Rules of folkstyle wrestling, which is played at the middle school and all other school levels in the United States, include no grabbing the other wrestler's hair or headgear, and no fleeing the mat. Wrestlers score points through takedowns, escapes, reversals, near falls and penalties by the opponent.
A wrestler wins the match if he pins his opponent. He does this by holding his opponent on his back, with either any part of both shoulders or both shoulder blades touching the mat. He must hold his opponent down for two seconds. If the match doesn't end in a pin, the wrestler with the most points wins.
A takedown is worth two points. A wrestler scores a takedown by getting his opponent to the mat with control. An escape is worth one point. A wrestler escapes by getting back to a neutral position after his opponent had him on the mat.
A reversal is worth two points. A wrestler scores a reversal by gaining control of an opponent who had control of him on the mat.
A near fall, also known as back points, occurs when a wrestler nearly gets pinned. The amount of points for a near fall is based on how long it lasts. Near falls that are held for two seconds are worth two points, while those held for five seconds are worth three points.
Penalties are worth one or two points depending on the violation.