CWG 2022 Explainer: What is Nordic System And When It’s Applied in a Wrestling Tournament

Indian wrestlers started their CWG 2022 in style with all six participants on Friday clinching a medal each. Of the six, three were gold which went to Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Deepak Punia. A silver went to Anshu Malik while Divya Kakran won a bronze.


Saturday could see India wrestlers add six more medals to the country’s tally with Ravi Kumar, Deepak Nehra, Pooja Sihag, Vinesh Phogat, Pooja Gehlot and Naveen in action across various categories.

Wrestling, which follows a two pool system where wrestlers compete against opponents in their own group and advancing through the various stages before reaching the final for the gold medal bout. A gold, a silver and two bronze medals are awarded for a particular category.

The losing semi-finalists take on each other for one bronze while those who lose at any stage, enter the repechage round that gives them another shot at claiming a medal (bronze).

However, a glance at the wrestling event for August 6 will reveal that two Indian wrestlers – Vinesh (women’s 53kg) and Pooja (women’s 50kg) – will be taking part in what is termed Nordic System. This is unlike others who will be part of either pre-quarters/quarter-final bouts.

So why the difference and why Norman round has been applied for these two particular weight categories?

For that, let’s have a look at what the ideal format of a wrestling event is like (Text Courtesy: United World Wrestling)

Article 8 – Competition System

The competitions take place by direct elimination system with an ideal number of wrestlers, i.e. 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, etc. If there is no ideal number of wrestlers in a category, qualification matches will take place.

Pairing is made in the order of the numbers drawn at random. All wrestlers who lost against both finalists will have repechage matches. There are two separated groups of repechage: one group of wrestlers who lost against the first finalist, and another group of wrestlers who lost against the second finalist.

The repechage matches begin with wrestlers who lost in the first round including in matches to obtain the ideal number against one of the two finalists up to the losers in the semi-finals by direct elimination. The winners of the two repechage groups will receive each the bronze medal. Each weight category begins and ends in a day.

Each category weigh-in and medical control take place the day
before the beginning of the category concerned.

The competition takes place in the following manner:

  • Qualification rounds
  • Elimination rounds
  • Repechage rounds
  • Finals

What is Nordic Round?

If there are less than 6 wrestlers in a weigh-in category, the Nordic round will take place (each wrestler against each wrestler).

In the Nordic tournament, the wrestler with the highest number of victories will be ranked first.  If two wrestlers have an equal number of victories, their direct match will determine the ranking.

If more than two wrestlers have an equal number of victories, the last of the ex-aequo group will be determined following these criteria until only two wrestlers remain:

  • The fewest classification points
  • The fewest victories by Fall
  • The fewest match victories by superiority
  • The fewest technical points scored in the whole competition
  • The most technical points given in the whole competition
  • The highest draw number

System With Two Pools (6/7 participants)

Text Courtesy: International School Sport Federation

The competition starts with a pool phase with two groups.

All wrestlers from each group will compete against all the other wrestlers of their group (the Nordic tournament system is used as the ranking criterion within each group). Ranking within the groups is used to determine the pairings for the semi-finals.

The semi-final matches will consist with

  • The first ranked in the group A against the second ranked in the group B
  • The second ranked in the group A against the first ranked in the group B

The gold medal match will be between the winners of the semi-finals and the bronze medal match will be between the losers of the semi-finals.  Only one bronze medal will be awarded for this scenario

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