A good wrestler is an escape artist

By Ed Rietveld

Since wrestling matches last only seven minutes, every point scored is valuable, whether it be on a two-point takedown, a two-point reversal or even a near fall, which can be worth two or three points.

Some might argue that the most valuable way a wrestler can earn points would be an escape, which is just worth one point.

An escape happens when the match is restarted and the bottom wrestler escapes from underneath his opponent, so the two competitors are facing one another while standing up.

Wrestling head coach Ryan Ludwig, feels the escape is a very valuable part of wrestling on the college level.

“In my opinion, in college wrestling [escapes are] the most important thing you have,” Ludwig said. “You have to be able to blast and get an escape. We work on that in practice all the time. We preach it all the time to our guys too. It’s an attitude, just as much as it is a technique.”

Junior Rob Jillard, who wrestles at 149 pounds, said there is no universal way to get an escape.

“Usually, like coaches say, you just wanna get to your feet; however, you get there and then once you get there you fight the hands and just cut [the hands] and be a mad man,” Jillard said.

Occasionally, the team whose wrestler is on top will let the bottom wrestler escape, thus allowing the person on top the opportunity to score more points in the hopes of getting a major decision for the team. A major decision is worth four team points instead of the three team points that a victory by decision would be worth.

For example, if a wrestler who is winning by a score of 8-1 with 30 seconds left in the third period is on top, he might let his opponent escape and earn a point, making the score 8-2 with the hopes of earning a two-point takedown and making the score 10-2. This would be enough of a differential in the score for a major decision.

Escapes can be used in tactical ways or for survival. The most important thing is the team victory.