United World Wrestling have confirmed that Wrestling Australia are now the National Federation for Grappling in Australia.

United World Wrestling Grappling Regulations- click here

Grappling and United World Wrestling 

In 2007 United World Wrestling officially introduced Grappling among the regulated Wrestling styles. The style of Grappling was introduced by UWW to give a structure and a recognition to all the modern and traditional styles of Wrestling specialized in close fighting technique with the aim to takedown the opponent and control him/her on the ground with holds, joint locks and strangle techniques, such as (but not limited to):

-Submission Grappling (NO-GI/GI)

-Submission Wrestling/Submission Fighting

-Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu -Luta Livre Brasileira

-Catch Wrestling/Catch as catch can

-Lancashire Wrestling -Shoot Wrestling/Shoot Fighting

-Combat Wrestling Grappling, allowing technique and holds from all the wrestling sports (including Freestyle Wrestling and Greco-Roman Wrestling), has the most permissive rules set among them.

As most of the fighting is spent on the ground, Grappling can be considered as one of the safest wrestling sports to practice. Grappling, of all the modern wrestling styles, is the closest to Ancient Greek wrestling or Pále (πάλη), that was practiced in the old Olympic Games.


Grappling is divided in 2 styles:


Grappling- where athletes wear shorts and a compression shirt called rash guard.  The first grappler called (top of bracket) shall appear on the edge of the mat wearing a red rash guard and the second grappler called (bottom of bracket) shall appear in a blue rash guard. The rash guards shall be tight-fitting, with short or long sleeves, and contain at least 60% of the assigned colour. Mixture of red and blue on rash guards is forbidden. The shorts shall be either of the matching assigned red and blue colour or of a neutral colour, such as black, white, or grey. They shall not be excessively baggy or tight fitting (compression shorts are not allowed) and the length must be enough cover at minimum 2/3 of the thigh, but not get below the knee. They shall not have pockets, button/snaps that may be unsafe during competition. Leggings or compression shorts may be worn only under the board shorts.


Grappling Gi, where athletes wear a kimono. Grappling Gi-For all Continental and World Championships, the first grappler called shall appear on the edge of the mat wearing a red Gi and a red belt and the second grappler called a blue Gi and a blue belt. For other competitions, the GI may be also white (for the red corner) and black (for the blue corner), but the athletes must wear a belt of the colour of their corner (red or blue). The Gi must be made of cotton or similar material and in good condition. It may not be unusually thick or stiff to the point of obstructing the opponent. The jacket must be longer than the hips, but no longer than the thighs. When extending the arms forward, the distance between the sleeves and the wrists must not exceed 5 cm. The pants must be of proper size and reach to the ankles in upright position. The pants may not be unusually tight or loose to the point of affecting the opponent’s ability to make holds or move. The belt shall be tied tight around the waist to secure the jacket. Women shall wear a rash guard of assigned colour or any other neutral colour, underneath their Gi. Men shall not wear a rash guard under the Gi.


The use of light kneepads containing no metal parts is allowed. Grapplers may also wear the United World Wrestling approved ear protectors that do not contain any metal or hard cover shells. Referees may require a grappler whose hair is too long to wear ear protectors or an athletic hair cover.

Grapplers are not permitted to wear shoes at the contest.


Age categories:

The age categories are as follows:

U13: 12-13 years

U15: 14-15 years (from 13 with medical and parental certificate)

Cadets 16-17 years (from 15 with medical and parental certificate)

Juniors 18-20 years (from 17 with medical and parental certificate)

Seniors 20 years and older

Veterans older than 35 years

Age class is determined by the year of birth. Grapplers in the junior age category are allowed to participate in the competitions for seniors if they reach 18 years old in the concerned year. However, they must provide a medical certificate and parental authorization if they still not reach 18 years old at the date of the competition. Age will be verified at all Championships and competitions during the accreditation.


Weight categories

The weight categories for Grappling and Grappling Gi are as follows (in kilograms)

U13 (12-13 years old) – Boys: 27, 30, 34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 55, 60, 66, 72, 90kg – Girls: 27, 30, 34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 72kg

U15 (14-15 years old) – Boys: 29-32, 35, 38, 42, 47, 53, 59, 66, 73, 100kg – Girls: 28-30, 32, 34, 37, 40, 44, 48, 52, 57, 80kg

Cadets (16-17 years old) – Boys: 39-42, 46, 50, 54, 58, 63, 69, 76, 85, 110kg – Girls: 36-38, 40, 43, 46, 49, 52, 56, 60, 65, 90kg

Juniors (18-20 years old) – Men: 58, 62, 66, 71, 77, 84, 92, 130kg – Women: 49, 53, 58, 64, 71, 90kg

Seniors (20 and older) – Men: 62, 66, 71, 77, 84, 92, 100, 130kg – Women: 53, 58, 64, 71, 90kg

Veterans (35-60 years old) Division ” A ” 35 – 40 years Division ” B ” 41 – 45 years Division ” C ” 46 – 50 years Division ” D ” 51 – 55 years Division ” E ” 56 – 60 years – Men: 62, 66, 71, 77, 84, 92, 100, 130kg –

Women: 53, 58, 64, 71, 90kg

For categories in the senior age group, competitors may opt for the next higher category than their body weight, except for the heavy weight category, for which contestants must weigh under 130kg for men and under 90kgs for women.


Duration of the Bout

For U13, U15 and Veterans: the duration of a bout will be one period of 4 minutes.

For Cadets, Juniors and Seniors: the duration of a bout will be one period of 5 minutes.

For all the competitions, the timing displayed on the scoreboards will start from 5 to 0 minute (from 4 to 0 minute for U15, cadets and veterans). The winner is declared by the sum of points scored at the end of the regular time. Technical superiority is reached when there is a difference of 15 points. This automatically leads to victory and to the end of the bout is whistled. The submission automatically stops the match.


Types of Victories:

A bout may be won:

-by “Submission” –

-by injury,

– by 4 cautions given to the opponent during a bout.

– by technical superiority – following a forfeit

– by a disqualification

– by points

– by criteria

– by overtime win

Except for the Senior Continental and World Championships, the central referee has full authority to stop the match if he/she deems that an athlete is in imminent danger of serious injury or can no longer withstand a submission lock or choke, even if the said athlete did not submit or tap.

The athletes’ security shall always prevail.

When a competitor abandons the fight, either verbally (by screaming or saying “tap” or “stop”) or physically (by tapping at least twice the opponent or the mat with his/her hand or foot), the opponent is automatically declared winner, no matter the amount of points accumulated or the time of the match.

If a competitor loses consciousness due to a legal hold applied by the opponent or due to an accident not stemming from any illegal manoeuvres, the central referee shall stop the match, help the unconscious athlete regain his/her sense and declare the opponent winner by submission.

Note: Competitors who lose consciousness due to head trauma shall be suspended from the rest of the competition and be directed to undergo treatment from medical staff. When a competitor has scored a 15-points advantage over his/her opponent, the central referee shall stop the match and declare victory by technical superiority.

If, at the end of the regulation time, neither of the situations described above occurred, the competitor who scored the highest number of technical points shall be declared winner. In case of tie in points at the end of the regulation time, the winner shall be determined by the following criteria: 1. The athlete that scored the actions with the highest value of points 2.


If you want to be involved in working with Wrestling Australia to promote Grappling please contact