Greco-Roman wrestling rule change comes into effect

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Baku, October 6, AZERTAC

United World Wrestling (UWW) has confirmed that all future senior-level Greco-Roman competitions will no longer feature forced par-terre as part of the general match structure, reports.

The move confirms a circular sent to National Federations and posted on the UWW website in April of last year, when it was stated that the rule change would come into effect after the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Par-terre refers to the starting position in freestyle and Greco-Roman where wrestlers start on the mat in top and bottom positions.

Ordered par-terre for passivity is now cancelled with a four-step procedure to be enforced.

The change will see wrestlers subject to a verbal warning for their first passivity, an official passivity warning for the second and a point to the opponent for a third passivity.

Every other passivity thereafter will result in a point but the match will not be stopped for the announcement of passivity and points resulting from calls.

It is expected the change will ensure matches are decided primarily on the ability to throw feet to back and execute takedowns, making for a more exciting spectacle.

The same change came into effect for cadet, junior and under-23 wrestlers around 18 months ago.

Speaking at the time about the elimination of the forced par-terre, UWW President Nenad Lalović said: "We want to give our cadet and junior wrestlers the opportunity of participating without the forced par-terre.

"Par-terre should be earned and this allows for more inspection of the rules we’d like to use for Tokyo 2020."

In April 2015, UWW reinstated the five-point throw for Greco-Roman competition and brought in a number of rule revisions, including increased penalties for illegal actions and the elimination of one-point exposure.

The sport’s world governing body said the reforms came after several months of testing at international level and saw the return of a five-point reward for throws where opponents are arched and land in a danger position.

Wrestling has been a part of every Olympics since the 1900 event in Paris but was briefly cut from the programme in February 2013, before being reinstated in September of the same year after beating baseball/softball and squash with 49 votes to ensure it maintained its place in the Games after Rio 2016.

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