The Lancashire phrase
"Catch-As-Catch-Can" is generally understood to translate to "catch (a hold)
anywhere you can". As this implies, the rules of Catch Wrestling were more
open than its Greco-Roman wrestling counterpart which did not allow holds
below the waist. Catch players can win a match by either submission or pin,
and most matches are contested as the best two of three falls. Often, but
not always, the chokehold was barred.
The style included groundwork and had the reputation of being an extremely
fierce and violent sport. Sources show that there were some rules trying to
safeguard the wrestlers from serious injury. For instance, there was a ban
on breaking an opponent's bones.
In the counties to the north, Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling developed
with rules designed to minimise injury to the participants.
points can be scored in the following ways:
Takedown: A wrestler gaining control over his opponent from a neutral
Reversal: A wrestler gaining control over his opponent from a defensive
Exposure or the Danger Position: A wrestler exposing his opponent's back to
the mat for several seconds, also awarded if one's back is to the mat but
the wrestler is not pinned.
Penalty: Various infractions (e.g. striking the opponent, acting with
brutality or intent to injure, using illegal holds, etc.).