulders against the mat for sufficient time for the referee to observe it
  • By injury, withdrawal, default or disqualification of the opponent
  • By technical superiority, when a competitor goes 10 points ahead of his/ her opponent
  • By points, winning by one point or more after addition of the two periods.

If, after two minutes of the first period, no wrestler has scored then the referee must designate the passive wrestler.

When a bout has ended, the wrestlers shake hands and stand on either side of the referee awaiting the decision.

In the case of tie by points, the winner will be declared by successively considering the highest value of holds, the least amount of cautions and the last technical points scored.


Points are awarded to a wrestler who successful executes a hold. To encourage risk-taking during bouts, an unsuccessful hold which leaves a wrestler underneath his opponent does not result in the opponent receiving a technical point. Points are awarded either in ‘1s’, ‘2s or ‘4s’ depending on the success of a hold or as a result of certain actions, such as an opponent being deemed to be passive. The referee indicates the points awarded with their fingers.


Cautions are noted for fleeing the mat; fleeing a hold; a refusal to start; an illegal hold and for brutality. After each caution, the opponent automatically receives either one or two technical points, depending on the gravity of the infraction.


In all competitions, the refereeing body for each bout consists of: 1 mat chairman, 1 referee and 1 judge.

Officials cannot officiate a bout involving a compatriot wrestler. Decisions are made unanimously or by majority, except for a ‘fall’ situation, which must be approved by the mat chairman.




The FILA approved mat has a 9m diameter which is surrounded by a 1.5m protection area of the same thickness. A red band of 1m wide and forming an integral part of the wrestling area is drawn along the circumference on the inside of the circle of 9m in diameter. The central circle indicates the middle of the mat (1m of diameter). The inside part of the mat which is inside the red circle is the central surface of wrestling (7m of diameter). The mat shall be installed on a platform not higher than 1.1m or lower than 0.5m. The diagonally opposite corners of the mat are marked out in the wrestlers’ colours, red and blue.


Contestants must wear a FILA approved one-piece singlet of the colour assigned to them (red or blue). It is forbidden to have a mixture of red and blue colours on the singlet. The wrestlers may also use light knee pads containing no metal parts and must have a cloth handkerchief with them during the whole of the match. For those wrestlers who wish to wear ear protectors, they must be approved by FILA and must not contain any metal or have hard shells. The referee can request a wrestler whose hair is too long to wear ear protectors.


Contestants must wear wrestling shoes providing firm support for the ankles. The use of shoes with heels or nailed soles, shoes with buckles or with any metallic part, is prohibited. Shoes may be without laces. Shoes with laces should be wrapped with sticky tape or a system which hides laces so that they do not come undone during the match.

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