They’re sometimes known as divisions, classes, categories, or weights. Whichever term you use for them, weight classes are a straightforward concept, established to ensure fairness among competitors. However, the subject of weight classes becomes tricky for those new to wrestling, as the structure of classes varies by style, age group, location of the event, and more. There is seemingly no method to the madness.
This guide will not only contain the most current weight classes used across the world, but it will also help you understand how weight classes influence competition on a deeper level. Here you can find additional information, including specific rules, practices, and background information that will help turn you into a knowledgeable competitor in no time.
International weights are sometimes known as “FILA” weights to differentiate them from weight classes that are used in non-FILA competitions. (Smaller competitions such as state, regional, or even some national youth competitions use non-FILA weights.)
Wrestlers are allowed to compete in only one weight at a time, and this weight must be the one qualified for during weigh-ins, meaning the competitor must enter the category that he or she falls into, without moving up in weight. There are also minimum weight requirements for the lightest and heaviest weights. Currently there are no additional body fat and or hydration requirements on the international level. For more information on weigh-in procedures and weight classes, check FILA’s current rules on weigh-in procedures and weight classes. The following weight classes (in kilograms) are used in continental, international, and world-level competitions and qualifying tournaments for both freestyle and Greco-Roman.
Men’s Freestyle & Greco Weight Classes
Senior (Ages 20+)
50-55 kg, 60 kg, 66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg, 96-120 kg
Junior (Ages 18-20)
46-50 kg, 55 kg, 60 kg, 66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg, 96-120 kg
Cadet (Ages 16-17)
39-42 kg, 46 kg, 50 kg, 54 kg, 58 kg, 63 kg, 69 kg, 76 kg, 85 kg, 85-100 kg
Schoolboy (Ages 14-15)
29-32 kg, 35 kg, 38 kg, 42 kg, 47 kg, 53 kg, 59 kg, 66 kg, 73 kg, 73-85 kg
Women’s Freestyle Weight Classes
Senior (Ages 20+)
44-48 kg, 51 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 63 kg, 67 kg, 67-72 kg
Junior (Ages 18-20)
40-44 kg, 48 kg, 51 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 63 kg, 67 kg, 67-72 kg
Cadet (Ages 16-17)
36-38 kg, 40 kg, 43 kg, 46 kg, 49 kg, 52 kg, 56 kg, 60 kg, 65 kg, 65-70 kg
Schoolgirl (Ages 14-15)
28-30 kg, 32 kg, 34 kg, 37 kg, 40 kg, 44 kg, 48 kg, 52 kg, 57 kg, 57-62 kg
Collegiate Weight Classes
There are currently 10 weight classes that are contested at the collegiate level in the United States. Each class showcases wrestlers with different body types and wrestling styles, which makes each weight an exciting spectacle for its own reasons.
For each consecutive day of competition, wrestlers are granted a one pound allowance to promote proper hydration and nutrition. For example, wrestlers that qualified for the 125 lbs weight class on the first day of a tournament would need to weigh in less than 126 lbs on day two and 127lbs on day three.
Also, to discourage excessive weight loss, wrestlers must “certify” their lowest possible weight every season. This means that wrestlers must take body fat and hydration tests in order to prove that they are able to reach a desired weight class while maintaining a healthy level of fat on their bodies (no lower than 5%), and water in their bodies.
NCAA rules state a wrestler cannot lose more than 1.5 of body weight per week while trying to reach their lowest allowable weight class, and it denotes a specific date the wrestler may compete at this weight. Also, wrestlers are allowed to move up no more than one weight class above their certified weight. For more information, check the NCAA’s current rules on weigh-in procedures and weight classes. The following weight classes (in pounds) are used in all forms of collegiate competition.
Men’s Collegiate Weights: 125 lbs, 133 lbs, 141 lbs, 149 lbs, 157 lbs, 165 lbs, 174 lbs, 184 lbs, 197 lbs, 285 lbs
An exciting precedent was set when women’s wrestling was recognized by the National Collegiate Wrestling Association as a collegiate sport. Instead of competing in folkstyle like male collegiate wrestlers, however, female collegiate wrestlers in the United States actually compete in freestyle! There are currently eight weight classes that are contested in women’s collegiate wrestling: 105 lbs, 112 lbs, 121 lbs, 130 lbs, 139 lbs, 148 lbs, 159 lbs, 176 lbs.
Scholastic Weight Classes
There is currently one set of weight classes for each gender at the level in the United States. While the boy’s weights have been set in place for roughly 10 years, girl’s weights have just recently been developed, and are not the same in every state. Each set of weights provides an even spread that allows more competition opportunities for wrestlers.
To discourage excessive weight loss, high school wrestlers must adhere to body fat and hydration requirements. Recently, each state has established its own body fat and hydration requirements, as well as testing regulations. Typically, male wrestlers may not be less than 7% body fat without medical clearance and female wrestlers may not be below 12%. Much like collegiate regulations, these tests are also used to determine a healthy “minimum weight,” as well as a weight-loss plan. This plan maps out how much weight a wrestler may lose per week (typically 1-2% of the wrestler’s body weight, depending on the state rule), and also determines the date that the wrestler may compete at his or her certified weight class.
Typically, a “growth allowance” is established at a midway point in the season to grant wrestlers extra pounds due to their maturing bodies. Also, an additional pound is granted to wrestlers for each consecutive day of competition to promote proper nutrition and hydration. (For example, during a tournament, the 103 lbs weight class becomes 104lbs, 105lbs, and so on, each day of competition).
In addition, wrestlers cannot wrestle more than one weight class above the weight for which they qualify. For example, if a wrestler weights in at 127 lbs, this would qualify him for the 130 lbs class. He may choose to compete as high as 135 lbs for that specific competition. For more specific rules, check your state’s regulations on weigh-in procedures and weight classes. The following weight classes (in pounds) are used for scholastic competition in the United States.
Boy’s Scholastic Weights: 106lbs, 113lbs, 120lbs, 126lbs, 132lbs, 138lbs, 145lbs, 152lbs, 160lbs, 170lbs, 182lbs, 195lbs, 220lbs, 285lbs
Girl’s Scholastic Weights: 98 lbs, 103 lbs, 108 lbs, 112 lbs, 116 lbs, 120 lbs, 124 lbs, 128 lbs, 133 lbs, 139 lbs, 146 lbs, 155 lbs, 170 lbs, 250 lbs
Pooled Weight Classes
For less formal competitions in all styles of wrestling, weights are sometimes “pooled.” This means that wrestlers are grouped together not by a specific class, but by their actual weight. Pooling is typically used in youth or beginner competitions, or when there are a small number of competitors at a particular tournament. How a weight is pooled depends on the number of competitors, their weights, and possibly their skill levels. Here is an example of how six wrestlers at a tournament would be pooled:
Wrestler 1: 144.4 lbs
Wrestler 2: 157.0 lbs
Wrestler 3: 150.6 lbs
Wrestler 4: 142.8 lbs
Wrestler 5: 152.2 lbs
Wrestler 6: 147.2 lbs
Wrestlers 2, 3, and 5 are closest in weight, so they would compose a three-man weight class from 150.6-157 lbs. Wrestlers 1, 4, and 6 would be grouped together in another class from 142.8-147.2 lbs. The goal is to match up wrestlers closest in weight, but again, this will vary by event.
Your Best Weight
You should now have a pretty good understanding of how weight classes work, and the rules and procedures involved with each style. Keep in mind that these rules, procedures, and even weights change, so consult your governing body’s current rules for a more extensive explanation of such information.
Finally, there is one other detail that you must take out of this guide: The weight you wrestle should fall second to how you wrestle. New wrestlers sometimes become frantic when thinking about their weight class, or more commonly, their desired weight class. If you are working hard to refine your technique and increase your conditioning, don’t worry about how much you weigh; worry about how you feel. In time you will figure out the weight at which you feel the best. Until then, worry only about wrestling well and feeling good while competing.
Although weight cutting will never totally disappear due to the nature of the sport, there has been a recent shift from wrestlers sacrificing their bodies to make a weight, to wrestlers preferring to spend time improving their wrestling, and deciding to compete at a more natural weight. Wrestlers are becoming stronger, faster, and are overall better athletes because they are not restricted by the negatives of excessive weight cutting. Wrestlers in the twenty-first century truly are a new breed of competitor. So follow this trend – train hard and stay healthy, and don’t worry about what you weigh in at.