The three main styles of wrestling practiced in the United States are folkstyle, freestyle and Greco-Roman.
Among youth, high school and college wrestlers primarily follow folkstyle rules. According to the Reactor Wrestling Club in West Richland, Wash,
One feature that makes collegiate-style wrestling different from freestyle is that a wrestler must hold the opponent’s shoulders to the mat for one second to earn a fall. Collegiate-style wrestling rewards wrestlers with “near falls,” worth two or three points, for holding an opponent close to his or her back. Collegiate wrestlers earn credit for “riding time,” or time during which they control their opponent on the mat. “Riding time” points are unique to college wrestling and do not play a factor in the high school sport.
Greco-Roman wrestling is popular in Europe. Greco-Roman differs from in that wrestlers may only use holds above the waist. They may not use legs in scoring or defense.
Tripping, tackling, and using the legs to secure a hold are not permitted. Greco-Roman wrestlers begin their bout in a standing position, and attempt to either throw their opponent to the mat or to use holds to drop them to the mat.
Freestyle is the most popular style of wrestling in the world. Freestyle allows wrestlers to use their entire body during a match.
Holds below the waist and the use of the legs are permitted. In the 1990s, the United States became one of the leading freestyle wrestling nations in the world, winning its first-ever team title at the 1993 Freestyle World Championships.
Once Northern Virginia Wrestling practice begin, it will be interesting to see which style of wrestling most guys will pursue. Most likely either folk- or freestyle will dominate.