Wrestling 101: Pin Position

The pin position is the ultimate way to score a win or earn near fall points on the wrestling mat.

March 27, 2019

As you move toward your opponent, you see an opportunity for an attack. You shoot in, perform a double leg takedown and your opponent ends up on their back.

This is when you can score one of the great rushes of wrestling – a pin.

“A pin is the ultimate way to win a wrestling match,” Division I assistant coach and former collegiate wrestler David Terao says. “A pin occurs when you are able to hold your opponent’s shoulder blades to the mat for two seconds.”


There are two steps to pinning your opponent:

    • Turn your opponent onto their back and set into a stable pinning hold.

    • Put your opponent’s shoulder blades to the mat for two seconds.

“Pinning your opponent is the best way to win a match in wrestling,” Terao says.

Besides scoring a pin, you can also earn near fall points. This can add two or three points to your score. A near fall will occur when you:

    • Have both of your opponent’s shoulders held for two seconds within four inches of the mat.

    • Force one of your opponent’s shoulders to touch the mat while the other is at a 45-degree angle.

    • Force your opponent into a high bridge or back on both elbows.

Your opponent can attempt a stand up from the bottom position. It can be crucial to know how to perform the lifting mat return to make sure they're not successful.

If you're on top of your opponent while they're on their stomach, you can use the gut wrench to add points to your score. This move requires you to roll your opponent. You can earn two points each time you expose their shoulders to the mat.