United World Wrestling Modifies Greco-Roman Rules, Reinstates the Five-Point Throw


CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (April 30) – United World Wrestling has announced several rule modifications for Greco-Roman wrestling. The decision to implement the reforms comes after several months of testing at the international level. The changes will take effect immediately.

The recent rule revisions are highlighted by increased penalties for illegal actions, clarifications on awarding of points for “push-outs,” the elimination of one-point exposure, and the return of the popular five-point throw.

“These are productive rules alterations and reinforcements,” said United World Wresting president Nenad Lalovic. “We are confident they will create a more technical and beautiful form of the sport. Our Coaches Commission, Referee Commission and Sport department worked well together in overseeing this process.”

“We are also thrilled to give fans back the five-point throw,” added Lalovic.

Increase in Penalties for Illegal Moves, Failure to Open

The most significant rule modification will be an increase in penalties for illegal moves and actions. Previous illegal actions like a leg foul, head butt, or refusing the correct par-terre would result in a single “caution” to the offending wrestler. The new rules will now include an additional two points to the opponent.  The same penalty applies to wrestlers who fail to “open” from the bottom position.

Out of Bound Interpretation Clarified

In order to keep wrestlers from engaging in too much pushing on the edge of the mat, the rules for out-of-bounds infractions have also been modified and reinforced.

Offensive wrestlers who step out in the course of an attack will no longer be penalized, while defensive wrestlers who step out will still forfeit a point to their opponent. No points will be given for wrestlers who “push” their opponent out-of-bounds.

All Gut Wrenches Now Worth Two Points

All gut wrench actions will be awarded two points, regardless if the action was executed over stretched arms. Previous rules stated only one point would be given. Consecutive gut wrenches remain legal.

Five Point Throw Reinstated

United World Wrestling also responded to the worldwide support of the previously popular grand amplitude throw and will once again reward five-points for throws where opponents are arched and land in a danger position.

Reinforcement of Passivity Calls

To avoid too many disqualifications from cautions, passivity is no longer considered a caution — the only cautionable actions are now fleeing the hold, fleeing the mat and other illegal actions. First violations result in a verbal warning while the second is the choice to enter forced par-terre (senior-level only). Any passivity call beyond the second will result in one-point and the option for forced par-terre.

Elimination of Forced Par-Terre

The international federation had sought to eliminate the forced “par-terre” position at the senior level, but with the first Olympic qualifier in September at the 2015 World Championships in Las Vegas, the decision was made to withhold the overhaul until after Rio 2016. However, the elimination of par-terre will go into effect immediately at the Cadet and Junior level.

“We want to give our Cadet and Junior wrestlers the opportunity of participating without the forced par-terre,” said Lalovic. “Par-terre should be earned and this allows for more inspection of the rules we’d like to use for Tokyo 2020.”

Cadet, Junior and U-23 wrestlers will be subject to a verbal warning for their first passivity, an official passivity warning for the second and a point to the opponent for a third passivity. Every other passivity thereafter will result in a point.

The match will not be stopped for the announcement of passivity and points resulting from passivity calls.


The next senior-level United World Wrestling competition to include the rule modifications will be the Asia Wrestling Championships May 6-11 in Doha, Qatar. The first cadet and junior competition will be the Pan American Junior Championships May 6-8 in Havana, Cuba.