West Virginia Wrestling

2017-18 Wrestling Rules Changes

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 7, 2017) — An alternate two-piece uniform consisting of compression shorts or shorts designed for wrestling and a form-fitted compression shirt has been approved for the 2017-18 season in high school wrestling. Wrestlers will have the option of the new two-piece uniform or the traditional one-piece singlet.

This revision to Rule 4-1-1 was one of 11 rules changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Wrestling Rules Committee at its April 2-4 meeting in Indianapolis, and all changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

The compression shorts or shorts designed for wrestling shall be school-issued and shall have a minimum 4-inch inseam that does not extend below the knee. The form-fitted compression shirt shall not cover or extend below the elbow and shall have a minimum 3-inch tail. The shirt may be worn under a singlet or with compression shorts or shorts designed for wrestling.

Specific language was developed regarding undergarment requirements for female contestants wearing a one-piece singlet or a form-fitted compression shirt, as well as for male contestants wearing shorts designed for wrestling.

The committee approved use of the alternate two-piece uniform in the hopes of increasing boys and girls participation in the sport after receiving favorable results from experimentation and positive comments from schools, students, coaches and officials.

The committee approved several rules related to minimizing risk of injury in the sport. Rule 4-5-3 now prohibits any activities that promote weight loss or weight gain when an athlete misses weight on his or her first attempt on the scale. In addition to activities that promote dehydration or drinking fluids to gain weight, the rule now prohibits activities such as cutting hair, modifying clothing, etc.

Another change designed to reduce risk of injury was elimination of the straight-back salto, regardless of which body part (head, neck or shoulder) hits the mat first. The straight-back salto in the rear-standing position that brings the defensive wrestler straight back with feet in the air is intended to have the defensive wrestler’s head, neck or shoulder(s) hit the mat first, and is now an illegal move.

In addition, added to the list of illegal holds/maneuvers in Rule 7-1-5 was a front flip and/or front hurdle over an opponent in the standing position.

“The attempt to flip or hurdle an opponent from a neutral position is not only an elevated risk to the wrestler attempting the maneuver, it also places the opponent in a disadvantage position as he or she is not only left to counter the scoring attempt, but is placed in a position of responsibility for not reacting in a manner that may cause a slam or unsafe return to the mat of the wrestler who actually initiated the maneuver,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and student services.

The committee approved two changes in Rule 5-11 related to falls and near falls. In 5-11-1, the shoulders or scapula of the offensive wrestler no longer must be inbounds to earn a fall. The committee agreed that wrestling should continue if the offensive wrestler’s supporting parts remain inbounds and no body part of the defensive wrestler goes off the mat. In 5-11-5, “unless any part of the shoulders or both scapulae of the defensive wrestler is inbounds” was eliminated. If wrestling is continuing during a match, near falls and falls will be awarded/earned regardless of the out-of-bounds line.

In a related rule, Rule 5-15-2b, c was changed as follows: “Near-fall points or a fall shall be earned while the supporting points of either wrestler are inbounds.”

“The committee agreed that offensive wrestling should be rewarded,” Hopkins said. “If wrestling is continuing, as allowed by current rules, and points for escapes and reversals are allowed, the ability to earn a fall or near fall should be there as well, with no deference to the out-of-bounds line.”

Other changes approved by the committee include the following:

Rule 5-19-10: The referee no longer may be behind the contestants when starting the wrestlers from the down position, which has led the false starts by one or both wrestlers.

Rule 6-6-4a(1) and 6-6-5a(1): Errors by the timekeeper, official scorer or referee must be corrected prior to the offended contestant leaving the mat area and before the start of the next match on that mat.

7-6-4d: Stalling occurs when the contestant in the advantage position stays behind the opponent while on his/her feet, making no attempt to bring the opponent to the mat.

“The wrestling rules committee did another phenomenal job in taking the necessary strides to promote participation by approving a two-piece alternate uniform to be worn,” Hopkins said. “The committee also continued its commitment to reducing risk by making the straight-back salto and suplay illegal maneuvers, as well as prohibiting weight loss or gain in the weigh-in area. In addition, scoring a fall or near-fall is strengthened by the modifications to the definition and location of fall and near-fall in our rules book.”

Wrestling ranks seventh in popularity among boys at the high school level with 250,653 participants, according to the 2015-16 NFHS Athletics Participation Survey. In addition, 13,496 girls participate in the sport throughout the nation.


2016-17 Wrestling Rules Changes

At its April 6-8 meeting in Indianapolis, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Wrestling Rules Committee added another maneuver to the list of potentially dangerous holds in high school wrestling.

The new potentially dangerous hold occurs when a wrestler, from a standing position, is placed in a body lock with one or both arms trapped and then is lifted and is unable to use his arm(s) to break the fall.

“The rear standing position with a trapped arm should be considered potentially dangerous and should be monitored very closely by the referee,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and student services and liaison to the Wrestling Rules Committee. “Coaches, officials and competitors should be aware of the potential for injury in this situation if the defensive wrestler is returned to the mat and has no arm available to break the fall.”

The committee also approved a change in Rule 5-11-2 that will award penalty point(s) to the offensive wrestler in situations where the defensive wrestler exhibits inappropriate behavior in order to avoid being pinned.

Rule 5-11-2(i) will now read, “. . . when a defensive wrestler commits a technical violation, applies an illegal hold/maneuver, commits unnecessary roughness or unsportsmanlike act during an imminent or near fall situation, the offensive wrestler shall be awarded a penalty point(s) in addition to the near fall points in accordance with (subarticles) f-h at the next stoppage.”

“The committee felt that when the defensive wrestler uses unethical techniques to avoid being pinned, the offensive wrestler should not only be awarded the near fall or fall points, but should be awarded the appropriate penalty point(s) for that transgression at the next stoppage of the match,’ Hopkins said.

These rules changes recommended by the Wrestling Rules Committee were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.


2015-16 Wrestling Rules Changes

Wrestling Points of Emphasis - 2015-16
By NFHS on August 10, 2015

3-1-4a (NEW): The duties of the referee before a dual meet begins each day were further clarified. The referee shall perform the skin checks or verify that the designated, on-site meet appropriate health-care professional has performed the skin checks.

3-1-5 (NEW): The duties of the referee before a tournament begins each day were expanded. Specifically, the referee shall perform the skin checks or verify that the designated, on-site meet appropriate health-care professional has performed the skin checks.

10-2-9a (NEW): A new criterion was added for wrestler advancement in a bracket that emphasizes sportsmanship during competition.

2015-16 Major Editorial Changes

3-3-1b; 4-1-2 NOTE (NEW); 8-1-3; 8-2-2; 8-2-6; Illustrations – 14, 15.

2015-16 Points of Emphasis

1.Communicable Skin Conditions and Skin Checks
2.Biting
3.Slams
4.Stalling in the Ultimate Tiebreaker
5.The Body Scissors

COMMUNICABLE SKIN CONDITIONS AND SKIN CHECKS

Communicable skin conditions continue to be a major concern in wrestling, in part because of recent MRSA and Herpes Gladitorium outbreaks. If a participant has a suspected skin condition, NFHS Wrestling Rules require current, written documentation from an appropriate health-care professional stating the athlete’s participation would not be harmful to an opponent. Cold sores are considered a skin lesion and are subject to the communicable skin condition rules.

The NFHS has developed a form that can be used for that documentation, and several state associations have adopted similar forms for use in their states. Regardless of the form used, it is imperative that ALL coaches perform routine skin checks of their wrestlers and require any wrestlers with a suspect condition to seek medical attention and treatment.

It is also imperative that ALL referees perform skin checks – or verify that skin checks have been done by a designated, on-site meet, appropriate health-care professional – as part of their pre-meet duties prior to EVERY dual meet and tournament. If there is a suspect condition, the wrestler or coach MUST present the proper clearance form at the weigh-in for any dual meet or tournament in order for the wrestler to be allowed to compete.

The only exception to the requirement of the proper clearance form would be if a designated, on-site meet, appropriate health-care professional is present and is able to examine the wrestler either immediately prior to or immediately after the weigh-in. The designated, on-site meet, appropriate health-care professional has the authority to overrule the diagnosis of the appropriate health-care professional who signed the proper clearance form presented to the referee at the weigh-in.

One of the keys to preventing the spread of communicable skin conditions is for coaches and referees to fulfill their responsibilities professionally. It is, however, only one of the keys.

The other and equally important key is proper prevention. While prevention can be complicated, in most cases it only requires that a few basic steps be taken by ALL involved in the sport.
• Educate coaches, athletes and parents about communicable skin conditions and how they are spread.
• Clean wrestling mats daily with a solution of 1:100 bleach and water or an appropriate commercial cleaner.
• Maintain proper ventilation in the wrestling room to prevent the build-up of heat and humidity.
• Clean all workout gear after each practice including towels, clothing, headgear, shoes, knee pads, etc.
• Require each wrestler to shower or use a body-wipe after each practice and competition. Do not share bars of soap. Use individual soap dispensers.
• Perform daily skin checks to ensure early recognition of potential communicable skin conditions.
• Refrain from sharing razors or other personal hygiene supplies.
Covering an active infection does not meet the requirements of the NFHS wrestling communicable skin condition rule for competitions. An active infection shall not be covered in practice either.

It is a coach’s professional responsibility to ensure that skin clearance forms presented by his or her wrestlers are legitimate and reflect the athletes’ true conditions. Coaches and referees all play a vital role in controlling communicable skin diseases. They must err on the side of what is best for the health of all involved in the sport when dealing with communicable skin diseases.

Referees are the last line of defense in keeping wrestlers with communicable skin diseases off the mat. The safety of all who step on a competition mat is at stake. Coaches must realize that referees would not be placed in a position to make difficult participation decisions if coaches would perform skin checks on all of their wrestlers each day. NFHS Wrestling Rule 3-1-4a states that “Before a dual meet begins, the referee shall perform skin checks or verify that skin checks have been performed by a designated, on-site meet, appropriate health-care professional.”

NFHS Wrestling Rule 3-1-5a states that “Before an individual, combination or team advancement tournament begins each day, the referee shall perform skin checks or verify that skin checks have been performed by a designated, on-site meet, appropriate health-care professional.” The skin checks should take place by referees or a designated, on-site meet, appropriate health-care professional at weigh-ins whenever possible.

In reference to multiple-day competitions, communicable disease “skin checks” shall take place at weigh-ins each day. Checking skin on the first day only is not an acceptable practice regarding the communicable disease detection procedure.

NFHS Wrestling Rules 4-2-2, 3, 4, 5 are very specific concerning a contestant who is suspected of having a communicable skin disease. It is the responsibility of the contestant, parents, coach and referee to identify a possible communicable skin disease and then have an appropriate health-care professional evaluate the condition if possible. Similarly, it is everybody’s responsibility (coaches, referees, appropriate health-care professionals and tournament administrators) to ensure that all wrestlers are competing in an infection-free environment.

For more detailed information, refer to the “Skin Conditions and Infections” chapter in the NFHS Sports Medicine Handbook. Also, please refer to the following two NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) documents: “General Guidelines for Sports Hygiene, Skin Infections and Communicable Diseases” and “Sports Related Skin Infections Position Statement and Guidelines.” Both of these NFHS SMAC documents can be found on the Sports Medicine page on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.

BITING

If, in the opinion of the referee, a wrestler bites his opponent, it will be deemed intentional biting and will be called flagrant misconduct (Rule 5-12-2c). Referees do not have to see the bite in order to call biting. Furthermore, any claim of biting must be brought to the attention of the referee immediately. One should not assume intentional biting has occurred if only one set of teeth marks is present on the skin.

If the referee did not see the alleged bite, he/she should look for the presence of marks from both the upper and lower teeth. Incidental contact with an opponent's open mouth can result in what appears to be a bite; however, the presence of both upper and lower teeth marks is more likely to be the result of an intentional bite than from incidental contact with the teeth.

Referees should pay close attention to a cross-face applied to the area of the mouth, especially when the mouth is open. If teeth marks are present after the cross-face is applied to the mouth, the referee should only call biting if he/she believes the wrestler actually bit down on his/her opponent.

SLAMS

Slams are extremely dangerous and every attempt must be made to prevent slams by reminding wrestlers of their responsibility to safely return opponents to the mat. It is the responsibility of wrestlers, coaches and referees to avoid slams. A slam is defined as lifting and returning the opponent to the mat with unnecessary force. A slam may be called on wrestlers in the neutral, top or bottom position.

Wrestlers can be called for a slam from the offensive or defensive position, regardless of whether they have control of the opponent, when and if they are responsible for the unsafe return of the opponent to the mat.

Referees must call slams without delay. Coaches bear the responsibility of teaching their wrestlers the proper techniques for lifting and returning their opponents to the mat safely. Wrestlers must never intentionally bring an opponent to the mat with unnecessary force. If the referee believes the slam was an intentional act intended to cause physical harm to the opponent, it would be considered flagrant misconduct and the wrestler committing the slam shall be disqualified from the match.

STALLING IN THE ULTIMATE TIEBREAKER

The ultimate tiebreaker presents a different format when it comes to stalling. The referee should take into account that the offensive wrestler does not have to score to win, and can win by controlling the defensive wrestlers for 30 seconds. If the defensive wrestler scores, the match is concluded. This could be by an escape, reversal or through a penalty point(s). If the offensive wrestler scores, the match is also concluded. If neither wrestler scores, the offensive wrestler will be awarded one point and declared the winner.

To ensure that the offensive wrestler does not take advantage of the 30 seconds by just grabbing onto a body part(s) and holding on, a stalemate should be called immediately after determining that the offensive wrestler has grabbed onto a body part(s) solely in an effort to prevent the defensive wrestler from scoring. Wrestling will resume from the offensive starting position on the mat; if the offensive wrestler uses a similar tactic again, stalling should be called and penalized accordingly.

THE BODY SCISSORS

The Body Scissors has been a part of wrestling for decades. Although the maneuver is a legal hold in wrestling, referees should be very vigilant of it when applied. If the offensive wrestler is utilizing the body scissors to improve his/her position or to secure a fall, the maneuver is being properly executed. However, if the body scissors is applied solely to inflict pain, the referee must be prepared to break the hold immediately and penalize the offender for an illegal action, according to Rule 7-1-5u.


2014-15 Wrestling Rules Changes

5-1-1: Bad time was clarified to include the situations where the wrong wrestler was given choice of position at the start of the second 30-second tiebreaker or the start of the ultimate tiebreaker.

10-2-9: Further clarification was given to which wrestler advances into the consolation bracket when both wrestlers simultaneously cannot continue in the championship bracket. This rule change further clarifies which wrestler will advance into the consolation bracket when points have been scored in the match.

2014-15 EDITORIAL AND OTHER CHANGES
Mat Area Diagrams; 4-2-1; 4-3-1a; 5-1-2; 5-18; 6-6-2; 8-1-1; 9-2-2b; 11-1-4 NOTE (NEW); WRESTLING REFEREES’ SIGNALS – 26 (NEW), 27 (NEW).

2014-15 POINTS OF EMPHASIS
1. Avoiding Wrestling and Encouraging Wrestling in Center of Mat
2. Preventing False Starts from Creating Injuries – Preventive Officiating
3. Hair Coverings
4. Cleaning Wrestling Mats and Wrestling Equipment
5. Authority/Responsibility of the Off-Mat Referee to Call Flagrant/Unsportsmanlike Conduct

High school wrestling rules changes focused on changes in the definition of bad time and advancement of wrestlers in the consolation bracket.

Changes to Rules 5-1-1 and 10-2-9 were recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Wrestling Rules Committee at its April 14-16 meeting in Indianapolis. The committee’s recommendations were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

In addition to previous language in Rule 5-1-1, the committee agreed that bad time is wrestled with the wrestlers in the wrong position or the wrong wrestler being given choice of position “at the start of the second 30-second tiebreaker” and “at the start of the ultimate tiebreaker.”

The previous definition did not include situations where the wrong wrestler was given choice of position at the start of the second 30-second tiebreaker or the start of the ultimate tiebreaker.

Rule 10-2-9 previously addressed the protocol when two wrestlers in the championship bracket simultaneously could not continue the match but did not address a plan for advancement to the consolation bracket when points had been scored in the match.

The additional language will state that if the match is tied at the time of termination, the wrestler who scored the first point(s) in the match (first three periods, or first or second 30-second tiebreaker) will continue in the consolation bracket. If no points were scored, neither wrestler will continue.

“I am very proud of the NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee’s work,” said Alan Beste, chair of the NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee and assistant executive director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association. “Oftentimes, people think successful committee meetings are only accomplished when numerous changes are made. This year, the rules committee reviewed many aspects of the high school wrestling program and determined there was no need for a large number of rules changes. We will continue to monitor the annual NFHS wrestling rules questionnaire sent to state associations, coaches and referees to determine the need for future changes.”

Wrestling is the sixth-most popular sport for boys at the high school level with 270,163 participants in 10,488 schools during the 2012-13 season, according to the NFHS Athletics Participation Survey. In addition, 8,727 girls were involved in wrestling in 1,602 high schools.


2013-14 Wrestling Rules Changes

1-1-3; 4-3-1; 4-3-6 (NEW); 10-1-2: Standardized the rules language dealing with the use of electronic devices and video recording.

1-4-3; 5-13; 5-17-2: Forfeits are no longer considered as matches wrestled when considering the five matches in one day limit.

4-2-1 NOTE (NEW): Starting with the 2014-15 wrestling season, hair covers will be required to be attached to the ear guards.

4-5-9 (NEW): If a wrestler chooses to weigh-in with the artificial limb, the wrestler shall wear the artificial limb during competition at all times.

5-1-1; 6-6-2d (NEW): Added additional rules coverage for a bad time situation that involves choice of position after the two-point stalling call not being given during a match.

2013-14 Editorial and Other Changes
1-1-1; 1-1-2; 1-2-2; 1-3-4c; 1-4-2; 2-1-5 diagrams ; 2-4-1; 4-5-7; 5-5-1, 2; 5-15-2a(5) (NEW); 5-21-1; 5-29-2; 5-30-3; 6-2-4; 7-4-1; 7-5-4; 8-1-2c; 8-2-2; 9-2-2a, b; 9-2-2o; Illustrations: 18, 36, 49, 83, 91.

2013-14 Points of Emphasis
1. Communicable Diseases
2. Skin Checks and Weigh-ins in Multiple-day Competitions
3. End-of-Match Procedure
4. Assistant Referee Responsibilities


2012-13 NFHS Wrestling Rules Changes

Stalling Penalty Increased in High School Wrestling

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 4, 2012) — High school wrestlers who are called for a third stalling violation will receive a stiffer penalty beginning with the 2012-13 season. In addition to the two-point penalty assessed for a third stalling violation, the opponent will now have his or her choice of position on the next restart.

The stalling penalty revision was one of eight rules changes approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Wrestling Rules Committee at its April 9-11 meeting in Indianapolis. The changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors. “The change to the third stalling penalty resulted from the committee’s desire to encourage wrestlers to wrestle aggressively by providing a greater incentive not to stall,” said Dale Pleimann, chair of the Wrestling Rules Committee and former assistant executive director of the Missouri State High School Activities Association. “No one likes to see a wrestler disqualified for stalling. The hope is that by increasing the third stalling penalty, a wrestler who has been penalized twice will be encouraged to pick up the pace and wrestle more aggressively.”

In other changes, the committee adjusted the current dual meet weigh-in procedure to align with the random draw. Bob Colgate, NFHS director of sports and sports medicine and staff liaison to the Wrestling Rules Committee, said this change would provide maximum preparation and warm-up time for the first contestants scheduled to compete in a dual meet.

Three new rules were approved by the committee, including Rule 4-3-5, which states that wrestlers “may not wear wristbands, sweatbands or bicep bands during a match.” This rule was enacted in an effort to minimize risk of injury from wrestlers getting their fingers caught in an opponent’s wristband or sweatband.

Another new rule for 2012-13 is an exception to the 30-second tiebreaker. The new exception (8-2-1h) will read as follows:
“If the second injury time-out is taken at the conclusion of the first 30-second tiebreaker period and the opponent already has the choice at the beginning of the second 30-second tiebreaker period, the opponent would then have the added choice at the first restart after the beginning of the second 30-second tiebreaker period.”
This provision was a rule change last year for the regulation match and will now apply to the overtime as well.

Rule 10-2-9 will be added to next year’s rules to address what happens when two wrestlers in the championship bracket simultaneously cannot continue a match. If both wrestlers cannot continue because of disqualification for stalling or having their injury or blood time elapse, the wrestler who is leading on points at the time the match is terminated will continue in the consolation bracket. If the match is tied at the time of termination, neither wrestler will continue.

Following are the other three changes approved by the committee:

4-1-1a: Language has been updated to describe the wrestler’s singlet, and the change will also allow the T-shirt with no sleeves to be worn under the one-piece singlet when approved by the referee.

5-11-2i: Rules language was expanded to complete the near-fall and penalty sequence.

10-3-6 and 10-3-7: The tournament bracket format was revised to allow more flexibility in conducting a tournament.

“The NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee confirmed that the sport of high school wrestling is in great shape overall by making only a few changes to the scholastic rules,” Pleimann said. Wrestling is the sixth-most popular sport for boys at the high school level with 273,732 participants in 10,407 schools during the 2010-11 season, according to the NFHS Athletics Participation Survey. In addition, 7,351 girls were involved in wrestling in 1,215 high schools.

2011-12 NFHS Wrestling Rules Changes

1-3-1 (NEW) New definition for individually bracketed tournaments.
1-3-2 (NEW) New definition for dual-meet or team-formatted tournaments.
1-3-3 (NEW) New definition for a tournament that combines both a dual meet or team format with an individually bracketed format.
2-1-3 The boundary line is now inbounds.
3-1-3 Administrative duties of meet referees have been clarified.
3-1-13 The location of the referee during injury, blood or recovery time-outs has been clarified.
4-4-1 Wrestling weight classes revised. This change will take effect with the 2011-12 season.
6-2-2 Revisions were made for disqualification in dual-meet competition.
7-1-5r Figure 4 Around the Head is now an illegal hold/maneuver.
8-2-1c (NEW) Revisions were made in second injury time-out. (Editor' note: The new rule states "If the second injury time-out is taken at the conclusion of the second period, and the opponent already has the choice at the beginning of the third period, the opponent would then have the added choice at the first restrt after the beginning of the third period. Clarificaion of rule offered by Dr Bill Welker, WV State Rules interpreter: IN REFERENCE TO RULE 8-2-1C, The choice of position on the "restart" is only during the third period and does not carry over to the sudden victory period.
11-1-1 (NEW) New rule added on starting time for weigh-ins for dual-meet/team-formatted tournaments.
11-1-2 (NEW) New rule added on verifying entries for dual-meet/team-formatted tournaments.
11-1-3 (NEW) New rule added on team points for dual-meet/team-formatted tournaments.
11-1-4 (NEW) New rule added on weigh-ins and substitutions for dual-meet/team-formatted tournaments.
11-1-5 (NEW) New rule added for dual-meet/team-formatted tournaments dealing with participation.
11-2-1 (NEW) New rule added on team scoring in dual-meet/team-formatted tournaments.
11-2-2 (NEW) New rule added on flagrant misconduct during dual-meet/team-formatted tournaments.
11-2-3 (NEW) New rule added on tie-breaking for dual-meet/team-formatted tournaments.

Comments on the 2011-12 Rule Changes

New Definition for Individually Bracketed Tournaments (1-3-1 NEW): Section 3 is a new section being added to Rule 1. Section 2 dealt with Dual Meets and Section 3 will deal with Tournaments. Article 1 provides a general definition of individually bracketed tournaments.

New Definition for Dual-Meet or Team-Formatted Tournaments (1-3-2 NEW): Section 3 is a new section being added to Rule 1. Article 2 provides a general definition of dual-meet or team-formatted tournaments.

New Definition for a Tournament that Combines Both a Dual Meet or Team Format with an Individually Bracketed Format (1-3-3 NEW): Section 3 is a new section being added to Rule 1. Article 3 provides a general definition of tournaments that combine both a dual meet or team format with an individually bracketed format.

The Boundary Line is Now Inbounds (2-1-3): The change now makes the boundary line inbounds and expands the wrestling area.

Administrative Duties of Meet Referees Have Been Clarified (3-1-3): This change clarifies that administrative duties for meet referee(s) may need to continue after the meet to document actions that occurred during the meet. This change illustrates the difference between the meet referee(s)’ jurisdiction during the meet and other administrative responsibilities – such as submitting specific reports – after the meet. In addition, the change would clarify that state associations may continue to develop and implement policies that allow for review of unusual incidents that occur while the meet referee(s) have jurisdiction or after the meet.

The Location of the Referee During Injury, Blood or Recovery Time-Outs Has Been Clarified (3-1-13): This change allows the referee the flexibility to determine the optimal position based on the situation.

Wrestling Weight Classes Revised (4-4-1): Data from the NWCA Optimal Performance Calculator was reviewed over a four-year period. This change will create close to equal distribution of wrestlers in each NFHS weight class as possible. Member state associations were surveyed and the majority favored this change in NFHS weight classes, which will take effect with the 2011-12 season.

Revisions Were Made for Disqualification in Dual-Meet Competition (6-2-2): This change will clarify the rule by using the correct terminology.

Figure 4 Around the Head is now an Illegal Hold/Maneuver (7-1-5r): This change now makes the figure 4 an illegal hold/maneuver around the body, the head and both legs, and will minimize risk to all wrestlers.


2010-11 NFHS Wrestling Rules Changes

Major Changes
4-5-7 Male and female contestants will now be required to wear a suitable undergarment during weigh-ins.

5-20-5 NOTE; The NOTE to Rule 5-20-5 was deleted for the 2010-11 season.

5-20-9 The offensive starting position rule was revised.

7-1-5x (New) Rear-standing, double-knee kickback was added to the list of illegal holds/maneuvers.

8-2-4 Concussion rule revised.

Editorial and Other Changes
1-3-1, 2; 3-1-10; 3-2-2a; 4-2-3, 4, 5; 4-3-1; 4-5-8; 5-1-3; 5-11-2i; 5-20-5; 5-21; 5-29-2, 3, 4; 6-4-4; 6-6-5b1; 6-7-1c6; 7-1-5g, u, v; 7-1-6; 7-2-1, 2, 4; 7-3-2; 7-5-1; 8-1-3; 8-2-2; 8-2-5; 8-2-6; 8-2-7; Penalty Chart – Note 1; 9-2-2a; 9-2-2m, n, o; Scoring Symbols; PHOTOS 6, 19, 26, 29, 30, 35, 38-40, 44, 54, 57, 62-63, 66, 70, 86 (New), 90-91, 99-100, 105 (New).

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 26, 2010) — A revision in the appropriate dress for weigh-ins in high school wrestling was among four rules changes approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Wrestling Rules Committee at its April 5-7 meeting in Indianapolis. The changes, which were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors, will take effect with the 2010-11 season.

“The committee felt the need to make very few changes because the sport of high school wrestling is in good shape,” said Dale Pleimann, former assistant executive director of the Missouri State High School Activities Association and chair of the NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee. “Two of the changes deal with minimizing risk, one deals with privacy issues and the other change was clean-up in a mechanics procedure instituted last year.”

Regarding weigh-ins, previously both male and female contestants had to weigh in wearing “no more than a suitable undergarment.” Beginning next year, specific language has been added regarding what constitutes a “suitable undergarment.” Male and female contestants will be required to wear a suitable undergarment that completely covers the buttocks and the groin area. In addition, for female contestants the suitable undergarment must also cover the breasts.

Bob Colgate, assistant director of the NFHS and committee liaison, said the change was made to consider privacy issues for all individuals involved with weigh-ins.

The committee also addressed the process for an offensive wrestler assuming a legal starting position. The following statement has been added to Rule 5-20-9:

“Once the offensive wrestler has assumed a legal starting position and is stationary, the referee shall verbally say ‘set’ and then pause momentarily before starting wrestling.”

“This rule change will eliminate either wrestler gaining an advantage by using a rolling start,” Colgate said. “It also eliminates the need for the offensive wrestler using a specific sequence when assuming a legal starting position, including the optional offensive starting position.”

Effective with the 2010-11 high school wrestling season, any contestant who shows signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion shall be removed immediately from the match and shall not return to competition until cleared by an appropriate health-care professional.

The previous rule directed officials to remove an athlete from competition if “apparently unconscious.” The previous rule also allowed for return to competition based on written authorization by a medical doctor.

“Given that the vast majority of concussions do not include a loss of consciousness, but that athletes often show obvious evidence of concussion, the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) strongly believes that referees must continue to be empowered to remove these athletes from competition, thus protecting them from further injury,” said Dr. Michael Koester, chair of the SMAC. “Continued participation in any sport following a concussion can lead to worsening concussion symptoms, as well as increased risk for further injury to the brain and even death.

“The safety of the athlete is of paramount concern during any athletic contest. Referees, coaches and administrators are being asked to make all efforts at ensuring that concussed athletes do not continue to participate. Thus, coaches, wrestlers and administrators should also be looking for signs of concussion in all wrestlers and should immediately remove any suspected concussed wrestler from competition.”

In addition to wrestling, the new concussion language is being placed in all NFHS rules books for the 2010-11 season, as well as the “NFHS Suggested Guidelines for Management of Concussion.” (Editor's note: See also the WVSSAC Return to Play Protocol).

The Wrestling Rules Committee also added the “rear-standing, double-knee kickback” to the list of illegal maneuvers. Colgate said this maneuver, which is being used more frequently at the high school level, clearly puts the opposing wrestler in a dangerous situation and at a high risk for injury.

Perhaps as significant as the changes approved by the committee was one that was not. After much discussion, the committee voted against changing the wrestling weight classes and will stay with the 14 weight classes currently in place in the NFHS Wrestling Rules Book. Three proposals were considered by the committee this year on changing the wrestling weight classes.

“The response from member state associations was divided equally between Option B and making no change,” Pleimann said. “The committee, with no clear choice from the membership, did not believe it was appropriate to make a change in the weight classes just for the sake of change. However, the committee did request the NFHS to conduct another survey on wrestling weight classes during the 2010-11 season.”

Three “Points of Emphasis” were issued by the committee for the 2010-11 high school wrestling season: Concussion Recognition and Management, Communicable Disease and Fleeing the Mat.

Wrestling is the sixth-most popular sport for boys at the high school level with 267,378 participants in 10,254 schools during the 2008-09 season, according to the NFHS Athletics Participation Survey. In addition, 6,025 girls were involved in wrestling in 1,034 high schools.

For more information, visit the NFHS Web site at www.nfhs.org.

2009-10 Wrestling Rule Changes - National Federation

1-2-1: In individually bracketed tournaments, the contestant representing a school shall be named by weight class prior to the conclusion of the weigh-in and no substitution is allowed after the conclusion of the weigh-in.

4-2-3: If a designated, on-site meet physician is present, the physician may examine a wrestler for a communicable skin disease or any other condition, either immediately prior to or immediately after the weigh-in.

4-5-3: Meet administrators now have the option to weigh-in contestants by weight class or team(s) in tournaments.

5-20-5 NOTE: In the offensive starting position, the offensive wrestler's head must be on or above the mid-line of the opponent's back and both wrestlers must become stationary.

9-2-2b, c NEW: Two new steps have been added to the dual-meet team tie-breaking system.

Editorial and Other Changes
3-1-4a; 3-1-7; 3-2-2a; 4-2-4; 4-5-2; 4-5-8; 5-1-3; 5-14-1, 2; 5-31-1; 6-6-5b1; 8-2-1 EXCEPTION g; 8-2-7; PHOTOS 10, 32-33, 59, 77 (NEW), 78, 85-86, 88; REFEREES' SIGNALS 4-7.

Five Changes Made in High School Wrestling Rules

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 4, 2009) - Five new rules changes for the 2009-10 wrestling season were approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Wrestling Rules Committee at its annual meeting last month in Indianapolis. These changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

"The main focus of the changes was clarifying some rules dealing with tournaments," said Bob Colgate, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the Wrestling Rules Committee. "One of the changes also dealt with improving sportsmanship, which is always a high priority with all NFHS rules."

Two steps were added in Rule 5-20-5Note to clarify the offensive starting position. As a part of the steps to assume the offensive starting position, the offensive wrestler's head must be on or above the opponent's spinal column, and both wrestlers must become stationary. The referee still must pause momentarily before blowing the whistle.

In Rule 9-2-2b and c, two new tie-breaker options for dual-meet competitions have been added as well. First, "The team whose opposing wrestlers or team personnel have been penalized the greater number of team point deductions shall be declared the winner." Second, "The team whose opposing wrestlers were penalized the greater number of match points for unsportsmanlike conduct during a match shall be declared the winner."

Colgate said this change eliminates the possibility of a team that has been penalized the greater number of points for coaches misconduct or any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct winning a dual meet in the event of a tie.

In Rule 1-2-1, the committee added: "In individually bracketed tournaments, the contestant representing a school shall be named by weight class prior to the conclusion of the weigh-in and no substitution is allowed after the conclusion of the weigh-in." The rule previously contradicted two other rules (4-5-6 and 10-2-1), but now all three guidelines are in concurrence.

The committee clarified, in Rule 4-2-3, that if a designated, on-site meet physician is present, he or she may examine a wrestler for communicable skin disease or any other condition, either immediately prior to or immediately after the weigh-in.

Another rule change provides tournament administrators the option to weigh-in by either weight class or teams to help with the organization at tournaments. The revised Rule 4-5-3 adds the following language: "Tournament weigh-in may proceed by team(s) with the lowest weight class to the highest and end immediately upon the completion of the highest weight class."

The 2009-10 points of emphasis include excessive celebrations; awarding near-fall points; legalities of scissors, draping scissors and Figure 4; and communicable disease.

Wrestling is the sixth-most popular sport for boys at the high school level with 259,688 participants, according to the 2007-08 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey. In addition, there were an additional 5,527 girls nationwide who participated in wrestling in 2007-08.

High School Wrestling Rules Changes Announced for 2008-09

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 1, 2008) - The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Wrestling Rules Committee emphasized risk minimization and standardized procedures to assist both coaches and referees through 16 wrestling rules changes for the 2008-09 school year. Rules changes were made by the committee at its April 5-7 meeting in Indianapolis and subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

The time sequence for the offensive wrestler in assuming the offensive starting position was standardized with the addition of a note to Rule 5-20-5. First, the wrestler must set the knee(s) and feet. Second, the wrestler must place the palm of one hand on the navel. Third, the wrestler must place the palm of the other hand on or over the near elbow. Fourth, the referee shall pause momentarily before starting wrestling. This rule change is meant to provide consistency for coaches, wrestlers and referees. While each action is currently standard practice, there has not been a written sequence of those events in the NFHS Wrestling Rules Book.

"These changes provide further rules support based on interpretations," said Bob Colgate, assistant director of the NFHS and liaison to the NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee. "The clarifications make the rules easier to administer."

With an emphasis on sportsmanship, the committee approved two rules changes meant to encourage sportsmanlike conduct by wrestlers and coaches. An addition to Rule 6-7-1c6 states that an unsportsmanlike act that occurs at anytime during the match shall take precedence over the first points scored in the regulation match in determining choice of position in the ultimate tiebreaker. So the wrestler whose opponent has received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at any time during the match will now have choice of position in the ultimate tiebreaker.

In addition, a change to Rule 5-31-1 removes the penalty for coaches whose wrestlers report to the scorer's table not in proper uniform, not properly groomed, not properly equipped or not ready to wrestle.

The addition of Rule 7-1-5w makes a back flip from a standing position an illegal maneuver. The rule was added as an effort to minimize risk to all wrestlers.

"Any time you're dealing with risk minimization in wrestling, it's paramount," Colgate said. "Someone could have been seriously injured if we did not take that initiative."

The committee also addressed the issue of skin conditions. A revision to Rule 4-2-3 allows an on-site physician to examine a wrestler with a particular skin condition without a physician's release form immediately after the weigh-in. A new Rule 4-2-5 allows a physician's release form for a non-communicable skin condition, such as a birthmark or eczema, to be valid for the duration of the season, with some stipulations.

The committee also approved the following rules changes:
- A change to Rule 2-2-2 clarifies the boundary for the restricted zone for coaches.

- A revision to Rule 4-1-5 requires the wrestler's uniform to be worn as intended/designed by the manufacturer. This change gives rules support to a previous NFHS interpretation.

- Rule 4-2-1 will state that a wrestler's hair in the front, in its natural state, shall not extend below the eyebrows.

- A change in Rule 4-5-5 allows for a one-pound weight allowance when a competition is postponed for one calendar day or more due to inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances. The head coach, principal or athletic director of the opponent must be notified in advance to be granted the one-pound weight allowance.

- A change to Rule 5-15-3 gives referees the option to stop a match if there is no action at the edge of the mat and to restart wrestling in the center of the mat.

- A new addition to Rules 5-25-6c and 7-6-6c provides rules support for the interpretation of stalling as "repeatedly creates a stalemate situation to prevent an opponent from scoring."

- In Rule 6-6-1, when the wrong wrestler is given choice of position at the start of the first 30-second tiebreaker in overtime, the opponent will be given the choice at the start of the second 30-second tiebreaker. Previously, this would have been considered bad time.

- In Rule 7-4-1, the committee further defined unnecessary roughness by including ". . . a forceful slap to the head or face, and/or gouging or poking the eyes."

- The committee also approved a new signal for referees to indicate when to start recovery time during a match.
The committee adopted four points of emphasis for the upcoming season, including grooming and medical checks, reporting to the scorer's table ready to wrestle, going out of the wrestling area, and referees' signals and mechanics.

Wrestling is the sixth-most popular program for high school boys in terms of participants, with 257,246 boys wrestling in 9,445 schools throughout the country. It is also gaining popularity among high school girls, with 5,048 girls participating in 1,227 schools, according to the NFHS 2006-07 High School Athletics Participation Survey.

2007-08 Wrestling Rules Changes

1-1-2a
NEW
A random draw for championship final matches for an individual tournament, regular season and/or state high school championship series, may be used for competition.
Rationale: This rule change allows a random draw for championship final matches in individual tournaments conducted during the year. This would create a more consistent format for individuals to go along with team tournaments.

3-1-1
The referee's uniform consists of a short sleeve knit shirt, with alternating black and white 1-inch stripes, or gray with black pinstripes, or an event provided shirt common to all referees at that event...
Rationale: This change would allow referees and states another option for their referee's uniform in wrestling. The gray shirt with black pinstripes has been allowed by other sports organizations in wrestling, and has been well received by the fans, coaches, and referees.

4-2-3
If a participant is suspected by the referee or coach of having a communicable skin disease or any other condition that makes participation appear inadvisable, the coach shall provide current written documentation, as defined by the NFHS or the state associations, from a physician stating that the suspected disease or condition is not communicable and that the athlete's participation would not be harmful to any opponent...
Rationale: This rule change would help clarify the current rule in that the current written documentation from a physician needs to be on an approved form from either the NFHS or a state association.

4-2-5
NEW
Each contestant who has braces or has a special orthodontic device on their teeth, shall be required to wear a tooth and mouth protector. A tooth and mouth protector (intraoral) which shall include an occlusal (protecting and separating the biting surfaces) and a labial (protecting the teeth and supporting structures) portion and covers the teeth and all areas of the braces or special orthodontic device with adequate thickness. This would include upper and lower teeth if devices are present on both. It is recommended the protector be properly fitted and: 1. Constructed from a model made from an impression of the individual's teeth and braces or special orthodontic device. 2. Constructed and fitted to the individual by impressing the teeth and braces or special orthodontic device into the tooth and mouth protector itself.
Rationale: The NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee feels that it would be in the best interest from a safety perspective that if a wrestler does have braces, or wears a special orthodontic device on their teeth, they should be covered to protect their opponent from injury when coming in contact with the mouth and teeth. Coaches have expressed concern about frequent stoppage of matches because of blood time-out secondary to brace-inflicted wounds.

5-20-5a
NEW
Prior to assuming an offensive starting position, the offensive wrestler may signal to the referee the neutral position. The defensive wrestler is awarded an escape, and wrestling begins from the neutral position. Rationale: This rule change would now allow the offensive wrestler another choice from the offensive starting position.

5-31-1
Coaches and Team Personnel. Unsportsmanlike conduct of coaches and other team personnel is any act which becomes abusive or interferes with the orderly progress of the match. These acts may occur prior to, during or after a match. This includes violations of the bench decorum rule (7-5-2), taunting, acts of disrespect, or those actions which incite negative reaction by others. The offender shall be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct in accordance with the Penalty Chart. The head coach shall be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct if wrestlers report to the scorer's table not in proper uniform, not properly groomed, not properly equipped or not ready to wrestle. Exception: The head coach shall not be penalized when a wrestler reports to the scorer's table with shoe laces that are not properly secured. Rationale: This rule change now gives rules support for a penalty that reflects the intent behind Rule 1-2-7, which requires the head coach to verify their wrestlers are in proper uniform, properly groomed, properly equipped and ready to wrestle. It does not penalize the head coach when their wrestlers have improperly secured shoe laces.

6-4-4
The coach of the contestant or the contestant has the prerogative to default a match in progress or during an injury time-out by informing the referee. Any coach of the contestant or the contestant has the prerogative to default a match to the opponent at any time by informing the referee.
Rationale: This rule change allows a coach or a wrestler to default a match to his opponent at any time. Requiring a wrestler injured by illegal action, who wished to default, to return to wrestling prior to the expiration of recovery time in order to be able to default is undesirable and in some cases an unsafe situation.

6-6-4a1, 5a1
Any error, other than Bad Time (Art. 1) ...must be corrected prior to the wrestler/coach leaving the mat area. Errors by the timekeeper, scorer or referee must be corrected prior to the offended contestant leaving the mat area if additional wrestling is necessary. If additional wrestling is not necessary, the error may be corrected as long as the offended contestant or coach remains in the mat area. Rationale: The previous rule was intended to simplify the process for correction of errors, but instead, it created confusion. This rule change will now allow the referee to correct an error as long as the wrestler or coach remains in the mat area.

8-2-1a-h
An injured or ill contestant is entitled to a maximum injury time-out of 1 ½ minutes which is cumulative throughout the match, including overtime periods. There is a limit of two injury time-outs which may be permitted in any match, provided the total time does not exceed 1 ½ minutes. If a second injury time-out is taken during a regulation period, the opponent shall will have the choice of top, bottom or neutral position for on the restart. (The up, down or neutral position shall be chosen).
EXCEPTIONS: During the tiebreaker, only the top, bottom or defer options are available. a. if the second injury time-out is taken at the conclusion occurs at the end of the first period, the opponent shall will have the choice at the start of the second and third periods;

b.if the second injury time-out is taken at the conclusion of the second period, the opponent shall have the choice at the start of the third period;

c. if the second injury time-out is taken at the conclusion of the third period, the opponent shall have the choice of any one of the three starting positions at the beginning of the sudden victory period;

d. if the second injury time-out is taken any time during the sudden victory period, the opponent shall have the choice of top, bottom or neutral position on the restart;

e. if the second injury time-out is taken at the conclusion of the sudden victory period, the opponent shall have the choice of either top or bottom position at the start of both 30-second tiebreaker periods.

f. if the second injury time-out is taken at the conclusion of the first 30-second tiebreaker period, the opponent shall have the choice of either top or bottom at the start of the second 30-second tiebreaker period.

g. if the second injury time-out occurs at the conclusion of the second 30-second tiebreaker period, the opponent shall have the choice of top or bottom at the start of the ultimate tiebreaker period.

h. if the second injury time-out occurs during either of the 30-second tiebreaker periods or during the ultimate tiebreaker period, the opponent shall have the choice of top or bottom on the restart.

A third injury time-out shall terminate the match. The opponent shall be declared the winner by default.

Rationale: This rule change helps to clarify the exact procedure to follow when administering the second injury time-out. Limiting a wrestler to 1 ½ minutes of injury time and two injury time-outs has been successful in reducing the number of unnecessary time-outs. Allowing an opponent the choice of position for all remaining periods, both regulation and overtime is too harsh a penalty. This may cause injured wrestlers to decline necessary and needed injury time which is counter to the NFHS philosophy that safety comes first.

POINTS OF EMPHASIS
Communicable Skin Conditions
Correction of Errors
Stalling
Sportsmanship

Wrestling Rules Changes Aim for Clarity

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 16, 2007) -- In its ongoing effort to improve high school wrestling rules, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Wrestling Rules Committee adopted several rules changes during the group's annual meeting March 25 and 26 in Indianapolis.

Although many of the changes focused on clarifying existing rules, the most notable change offers wrestlers an entirely new option. New Rule 5-20-5a allows an offensive wrestler to request a neutral position restart by signaling his desire to a referee.

"Most of the changes deal with clean-up and rule support, but the new rule regarding the neutral position start is a significant change," said Dave Gannaway, chair of the NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee.

Even though the defensive wrestler is awarded an escape if the offensive wrestler utilizes this option, the alternative still might prove advantageous to many participants.

"It gives wrestlers another possible choice from the offensive position," said Bob Colgate, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the rules committee.

Another new rule, 1-1-2a, gives tournament directors an additional option, allowing them to institute a random draw for the championship final matches in an individual regular-season or state championship tournament series. Previously, this option existed only in dual meets.

"This change would create a more consistent format for individuals to go along with team tournaments," Colgate said.

Rule 3-1-1 affords referees a new choice in attire, permitting them to wear a gray shirt with black pinstripes.

Most of the other modifications made by the committee could be classified as clarifications. Perhaps the most extensive change was made to Rule 8-2-1, which pertains to the use of injury time-outs during a match. The existing rule was lengthened substantially by the addition of seven new exceptions.

"Anytime you have a short rule, people can read into it," Colgate said. "We had a lot of states doing something different. Hopefully, now everybody will be on the same page."

The committee altered Rules 6-6-4a1 and 5a1, reverting to wording in the 2005 rules book, which specified that a scoring error by the timekeeper, scorer or referee can be corrected as long the wrestler or coach remains in the mat area. No longer must a scoring correction be made before the start of the next period.

Rule 5-31-1 has been adjusted to penalize the head coach if a wrestler reports to the scorer's table and is not in proper uniform, not properly groomed, not properly equipped or not ready to wrestle.

"Head coaches should be accountable," Colgate said. "They need to have their athletes ready to compete as specified by the rules."

Rule 6-4-4 now specifies that any coach or contestant has the prerogative to default a match at any time by informing the referee.

The remaining rules changes made by the committee deal with protecting the physical health of wrestlers. The committee approved a new rule, 4-2-5, which requires wrestlers with braces or other special orthodontic devices to wear a tooth and mouth protector. The committee clarified Rule 4-2-3, which now states that a wrestler with a suspected communicable skin disease must have a physician fill out an approved form from either the NFHS or a state association affirming that the athlete's participation will not be harmful to any opponent before the participant in question is allowed to wrestle.

Prevention of communicable skin conditions was one of the chief points of emphasis issued by the committee for the 2007-08 season.

Correction of errors was another point of emphasis, as well as stalling.

"Stalling could be a point of emphasis every year," Colgate said. "It's really a work-in-progress."

The committee's final point of emphasis was sportsmanship, another aspect of athletics the NFHS frequently focuses on.

"The intensity and contact in wrestling often lead to things getting heated," Colgate said. "Sportsmanship has been improving, but it's still something we need to work on in the sport of wrestling."

Wrestling ranks sixth in popularity, according to the 2005-06 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, with 251,534 boys participating last year. It ranks eighth for boys in school sponsorship, with 9,744 schools offering wrestling. An additional 4,975 girls in 1,081 schools are involved in wrestling.



2006-07 Wrestling Rules Changes

Major Changes

1-3-1: Each state association shall develop and utilize a weight-management program that includes a specific gravity not to exceed 1.025; a body fat assessment no lower than seven percent for males/12 percent for females; and a monitored weekly weight loss plan not to exceed 1.5 percent a week.

3-2-2f: When the referee and assistant referee meet to confer, the meeting shall take place away from the scorer's table.

4-1-1c: The restriction for a garment extending below the singlet has been modified to allow a tight fitting, single solid color, unadorned product that does not extend below the knee.

4-4-4: The 275-pound class has been increased to 285 pounds.

5-11-2f-i: The determination of when to award additional near-fall points for acts by the defensive wrestler has been clarified.

5-18-2: A match begins when the proper wrestler reports to the scorer's table in dual matches.

6-2-2: A wrestler who properly reports to the scorer's table for a dual match cannot be withdrawn or replaced without causing the individual to be disqualified and the weight class forfeited.

6-6-4a1: Any error, other than bad time (Art. 1) or positioning (Art. 2) shall 6-6-5a1 be corrected prior to the start of the next period, regulation or overtime. For the correction to be made during the last period, it must be corrected prior to the wrestler/coach leaving the mat area.

6-7-1: The overtime shall consist of a one-minute sudden victory period; if no scoring occurs, two 30-second tiebreakers shall be utilized; and if the score remains tied a 30-second ultimate tiebreaker will be competed.

7-1-5: Hand(s) to the face and/or raking the eyes have been added to the listing of illegal holds.

8-1-2c: An exception has been added indicating that the match will not be stopped to penalize the offensive wrestler for stalling when the defensive wrestler has come to the standing position.

Other Changes
3-1-4e; 3-2-2a; 7-1-4; 7-3-2

Points of Emphasis
1. Concussions
2. Unnecessary Roughness and Slams
3. Weigh-in Procedures
4. Uniform Requirements
5. Socks and Other Special Equipment Use

Release Date: 5/31/2006
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 10, 2006) — A change in the overtime procedure and an increase of 10 pounds in the 275-pound weight class are among the revisions in high school wrestling rules for the 2006-07 season.

A total of 14 rules revisions were approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Wrestling Rules Committee at its March 26-27 meeting in Indianapolis. The rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

After successful experimentation in several states last year, a potential of one additional minute was added to the overtime period. Beginning next season, if no score occurs in the sudden-victory period, two 30-second tiebreakers will take place. Scoring in these two tiebreakers will be conducted as in a regular match. If the score remains tied at the conclusion of the two tiebreakers, one additional 30-second period will be conducted, with the first person scoring declared the winner. If no points are scored, the offensive wrestler wins the match.

Previously, only one 30-second tiebreaker was conducted after the one-minute overtime period. The new rule provides for one additional 30-second tiebreaker and another 30-second period if the score remains tied after the tiebreakers.

For the first time since 1987, the limit on the heavyweight class was increased from 275 to 285 pounds. Jerry Diehl, assistant director of the NFHS and rules committee liaison, said student-athletes are bigger than they were when the limit of 275 pounds was established 19 years ago. He said the committee made the change to encourage additional high school athletes to compete in wrestling.

Dave Gannaway, assistant executive director of the Illinois High School Association and chair of the NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee, noted that the additional 10 pounds will provide larger athletes, particularly football players, an increased opportunity to wrestle.

In other rules revisions, the committee altered Rule 6-6 regarding the correction of errors. Beginning next season, any error (other than bad time and positioning) must be corrected prior to the start of the next period. For the correction to be made during the last period, it must be corrected prior to the wrestler/coach leaving the mat area. Previously, changes could be made after the match or within 30 minutes of the completion of a dual meet.

“Coaches and their scorekeepers have the responsibility to recognize scoring errors as they occur,” Diehl said. “It is unfair to attempt a reconstruction of what transpired in a previous period, if it is questioned in the subsequent period.”

The definition of when a match begins was revised in Rule 5-18-2. Beginning next season, a match (in dual matches) begins when the proper wrestler reports to the scorer’s table. Previously, by definition, a match started with the action of the first period. Diehl said the committee made this change to support the current interpretation of penalizing a wrestler who reports to compete and is improperly equipped.

Following is a summary of other changes approved for high school wrestling next year:
  • Head coaches and captains are required to meet with the referee prior to each dual meet.
  • Technical violations and potentially dangerous holds added to the list of items that must be verbally communicated to the referee when an assistant referee system is used.
  • When the referee and assistant referee meet to confer, they shall meet away from the scorer’s table. (previously was in front of table)
  • Restriction for garment extending below the singlet was modified.
  • Decision on when to award additional near-fall points for acts by the defensive wrestler has been clarified.
  • A wrestler who properly reports to the scorer’s table for a dual match cannot be withdrawn or replaced without causing the individual to be disqualified and the weight class forfeited.
  • Penalty for pulling back the fingers clarified to state the act of grasping is not an automatic violation.
  • Hand(s) to the face and/or raking the eyes added to the list of illegal holds.
  • The term “fleeing” has been added to Rule 7-3-2.
  • An exception was added to note that a match will not be stopped to penalize the offensive wrestler for stalling when the defensive wrestler has come to the standing position.
These 14 rules revisions will take effect next season, along with the landmark weight-management guidelines approved last year by the committee for implementation in 2006-07. These guidelines were approved in an effort to discourage rapid-weight loss by student-athletes.

In addition, the following points of emphasis were developed by the Wrestling Rules Committee for the 2006-07 season: dealing with apparent concussions, unnecessary roughness and slams, weigh-in procedures, uniform requirements, and socks and use of other special equipment.

Wrestling is the sixth-most popular sport for boys at the high school level, with 243,009 participants during the 2004-05 season, according to the High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the NFHS. It ranks eighth in school sponsorship with 9,562 high schools nationwide conducting the sport. In addition, a total of 4,334 girls participated in high school wrestling in 2004-05.
Additional Commentary on the 2006-07 Rule Change for Overtime
by Dr. Bill Welker, Ed.D.

Scenario: The the first three periods end up in a tie, 1 to 1, with Wrestling A scoring the first escape.

Sudden Victory (Overtime Period same as before): In the overtime period, neither Wrestler A or Wrestler B score, taking the match to the first tiebreaker. The Overtime Period is the same as in the past.

Tiebreaker I:
The disk is tossed to determine the wrestler who has choice. The wrestler who wins the toss may choose top, bottom, or defer (Neutral cannot be chosen). Wrestler B wins the toss and selects down. As soon as the referee blows the whistle, Wrestler B scores an escape. At this point, the match continues to the conclusion of the of the thirty seconds. Before the end of the first tiebreaker, Wrestler B also scores a takedown. The score at this time is Wrestler B: 4 and Wrestler A: 1.

Tiebreaker II:
It is now Wrestler A's choice; he also selects down. During the second tiebreaker period, Wrestler A likewise scores an escape and a takedown. The score is tied 4 to 4.

Ultimate Tiebreaker:
At this point, Wrestler A is given the choice of position because he scored the first point (an escape) in the match. There is no neutral, but the wrestler may defer. The Ultimate Tiebreaker winner is determined the same as in the past. If Wrestler A rides Wrestler B; Wrestler A wins with the ride out point. If Wrestler B scores, Wrestler B wins.

Points of Emphasis:

1. At any point during the three-tiebreaker process, the match is over if a fall occurs.

2. In Tiebreakers I and II, stalling will be call the same as in the regular match and Overtime Period.

3. As in the past, stalling will be indicated differently in the Ultimate Tiebreaker. A wrestler will not be warned or penalized for stalling when he controls his opponent with a traditional riding maneuver.


2005-06 Wrestling Rules Changes

1-1-2: When multi-dual meet competition is held, the first weight class to be competed in for the subsequent dual shall be one greater than the starting weight class from the previous round.

1-3: Beginning in 2006-07, each state association shall develop and utilize a weight-management program that includes a specific gravity not to exceed 1.025; a body fat assessment no lower than 7% males/12% females and a monitored weekly weight loss plan not to exceed 1.5% a week.

3-1-1: Tournament administration may provide a common shirt for officials that must be worn at this particular event.

4-1-1a: The definition of a shirt worn under the sleeveless uniform shirt has been more clearly defined by adding that the shirt must be tight-fitting and short-sleeved.

4-1-1c: The language requiring a suitable undergarment if no tights are worn has been deleted.

4-3-3: When a pad(s) is worn, it shall fit snugly against the wrestler’s body.

4-5-5: Competitors are now restricted to a maximum of 2 pounds for consecutive days of competition.

Rule 5: The definitions for a Bye, Caution and Stalling, has been duplicated and placed in Rule 5.

5-1-4: The definition for Bad Time has been expanded to include any errors in match scoring.

7-1-2: A full, straight-back suplay and the straight-back salto to the head are illegal.

8-1-2c: An exception has been added indicating that the match will not be stopped when warning the offensive wrestler when the defensive wrestler has come to the standing position.

8-1-6: The penalty for flagrant misconduct has been increased from two team points to three.

8-2-1: During the Tiebreaker, the wrestler who has the choice of position following the opponent’s second injury time-out is restricted to the offensive, defensive or defer choices.

Signal Chart: A signal has been added to indicate Coach’s Misconduct.

Points of Emphasis
1. Communicable Skin Conditions
2. Pre-Meet Duties: Ear Guards and Other Special Equipment
3. Officiating the Tiebreaker
4. Mat Set-Up
5. Use of the Assistant Referee

2004-05 Wrestling Rules Changes

3-1-13: When a time-out occurs due to injury or bleeding, the referee should notify the coach/wrestler at the one-minute and 30-second marks as to the amount of time remaining.

5-9-2g, i: When a defensive wrestler is injured or indicates an injury or bleeding occurs after near-fall criteria is met, the match is to be stopped and a three-point near fall shall be awarded. A technical violation has also been added to the list of offenses for which an additional point will be awarded.

5-13-2: The word “hands” has been added to clarify supporting points.

5-18-5: A knee or foot may be placed behind the defensive wrestler’s feet.

6-6-6: The deduction for disqualification has been increased from one- to two-team points.

6-7-1: If no scoring occurs during the tiebreaker period, the offensive wrestler will be declared the winner and one match point shall be added to the offensive wrestler’s score.

7-5-3: The unsportsmanlike penalty that has been charged to the head coach should a competitor report to the mat not properly attired or ready to wrestle has been deleted.

8-1-4: When a wrestler, coach or other team personnel is to be removed due to a second unsportsmanlike conduct violation, the penalty has been increased to two-team points.

9-2-2: When determining the winning team by use of the tiebreaking system, a team point shall be added to the prevailing team. The criterion used to break the tie shall be noted.

New Scoring Symbols:
RO – indicates the offensive wrestler won by use of the tiebreaker.
MCw – indicates a warning for Misconduct.
Sw – indicates a warning for Stalling.


Signal Chart:
A new signal for starting a match has been added. Also, the signals for stopping the match (1) and neutral position (6) have been modified.


Rule Changes for 2003-04

Compiled by Dr. Bill Welker, WVSSAC Wrestling Rules Interpreter

1-3-2c: A wrestler must have 50% of his weigh-ins at his minimum certified weight to compete in that weight class at regionals and states.

4-2-4: An on-site physician can overrule the diagnosis of the physician who has indicated in writing that a skin condition is not communicable.

5-2-5i: If a two-point near-fall is earned, or three-point near-fall is earned, and the defensive commits an illegal act(s), the offensive wrestler will earn two or more additional points -- one for stopping the match and one or more for committing an infraction(s).

6-6-4: The time frame for correcting computation of match or team score is now 30 minutes, not 48 hrs.

8-2-5: A physician or medical staff can determine whether a wrestler can continue, even if the wrestler was not rendered unconscious, and shall not be overruled.

9-1-7: If a wrestler "rides out" his opponent during the 30-second tiebreaker, he will earn one additional point.

9-2-2f: In any dual-meet competition where the final score is tied, a tiebreaker system is now in place to declare the winning team.


Rule Changes for 2002-03

With commentary by Dr. Bill Welker, WVSSAC Wrestling Rules Interpreter

Rule 4-1-1a: Language added to define an undershirt when worn under the sleeveless shirt.
With official approval, the undershirt must be a single, solid color, unadorned and with no more than one, visible manufacturer's logo or trademark.

Rule 4-1-3: The requirement for a shoe to have laces has been removed as long as the shoe meets all other regulations.
Simply translated this means that shoes with zippers are permitted in wrestling.

Rule 4-2-1: A wrestler's shaved head must be no more abrasive than a clean-shaven face or the competitor must wear a legal hair cover.
In other words, if there is stubble and it is abrasive, the wrestler must wear a legal hair cover.

Rule 4-4-1: The 215-pound weight class is no longer an option. There now are 14 weight classes.
No change for us.

Rule 4-5: The weigh-in procedure for duals, multiple-dual events and individual tournaments has been modified to reflect the same procedures with the only difference being the l-hour and 2-hour time frames.
I plan to put together a definitive handout for coaches and officials after attending the fall interpreters' meeting in Indianapolis - which will be passed out at the fall wrestling clinics - on how weighing must be conducted.

"If there are multiple scales, the wrestler will step on the first scale twice (immediately). Then he or she will step on all of the other scales in the weigh-in area only once."


Rule 4-5: A gender-specific procedure has been established for weigh-ins.
In essence, from now on, women must weigh-in the female wrestlers.

Rule 4-5: The provision for state associations to establish weigh-in procedures for subsequent days of tournaments has been removed. All regular and post-season tournaments will now be following the 2-hour weigh-in stipulation for each day of a tournament.
The bottom line, there will be weigh-ins prior to the competition each day of the tournament. No more "night-before" weigh-ins.

Rule 4-5: Language has been added that once a wrestler has weighed-in he cannot re-weigh in order to move up to another weight class.
In plain language, a wrestler, after weighing-in, can not drink water and weigh-in again, to move up to heavier weight classes to wrestle for team-strategy reasons.

Rule 5-2-5f,g,&h: Peanlties for illegal holds, unnecessary roughness, and unsportsmanlike conduct have been added to this Article.
This means another point will be added to each stage of the defensive wrestler when he is being turned toward or is in a near-fall criteria situation.

Rule 7-4-2: The throwing of any wrestler's equipment is unsportsmanlike conduct.
Now no matter what the wrestler throws, it is an unsportsmanlike action. To be honest, the good officials have always been penalizing wrestlers for throwing things.

Rule 7-5-3: The restriction of coaching a competitor during an injury time-out has been removed.
Guys, you can now coach your injured wrestler during injury time.

Rule Changes for 2001-02

New Weigh-in Procedure Highlights High School Wrestling Rules Changes

Jerry Diehl/National Federation of State High School Association

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 16, 2001) - The issue of proper weight management was foremost on the agenda of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Wrestling Rules Committee at its March 25-26 meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee is composed of one voting member from each of the eight NFHS sections, along with representatives of the National Federation Coaches Association (NFCA) and National Federation Officials Association (NFOA). Sam Crosby of New Jersey is the chairman of the committee.

The main goal of the committee, according to Jerry Diehl, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the Wrestling Rules Committee, was to provide a situation for athletes whereby they could concentrate less on making weight and more on wrestling.

The most significant rules changes dealt with Rules 4-5-1 and 4-5-3, concerning weigh-in procedures for dual meets and tournaments. These rules changes were implemented to eliminate the detrimental practices associated with dehydration that are considered to have a negative impact on a wrestler's well-being. In both dual meets and tournaments, wrestlers will be required to remain in the weigh-in area and not participate in any dehydration activities.

"In the past they could leave the area," Crosby said. "Now we are saying to the wrestlers that they should not be concerned with weight and be ready to weigh in at that time."

Rule 1-1-2 was also changed to provide for a random draw after the weigh-in to determine the wrestling order of the weight classes instead of working from the lightest to the heaviest classes.

"The traditional draw allowed for wrestlers in the heavier weight classes to hydrate, bulk up and wrestle out of their class," Crosby said. "This also adds some excitement to the match by not always having the heavyweights finishing a meet."

Another topic tackled at the meeting was the overtime procedure. Previously, at the end of regulation, if the score was tied, a disc was tossed to determine who would have choice of offense or defense to begin overtime. Now, Rule 6-7-1 has been changed to allow the wrestler who first scored a point during regulation to have the choice in the 30-second tie-breaker.

"I think this is a good change," Crosby said. "This will give wrestlers more incentive to get that first point."

In addition, four other rules changes were addressed:

* Rule 4-3-1 had language added to prohibit the use of any type of electronic communication between a coach and competitor.

* Rule 6-1-3 has been changed to reduce the time of an overtime period from two minutes to one minute.

* In Rule 6-6-2, failure of the official to give the opponent his choice following the calling of a second injury time-out has been added to bad time.

* A new article has been added to Rule 7-3-7 to also penalize the wrestler who appears on the mat not properly equipped, in addition to the penalty to the coach as addressed in Rule 7-5-3.

National Federation Of State High School Associations 2001-02 Major Wrestling Rules Changes

1-1-2 A random draw shall be conducted to determine the first weight class that will be competed in dual matches.

4-3-1 Language has been added to prohibit the use of any type of electronic communication between a coach and competitor.

4-5-1 New regulations for weigh-ins at duals have been implemented.

4-5-3 New regulations for weigh-ins at tournaments have been implemented.

6-1-3 The overtime period has been reduced from two minutes to one minute.

6-6-2 Failure of the official to give the opponent his choice following the calling of a second injury time-out has been added to bad time.

6-7-1 The procedure as to which wrestler has a choice in the tiebreaker has been changed.

7-3-7 A new article has been added to also penalize the wrestler who appears on the mat not properly equipped.


"Major Wrestling Rules" changes for the 2000-2001 season


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