RHODE ISLAND WRESTLING ASSOCIATION
FOLK STYLE TOURNAMENT GUIDELINES
The purpose of these guidelines is to standardize operations at RIWA club folk style tournaments with the goals of increasing participation, enhancing value, building continuity in the event and promoting wrestling.
All competition, including the paring of wrestlers, shall be governed by USA Wrestling Rules and RI Interscholastic Rules, with modifications approved by the RIWA where applicable. Any other modifications may be made only with the approval of the RIWA Kids Division Director.
The Tournament shall be organized by the host-wrestling club under the guidance of these guidelines and sanctioned by USA Wrestling and the RIWA.
The host wrestling club shall be responsible for the operation and conduct of the tournament. To ensure a smooth tournament the host wrestling club will appoint a tournament committee, which shall include the following members:
· Tournament Director
· Chief of Pairings (RIWA provides)
· Weigh Master
· Chief of Referees (RIWA provides)
· Floor Manager
A Tournament Operation form (see sample) is to be filled out and posted in several areas for all to know who is assigned what jobs during the tournament.
Every tournament shall have a designated Tournament Director. He/She is responsible to the RIWA Kids Division Director for the overall conduct of the tournament in accordance with USA Wrestling and RIWA rules and guidelines. The Tournament Director should make every effort to enhance the prestige, effectiveness and image of his/her Club Tournament, and that it maintains the standards desired by RIWA. He/she shall be to single point of contact for any questions or issues regarding the staffing, facilities and execution of the tournament. Tournament facilities shall be set up in accordance with the RIWA Tournament Guide Book, and monitored by the Tournament Director. This assignment should be given great consideration as the success of the tournament is heavily influenced by the organizational, and leadership skills of the Tournament Director. Prior to the tournament, the Tournament Director shall identify personnel required to staff the positions specified in the RIWA Tournament Guide Book, and ensure training is conducted for the positions staffed. During setup of the tournament facilities, the Tournament Director shall ensure that the competition area is in compliance with the RIWA Tournament Guide Book. During the tournament, the Tournament Director shall ensure that all table have the materials needed to maintain a smooth flow of competition, and that they continue to be adequately staffed. He/She shall ensure that awards are ready for distribution when the final round of wrestling in each age group is completed. The Tournament Director shall support any special needs for clinics, and assist RIWA Officers if required
In summary, he Tournament Director should perform the following duties:
Is responsible to the Tournament Director and the RIWA Pairing Officials Director for the preparation of bracket sheets, bout slips and running call sheets in such a manner as to assure a smooth and orderly tournament.
The Chief of Pairings should perform the following duties:
-Recruit, train and direct the host club volunteers who will assist in the pairing of the
Establishes the weight grouping within the age bracket by use of the weigh-in cards and
the classification numbering system. Once weight groups are established only the chief
pairer may make adjustments as outline in the pairing section and Appendix A.
Supervises preparation of the original pairing bracket sheets, bout slips and running call
sheet(see Appendix B).
Coordinates the use of other RIWA club officials and volunteers in a productive manner
during his clubs tournament.
Throughout the competition, supervises preparation of the pairing bracket sheets, bout
slips and running call sheets for all subsequent rounds.
Acts to correct errors.
Informs the awards committee director when a given weigh class is finished so that the
awards for that class may be given out.
Directs the weigh-in staff and certifies the proper weight of each wrestler by following procedures as outlined in Registration and Weigh-in beginning on page 5.
Is responsible to the Tournament Director and the RIWA Chief of Mat Officials for the conduct of the referees so as to assure a fair, smooth and orderly tournament.
The Chief of Referees should perform the following duties:
- Coordinate and plan with the RIWA Chief of Mat Officials to pre register mat officials for the tournament.
- The number of paid mat officials is not to exceed 5 per 2 mat areas.
- Food tokens are to be distributed to each referee and lunch breaks are to be assigned by the Chief Referee.
- Supervise the work of the referees throughout the tournament.
- Interprets rulings and acts to correct errors.
Assists the Tournament Director in maintaining the paper work required to ensure that the
mat officials meet the requirements (certified and available for the entire tournament) to be
Assists in conducting of the rules/wrestling clinic to be conducted 45 minutes prior to the
start of the tournament. All house rules (which must be approved by the R1WA Chief of
Mat Officials) in effect must be explained.
Conducts mat officials briefing (mat assignments and house rules) 30 minutes prior to the
start of the tournament.
Chief Floor Manager
The Floor Manager is responsible for maintaining order on the competition floor. He/she is responsible for keeping the competition floor safe, clean, and free from unauthorized spectators and wrestlers. The Floor Manger shall work closely with the RIWA Chief of Referees to ensure competition flows smoothly, and that all competition areas are fully utilized. He/she shall work with RIWA Pairing Officials to facilitate efficient use of the competition area, and movement of wrestlers from one area to another as required. The Floor Manager shall ensure that the competition area remains fully utilized, and remains in compliance with RIWA Tournament Guide Book throughout the duration of the tournament. He/she shall resolve any questions or issues regarding the competition area. The Floor Manager has full authority of the RIWA in matters of security and crowd control. Any spectator or wrestler who refuses to comply with RIWA guidelines shall be ejected from the competition by the Floor Manager or any RIWA Officer observing the violation. The Floor Manager is responsible to the Tournament Director for the conduct of the head table scorer, scorer/scoreboard operator and timer for each mat.
The Chief Floor Manager should perform the following duties:
Registration and weigh-in must be conducted in strict accord with the rules of the governing bodies and the modifications to those rules by R1WA. It is the responsibility of the R1WA Kids Division Director and the entire host club tournament staff to ensure compliance to the rules.
Weigh-in cards will be supplied by the RIWA which are color coded by age group and will be numbered Draw number in random order by the Pairing Director.
Signs should be posted to direct the flow of traffic smoothly through the registration and weigh-in process.
Registration and weigh-in should be open for at least 60 minutes before being closed to contestants. Individual registration and fee payment must be completed within the specified time. To be registered, a contestant must have a current USA Wrestling Membership Card and a copy of his/her birth certificate on file with the RIWA Membership Director.
Only official personnel (wrestlers, weigh master and staff) shall be allowed in the weigh in area. Provisions shall be made to weigh female competitors separately and apart from male competitors.
Contestants shall line up in single file behind a designated floor marking, with only the wrestler to be weighed stepping beyond this line when called. When invited to approach the scale, the contestant must be dressed in as a minimum his singlet and shall present his weigh-in card to the official manning the scale. The official at the scale will read from the card, announcing the contestant’s full name, affiliation and age group. If any of these is incorrect or missing, or the weigh-in card is not legible, the contestant will be asked to correct the card, which will be done by the official.
If the weigh-in card is correct, the contestant shall step upon the scale. He shall stand with both feet flat in the middle of the scale facing away from the dial, bar or screen. The weight will be called out by the weigh master and marked on the entrant’s weigh-in card and arm 2 inches above the elbow. The weigh master will also check the contestant’s fingernails for length. Fingernails found to be too long will be required to be trimmed and reinspected before the wrestlers weigh — in card is sent to the parings room. All long hair is required to be tied back.
Any infections or rashes will be covered and the athlete will have a doctors note clearing him /her to wrestle within 10 days of the tournament.
The Tournament Director may only approve late registrations or weigh-ins when extenuating circumstances prevented the athlete from entering within the specified time period.
During the course of the weigh-in, the completed weigh-in cards will be taken to the pairings room and given to the Chief Pairing Official.
The pairings are conducted using USA Wrestling’s A Guide to Pairing from the current International RuleBook and Guide to Wrestling. (Appendix A) and modification made by RIWA described here. The RIWA Pairings Official Director is the only one who can make exceptions to these policies.
During the course of the weigh-in, the weigh-in cards will be taken to the pairings room by the weigh-in staff and given to the Chief Pairing Official. The Chief Pairing Official will be responsible to see that:
1. The wrestlers are pooled by age group and weight (within 5 pounds of each other up to 100 pounds. 100 pounds to Heavyweight will be allowed a 10% weight allowance when grouped. Heavyweight groupings will be according to USA Wrestling rules.)
2. Group size shall not exceed 4 competitors for the 6 to 8 year old group and 8
competitors for all other age brackets at local tournaments.
3. The wrestlers will be pooled by age and weight (up to 5 pounds difference to 100
pounds and 10% of their weight thereafter up to heavyweight as designated in the
rulebook. Where possible, the inexpierenced wrestlers will be put into a separate
group. The team coaches will designate them by putting a “B” in the upper right
hand corner of the weigh-in card.
4. Where more than one wrestler from the same club are in the same weight class the
Chief of Paring shall use the following guide for Seperation;
a) Put the weigh-in cards in draw number order
b) If there are more than five contestants then separate them into two pools.
c) Separate clubs into opposite pools so as not to meet in the first two rounds.
5. If because of numbers or the weight of contestants a wrestler is put into a group where
the weight of the lightest wrestler to the heaviest wrestler in the group is greater than 6
pounds the host club chief pairer must approve the movement of the individual
wrestler pairings after getting approval of the wrestlers’ parent (s)/guardian (s) and his coach.
The wrestler will not be required to wrestle any opponent who out weighs him/her by
10 pounds or more.
6. Wrestlers are not allowed to be bumped up to a higher age group. The only exception
is where bumping of wrestlers in the heavy weight categories of age groups when
there are no other wrestlers available in their own age group to wrestle and only upon
approval of the wrestlers’ parent (s) / guardian (s) and his coach.
7. Coordinates the use of other RIWA club official in a productive manner during his
clubs tournament. RIWA requires that each club will have a designated certified
pairer who will assist the host dub in the pairing operations of tournament.
8. Enforces the RIWA policy that only the visiting clubs pairer and one additional
club coach or official may be the pairings room. This individual may inspect the
groups/pools to determine who from their club is competing and that wrestler is in the
right age group. This individual may not move or touch the weigh-in cards. Any
problems must be brought to the host club Chief of Pairings who will make a ruling
or regroup the cards to correct any error.
9. After all contestants have been bracketed/pooled and verified by the host club Chief
of Pairings, the assigned pairers from the other clubs prepare the initial bracket sheet,
1st round bout slips and the running call sheet (see Appendix D).
10. Oversees the updating of the bracket sheets and preparation of bout slips and running
call sheet for subsequent rounds of competition.
11. Informs the awards committee and the mat (where competition took place) head
scorer when a weight class has completed competition and that awards may be given
a. The mat area will be roped off from spectators with a 2-foot buffer to the mat.
b. Wrestlers and coaches not involved in a bout must be at least 2 feet off the mat and seated.
c. Only two certified coaches will be allowed on the mat in the designated coaching area. Coaches must display their current RIWA tournament floor pass to remain in the designated coaching area.
d. Coaches, wrestlers or spectators will not be allowed to congregate in any buffer zone between any wrestling area.
e. All those not wrestling in or coaching a bout will be encouraged to remain seated.
a. “each team must designate a team area located near the wrestling area where their team, as a whole can sit together under the supervision of an adult or coach”.
b. “all wrestlers and spectators must sit in the bleacher section of the tournament area. wrestlers or spectators will not be allowed to sit on the mats while the tournament is in progress.
Mat and Table Officials
Each mat will be staffed by a minimum staff of a referee, head scorer, score keeper, timer/assistant score keeper.
Duties of the Referee:
A. The referee must be certified by the R1WA Mat Officials Director.
B. The referee is responsible for the orderly conduct of the bout on the mat, which he
must direct according to the rules.
C. He must command the respect of the contestants and must exercise full authority over
them so that they will immediately obey his orders and instructions. Similarly, he
must conduct the bout without tolerating any irregular and untimely outside
D. The referee will conduct the bout the rule in accordance with the current Interscholastic Rule book and any modifications by RIWA (Appendix B)
E. General referee’s instruction sheets will be available at each mat (see Appendix
Duties of the Head Scorer:
A. The head scorer is responsible for the conduct of the scorer/scoreboard operator and the timer assistant scorer that are assigned to him.
B. The head scorer is responsible for the calling of the wrestlers which includes the preparation of the “Call Board” and the verbal call of the contestants. See the description of “the Call” under the heading The Bout.
C. The head scorer will post the “running call sheet” so that wrestlers can see where they are in the bout order without interfering with the duties of the table workers.
D. General head scorer’s instruction sheets will be available at each mat (see Appendix
Duties of the Scorer/Scoreboard Operator:
A. The scorer maintains the bout slip during the bout on the mat by recording all points, warnings, cautions and penalties awarded by the referee see Table of Recording Symbols in Appendix C. In addition, the scorer will record coin toss choice’s made at the beginning of the 2nd and 3rd period.
B. At the end of the bout the scorer totals the score and informs the referee as to who the
winner of the bout is. After the referee declares the winner the scorer has the winning
wrestler and the referee initial the bout slip. The winning wrestler is responsible for
the running of the bout sup to the pairers head table.
Duties of the Timer:
A. The timer is responsible for the keeping of the time of the bout by starting and
stopping the timing device on command from the referee.
B. The timekeeper indicates the end of the period by striking the referee with a “referees
touch”. The timekeeper will move onto the mat with 15 seconds left in the period and
position him/her self so as to able to touch the referee when time expires (see the
section entitled The Bout on next page).
C. The timekeeper may also act as an assist to the scorekeeper.
A Standard Tournament Rule Sheet will be used to serve as a quick reference for mat and table officials (Appendix C). This sheet covers:
(1) The length of bouts for each age group
(2) The penalties for each age group
(3) The scoring procedures for a bout
(4) The overtime procedures
(5) How to correct errors
(6) And other material which assist in the smooth operation of the tournament.
All table workers and the referee should be familiar with the following section “The Bout” so that the bout is conduct is in a manner that promotes good competition and sportsmanship.
Duration of the bouts is fixed as follows:
In case of a bout ending in a tie score,the bout will continue under the RIWA
overtime rule. /
RIWA Overtime rule:
In the event of a tie following regulation time, a one-minute sudden death period from the neutral position will be used. The first wrestler to score a point will be declared the winner.
In the event of a tie score following the sudden death period a 30-second (high school) tiebreaker period will be used. A coin toss will determine the selection of position for the tie breaker period.
The contestants must appear on the edge of the mat dressed in the following:
a. dressed in a singlet, socks and wrestling shoes or sneakers;
b. b. T-shirt, shorts, socks, and wrestling shoes or sneakers.
The singlet or T-shirt should adhere to the body (wrestler is pinned when uniform covering shoulder touches mat). Light kneepads may be worn. Ear protectors are not required but may be worn. No loose fitting clothing will be permitted.
When called the contestants must be wearing shoes that provide support for the ankles. However, the use of shoes with heels or nailed soles, shoes with buckles or with any metallic part, is prohibited. Special attention is to be given to shoe laces, the metal tip or rigid tips that must be cut off.
Coaches and competitors are encouraged to carry 2 pair of shoes, one for Street wear and one for walking on the mat, in a effort to reduce the amount of dust and gravel on the wrestling mats. Street shoes will not be permitted on the mat.
It is also prohibited:
to wear bandages on wrists, arms or ankles, except in the case of injury or on
prescription from a doctor;
to apply any greasy or sticky substance to the body;
to arrive at the mat perspiring;
to wear any object that might cause injury to the opponent, such as rings, ear rings and
The contestant will be called to the mat three times, twice on a “call board” and once by voice by the head scorer at the scoring table of the mat area the wrestler is wrestling.
The contestant will be called by the used of a “call board” by his/her name being placed in the “in the hole” position on the “call board” (1st Call). The wrestlers name will be moved to the “on deck” position on the “call board” when he/her will be wrestling in the next bout (2nd Call).
The competitors will be called by voice by the head scorer at the scoring table three times at 15-second intervals. If after the third call, the wrestler does not come forward a coach from his/her club will be notified by the head scorer and a 2-minute delay will be granted to the wrestler. If the wrestler does not answer the call after the 2-minute delay he will default the match.
Note RLWA Rule: “All wrestlers participating in any state sanctioned tournament (s) must be accompanied by a coach to the mat area prior to and during their competition”.
Running Call Sheet
The “Running Call Sheet” is prepared by the pairers and sent to the scorer’s table with the bout slips for each new round so that coaches and wrestlers can check to see where they are in relationship to the bout being conducted. Coaches and wrestlers are not to be allowed to go through the bout slips in the possession of the Head Scorer.
Answering to the call of his name, each wrestler and their coach must report to the mat in front of the scorer’s table.
The referee will assign a color (red or green) to the wrestler and the coach will report to the respective coaches box. The two wrestlers will be call to the center of the mat by the referee and he checks that they are properly dressed and ready to wrestle. The referee verifies that there is at least one coach in the respective coaching box. The wrestlers greet each other, shake hands and, on the order of the referee (blows whistle), start the bout.
The timekeeper indicates the end of the period by striking the referee with a referees touch. The timekeeper will move onto the mat with 15 seconds left in the period and position him/her self so as to able to touch the referee when time expires.
The referee must then blow his whistle immediately. Any action begun at the very moment the referee is touched is not counted, and no action performed between the striking of the referee and the blowing of the referee’s whistle shall be valid.
Interrupting the Bout
If a bout has to be interrupted the bout because of an injury or because of any other incident (refusal to wrestle, crying, etc.) the referee interrupts the bout and allow the coaches to assist the wrestler. The allotted time outs or injury time is as follows:
INJURY TIME OUT or REFUSAL TO WRESTLE — A wrestler is entitled to 2 time outs totaling 1 1/2 minutes. Blood time is limited to 5 minutes without medical aid. if either of these limits is exceeded the bout is forfeited.
Stopping and Continuing the Bout
Wrestling must be stopped and resumed at the center of the mat, in either the standing or referees position after the following situations:
A prime responsibility of the referee is protection of the athletes against injury. The referee should guard against the development of illegal holds, and of legal but dangerous situations.
If the referee is unable to prevent the development of a dangerous hold by warning the wrestlers and/or “slapping off” the hold he should blow his whistle and stop the bout. If the hold is illegal, the offender will be cautioned and/or penalized as follows:
Illegal holds include:
- A straight back salto to the head, or any form of souplesse.
Slam …lifting and returning an opponent to the mat with unnecessary force. May be
committed by a contestant in either the top or bottom position, as well as during a takedown. A wrestler who lifts his opponent off the mat is responsible for his safe return. When a contestant is returned to the mat with force, so the upper half of his body contacts the mat first, it is a slam.
- Full nelson, even when applied from the side.
Cross-chest cradle, West Point ride, Colorado or Iron Cross.
Double arm bar with sit-out (double chicken wing).
Neck Wrench ... grasping the opponent’s chin and twisting the neck. Grasping the
chin is not in itself a violation, but pulling and twisting is illegal and potentially
dangerous and threatens injury to the vertebrae. The neck must not be forced
beyond normal limits.
Locking hands is illegal and the referee will caution or penalize the wrestler in the
End of Bout
The end of the bout occurs either when a fall is declared, or when victory is declared by technical superiority (10 points), by elimination or disqualification of one or both opponents, by injury, or upon expiration of the actual wrestling time allowed signaled by the timer and the referees whistle.
When the bout has ended, the referee stands in the center of the mat facing the scorer’s table. The wrestlers shake hands, place themselves at the side of the referee and await the decision. They are forbidden to lower the shoulder straps of their singles before leaving the competition area.
Immediately after the decision is announced, the wrestlers shake hands with his opponents coach. If the above clauses are not observed, the wrestler at fault will be penalized.
Conduct of coaches will be governed by the USA Wrestling RuleBook, The Interscholastic Wrestling RuleBook and any modifications to these rules made by the RIWA.
Coaches are reminded that the following RIWA guidelines and policies will be
enforced by the Tournament Director and Floor Manager; and RIWA Officials.
a. It is R1WA policy that a club is allowed to have it’s official pairer and one additional club coach or official may be the pairings room. This individual may inspect the groups/pools to determine whom from their club is competing and that wrestler is in the right age group. This individual may not move or touch the weigh-in cards. Any problems must be brought to the host club Chief of Pairings who will make a ruling or regroup the cards to correct any error.
b. One coach should be present in the pairing room during the tournament setup.
c.”all wrestlers and spectators must sit in the bleacher section of the tournament area. Wrestlers or spectators will not be allowed to sit on the mats while the tournament is in progress.
d. Wrestlers and coaches not involved in a bout must be at least 2 feet off the mat and seated.
e. Coaches, wrestlers or spectators will not be allowed to congregate in any buffer zone between any wrestling area. Note: only RIWA and host club officials in the performance of their duties may be in the buffer area.
f. Only two certified coaches will be allowed on the mat in the designated coaching area. Coaches must display their current RIWA tournament floor pass to remain in the designated coaching area.
g.”All wrestlers participating in any state sanctioned tournament (s) must
be accompanied by a coach to the mat area prior to and during their
h. The winning wrestler is responsible for the running of the bout slip to the
pairers head table.
The following are excerpts from the Interscholastic and USA Wrestling RuleBooks in regards to coaches conduct and how errors made by officials should be corrected.
“All metals for individual place winners at club or state sponsored tournaments must meet the minimum standard of 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Any club desiring to have it’s own custom made metal for presentation at their tournament must also meet the minimum standard. Any club not using an approved custom design metal must used approved state medals. These metals will be provided by the association on a consignment basis to any club prior to their tournament or event. Clubs will only be required to purchase those metals they use”.
Each Club must provide an awards table that will, upon completion of a weight class, not an age group, distribute medals to the appropriate winners for that weight group immediately upon verification from the tournament’s official pairer.
The host club will provide at that table an awards listing showing age group/weight division and first through fourth place winners, will be posted at the awards table upon completion of each weight class awards presentation
TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR _______________________
PAIRING OFFICIAL ______________________________
WEIGH MASTER _______________________________
CHIEF REFEREE _________________________________
FLOOR MANAGER ____________________________