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The New Coach or Instructor’s

Wrestling Handbook

- by Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Tom Baines School

777-7190 (2039)

- for HPEC, October 2003

- used for new coaches clinic, October 2001, 2002
- used for AAWA Coach’s Superweekend 2000
- original written for HPEC 1996
Beginning Wrestling: Table of Contents:

I. Suggestions to Share for the Start of the Unit / Season

II. Female Wrestling

III. Winning / Timing /Scoring

IV. Warm-Ups

V. Stretching

VI. Games

VII. Drills and Competitions

VIII. Six Sample Lessons

IX. Assessment

X. A Sample Wrestling Season Plan

XI. Quad Meet Organization

XII. Divisionals Organization

XIII. CJHSAA Rule Modifications

XIV. Ring Worm

XV. Web Sites, Suppliers, Contacts

I. Suggestions to Share for the Start of the Unit / Season:

1. Wrestlers should practice in shorts and t-shirt. T-shirt should be tightly

tucked in to avoid finger injuries. Shoes must be worn to avoid toe

2. Mats should be mopped with special cleansers on a daily basis. This will
keep down the likelihood of ringworm.

3. Ensure wrestlers know it is a contact sport and accidents can happen.

If someone gets hurt it was not something that was done on purpose so
there is no need for retaliation.

4. If at any time a wrestler yells “Stop” wrestling should cease. This must
Only be used when a wrestler feels he may possibly be hurt.

5. No jewellery can be worn (glasses, rings, ear rings, necklaces). If an ear

ring can’t be taken out then it must be covered with tape.

6. Wrestlers must keep their fingernails trimmed.

7. Wrestlers must never pick at the mats.

8. Ensure proper taping of mats, space from obstacles, etc.

9. Wrestlers must always wear shoes to wrestle. Socks are too slippery and
bare feet is gross and can cause broken toes.

10. Ensure wrestlers (and parents) are aware that proper wrestling is nothing
like what is seen on television.

II. Female Wrestling:

If you are looking for a list of special adaptations to be made when

teaching girls combatives you aren’t going to find them here. I have found
in teaching girls wrestling in physical education classes, in wrestling options,
and coaching them on my team that anything one would teach guys you can
teach girls. The girls in my classes have been as enthusiastic,
responsive and aggressive, and often more so, then the boys. Of course
there are always those that do their best to avoid any contact and suddenly
have an injury that will keep them out for the exact length of the wrestling
Some things you will want to consider:

1. Never let boys wrestle girls. Too scary in terms of liability.

2. Have girls wear a body suit under their gym strip. Especially important
if classes are mixed and boys might get a peak if a shirt is pulled up.

3. Tie hair back.

4. When playing games, doing warm-ups, or doing drills it is easy to

modify your set up to split boys and girls.

5. Never demonstrate moves on a student of the opposite sex.

6. Pay extra attention to removing jewellery, metal burettes, etc.

III. Winning / Timing / Scoring

A. Winning the Match

There are a number of ways to win a wrestling match:

1) By Pin
If a wrestler on his back has both shoulder blades simultaneously
touch the mat then the match is over and he loses. The match is
over regardless of the time or score. The pinning wrestler must be
in control at the time of the pin.

2) By Superiority

If a wrestler obtains a ten point lead (10-0, 11-1, 12-2, etc.) the
match is called regardless of the time remaining.

3) By Points

If the time expires, then the wrestler leading is declared the winner.
(He must have scored three points for higher levels of wrestling. If
not, then overtime occurs).

4) By Caution

A wrestler may receive cautions during a match due to passivity

(not engaging in wrestling), or for vicious or illegal moves.

Three cautions against a wrestler and the match is called.


If a match is tied after regulation time the next point usually wins.
This is not the case if the wrestler has yet to accumulate three
points. In this case the match continues until a wrestler gets three
points or until three minutes has expired. If the match is still tied
after three minutes then the next point wins regardless of points.

B. Timing

The length of bout varies on the level of wrestling. At the junior high
level one three minute or two, two minute periods is generally used.
This may be decreased to one two minute period at quad meets.
The end of time is shown by the timekeeper throwing in a wrapped
towel near the wrestlers for the referee to see.

C. Scoring

Control Position ( 1 point )

A wrestler who gets behind his opponent in a control position is

awarded one point. The wrestler must be totally behind and have
all legs and arms free. The wrestler not in control must have at
least one knee on the mat.

Exposure (2 points)
A wrestler receives two points if he is able to turn the opponent
so the opponent’s back is facing the mat and has broken a 90
degree plan with the mat.Take down to Exposure (3 points)
A wrestler receives three points if he takes his opponent from
standing, directly to an exposure position.

Take down to Exposure with Amplitude (5 points)

Like above only now the move used results in the opponents feet
rising above his head. This is not generally seen in junior high

5 Second Exposure (1 point)

If a wrestler holds his opponent on his back in an exposed position

for five seconds then an extra point is awarded. This rule is often
taken out at the junior high level.

Reversal (1 point )

One may read of a one point reversal rule. This is when Wrestler A
is down and Wrestler B has control but then A gets out and in
control of B. It can be considered just a control point and need not
be given a special name.

Escape (1 point)

In some levels of wrestling a point is given if a wrestler who is down

is able to get out and return to a neutral standing position. This
point is not used at the junior high level as wrestlers often are not
quite as in control as one would hope.

IV. Warm-ups for Wrestling & Combatives

1. Circle Drill:

Students form a circle and then lie on their stomachs, heads facing the
inside. Students must keep legs down and together so they don’t get
stepped on.

The drill begins by one person standing up and running around the
circle, stepping between their classmate’s legs. As soon as this
person gets by the next person in the circle, that person gets up and
begins running. As soon as these two people are over the third
person, then that person gets up and begins running and so on. When
the runner has stepped over the last person he must quickly lie down
as runners will be stepping over him. Once the last person has stepped
over the first person, the first person can begin a new type of run.
Other runs may include hopping on one foot or two feet, bear crawl,
leap frog, etc.

When students are lying on their stomachs I like to have them pound
on the mat - making as much noise as possible. If they are really
good, get them into a rhythm of “pound, pound, clap”. (Don’t worry that
they are too young to know who Queen was, they will still like the beat

You may also want to split the class into two circles and have a
competition to see who can finish first.

2. Relays:
What would a P.E. unit be without relays? I assume everyone knows
how to organize a relay. Here are some ideas for what they could do
- bear crawl
- crab walk (forwards and backwards)(fingers point to butt!)
- commando crawl (on stomach pull self with forearms only)
- forward rolls
- back rolls
- shoulder rolls
- back shoulder rolls (“watch knees touch mat on one side”)
- dive rolls
- back extensions
- log rolls
- walk on hands (I buy a pop for anyone who can make it
across the whole mat)
- penetration step (if have covered in class)
- partner roll (One lies on back, feet pointing direction
going, hang onto other’s ankles. Second person
standing then does roll between others legs while
grabbing their ankles)
- cartwheels
- bounding (large two foot hops)

3. Over/Under Drills:

A. Tammy is in push-up like position only bum up in air.

Jill dives under. Tammy brings bum down, Jill hops over.
Repeat 5-10 times then reverse roles.
B. Tammy stands with legs wide, Jill dives between and
through. Tammy squats down and Jill leapfrogs back.
Repeat 5-10 times then reverse roles.
C. Tammy in referee’s position (all 4’s). Jill reaches underneath
Tammy and hangs on with palms up. Jill does forward roll
over Tammy. Jill then lets go and pushes with heels to
move self under Tammy (Jill is on her back, arms at side).
Repeat 5-10 times then reverse roles.

D. Make up some of your own!

4. Jogging Routine:

Students jog around gym area. Teacher yells out commands.

Example: “Forward Roll” - students do roll, continue jogging.
You can use all rolls etc. described in relays. I also use this to teach or
review a wrestling stance. I yell “shuffle facing the inside”. Students
shuffle and I look for proper stance (bum down, arms
in front, etc.) Then say “shuffle facing the outside” so move both
ways. Say “continue jogging” when ready. I use commands like
“touch the ceiling”, “shoot a doubleleg”
(if covered), etc.. Be creative.

5. Simon Says:

This is good if you have covered penetration steps and sprawls. Have

students spread out and face the front. Students “motor” (or foot
fire..) by running on the spot in a wrestling stance. Simon can ask
students to “shoot a double”, “sprawl”, “do ten pushups (crunches,
mountain climbers...)”, “jump”, etc

6. Conveyor Belt:

Divide class in half. All wrestlers lie side to side, no space between.

All students must have feet together, arms at side.

Student at end begins rolling over top of others until at end.
Once all students over you, then you begin rolling.
First team to get across gym wins.

You be the judge whether or not your class can handle this.
(elementary age kids love this but junior high students may not).

7. Jumping Beans:

Students are in groups of three, lying on stomach, 1m apart

Middle student log rolls to outside, outside jumps over middle and
continues to roll towards third student. Third student jumps over this
person and rolls to outside. Continue... go as fast as you can.
Key is to a) jump b) roll to outside c) jump ...
This is confusing for kids at the start. Hopefully you have some good
demonstrators! You will likely only be able to do 3 or 4 groups at a
time. I usually have the rest of the class pick the two best groups who
then go on to the “finals”.

8. Handball:

Bring in the floor hockey nets or masking tape nets on the wall
Break into teams (2-4) depending on numbers, room size
Must stay on knees, can’t run (on knees) with ball
Try to score a goal by throwing nerf or gator ball into net

With my wrestling team and certain classes I allow students to

move with ball and other team can tackle (but only one on one or
you will end with dog piles).

9. Smacker:
Same rules as handball only you are not allowed to close your hand
on the ball. (You can only smack it with an open palm).
This prevents those costly gatorskin balls from getting ripped apart.

10. Crab Soccer:

Need nets like in handball. Both teams in crab walk position.
Players can only kick ball.

11. Partner Carries:

Partners take turns carrying each other across the mat.

Types of carries can include piggy back, fireman’s carry,
double leg carry, honeymooner’s carry (you know, over the threshold,
like in the movies?)

Well, that should be enough to get you through a unit / season! Any other
gymnastics warm-ups you know will work just as well. You may also want to do
one of the games as a warm-up.

V. Stretches for Wrestling / Combatives

1. Standing:

a) neck rotations (side,side,forward)

b) arm circles - small to big to small

- in opposite directions
- in opposite directions, hopping on one foot, tongue out..

c) bent arm behind head

d) trunk rotations

e) hip rotations (also known as Hawaiian dancer or I’m too sexy)

f) knee rotations

g) ankle rotations

h) groin and hamstring series

- stretch with one leg back foot pointing to side
- now point foot straight out behind
- swivel a bit so point foot up to ceiling ( stretches ham )
- change weight over other foot now and repeat

i) touch toes

j) lift foot to bum and stretch quad

2. Sitting:

k) legs straddled in front ( down to left, middle, right )

l) one leg in front, other bent so foot touches other leg, go down

m) right leg straight, left crosses over right, rotate to left

n) in crab walk position move butt around to stretch shoulders

3. Lying on Back:

o) Because wrestlers use their necks so much one stretch that is good is
to have wrestlers lie on their backs and do 10 yes’s, 10 No’s, and 10
maybe’s. Keeping the head off the ground (but close to the ground) at all
times the wrestlers nod 10 times, 10 shakes of head as if signaling “no”,
and 10 ears towards shoulders (maybe’s).

That’s enough isn’t it? I would never go through all of these in a class. In fact I
often begin the content section immediately after a warm-up. You decide what
you want to do based on length of classes and your own beliefs.

VI. Games for Wrestling / Combatives
1. King of the Mat:

All wrestlers are on the mat. The object is to push, pull, and shove any
other wrestler off of the mat. If you have a circle on your mat you can use
this as the boundary. As soon as any part of the body, even a finger,
goes outside the boundary, that person is eliminated. Keep playing until
only one wrestler, the king, remains. You may want to specify only one on
one contact so as to avoid gang tackles. Participants are not allowed to
stand up.

2. Wrestling Rules King of the Mat:

The only difference in this version is that now you may eliminate
a competitor by either pushing her off the mat OR by turning him onto
his back. (Exposing his back, scoring two points). Encourage the
competitors to use wrestling moves (half nelson, cross-face, etc.)

3. Serpent King of the Mat:

This uses the same rules as game 1 (queen of the mat) with
an added twist. This time half of the class is lying on their stomachs
on the outside of the mat. These people are the serpents and try and pull
any wrestler that is close enough out of the ring. If a serpent does this
then he is allowed into the ring and the person hauled out becomes a

This game is nice as it is continuous and you can play it as

long as you like (go get a coffee, or...maybe not). I begin with the
serpents “up to their armpits”. When I get tired of the game I say that any
person hauled out can not go back in. As the numbers decrease I let the
serpents go up to their belly button, waist, knees, and finally toes until all
the people in the middle are dragged out.

4. Gut Wrench King of the Mat ( or Gut Wrench Derby ):

Same type of game as others only now the contestants are

only allowed to use a gut wrench. If they complete it successfully the
other person is eliminated.

5. Pull Apart:

Divide the class in two or three. Tell one group to lie on

stomachs in a circle. Now tell them to grab hold of each other as tight
as they can, make knots, etc.. The other group(s) now try and pull the

cling-ons apart. The game continues until all cling-ons are in individual

pieces (not hanging onto anyone else). Oh, did I mention you should

be timing this?? This gives the other group(s) something to shoot for

when it is their turn.

6. Knights In Combat:

To organize this game have the biggest people in your class go down on
all 4’s and form a circle. (They will try and impress you with their newly
learned referee’s position but they need to be like a horse with back flat).
Smaller students saddle up on top and wrap their legs underneath the
horse’s stomach. When you yell “CHARGE” the horse and knight duo
attacks other duos. The object is to force the other duos down. A duo is
down if the horse is flat on her stomach, or if any part of the knight
(except the feet which are allowed to touch momentarily) touch the mat.
This is an elimination game. Keep playing until only one duo remains.

Other rules: No ganging up. A duo can only be attacked by one other
duo. The horses can only push or pull the other horses and the knights
can only push or pull the other knights.

7. British Bulldog:

The old favourite. Have all wrestlers at one end of mat on their knees.
Select 2 or 3 dogs. The dogs move to the middle of the mat. When the
teacher yells British Bulldog all wrestlers try to get to the other side of the
mat without being turned over by one of the dogs. (Turned over means
their back is exposed). If a wrestler gets his back exposed he becomes
one of the dogs. Because we have just taught the wrestlers some moves
they could use to turn someone over we would like to see these used. I
find this doesn’t always happen though so I count out loud slowly to 5. If I
get to five and a wrestler is not across the mat she is caught as well and
becomes a dog. Repeat until all wrestlers are caught.

8. This Side / That Side:

Get wrestlers with a partner. Tell one partner to lie on his stomach at the
edge of the mat facing his partner who is lying across the mat on the other
edge. Have all wrestlers do this. We now have two teams, the wrestlers
on “this side” and the wrestlers on “that side”. The teacher now numbers
“this side”. The wrestlers on “that side” are the same number as their
partner. Try and number the girls so that a) you have 3 of each number
per team and b) all people with that number are relatively the same size.
Place a football in the middle of the mat (a nerf or gatorskin would be toast
at games end). You then yell a number and all wrestlers with that number
run on their knees to center. They then try and bring the ball back to their
side while the other team does everything possible to prevent them from
doing so. Passing the ball is not allowed. For added chaos yell out the
number 21 (both 1’s and 2’s go in) or 312, or everybody!
9. Flamingo Fights:

Participants stand on left foot. Right foot is held at bum with right hand.
Left arm goes behind back and holds right elbow. You are now a
flamingo. When you say go the students bounce around and try to
knock over other flamingos or make them put both feet down. Watch out
for walls! When you are knocked over you are out. If a student gets tired
she may switch feet but must continue bouncing while doing so.
Continue the game until there is only one person left. Crown her the
Mother of all Flamingos!

10. Circle Attack:

This is a game I play with my option or team but not ideal for P.E. class as
participants need to be aggressive. Students lie on stomachs in a large
circle. Students should be looking at their partner across the center dot. I
then yell a student’s name and that student and her partner stand up and
run clockwise around the circle. When they get to where their partner
started they drop onto their knees and meet in the middle. From here it is
a battle to see who can turn the other over or get back to where she

11. Slap Backs:

Students form a large circle and lie on stomach beside a partner. Each
pair must have room between them and the next pair. Choose two people
not to lie down. One person is the fox and begins chasing the hare
around the circumference of the circle. At some point the hare flops down
beside another pair. The member of the pair that is not touching the old
hare is now the new hare. This person tries to get up and begin running
before being slapped on the back by the fox. If the hare gets slapped he
or she is the new fox and begins chasing the old fox who is now the hare.
This game can go on as long as you like. I have played it for an entire
period with my wrestling option. Of course at the end you must compare
backs to see who got it the worst! Okay, so your P.E. class probably
doesn’t have the same testosterone levels that my option does. You can
easily make the slap into a tag and you have yourself a fun, safe game.

12. The Sock Game

Wrestlers take off their shoes and pull the toe of their sock out so that it
dangles. Wrestlers may be standing or kneeling. Wrestlers try to remove
other wrestler’s socks while protecting their own. When a wrestler loses
both of his socks he must sit on the side until a final winner has been

VII. Drills and Competitions for Wrestling
1. Turn the turtle:

One person is down in prone position. The other straddles him.

When the teacher says “wrestle” the top person attempts to turn the
bottom person over (expose his back).

2. Tip the table:

One person is in referee’s position and the other person is behind in the
control position. When the teacher yells “wrestle” the top
wrestler attempts to get the bottom person onto her stomach and/or
expose her back. Encourage students to think of the bottom person as
a table. If you remove one or two legs of the table it will tip. If you block
a leg of the table and pull towards that leg, the table will tip.

3. Bulldog Battle:

Wrestlers both start in referee’s position, side by side, but facing opposite
directions. I tell them if they look towards their partner they should be
looking at their partners bum. On “wrestle” both wrestlers turn and attack.
The object should really be to try and get behind the other person in a
control position but it usually will be a face to face battle on the knees.

4. Ground Wrestling Workout:

Tell class to get with a partner, one in ref’s, one in control. When you say
“wrestle” both wrestlers try their hardest to turn their opponent over and
attempt to pin . When you say “stop” the wrestler who started in
referee’s position return to referee’s position. The wrestlers that were in
control move to find a new bottom wrestler. After rotating like this for three
or four rounds have the top and bottom people switch roles and do the
exercise again.
5. Sprawl Drill:

Have students space themselves out. Ensure there is no one
immediately behind them. Have a student or coach lead the class. When
the student sprawls all others must sprawl and get up quickly. Do “foot
fires” in between sprawls. (running on the spot while staying in a wrestling

6. Spin Drill:

This drill is used when working on getting behind your opponent. One
person is in ref’s and the other has their chest down on the
other’s back, legs out. On “go” wrestlers begin to spin in either direction.
On “switch” the top wrestler spins in the other direction.

* The following drills or competitions are for standing wrestling.

You may not even be able to do standing wrestling in a beginner Physical

Education class. They have been added for those who have the time to get
to standing wrestling, are teaching a wrestling option, or are the coach of the
school team.

Weight Lines:
The best way to quickly group wrestlers is by having a weight line. The
students line up along the wall from lightest to heaviest. You can
then quickly arrange groups for the following drills. Weight lines are also
used at all junior high quad meets and are used by teams from junior high
all the way to a national team level. Be careful how you tell the students
to line up. At junior high a “size line” may be the better term as some
heavier students may feel awkward. You can then instruct “smallest to
biggest” instead of “lightest to heaviest”. You decide what will not hurt
feelings. I ask for a weight line and it’s no big deal. I feel if you don’t
make it a big deal it probably won’t be.

7. King of the Ring:

In this drill we start with the two lightest people in the weight line.
They have a match up to either the first takedown or to two points. The
winner stays in and takes on the next person in the weight line. The “king”
is the person who notches the most victories. With a split class
have one boy match and one girl match going. With an all-girls class
have the lightest two start but also two from the middle. We then have
one group working through the entire line and another group which
does the heavier half and then starts over at the light end. In this way the
drill can continue as long as you like.

8. Shark Bait:

Wrestlers are grouped in fours. 2 wrestlers begin wrestling.

The first to get a takedown (or two points, or three, or...) stays in.

The next wrestler in the group immediately comes in and wrestles with
the champion. You can let the champion stay in as long as he keeps

winning or set a maximum number of bouts he can win ( perhaps once

through the group).

9. Matches:

From the weight line select pairs for matches. Have half of the
pairs (or whatever your room allows) on the mat. Have them do a two
minute bout. Now let other half of class on to wrestle. As your option
or season goes on lengthen the duration of each match and the number
of matches a student gets in a session.

10. Situation Drills:

This should be an intense drill with both wrestlers going full out.
The two wrestlers are placed in the positions listed below. On “go” both
wrestlers work hard to score on their opponent. These are some
possible positions to work from:
a) prone position - straddle on top
b) referee’s position - control position behind
c) one person has a double leg - top person hasn’t
d) one person has double - top person has sprawled
e) one person has completed half nelson and is trying to pin
f) one person has head and arm pin on opponent
g) one person has snatched a single leg and has it trapped
between his legs
h) one person has snatched a single leg and has picked it
up, standing between opponents legs
i) as in h) only now standing outside of legs

VIII. Sample Lessons

Lesson 1: Introduction to Combatives / Wrestling

The objective of this lesson is to go over rules and procedures for a wrestling
and combatives unit. We will then do some combatives games.

Rules: - no jewellery
- hair tied back
- shirts tucked in
- girls wearing body suit or bathing suit underneath
- no shoes on the mat
- no picking at the mat
- combatives means contact therefore
- be ready to be involved!
- must keep cool at all times
- if your opponent ever yells stop, you release them

Marking: - attitude and effort

- skill and improvement
- written test
- video test

Combative Games: 1. Patty Cake Push

2. Push-up position hand slap
3. Push-up arm fight
4. Roman Knuckle fight
5. One leg hand wrestle
6. Leg Wrestling
7. One legged Belly-Bop
Lesson 1 Content:

Patty Cake Push Face partner, feet shoulder width apart. Use patty
cake technique to try and push other off balance.
(If you move your feet you are out)

Push-Up Position Hand Slap

Facing partner, both in push up position. Try and
slap other’s hand without getting own slapped.

Push-Up Arm Fight

Face partner in push-up position. Try and grab opponents
forearm to pull off balance.

Roman Knuckle Fight

Partners stand with outside of right feet touching.
Left leg free to move behind. Lock right hands.
Try and pull, fake... opponent off balance (moves
right foot )

One Leg Hand Wrestle

Face partner. Both raise left leg in front and hold
others left leg under right arm. Join left hands.
Push / pull other person off-balance.
Leg Wrestling - Lie on backs, side by side, in opposite
Lift straight leg up and down as count one, two,
wrestle. On wrestle both try to pull other person’s leg down.

One Legged Belly Bop

Hop on left leg. Hold right leg to bum with right
hand. Put left arm behind back and grab right elbow.

Lesson 2: Introduction to Wrestling

This lesson introduces students to the basic down wrestling positions. It is a

discovery type of lesson as no moves are taught but we are trying to turn our
opponent. Objective of wrestling and basic scoring is taught.
1. Warm-Up: Circle Drill

2. Stretching

3. Content:

a) Learning Points: The objective of wrestling is to pin your opponent.

This happens when both shoulder blades touch for a split second.

Wrestlers also score points in three main ways:

1 point - get behind in a control position

2 points - for exposing the opponent’s back (angle between back

and mat is less than 90 degrees.

3 points - taking a wrestler from standing straight to their back.

b) Prone Position - explain, demo

c) Drill: Turn the Turtle

- let each partner have a turn on top and bottom
- discuss hooks and handles
- let each wrestler try again
d) Referee’s Position - explain, demo
e) Control Position - explain, demo
f) Drill: Tip the Table
g) Drill: Bulldog Battle

Lesson 2 Content:

Hooks and Handles:

When learning these positions and doing the drills for this lesson, constantly
refer to hooks and handles. These are things we are able to grab onto. (eg
around gut, under arm, around leg, ankle....). We want to minimize these as
a down wrestler and use these when we are the top wrestler.

Base Of Support:
This should be mentioned when learning these positions. Larger base = more
balanced = harder to turn. Compare prone with legs spread with legs
together (log-like)

Prone Position:
lie on stomach, legs spread for stability
arms extended out in front, elbows locked
chest slightly off mat, head up
very stable position but mobility is limited
(good for defense, limited for counter-attacks )

Referee’s Position:
Knees shoulder width apart
Toes pointed straight back ( so have limited hook for opponent )
Bum down between heels
Back straight, rising from hips to shoulders
Arms straight, planted in front
Head up
Be tough, “like a bulldog”
Less stable than prone but have increased mobility
Still OK defensively but can now counter-attack, escape )

Control Position:
Position at rear of referee’s position, off to one side
If on left side, have left knee down along side ( up = handle )
Right knee up behind opponent, right foot planted
Knees form 90 degree angle
Hands are at shoulder blades
(More advanced wrestlers will be up on toes but this is a good
place to start )

Lesson 3: Half Nelson / Cross Face
This lesson introduces students to two ways in which to turn the opponent. One
move is used to turn the opponent who is in the prone position and the other for
the opponent in referee’s position.

1. Warm-Up: Relays
2. Stretching
3. Review: Prone, Referee’s and Control Positions
4. Content:
a) Half Nelson - demo and explanation (opponent in prone)
This is the students first try at practicing technique. Stress to students
that when we are practicing a move we do not resist. We do however
resist enough so that we are not a rag doll.
b) Cross Face - demo and explanation ( opponent in referee’s )
practice from referees and practice from prone

5. Game: British Bulldog

Lesson 3 Content:

Half Nelson:

- to be used on an opponent in prone position - ( can be used in

ref’s but must be careful (see lesson 4))
- can attack right or left arm
- drive right arm under opponent’s right arm
- place right hand on back of opponent’s head
- if opponent keeps head up push it down with left forearm
- block opponent’s left arm (pull in or push up)
- “T-Out” ( bring body and legs to right side forming a 90 degree
angle between your bodies. Make sure your chest is still on
opponent and that you are off of your knees and on your toes.
This keeps weight on opponent and prevents escape.
- Use right arm as a bottle opener (opponents head is cap). This
shows how to elevate shoulder.
- drive with legs, turning your opponent.
- end up chest to chest and sink right arm around opponent’s
head to pin. Get rid of any space.
- Stay on toes.
- Can lift head off to help pin. (Make opponent nod)


To turn opponent in referee’s position

- from control position on left side (or right)
- left arm crosses opponent’s face (between nose and mouth as
though you are wiping their nose with your forearm) andgrabs the
far arm just below shoulder.
- right arm comes under body and grabs far arm just below your
left hand or overtop.
- come to side (90 degrees)
- pull arms in and drive body into opponent. Drive with legs.
- pull opponent’s arms in tight as pin.
- stay on toes, chest to chest.

To turn opponent in prone the move is done the same way. Getting arms
below body can be difficult. Make sure this move is learned from prone
as it will be used later to set up the cradle.

Lesson 4: Elbow Roll and Breakdowns
In this lesson we review last class and show why one needs to be very careful in
trying a half nelson from referee’s position ( elbow roll ). This introduces students
to the action / reaction principle of wrestling ( If he does this, I can do this...).
This leads into breakdowns because if it is only safe to do the half nelson from
prone, how can I get my opponent down into prone from a referee position?

1. Warm-Up: Over / Under Drills

2. Stretching
3. Review: Half Nelson, Cross Face
4. Content:

a) Elbow Roll
- explanation and demo
- practice
- to show what can be done if your opponent tries a half nelson from
referee’s position and they are behind your hips

b) Half Nelson from control position

- explain, demo, practice

c) Far Knee / Far Ankle Breakdown

- explanation and demo
- practice
- stress body contact, driving with legs

5. Game: King of the Mat

Elbow Roll:

Used when your opponent tries to put on a half nelson when

you are in referee’s position and your opponent is behind your hips.
- Clamp the opponent’s arm against your body by bending your
elbow and squeezing in.
- You need to clamp above the opponent’s elbow.
- “Drop, Pop and Hop”
- Drop your shoulder ( the same one that is the clamp ) and pop
your hips into your opponent.
- If you catch your opponent off guard they will be rolled onto
their back. You should still be on your knees with arm clamped.
- Keeping your chest facing the mat, hop over your opponent so
you end chest to chest and attempt to pin.
- Use this moment to discuss how a wrestler (almost) always wants
his chest facing the mat. We never want to turn our back to the
mat (except for a few moves ). “Mat good” , “lights bad”.

Half Nelson from referee position control

- to do the half nelson while the opponent is in referee’s position we

must come around the hips and block with our free hand. We can
then drive the opponent over using the half nelson.

Far Knee / Far AnkleBreakdown:

- Used to break opponent down into prone position from ref’s.
- From left side, left hand reaches under body and blocks the
far knee. Right arm reaches behind opponent and grabs far
ankle. Drive into opponent’s side with shoulder.
- This is nice way to set up ankle locks, or leg rides for experienced

Lesson 5: Hip / Near Arm Breakdown, Chicken Wing

The goal of this lesson is to learn the hip / near arm breakdown and then show
how it can lead us into another down move, the chicken wing. Stress keeping your
weight on your opponent with the chicken wing, don’t roll off.

1. Warm-Up: Jogging Routine

2. Stretching
3. Review: Elbow Roll, Far Knee / Far Ankle, Hip / Near Arm
4. Content:

a) Hip / Near Arm Breakdown

- explanation and demo
- practice
- discuss how this will set us up for our next move ( chicken wing )

b) Chicken Wing
- explanation and demos
- practice

c) Hip / Near Arm Breakdown into Chicken Wing

- explanation and demos
- practice

5. Game: Pull Apart

Lesson 5 Content:

Hip / Near Arm Breakdown:

Used to break opponent down into prone position from referee’s position
and also set up the chicken wing.

- From the control position: place left knee along opponent’s left knee as
a block; grab far hip with right hand; block near arm with left forearm.
- Pull with right arm towards opponent’s left shoulder.
- This should pull opponent to the side but forward as well.
- Opponent needs to go to his stomach ( or else gut wrench )
- When opponent goes to stomach your left arm is trapped beneath his
body. Pull hand toward bicep and bring it out between opponent’s body
and arm. I tell students to give their opponent a pat on the back. If they
can then they are in a position to do a chicken wing.

Chicken Wing:

- From prone position

- Reach over opponent’s left arm with your left arm. Now come
underneath opponent’s arm and bring your hand to opp’s back.
- Squeeze opponent’s arm to your chest, should be clamped above the
- Bring body out to left side and lean across opponent with right
hip on mat. I call this “Watching T.V.” as it should be a comfy
position as though you were watching the tube.
- Keep arm clamped tight. Lean into opponent starting your turn.
- Step above head with right leg ( bottom leg )
- Step again with left leg ( top leg )
- This will turn opponent.
- Keep legs wide so you are stable.
- Students are often uncomfortable with the proper execution
of this move as you end up in a gross position.
- When you demo make sure you don’t step high enough to end
up with legs spread over face and there is no problem.
- Teach your school team the proper technique.

Lesson 6: Double Chicken Wing, Cradle, Pancake

In this lesson students attempt a double chicken wing and then the pancake and
cradle. The action / reaction principle is discussed.

1. Warm-Up: Handball
2. Stretching
3. Review: Chicken Wing
4. Content:
a) Double Chicken Wing
- explanation and demos
- practice

b) Pancake

- explanation and demos

- practice

c) Cradle
- explanation and demos
- practice

5. Drill: Ground Wrestling Workout

Lesson 6 Content:

Double Chicken Wing:

** ensure that the bottom wrestler looks toward the top wresters feet
to avoid any injury**
- Similar set-up to the single chicken wing except we scoop back both
- We sit out the same way as well.
- Instead of simply stepping up and over we step up and then hop
over the opponent.
- We end up with our weight off of the opponent but if we have the
arms clamped tight it should be an immediate pin.


- This move shows the action / reaction principle ( For every

move there is a counter, and to every counter a new move! )
-attempt a cross face from referee’s position
- bottom wrestler steps up and leans into top wrestler
- let go with inside hand and regrip on opponent’s near arm. Do not
let go of this arm.
- outside arm swings around head and clotheslines opponent onto the

This move also shows the action / reaction principle
- The top wrestler from control position attempts a crossface.
- The opponent steps up with their right foot to prevent themselves
from being turned.
- The top wrestler brings his right arm out and then reaches around the
opponent’s right leg.
- You then join your hands together, locking fingers.
- Place the left knee down along side of opponent and post your right
foot up behind.
- Pull opponent over left knee and take to back.
- Now place your left knee under the opponent’s bum to keep them
elevated and brace yourself with your left leg.

Lesson 7: Power Half and Pinning

- power half is similar to half nelson only the other arm is used to
force the head head down and the other arm prying arm grabs this
arm at the wrist. The two arms make a powerful lever to get the
tough opponents over.

- head and arm pin

- half nelson pin
- cross face pin
- what down person can do (bridge, hook leg, lock around waist and
roll, push away at butt)

Lesson 8: Gut Wrench

- used to roll opponent and score two points

- from referee’s or prone wrap around waist so there is no space
between you and your opponent
- swing your lead knee in front of opponents
- drive down over near shoulder to collapse opponent
- continue to drive with feet and pop hips as we throw opponent over
our body
- continue to drive until back in control position
- do gut wrench derby game

IX. Assessment

Here is a list of ideas for assessing a wrestling unit.

These ideas could be combined into one or two days of assessment.

1. Attitude and Effort

- let the student grade himself using a rubric
- teacher checks grade, discusses with student any marks that seem
a little high or low
- could do a teacher mark out of five and a student mark out of five
for a total out of ten

2. Written Test
- a short test based on rules, scoring, timing, basic moves

3. Video Test
- videotape some keen students demonstrating some of the moves
you have taught. On the video you can say “move #1” and have
the move demonstrated twice, then “move #2”, etc. The area for
answers to be entered can be attached to the written test and could
be a fill in the blank or a matching question where students are
given a list of possible answers.

4. Skills Test
- a skill mark could be given based on observations throughout the
unit. You also could have students come up and demonstrate the
move of your choice on a partner. This means that the rest of the
class is practicing their moves or is involved in some other activity or
test writing. You could also have students test each other using a

Wrestling Video Examination

Name:_________________________ Mark ______/10

Possible Choices... Answers...

a) Attack Step 1. _____

b) Chicken Wing 2. _____

c) Cross Face - Cradle 3. _____

d) Cross Face - Pancake 4. _____

e) Cross Face - Turn 5. _____

f) Double Leg - Go Behind 6. _____

g) Double Leg - Heel Trip 7. _____

h) Far Knee / Far Ankle Breakdown 8. _____

i) Half Nelson 9. _____

j) Hip - Near Arm Breakdown 10. _____

k) Penetration Step

l) Prone Position

m) Referee's Position

n) Sprawl - Spin Behind

o) Square Stance

p) Staggered Stance

Total: / 15 Name: _______________________

Wrestling Written Examination

1. A regulation wrestling match is ____ minutes in duration.

a) three c) five
b) four d) six

2. Which of the following results in two points?

a) control position c) an escape

b) exposing the back d) a reversal

3. A double leg heel trip in which the defender lands on his back results in the
offensive wrestler being awarded ____ points.

a) one c) three
b) two d) four

4. Avoiding wrestling or stalling would result in a _________.

a) point c) caution
b) warning d) both a and c

5. When a wrestler is cautioned the following happens:

a) his opponent is awarded a point

b) his opponent has the choice of placing him in referee's position
c) neither a nor b
d) both a and b

6. The circular band on the outermost part of the wrestling area is called the..

a) protection area b) caution area

c) warning zone d) passivity zone

7. John-Paul does a move in which he is always in control but exposes his own
back. His opponent is awarded ____ points.

a) zero b) one
c) two d) three

In the blank provided indicate how many points should be awarded for the
following moves / situations. ( 1, 2, 3, or 5 )

8. _____ Hand-to-hand exposure

9. _____ Takedown to exposure
10. _____ Illegal hold without consequence
11. _____ Exposure
12. _____ High amplitude throw to danger position
13. _____ Takedown
14. _____ Reversal
15. _____ Takedown, then exposure

Wrestling Skills Test

Technique 1 - Sprawl - Spin Behind

excellent poor

a) kick legs back 5 4 3 2 1

b) chest on opponent's back 5 4 3 2 1

c) down on head and arm 5 4 3 2 1

d) drop outside hip 5 4 3 2 1

e) spin behind on toes, butt drag 5 4 3 2 1

Total : _______

Technique 2 - Gut Wrench

excellent poor

a) tight grip, no space 5 4 3 2 1

b) blocking with knee 5 4 3 2 1

c) driving diagonally over shoulder 5 4 3 2 1

d) elevate opponent onto hips 5 4 3 2 1

e) pop hips, throw over shoulder 5 4 3 2 1

Total : ______

X. Sample Junior High Season Plan
P - practice NT - Novice tourney
Q - quad meet CC - Constrictor Classic
D - Divisionals UC - U of C Tourney

Two practices per athlete per week is recommended. This may necessitate the
coach running four practices per week to accommodate novice and senior.

Week Of:
Oct 8 -12: - have sign-up
- distribute acknowledgement of risk forms, parent letter
- ensure have mat tape, etc.
- decide events you might want to host, check calendar for
days you can’t participate and bring to organizational

Oct. 15-19: - attend organizational meeting

- collect all forms
- book busses, mats, etc. for meets

Oct. 22-26:
- P1 - introduction ( concerns, rules, scoring )
- prone, control, and referee’s position
- tip the table, turn the turtle
- games to get used to contact

- P2 - half nelson
- cross face

Oct. 29-Nov. 2
- P3 - elbow roll
- breakdowns
- chicken wing

- P4 - double chicken wing

- cradle

Nov. 5-9
- P5 - stance, movement, position
- penetration step
- double leg takedown

- P6 - sprawls
- double leg takedown
- to dump (if sprawled on)
- to trip if caught on heels
- pick up to basket carry if stay over top

Nov. 12-16 - P7 - pinning

- barrel roll
- down defense
- Q1
- P8 - sprawl to go behind
- pee in ear, break grip
- gut wrench
- NT

Nov. 19-23 - P9 - single leg takedowns
- Q2
- P10 - single leg variations and counters
- CC

Nov. 26-30 - P11 - duck unders

- tripping from behind
- Q3
- P12 - arm drags
- bear hugs
- UC

Dec.3-7 -P13 - matches, drilling


Dec. 10-14 - Team Wind-Up, Pizza Party

Example Junior High Season Schedule..

Quad 1:
1 (W) 2 (M) 3 (T) 4 (W) 5 (T) 6 (T) 7 (M)

Novice Tournament

Quad 2:
1 (W) 2 (M) 3 (M) 4 (T) 5 (W) 6 (T) 7 (T)


Constrictor Classic (TB)

Quad 3:
1 (W) 2(T) 3(W) 4 (M) 5(M) 6(T) 7 (W)

Divisional Finals
U of C tournament
XI. Quad Meet Organization
- A quad meet is the first chance for wrestlers to compete against other schools.
- Quads should be kept as informal as possible to maximize wrestling time.
( not keep track of wins / losses etc. )
- A quad meet usually involves four schools but may involve three to five
depending on the size of the schools.
- All schools are expected to provide mats to ensure there are enough surfaces.
- All schools should help cover referee costs ($20 -$25 per referee)
- Quad meets last from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

The following are things you must get organized:

1. Mats
- There must be enough mat space for the number of wrestlers.
- Three mats is likely a minimum.
- Ensure mats are set up in time for wrestling to begin at 4:00 p.m.
- Mats may be subdivided to enable more matches to occur at once.

2. Referees
- Find enough referees to cover mats.
- Ex-students can help as refs, or use the list provide by the
chairperson at the organizational meeting. If needed, coaches
should be prepared to referee.
- Ensure that referees are aware that safety is the number one priority

3. Timers / Scorekeepers
- One trained timer and one trained scorekeeper are needed at each
- Timer is responsible for timing a 2 or 3 minute match and throwing

- Scorekeeper is responsible for flip charts used in scoring and needs
to be familiar with referee’s hand signals.

4. Tables and Boxes

- There needs to be a table and two chairs for each mat.
- A box needs to be on each table and should include the following:
- flip charts for scoring
- stopwatch
- whistle for referee
- towel
- paper towels
- spray bottle with disinfectant spray in case of blood on mat
- nail clippers
- red and blue bands to identify wrestlers

5. Medical Person
- someone trained in first aid (parent, teacher...should be on site)

Some extra hints in organizing the quad meet...

- the hardest part of a quad meet is getting the mats to the location. The
CBE will move mats for you if you fill in an S18 early enough. They
must be rolled up tightly and taped. Ensure that you have requested
a pick up for the next day as well!
- have mats set up by 4:00
- allow some warm-up time
- when ready to begin call wrestlers to attention, welcome them, explain
how the afternoon will be run
- have wrestlers line up in three lines from lightest to heaviest (novice
boys, senior boys, girls) - if you have enough girls divide them into
novice / senior as well

- have a coach from each school take a line and coaches divide wrestlers
into groups of 4. Consider ability, experience, size, etc.
- If have three mats send first group to mat 1, second group to mat 2, etc.
(this allows wrestlers to see wrestlers from other divisions)
- wrestlers sit down around the mat with their groups of four
- when all wrestlers are placed have matches begin
- do not waste time filling in matches on paper
- referees work their way around the mat taking next two wrestlers
- have referees use red and blue bands only if they must. It goes a lot
faster if they are able to just say that the wrestler with the darker
shorts or shoes is blue.
- students must decide who they will wrestle first, second and third
- all wrestlers should receive three matches
- stress to wrestlers that they need to stay at their mat so they won’t miss
their match
- put the responsibility on the wrestlers to ensure they get three matches
- if have extra time you can organize some extra matches but wrestling
needs to end at 6:00 in case of evening rentals.
- ensure referees get paid immediately following the quad meet
- have cheques made out beforehand from your school and have guest
coaches write cheques out to your school or have them bring cash
- make sure you have wrestlers at end to help clean up
- all schools should be involved in this
- be aware that after their third match many wrestlers (and their parents)
will want to leave so make this an expectation from the start

XII. Divisionals Organization
Organizing divisionals is much harder than organizing a quad meet. You still
need to organize mats, referees, timers, scorekeepers, table boxes, etc. well
ahead of time. Other things to consider:

The Draw
- you need draw masters who know what they are doing
- weights should be faxed to the draw master the day before the meet
and changes to this the morning of
- the schools in the division should include in their costs a substitute
teacher if one of the coaches is responsible for the draw
- divide wrestlers by weight and category into pools of 4
- split up schools as much as possible
- make up draw sheets and number all matches
- make up bout sheets for each match
- post draw sheets

Timers / Scorekeepers
- scorekeepers must be taught how to fill in bout sheets properly
- time should be a three minute straight time match

Therapist - because of increased numbers and intensity a therapist should be

hired (eg. from U.of C.)

Results - teams receive 5 points for a first, 3 for second, 2 for third, 1 for
- send ribbons and pennants to teams following the tournament

Concession - a cafeteria should be provided for the evening

Coach’s Room
- a coach’s room should be offered which includes a meal

Time line - some divisions have begun at 1:00 p.m.

- this creates problems in organizing referees and release of students
- a well organized tournament can begin at 4:00 and be done by 8:00.

The attached form can be used as a checklist for divisionals organization.

Divisional Championships Organization

Division: ___________________ Chairman: ____________________

School: ____________________ Phone: ____________________

School: Coach: Phone:

1.____________ ____________ ____________

2.____________ ____________ ____________
3.____________ ____________ ____________
4.____________ ____________ ____________
5.____________ ____________ ____________
6.____________ ____________ ____________
7.____________ ____________ ____________
8.____________ ____________ ____________

Location: ____________________

Date: ____________________

Time: ____________________

Number of Mats: _____ ___________

a) referees: __________________________

b) weigh-in: __________________________

c) draw: __________________________

d) mats: __________________________

e) awards: __________________________

f) equipment: __________________________

g) supervision: __________________________

h) medical: __________________________

i) concession: __________________________

j) results: __________________________
XIII. Calgary Junior High School Rule Modifications
Please see rules handbook for official rules. These may be ordered from the
Canada Wrestling web site for a small fee.


- the season is agreed upon at the organizational meeting

- coaches must contact other schools to arrange mats, money for referees, etc.
- a wrestler must compete in two competitions (quad meets or tournaments) to
be eligible for the divisional championship.
- the novice wrestling at the first quad meet will use par terre wrestling rules


- Hip Toss (head and arm throw)

- wrestlers may get into this position (for example during a bear hug
battle) without stoppage of action but the toss can not be thrown
- the referee will stop the match whenever a wrestler attempts the throw
from a standing position
- if wrestlers are on their knees and get into a head and arm position
wrestling can continue
- Throws / Lifts etc. require placing a knee down during completion
- this is to ensure that these moves are done in control
- no front head and arm roll (gabori)
- no german quarter or other moves putting undue torque on the neck


- any grade eight who has competed, all grade nines, and any grade seven
with club competition experience will be classified as seniors
- any grade seven or eight with no competition experience will be classified
as a novice
- coaches and wrestlers may mutually agree to have novice-senior
competition if necessary and does not put either wrestler in danger


- no escape points
- five second exposure points will be awarded
- a wrestler must receive the five second exposure point (or attempt another
move) before scoring more points from the original move
- a missed throw will not be blown dead, wrestling will continue but the defending
wrestler will not be awarded a point for control
- overtime will be sudden death (even if neither wrestler has scored three points)
- a wrestler does not need three points to win a match
- 1-0, 2-0, and 2-1 scores will end the match after regulation time
- matches will be a maximum of two, two minute halves or one, three minute
- if the wrestlers leave the mat in the down position, wrestling will be resumed in
the down position

Clothing / Equipment

- shoes MUST be worn, no boots or bare feet

- wrestlers are not required to tape laces down
- no club clothing is allowed at any CJHSAA sanctioned meet (wrestlers will be
asked by the meet chairperson once to change the clothing, a second
violation will result in disqualification)
- t-shirts should be taken off (boys only) but a wrestler will be allowed to wrestle
with a tucked in shirt if he is uncomfortable removing his shirt
- girls are required to wear a bodysuit or bathing suit beneath their shorts and t-
- all jewelry must be removed (earrings may be taped over with athletic tape if
they are unable to be removed)
- headgear is not required; a wrestler can NOT be asked to remove his or her
headgear; a wrestler using the headgear in an inappropriate way will
be cautioned and the other wrestler will be awarded a point. A
second violation will result in disqualification.
- mouth guards are not required but should be recommended to wrestlers

Par Terre Wrestling Rules (used at first quad meet for novices):

- matches will be two, one minute halves

- wrestlers are not allowed to stand up
- each wrestler will begin on top at the beginning of wrestling for an entire half
- scoring is done as usual except a pin results in five points and wrestling is
stopped and then begun again from par terre.
- a pin does NOT win the match
- a wrestler can not win by being ahead by ten points
- overtime will consist of both wrestlers starting lying on their backs, facing
opposite directions. When whistle blows both wrestlers get onto
knees, face each other, and wrestle. First point wins.

Divisional Scoring:

- pool points for divisionals will be: 4-0 for a win by pin or by superiority (ten
points ahead), 3-1 for a win by points win the losing wrestler scores at
least one point, 3-0 for a win by points when the losing wrestler scores
no points.

All wrestlers for a school receive points regardless if in the same

weight category.
In a pool of 5, 1st = 10
2nd = 7
3rd = 5
4th = 3
5th = 2

In a pool of 4, 1st = 10
2nd = 7
3rd = 5
4th = 3

In a pool of 3, 1st = 10
2nd = 7
3rd = 5

In a pool of 2, 1st = 7
2nd = 5

In a pool of 1, 1st = 5

XIV. Ring Worm ( Tinea Corporis)

What is it?
Ringworm is a contagious fungal skin infection. It may be passed on by
body contact, a contaminated mat, towel, piece of clothing, etc.
The most common form seen in the wrestling world is a round, itchy rash
on the body. It has a clear center and rises towards the border.
Ring worm can also take the form of jock itch or athlete’s foot.

See your doctor.
The wrestler will likely get a topical treatment to put on the rash twice daily
for a minimum of one week. At this time the rash should show no signs of
scaling, ulceration, or inflammation. The wrestler should then be cleared
to compete.

Wash mats daily before practice with a bleach solution.
Wash mats during breaks at tournaments.

XV. Web Sites, Suppliers, Contacts

Canada wrestling

FILA wrestling

Alberta Amateur Wrestling Association
11759 Groat Rd. Edmonton, AB T5M 3K6
1-780-427-0524 (fax)

USA Wrestling

Alberta Schools Athletic Association

Dino Wrestling, Resilite Mats - Mitch Ostberg
220 -8677

Team Skyline (mats, tape)


Arnica Langevin, U of C Therapists


Spieth Anderson Mats

Westpoint Sporting Goods (boots, singlets, knee pads,..)


Kicks (boots, kneepads..)