Wrestling Positions

Wrestling Positions

All wrestling moves stem from the opening positions of the wrestlers. This means that the wrestlers practice moves to make based on their positioning at the beginning of rounds. Depending on whether they are starting in the neutral position or the referee’s position, wrestlers have an idea of what moves they can make and how they can accumulate the most points from their starting position.

What Are the Positions in Wrestling?

The main positions in wrestling are:

  • Neutral Position
  • Referee’s Position / Starting Position

Wrestling Positions

In wrestling, there are two main positions that coaches teach to their athletes: the neutral position and the referee’s position. These are the positions that every wrestling round will start in. The athletes may also take these positions if the referee stops the round for any reason in the middle of a round. The wrestlers will resume the round in the positions that reflect who had the advantage when the referee stopped play.

Neutral Position

Wrestling Neutral Position

The neutral position in wrestling is the position that begins a wrestling match. It is always the position that the wrestlers begin the first round of the match in. The neutral position is just as it sounds; it does not give either wrestler the advantage that the referee’s position gives. The wrestlers start standing up across the mat from each other and facing each other. If there is an overtime period in the wrestling match, it then begins with the wrestlers in the neutral position. It is generally harder for wrestlers to get points out of the neutral position as it is harder to get wrestlers down on the mat from the standing, neutral position.

Referee’s Position (Starting Position)

The second position in wrestling is called the referee's position or starting position. This is when one of the wrestlers begins or resumes the round with their hands and knees on the mat while the other wrestler starts on top, behind, and in control of their opponent. Wrestlers each have one round to choose whether they would like to start in the referee’s position or the neutral position. Most wrestlers plan the moves they make out of the referee’s position, as this is a way to gain points early in rounds that are started like this.

The referee’s position is also used at the start of double overtime, with the participant that scored first deciding the positions that they will start in. If there were no points scored throughout the match, then the referee flips a disk to determine who can choose their position. If nobody scores within that double overtime period, then the athlete that was on top of the starting position is declared the winner.


What wrestling positions are used to begin rounds?

The neutral position and the referee’s position are the two positions used to start rounds in wrestling. The first round always begins in the neutral position. Then, each wrestler gets one round to choose whether to start in the neutral or referee’s position.