Wrestling's revolutionary journey since February

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Buenos Aires, Argentina (6 September 2013) Since February, FILA President Nenad Lalovic, along with all members of the FILA Bureau, have embarked on a revolutionary journey to transform the sport of wrestling. The changes, spelled out in detail below, have yielded a new sport of wrestling that is more interesting, equitable and progressive than the version the world knew just six months ago.

FILA’s changes since February include:  

New weight classes for women – FILA redistributed its weight classes to provide more opportunities for female wrestlers. Women gained two weight classes in Freestyle, while Greco Roman and Men’s Freestyle each lost a weight class. This new structure will be used for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

More active roles for Women and Athletes – FILA will have 3 seats for women and active athletes on the Bureau at all times. These Bureau participants will be elected by their peers.  

Female Vice President – FILA will have at least one female Vice President on the Bureau at all times.

17 amended commissions – FILA proposed amending 15 Commissions during its Extraordinary Congress in May. It recently announced it will amend 17 Commissions, due to overwhelming interest from athletes and wrestling supporters that want to assist FILA.  

Major rule changes– FILA introduced major rule changes to make the sport more interesting to the spectator, while ensuring the most active wrestler wins the match. These changes include:

- Moving from 3, 2-minute periods to 2, 3-minute periods

- Cumulative scoring for the match

- New scoring of spectacular throws awarding 3 or 5 points

- Enacting a new passivity rule
(If a referee determines a wrestler is being passive,they receive a warning. If there's a second offense, the match will be stopped temporarilyand the offending wrestler must score a point within 30 seconds or their opponent receives a point.) 

Developed World Wrestling Plan – FILA has developed a new strategic plan for the entire wrestling world. The first stage of this plan will be implemented at the World Championships later this month. This phase will: optimize FILA’s internal process, improve event presentation, develop the FILA brand and implement a new strategic communications plan. 

Established Scientific Commission – FILA and the International Network of Wrestling Researchers established a Scientific Commission within FILA that will provide scientific expertise in presenting solutions to the modern issues the sport faces.

Monthly rankings – FILA introduced monthly rankings to the sport for the first time. Each discipline – Greco-Roman, Men’s Freestyle and Women’s Freestyle – are announced a week apart from each other.  

Save Olympic Wrestling Meet in Ancient Olympia – In July, FILA and the global wrestling community returned to the birthplace of Olympic wrestling - Ancient Olympia, Greece - for the first wrestling match in Olympia since 393 AD. Of particular note, two 11 year old Greek girls wrestled in the Ancient Palaestra, marking the first time females had wrestled in Olympia, ever.

World Wrestling Month in May – FILA created, launched and managed World Wrestling Month. Wrestling events were staged around the World to highlight the significance the sport holds on the global stage. Matches during the month highlighted wrestling’s ability to unite nations, regardless of politics. Iran, Russia and the USA sent some of their top men’s talent to New York City to participate in an amazing event in Grand Central Terminal, while the women’s teams from Canada, Ukraine and the USA went to Niagara Falls for the Battle of the Falls. There was also a big event in Los Angeles featuring the USA, Russia and Canada featuring men's and women's wrestling.

Launched a redesigned website – In June, FILA launched a redesigned website. This new site is easier to navigate, incorporates vivid imagery and allows for the integration of live streaming video content and real time results.

Social media - Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and #TakeAStance – FILA has been very aggressive on social media since February. The FILA Official Facebook page has grown by nearly 100,000 friends, totaling over 103,000 now and the FILA Official Twitter account has grown by nearly 40,000, from 4,000 followers to over 44,000 now. Additionally, President Nenad Lalovic took part in the social media revolution, by participating in a Twitter chat and Google+ Hangout with Olympic wrestling fans from around the World. Lastly, FILA created their own social media campaign, asking wrestlers to get in a classic wrestling stance and share user-generated photos across Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #TakeAStance.

Live streaming video – FILA provided live streaming video from the Junior and Cadet World Championships for the first time in history. This video was available through the FILA Facebook page and the FILA website.

Improvements for the television broadcast – FILA representatives met with the Olympic Broadcasting Service, as well as other television broadcast experts, to explore changes to the presentation of their sport that could make it more attractive to viewers. Potential new technology includes point of view cameras closer to the action and the collection and integration of biometrics data into the broadcast.

Improved media access and information – FILA provided event previews and daily recaps of the Junior and Cadet World Championships to the media for the first time in the history of each event.

About FILA

FILA, the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, is the global governing body of the sport of wrestling. It works to promote the sport and facilitate the activities of its 177 national federations from around the world. It is based in Corsier-Sur-Vevey, Switzerland.