Thomas J Salzano: History of Wrestling and its Rules

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Wrestling has many historical and archaeological traces in Ancient Egypt. Thomas J Salzano says that wrestling is one of the oldest forms of combat and was very popular in ancient Greece. The reason for the popularity in Greece was because the ancient Greeks developed this way to train soldiers in hand-to-hand combat. Wrestling was more popular after the sport was taken to another level by Greeks and named it as “Greco-Roman Wrestling”.

Later the royals in France, Japan and England followed by Americans made wrestling a popular sport. At that time wrestling had different styles and was played with different rules. Professional wrestling began in the city of France around 1830. A new style of wrestling that is freestyle wrestling was during the St.Louis Games in 1904.

It was when the sport was introduced in the ancient Olympic Games in 708 BC and only then the rules of the game were set common. In 2004 Women’s freestyle wrestling joined the Olympics.

About UWW and IAWF 


The United World Wrestling is an international governing body for the sports of amateur wrestling. This was the first international federation introduced for the development and weight lifting in the year 1905. 


After the recommendation by the IOC that independent federations should be created for each sport.  IAWF (International Amateur Wrestling Federation) was created during the IOC Olympic Congress in the year 1921.  

Now, let’s talk about the rules in wrestling for a better understanding of the game. Here are some important rules of wrestling listed by Thomas J Salzano, a professional wrestling trainer:

First, let’s talk about the five ways to score points in a wrestling match: 


You score 2 points for taking your opponent down to the mat from a standing position with his/her back touching the mat. 


You win a point if you manage to turn an opponent’s shoulders to the mat. You need to be careful with the 90-degree angle concept to score a point. The wrestler that holds his opponent in a danger- position for at least five seconds will get one extra point.


As the name suggests, it’s a situation in the game where the wrestler underneath completely reverses his/her position and comes to the top position in control. You score 2 points for reversal. 


When the wrestler manages to escape from the control of his/her opponent and comes out from the bottom position to get back on his/her feet, facing the rivel. You win 2 points for your escape technique. 

Penalty Points

Penalty points are for opponents. If you are penalized for one or two times your opponent is awarded a point. Avoid illegal holds, technical violations, unnecessary roughness, flagrant misconduct, stalling, etc.

men’s wrestling

The General Rules For International Wrestling 

About the Athletes

The athlete must be at least 17 years of age and should be sponsored by their national federation to be a part of the Olympic games.

 Weight Divisions

There are different weight categories in wrestling for both men and women. For men there are eight weight divisions and whereas for women there are six weight divisions. 

The Mat

For wrestling at an international level mat is used with a big nine-meter circular competition area.  There is also a red band, a one-meter passivity zone on the inside of the circle. The wrestlers are encouraged to stay within the circle as per the rules.

The Officials

Like any other international level games, the officials are specified. In wrestling, there are three officials including a referee on the mat, a chairman and a judge. 

The Wrestling Uniform

There are two colors that are red and blue assisted to the wrestlers. The wrestlers must wear a one-piece singlet of the color assigned to them. The wrestler singlet should be as per the type approved by the international wrestling federation.

Thomas Salzano - Olympic Styles of Wrestling

These are the general rules in wrestling at the international level. Professional trainers like Thomas suggests the wrestlers maintain their weight category and work on the improvement according to the challenges they have set as a goal.

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