I posted this in another thread, but I think it applies to your question as well. First of all, think of stalling as having two different types (although they are both treated identically for purposes of the penalty sequence): • “Traditional” stalling — “attempting to avoid wrestling action as an offensive or defensive strategy”; failing to “wrestl[e] aggressively in all positions (top, bottom or neutral)” • “Rule-based” stalling — Stalling because a wrestler’s conduct meets a specific criterion which the rulebook defines as stalling, regardless of whether the wrestler is engaging in “traditional” stalling. The Rulebook contains quite a few such criteria: ############# “Art. 7. Stalling by Wrestling on the Edge. Near the edge of the wrestling area, a wrestler shall not leave the wrestling area unless it is to sprawl from an opponent’s takedown attempt or when interlocked in wrestling. Art. 8. Stalling by Kicking Out of Bounds. A wrestler kicks out of a lower leg hold and this kick out requires the referee to make an out of bounds call. Art. 9. Stalling by Fleeing. Fleeing or attempting to flee the wrestling area as a means of avoiding being scored upon. Art. 10. Stalling by Pushing or Pulling. Pushing or pulling the opponent out of bounds so as to force a restart. ... Art. 12. Stalling by Dropping Down to a Lower Leg. When the offensive wrestler positions himself with one or both hands below the buttocks of the defensive wrestler, the referee immediately shall start a verbal and visual five-second count. The referee shall stop the count when the offensive wrestler improves his position, moves his hold back up above the buttocks of the defensive wrestler, or releases the hold. If the referee reaches the fifth count before the offensive wrestler improves his position, moves his hold back up above the buttocks or releases the hold, then the offensive wrestler shall be called for stalling. Art. 13. Stalling by Waist and Ankle Ride. If the offensive wrestler applies a hold with a hand or arm around the defensive wrestler’s torso while applying the other arm/hand below the buttocks, the referee immediately shall start a verbal and visual five-second count. The referee shall stop the count when the offensive wrestler moves his arm/hand back up above the buttocks of the defensive wrestler, or releases the hold. If the referee reaches the fifth count before the offensive wrestler moves his arm/hand back up above the buttocks of the defensive wrestler, or releases the hold, then the offensive wrestler shall be called for stalling. Art. 14. Stalling by Side Headlock. When an offensive wrestler applies a side headlock or cross body headlock to the defensive wrestler, the referee immediately shall start a verbal and visual five-second count. If the offensive wrestler does not release the hold or attempt to put his opponent in a near-fall situation (defined as on their back or in a near-fall criterion) before the referee reaches his fifth count, the offensive wrestler shall be called for stalling. ... Art. 16. Stalling by Delaying Match. Delaying the match, such as straggling back from out of bounds, unnecessarily changing or adjusting equipment, or match delays directly related to shoelaces, shall be penalized as stalling. ############## Many of these criteria are completely independent of any contextual analysis — in other words, who has been more aggressive, for example, is a factor that is completely irrelevant. Your wrestling could be the antithesis of what we think of as traditional stalling, but if, say, you use a waist and ankle ride for 5 seconds, or you kick out of bounds, or you aggressively push your opponent out of bounds, or you back out of bounds without making an attempt to circle inward, you must still be called for stalling. “But he just took 3 shots, and the other guy took none!” is not a defense to a stalling call for backing out of bounds. The official may wish to consider calling the wrestler who took no shots for “traditional” stalling if that lack of aggressiveness continues, but that does not absolve the more aggressive wrestler of a rule-based stalling infraction. If wrestler A shoots at wrestler B, wrestler B sprawls, and they go out of bounds, this *cannot* be rule-based stalling because the rules specifically permit leaving the wrestling area for the purpose of “sprawl[ing] from an opponent’s takedown attempt.” In such a situation, if the official blows them out of bounds and *then* hits someone for stalling for backing out of bounds, that is technically incorrect, but might also just be bad mechanics. Chances are, in such a situation, the official is making the stalling call because a wrestler was backing up from the center of the mat to the edge in order to “play the edge,” but it is mistakenly expressed that the call was for “backing out” when it actually was just *traditional* stalling (e.g., excessively backing up, avoiding wrestling as a defensive strategy, not working towards the center). When this is occurring, as a matter of good mechanics the stalling call ought to be made *before* the wrestlers go out of bounds (and perhaps even before the shot even occurs), not after the whistle is blown (which is typically reserved for rule-based stalling that, by definition, first requires an out-of-bounds call to be made). I hope this information is helpful, and I’m happy to try to answer any questions you may have.