After the International Olympic Committee’s executive board recommended that wrestling be eliminated as an Olympic sport in 2020, FILA — the sport’s international governing body — asked member nations to suggest rule changes. At a meeting May 18, it adopted several new rules designed to make the sport more exciting. Some of those include:
• Switching from three periods of two minutes each to two periods of three minutes each.
• Scoring will be cumulative throughout the match, rather than matches being decided in a best-of-three-periods format, which will give wrestlers an incentive to try to score more.
• Takedowns will be worth two points, making them more valuable than the single point for a pushout or penalty.
• In freestyle, passive wrestlers will get a verbal warning from the official on the first offense. If a second offense is called, the wrestler will have 30 seconds to score a point; if that does not happen, the opponent is awarded a point. If neither wrestler scores in the first two minutes of a period, the referee will designate one as passive, and that athlete must score within 30 seconds or the opponent will receive a point.
• In Greco-Roman, a passive wrestler will first receive a verbal warning. A second offense will result in a caution, with the opponent choosing whether to start from a par terre or standing position. A third offense will award a point to the opponent, and a fourth will end the bout, with the opponent winning by fall.