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Wrestling 101: Glossary

Wrestling 101: Glossary
Posted at 1:42 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 11:03:50-04

Bridge: A defensive move in which a wrestler, while facing belly-up, attempts to avoid being pinned by supporting himself or herself with his or her head and feet. The goal is to keep the rest of their body from touching the mat and to eventually overtake the opposing wrestler who has established a position on top.

Caution: When a wrestler disrupts a match (fleeing the mat, fleeing a hold, refusal to start, illegal hold, etc.), the referee may decide to issue that wrestler a caution. Cautions may be accompanied by points to the opposing wrestler. A wrestler receiving 3 cautions in a match is disqualified.

Chef de Tapis: The mat chairman and one of three officials in a match. The mat chairman breaks a tie vote between the referee and judge.

Classification points: These are credited at the end of a bout to determine a wrestler's final classification or ranking. They are different than technical points, which are what wrestlers score during a match.

Contact: When the referee orders a wrestler to place both hands on the back of his or her opponent, who is underneath on the ground. Wrestlers in the standing position must assume body-to-body contact.

Cradle: A move in which a wrestler places one arm around his or her opponent's neck, the other around the back of the opponent's knee, then locks his or her hands together to draw the knee toward the opponent's face.

Crotch lift: When a wrestler wraps his or her arms around his or her opponent's upper thigh and lifts.

Danger position: When the line of a wrestler's back or shoulders vertically or in parallel to the mat form an angle of less than 90 degrees, and the wrestler attempts to use the upper part of his body to resist a fall. Wrestlers can earn technical points by using certain moves to force their opponent into the danger position.

Dawai: When the referee encourages wrestlers to be more active.

Duck-under: When a wrestler slips his or her head under their opponent's arm and comes up behind in preparation for a takedown.

Escape: When the wrestler on the bottom manages to get to his or her feet and face their opponent.

Exposure: When a wrestler turns his or her opponent's shoulders to the mat.

Fall: Called when both shoulders of the defensive wrestler are held against the mat for the length of time it takes the referee to pronounce the word "tombe," about half a second. Also called a pin. This ends the match.

Fireman's carry: A takedown in which a wrestler is brought across his or her opponent's shoulders.

Fleeing the hold: When a defending wrestler intentionally resfuses contact in order to prevent his opponent from executing or initiating a hold. The wrestler who flees the hold gets issued a caution, and the opposing wrestler may receive points.

Fleeing the mat: When a wrestler intentionally leaves the combat area of the mat. The wrestler who flees the mat gets issued a caution, and the opposing wrestler receives points.

Freestyle: The style of wrestling in which competitors may use both arms and legs to execute holds.

Grand amplitude throw: Any action or hold by a wrestler in the standing position when it causes his/her opponent to lose all contact with the ground, controls him, moves him in a broadly sweeping curve in the air, and brings him to the ground in a direct and immediate danger position; or in the "par terre" position, any complete lift from the ground executed by the attacking wrestler, whether the attacked wrestler lands in a neutral position (four points in Greco-Roman, two points in freestyle) or in a danger position (five points in Greco-Roman, four points in freestyle).

Greco-Roman: The style of wrestling in which a competitor may not attack his opponent below the waist nor use his own legs to trip, lift or execute other holds.

Gut wrench: When a wrestler wraps his or her arms around his or her opponent's midsection from behind and attempts to lift or flip him or her.

Half nelson: When a wrestler passes his or her arm under his or her opponent's armpit from behind and places the palm of his or her hand against the back of the head.

Head up: The order given by the referee in the case of passivity and/or repeated attacks by a wrestler who thrusts his or her head forward.

Jambe: French for "leg," this is called when a Greco-Roman wrestler illegally uses his legs.

Jury of Appeal: Members of the refereeing body responsible for conducting video replay reviews when a coach challenges a scoring decision.

Leg lace: An effective move in which a wrestler controls both of the opposing wrestler's ankles and is able to spin the opponent in order to expose the opponent's back to the mat. Also known as an ankle lace.

Par terre: Loosely translated from French as "on the ground." It is the position the wrestlers assume when passivity is called against one of the competitors. The passive wrestler usually assumes the "down" position, face down below the active wrestler.

Passivity: When a wrestler does not attempt or execute any holds or is satisfied just to neutralize his opponent's efforts.

Pin: Called when both shoulders of the defensive wrestler are held against the mat for the length of time it takes the referee to pronounce the word "tombe," about half a second. Also called a fall. This ends the match.

Repechage: A separate bracket that pulls any competitors who have lost to either of the finalists back into the competition. The winners of the last two repechage matches earn bronze medals.

Reversal: When the wrestler on the bottom reverses positions with the wrestler on top and seizes control.

Shot clock: A 30-second period where one wrestler who has been designated as passive is required to score a point. If neither wrestler scores at the end of those 30 seconds, then the passive wrestler's opponent will receive a point.

Singlet: A tight, form-fitting jersey or bodysuit worn by wrestlers and other athletes. Traditionally, Olympic wrestlers have always worn either red or blue singlets. A new rule was passed for the Rio Games allowing wrestlers to wear singlets that feature their national team colors, with light and dark versions of the singlet being required.

Takedown: When a wrestler takes his or her opponent to the mat from a standing position.

Technical fall: Also called technical superiority, this is wrestling's version of the mercy rule. A match will end if one wrestler amasses a large enough lead before time runs out. The threshold for a victory by technical fall is a 10-point lead in freestyle wrestling and an 8-point lead in Greco-Roman wrestling.

Technical points: Points awarded to wrestlers during a match after they perform certain attacking moves. The athlete with the most technical points at the end of the match is declared the winner.

Tombe: French for "fallen," referees use this word to announce a pin or a fall.

UWW: United World Wrestling, the international governing body of wrestling.

Zone: Refers to the passivity zone. The word must be spoken aloud if the competitors enter the passivity zone.

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