There were rumors leading up the 2016 Rio Olympics and apparently, there was some heat behind them. United World Wrestling just announced that “Ordered Par Terre” (or “forced”, as it’s referred to domestically in the US) is no longer part of the curriculum. From here on out, the new rules regarding passivity will be the same as they are for the Juniors, with penalty points being doled out. The decision was apparently in the queue for a while, as according to the UWW press release, the changes were discussed at the last U23 European Championships.
This change in the rules is likely to be welcomed by American Greco Roman wrestlers, particularly because traditionally, the strength of the US athletes has been standing up, with par terre defense being a noticeable weakness (case in point: Rio last month). On the flipside, it also takes away offensive opportunities for those Americans who are adept at getting turns.
The removal of forced par terre does not mean US wrestlers are all of the sudden being given an advantage, for they can still be knocked for passivity points just as they were previously. Even still, this rule change does severely reduce the instances where a wrestler, after being penalized, is forced to the mat and then gut-wrenched out right away. In other words, get ready for longer, competitive matches and a lengthy adjustment period for wrestlers from other countries.
We will have more on this development later.