To the casual observer, all forms of wrestling might look the same. The singlets and shoes appear to be very similar and the official wrestling mats used in competition seem to have the same dimensions and markings. But once you become more familiar with the sport, you’ll be able to notice subtle differences not only in equipment and mat specs, but also in the types of holds and maneuvers the wrestlers are permitted to use in the three main disciplines. Let’s examine some of these differences now.


This is the most widely known wrestling style and is one of the two disciplines contested at the Olympic Games. When competing in this type of match, wrestlers:

  • May not hold opponents below the waist
  • May not use their legs to bring opponents down
  • Must maintain contact with the opponent when bringing him to the mat


This is the other wrestling discipline contested at the Olympic Games and allows wrestlers to use a greater range of moves and techniques to obtain a fall. For instance, competitors may:

  • Use their legs to attack or defend
  • Hold below the waist
  • Relinquish contact when throwing opponents to the mat


This is the discipline used at the high school and college level in the U.S. and is therefore also known as scholastic or collegiate wrestling. It is very similar to freestyle wrestling, with a few notable exceptions:

  • Points are awarded for near-falls
  • Emphasis is placed on controlling opponents on the mat rather than grappling while upright

Of course, there are many other nuances associated with each discipline, but these basics should give you at least some idea of how the styles differ.

Regardless of which discipline you compete in, be sure to stock up on Suplay wrestling gear to get you through the remainder of the season. We offer great prices on products from the best name brands in wrestling, including Asics, Nike, Adidas, and Cliff Keen, so visit our site today.