High school wrestler in a high-cut singlet

A wrestling singlet (or simply singlet) is a one-piece, tight-fitting uniform, usually made of spandex/lycra or nylon, used in wrestling. The uniform is tight-fitting so as not to get grasped accidentally by one's opponent, and allows the referee to see each wrestler's body clearly when awarding points or a pin. Unlike judo, it is illegal to grasp an opponent's clothing in all styles of amateur wrestling.[1]


In most high school and college wrestling matches, the competitors wear singlets in their team colors. To designate a competitor's color for scoring purposes an anklet may also be worn.[2]

In international wrestling (freestyle and Greco-Roman), wrestlers bring a red and a blue singlet (or reversible singlet) and are told before the match which color to wear.[3]

Historically, professional wrestlers traditionally wore trunks and boots but singlets are also common among wrestlers who usually (although not always) had an amateur background such as Bret Hart, Kurt Angle and Shelton Benjamin.[4] Many of these are much more stylized than those worn by amateurs, although the use of singlets in professional wrestling has declined in the last two decades.[5]

Other wrestling clothing

The singlet became common in college wrestling in the late 1960s and early 1970s; in fact, it had been banned by the NCAA for years. Shirtless uniforms, including trunks and tights, were common until the NCAA banned shirtless wrestling in the mid-1960s.[6]

A new style of singlet, known as a double or doublet, has recently emerged in college wrestling that covers more of the upper body. Made of the same Lycra material, it is sleeve-like rather than the traditional thin-strap, open-chested singlet more commonly worn. This type of singlet is usually worn with accompanying tight-fitting shorts, and is used as an alternative to the singlet for those who are uncomfortable with wearing singlets for modesty or aesthetic reasons.[7] It is currently only allowed on the college level, although there is report that some high school wrestlers use the style in practice sessions.[8]

Only with special permission are wrestlers allowed to wear a t-shirt under their singlet, most commonly for sanitary reasons involving excessive acne on the chest or back.[9]


A wrestler in a high cut white singlet

There are three different traditional "cuts" to wrestling singlets: the high, the FILA, and the low.

  1. The high-cut covers much of the chest and reaches up toward the under-arms on the side. It is more popular among female wrestlers as a way to better cover their breasts as mandated by the 4-1-1 rule.[10][11]
  2. The FILA-cut is similar, but does not rise up as high beneath the arms.[12]
  3. The low-cut reaches down to the middle abdomen in the front, to the hips on the sides, and features a single strap that runs up the back that is very thin. It is cooler, and some find it more comfortable. Low-cut singlets are no longer worn at the Olympics or World Championships, which accept only a high or FILA-cut.[13]

See also


  1. ^ "What are the rules of wrestling?". Rookie Road. 2020. Archived from the original on 2021-04-17. Retrieved 5 Jul 2023.
  2. ^ "Wrestling Basics". HomeTeamsONLINE. Retrieved 2023-07-05.
  3. ^ United World Wrestling (2017). "Uniform Guidelines - UWW Events 2017" (PDF). uww.org. p. 4. Retrieved 5 Jul 2023.
  4. ^ "Evolution of the Wrestling Uniform | Cisco Athletic". www.ciscoathletic.com. Retrieved 2023-07-05.
  5. ^ "The 'Uniforms' of Professional Wrestling". Uni Watch. 2018-09-15. Retrieved 2023-07-05.
  6. ^ Palmer, Mark (2007-10-19). "InterMat Rewind: Major Changes". Archived from the original on 2010-06-12. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
  7. ^ "High School Wrestling Uniform Policy Change - "Doublets" Now an Option! | Cisco Athletic". www.ciscoathletic.com. Retrieved 2023-07-05.
  8. ^ Wilson, Eric (2005-11-17), "Wrestling With Tradition: Keep Your Shirt On", The New York Times
  9. ^ Team, T. F. G. (2023-02-19). "What Do Wrestlers Wear Under Their Singlets? • TFG". TFG. Retrieved 2023-07-05.
  10. ^ Wrestling, Blue Chip. "Wrestling Singlet Buying Guide". Blue Chip Wrestling. Retrieved 2023-07-05.
  11. ^ "Wrestling Rules Changes - 2022-23". www.nfhs.org. Retrieved 2023-07-05.
  12. ^ "The Three Types Of Wrestling Singlets". Relentless Sports. Retrieved 2023-07-05.
  13. ^ Rees, Alex (1 May 2020). "Finding The Right Wrestling Singlet For You - FloWrestling". www.flowrestling.org. Retrieved 2023-07-05.