There are 13 weight classes in high school wrestling in the United States. There are 10 intercollegiate classes. A wrestler may weigh no more than the weight in his class, though he may weigh less. High school weight classes range from 100 pounds to a heavyweight class of no more than 275 pounds. Intercollegiate classes range from 118 pounds to no more than 275 pounds.
High school matches are divided into three periods of two minutes each. Intercollegiate matches begin with a three-minute period. The remaining two periods last two minutes each. Matches take place on a cushioned mat with a wrestling area at least 32 feet (9.75 meters) square or 32 feet in diameter. At least 5 feet (1.5 meters) of mat must surround the wrestling area. The first period begins with the wrestlers standing and facing each other. The second period begins with one wrestler having a choice of top position, bottom position, or neutral position, or the wrestler can defer the choice to the opponent.
Wrestlers receive points for skillfully executing various holds and maneuvers. They may also win points if their opponent commits a technical error, uses an illegal hold, or breaks a rule. The match ends when a wrestler gains a fall by holding his opponent’s shoulders to the mat. The opponent’s shoulders must be held for two seconds in a high school match and for one second in an intercollegiate match. If no fall occurs, the wrestler with the most points wins by a decision. The referee is sometimes assisted by a second referee.
There are 10 weight classes in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling in international competition, including the Olympics. They range from 105.5 pounds to a class of no more than 286 pounds. The participants in each weight class are paired using a blind draw within a bracket system. The athletes wrestle for the first six places. The top three receive medals.
Each match consists of one five-minute period, plus a three-minute overtime if neither wrestler has scored at least three points. The wrestlers start the match on their feet, facing each other. Three officials direct each match. At least two of them must agree on a decision.