In amateur wrestling, a pin ends the match regardless of when it occurs. Situations which are almost pins but for whatever reason do not meet the criteria — for example, have only one shoulder down or have the defending wrestler blocked in a neck bridge — are rewarded with exposure points (in collegiate wrestling, known as near fall points or back points) in order to encourage wrestlers to take risks to try to pin their opponents.
In Greco Roman and freestyle wrestling, the two shoulders of the defensive wrestler must be held long enough for the referee to "observe the total control of the fall" (usually ranging from one half-second to about one or two seconds). Then either the judge or the mat chairman concurs with the referee that a fall is made. (If the referee does not indicate a fall, and the fall is valid, the judge and the mat chairman can concur together and announce the fall.) In the United States, for the Kids freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling division (wrestlers ages 8 to 14) in competitions sponsored by USA Wrestling, it is specified that a fall must be held for two seconds.
Under the 2004–05 changes to the FILA rules, amateur wrestling moved to a round-based system in which each period is conducted as a separate match with a winner declared. The pin is an exception — it ends a match outright, unlike the period-only victories awarded by technical fall or decision on points. In this way, the fall is analogous to a knockout in boxing.