Objective: The primary objective in Folkstyle wrestling is to gain control of your opponent and to ultimately pin your opponent by holding your opponent’s back (both shoulder blades simultaneously) to the mat for at least two seconds. Many matches end before either wrestler is able to score a pin. The secondary objective is to score more points than your opponent so that you can win by decision in the absence of a pin.
Wrestling matches consist of 3 periods. Periods can vary in length from one minute in duration for younger age groups, to as long as three minutes for college wrestling. Either wrestler can win the match at any time if they are able to pin their opponent or develop a lead of more than 15 points. Otherwise, the wrestler that can accumulate the most points by the end of the third period (or after overtime in the case of a tie) wins the match. There are only two positions from which referees start, or continue a match.
The first is neutral position, with both wrestlers standing and facing each other. The other is the referee’s position, one wrestler starts on his hands and knees down on the mat, and the other starts on top, behind and in control.
The first period always begins in the neutral position. Each wrestler has their choice in one of the remaining periods, to choose to start from top or bottom referee’s position, or in the neutral position. If the action must be stopped before the end of a period, the referee restarts the wrestlers in the starting position that best reflects the position the wrestlers were in when the action was stopped.
The scoring system is rather simple. Takedowns (when from a neutral or standing position one wrestler is able to bring the other to the mat and gain control) are worth 2 points. Escapes (when the bottom wrestler is able to break free from the top wrestler and revert back to a neutral position) are worth 1 point. Reversals, (when a wrestler on the bottom is able to reverse the control so that the opponent is on the bottom) are worth 2 points. Back points (also called near fall) are awarded when one wrestler comes close to pinning the other (i.e. exposing the other wrestler’s back) and are worth 2 or 3 points depending on the length of time that the opponent’s back is exposed. In addition, penalty points can be awarded when the opposing wrestler performs illegal moves or is penalized for excessive stalling.
More rule information and meet formats– http://www.wvmat.com/overview.