Q&A: Wrestling Rules

I was wondering how you’d go about writing a wrestling match. If you could help that would be great. To be more specific, I need to know what the common body types are and whether it’s all grappling or if punching and kicking are involved. Appreciate it.

Both of the questions you’re focusing on will depend on the organization overseeing the match.

Any competitive sport will require a (theoretically) impartial organization overseeing each match. They need to establish and enforce a uniform set of rules on all participants. The organization doesn’t need to be solely focused on governing one specific sport.

Things get tricky because what one organization may consider entirely acceptable could be disqualifying in another. This goes directly to your question of whether it’s all grappling or if direct strikes are permitted. This question is simultaneously, “yes, and no.” Some forms of wrestling strictly forbid direct strikes during matches. However, some grappling martial arts include striking techniques, and competitive matches based on them would permit strikes. Though, there would likely be restrictions on the specific strikes.

Normally, I’d just look at the dominant organization, and tell what their rules are, but there’s a problem here. Because of a number of factors, competitive wrestling at a professional level is basically non-existent as a professional sport in the US. Instead we have the unholy lovechild of soap operas and Saturday morning cartoons dominating Pay-Per-View.

There is an organizational body, United World Wrestling. They oversee multiple wrestling styles internationally. Greco-Roman and Freestyle are two specific wrestling forms that are Olympic sports. In both cases, direct strikes are prohibited. Greco-Roman also prohibits hold below the waist.

As for body type, Wrestling as a martial art places a premium on physical strength. This results in fighters with very developed muscles. Things get a little weird in the US, because a lot of people are probably thinking of Scholastic or Collegiate Wrestling. In the former case, you’re dealing with teenagers, so you’re going to get teenagers. In the later case, you’re dealing with amateurs, so it’s while it will affect their body type, it’s going to be less pronounced than if they’re competing professionally, or at an Olympic level. (Assuming they’re not training to go into the Olympics.)

As for general advice on writing a wrestling match? Watch competitive matches. Read up on it. Do your research.


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I hope it doesn’t show in the post above, but I’m still not at 100%, and Michi’s tied up dealing with work at the moment. I am sorry about the short hiatus, and I’m not entirely certain when regular posting will begin again.

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