FAQ for Youth Wrestlers

When do you recommend that I start wrestling?

The CWC welcomes K-12 athletes.  Athletes that are new to wrestling are encouraged to start during the Winter session.

What program level should I sign up for?

We host a Pee-Wee Program (roughly K-1), Elementary Program (roughly 2-5), Middle School Program (6-8), and High School Students (9-12).  Contact one of our coaches if you have questions about the program that is the best fit.

What will I need for wrestling?

Most importantly is a good attitude, willingness to learn, and respect for you coaches/fellow wrestlers.  Additionally, you will need the following:

  • USA Wrestling Card – MANDATORY
  • Head-gear
  • Wrestling shoes
  • Singlet (optional)
  • Knee pads (optional)

What is USA Wrestling?

USA Wrestling is the national Olympic governing body for wrestling in America. CWC is one of approximately 3,500 USAW sanctioned wrestling clubs. All CWC members are required to become a member of USA Wrestling. Additionally, the CWC requires that coaches (and ANY volunteers that will be on the mat with the kids) obtain a USAW Coaches card; the process by which to get this card includes a background check by USAW.  The CWC is committed to providing a safe environment for our wrestlers by ensuring that the adults that are interacting with our young athletes are certified by this process.

What does a typical practice look like?

Practices will vary for the different program levels but are typically 1-2 h.  The CWC Scholastic Program Director and coaches have put together a set program targeted to each program level. Typical practice will include:  warm-ups, stretching, learning new technique and reviewing previously shown technique, live wrestling with practice partners, conditioning, and even mat games for fun! These practices aim to help the wrestler learn and improve, but also are structured to keep the fun and focus of the sport intact.  These key ingredients are scaled to the different program levels and skill levels of the athletes.

What are the opportunities to compete?

The CWC offers (non-mandatory) opportunities to compete via dual matches with other local Charlottesville-area wrestling clubs.  There are also numerous tournaments offered in central VA area and around the state.  Of note, there are both standard tournaments and “Rookie” tournaments that are targeted to wrestlers with less than 2 years of experience.  The CWC typically attends 1-2 of these tournaments as a team but encourages and will try to support individuals or small groups of wrestlers that want additional opportunities to compete.

How is wrestling scored?

  • 2 points are awarded for a takedown. This is when a wrestler takes his opponent to the mat and is in a top position with control over his opponent.
  • 1 point is awarded for an escape. This is when a wrestler who escapes to his feet from the bottom position and his opponent no longer has control of him.
  • 2 points are awarded for a reversal. This is when a wrestler who is in the bottom position is able to switch to the top position and gain control of his opponent.
  • 2-3 points are awarded for back points. Back points are when a wrestler who has control of his opponent and turns his opponent’s shoulder blades to be less than 90 degrees from the mat. The ref then starts counting seconds that the wrestler holds his opponent there. After 2 seconds, the wrestler will be awarded 2 back points, but it takes 5 seconds to be awarded 3 back points.
  • There are two ways to end the match prematurely. The first way is called a pin and is when the wrestler holds his opponents shoulder blades flat to the mat for 2 seconds. The second way is called a technical fall and is when the wrestler is winning the match by 15 points. This is like a slaughter rule.

How do I get better and improve to the next level in wrestling?

Just like any sport there is a natural progression that occurs in wrestling. The best place to start is in youth wrestling. Here you learn the fundamentals of the sport and develop a foundation of knowledge and experience from which to build.  As you continue to build this knowledge and experience, the next level is middle school wrestling, then high school wrestling, then college wrestling, and lastly USA wrestling in an Olympic and world setting. Just like every sport, you cannot just practice to get better, you have to compete. This involves participating in tournaments and wrestling in matches. Tournaments are held all around the country. Some are optional and some last all day, but the key is getting match time experience you only can get when you compete.

What to expect at a tournament/competition?

Every tournament/dual competition is run differently but on average they range from 2h to all day, where a wrestler can expect 2-6 matches.  Young athletes are often matched based on weight, size, and experience.  Reach out to CWC coaches if you have specific questions.