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How to Keep Score

Note: These pages are written for someone who has never kept score at a wrestling tournament before. If you’ve done scorekeeping before, much of this will be review for you.

Before the Match

Bout sheet before match
Figure 1 - Before the Match

When you get a bout sheet, it will look like the one in Figure 1. The competitors’ names (and possibly their teams) will be written at the top of the sheet.

Colors written above names
Figure 2 - Colors above names

The bout sheet already has the colors “red” and “blue” written on it, as shown in Figure 2. At a state tournament, the wrestlers would have to use singlets of the assigned color. At a local tournament, the referee will assign colors to each competitor. Based on singlet color, one wrestler will be “blue” and the other one “red.” If the colors don’t match what is on the bout sheet, just cross them out and write them in by hand.

The Match Begins

Figure 3 - Wristbands
Referee signal for two
Figure 4 - Signal “Two for Blue”
Two points for Blue
Figure 5 - Two Points for Blue

The match begins. Watch the referee, who will be wearing red and blue wristbands as shown in Figure 3. Let’s say that Calvin (the blue wrestler) scores two points. The referee will signal it, as shown in Figure 4. Some referees will also say, “Two points blue,” but not all of them do, so watch the referee’s hands. You write a “2” in the scoring area under Calvin’s name, as in Figure 5.

You may click any of the next three images to see them in a larger size.

round 1 concludes
Figure 6 - Period 1 finishes
round 2 concludes
Figure 7 - Period 2 finishes
Circle winner, cross out loser
Figure 8 - Circle winner; cross out loser

Both wrestlers get more points as the bout proceeds. At the end of period 1, the scoresheet looks like Figure 6. Add up the points for each wrestler and put them in the right-hand column labeled TOTAL.

Calvin wins round 2 as well, and you add up the points for each wrestler and put them in the TOTAL column for the second period, as shown in Figure 7.

As Calvin has a larger total score, he wins the match. Circle the winner and cross out the loser, as shown in Figure 8. The point totals for each period are copied to the squares near the bottom of the sheet. The center bottom of the sheet has a place for place for classification points. You do not have to fill in this area; leave it for the people in the pairing room.

In a folkstyle tournament, there are three rounds rather than two, but the procedure is the same. Just keep adding up the points for each round and get a grand total when the match finishes.

If there’s no pin, it’s that simple! The referee will sign the bout sheet, and the winning wrestler will sign it and take it back to the head table.

What if there’s a pin?

We haven’t discussed what happens if one wrestler gets pinned. To find out what to do, go to the next page.