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If wrestling makes you think of moves like "pile driver" or "elbow smash", you're thinking of professional wrestling, which is more entertainment than a competitive sport.
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Wrestling is one of the oldest sports known to mankind. There are 3 types of wrestling: folkstyle, freestyle, and Greco Roman. Folkstyle is the most common type of wrestling, and is used in high school and college. Freestyle is the version fought in the Olympics and is similar to folkstyle. Greco-Roman wrestling is also an Olympic sport, but doesn't allow leg-holds or any holds below the waist. A wrestler battles an opponent one-on-one within their weight class, which keeps the sport fair to all competitors.
The goal is to "pin" your rival's shoulders to the mat. When opponents are evenly matched, and neither can achieve a pin, judges award points to determine a winner. When a wrestler forces his opponent to the mat and gains control it's called a "take down" and scores 2 points. If a wrestler on the bottom position reverses control on top it's called a "reversal" and is also worth 2 points. An "escape", where a wrestler gets away from an adversary, counts for 1 point. A "near fall", when you get your opponent's shoulders within 4 inches of the mat, counts for 2 or 3 points, depending the duration.
Wrestling is a sport combining strength, flexibility, and conditioning. New wrestlers get in condition with weightlifting, good nutrition, and lots of practice
Competitors wrestle on a foam mat, usually supplied by a wrestling gymnasium.
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A competitive wrestler needs shoes, wrestling tights and head gear, costing about $150 at sporting goods stores around town.
Contact the local Parks and Recreation office for local information.
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