There’s debate within the Catch Wrestling community on whether Catch Wrestling matches should be scored, or if matches should be finish only (Pin or Submission). A lot argue it should be the latter so that the focus of the sport stays with pins and submissions, and doesn’t become just a points game. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Submission Grappling recently have been faced with similar dilemmas, with a few such as Rose Gracie successfully hosting their own submission only tournaments.
As tournaments see an increase in competitors, the logistics of ‘finish only’ for open events just aren’t there for it to be feasible if the number of entrants is particularly high. Shortening time limits isn’t a particularly popular option either, with some fans of Freestyle Wrestling not happy with the lack of Par Terre and how the best of 3 x 2 minute periods has made it an almost solely takedown game.
With some in the Catch community also liking the Police Gazette Rules influenced ‘Best 2 out of 3 Falls’ per match, the max time doubles in length. There’s also the factor of how unpopular draws are with a paying audience when neither wrestler can finish the other in the time limit afforded to them.
I think there’s a place for finish only with high level competitors in one off or championship matches at a professional level, or in tournaments that have a limited bracket. Even then, though, people are used to rounds and scoring in both MMA and Boxing, and this familiarity may be what’s needed for Catch to ever become a genuine Pro sport.
For larger tournaments of a more amateur nature, I think a scoring system is a necessity, and I’ll touch on how I think scoring should be used in a Catch Wrestling match in my next article.