I honestly hate to write this post because it is soooooo second hand.  But I can’t keep this one in.

On Sunday, I attended the annual Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame banquet for Lifetime of Service Award recipients in Harrisburg.

Among the attendees was PIAA state wrestling rules interpreter Dr. John Hosage, having just returned from the NFHS wrestling rules committee meeting in Indianapolis.

Doc and I merely exchanged hellos; Doc would rather talk to Satan himself than me at this time of year because he knows the question of “what happened? isn’t far behind hello.  Frankly, I didn’t bother to ask because there was no point.

But several other folks at the event did ask the “what happened?” question.   They were all met with NFHS’ famous veil of secrecy, but one of the folks, someone I trust explicitly, asked the more salient question: “Are they major changes coming to wrestling next year?”

To that, Dr. Hosage answered, “Yes.”

There were no more details as per NFHS’ annoying blackout policy, so those major changes could mean anything: the proposed new weight classes (106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285) to changes in the self-called injury timeout to the continuation rule on boundary wrestling.

For those unfamiliar with what I’m writing, here’s a quick primer:

Every year, the NFHS wrestling rules committee, comprised of state interpreters from around the country, meets in Indianapolis to discuss changes to the rules.  The closed-door meeting runs for three days, and approved rules changes are moved to a Rules Review Committee before it moves to the full NFHS Board for final approval.  In the case of wrestling, that usually occurs by the end of April.

Obviously, I wish I had details, but I do not.  That’s why I don’t like posting something this incomplete.  Guess it’s time to go back to burrowing to find out what’s up.

  6 Responses to “Major changes coming to HS wrestling rules? It appears so”

  1. Congrats on your award, Rod.

  2. I like the idea of changing the out of bounds rule to the college OB rule but…If that rule change is made schools should be required to add protection on the four sides of the mats where the circle comes within 2 or 3 feet of the edge. Actually, even with the OB rule as it is kids spill out onto the hardwood floor more often than I’d like to see. With the justified concerns about concussions why not practice better preventative measures? I think the placement of the scorers’ table is another issue. It is usually right within a few feet of the mat…not necessary for it to be so close. The kids shouldn’t have to give it any thought. They should be able to wrestle hard with no concern about hitting the floor or the table. This would not be hard to implement and it is the right thing to do…rule change or not really.

  3. To incrrease a standard 42′ sq mat with a 32′ circle from 5′ minimum protection to 7′ requires 4 supplemental protection mats of 2′ by 19′ size. There is a slight trick on the sides that are from 3 pieces, not 1 piece. My guess is that the extra 2′ protection would reduce contact with the floor by 80-95%. (3′ additional protection would require pieces 3′ by 23′) Additional competion mats should mean only 2 additional protective mats each. (when adjacent in line)

    Although the rule book says something like ~”tables should be 10′ from the mat”~ I think they should be 10′ from the out of bounds circle, that is 5′ from the mat edge of a normal mat. Any table that close should, however, be padded in some way. the easy way to put some protection on is with water pipe insulation. It is like $2.00 for a six foot section. The table edge is most important, although legs probably should be protectected also. A swimming pool “noodle” might be even better, although you do need to put a slit in them. Of course Resilite could make a specific product.

    Most college mats also have only 5′ protection, and I don’t see any more floor or table injuries than before. Maybe the refs are more diligent.

  4. Rod — one must remember that “major” rules changes to Dr. John could mean a realignment issue in the referee’s position or some other minor change.

  5. My question is not about possible weight changes. I believe I read in the rules changes at about the same time the OT rules were changed several years ago that a rule was made about hand and face contact. The hand was only allowed to hit the top of the head. If a wrestler was poked in the eye or otherwise struck in the face the wrestler being struck would receive a point. I have have never seen this rule enforced?

  6. If the weight class changes get accepted they need to eliminate the weight allowances.
    And
    Why is the NFHS promoting childhood obesity when it is our nation’s number one health problem?

    Year in and out I have freshman and sophomores wrestling 103 that don’t hit #100 soaking wet. These guys are also the ones that hit puberty sometime sophomore year/summer and end up wrestling 120-135 as Juniors and seniors.

    Many of sub 100 freshman will get turned off from the sport by being sidelined for two years or from being dominated by guys that make significant cuts to 108-110.

    On the upper end I have picked up guys weighting close to #400 that join the team to become healthy. My most recent big guy got #60 off in the summer working out with us and another #30 during the year.

    I understand closing the % gap between weight classes, but lets be honest here. The lower ½-2/3 of the classes are competing at or below 7% body fat. The upper weights compete at an unhealthy over weight and obese body fat percentages.

    Why promote childhood obesity when it is our nation’s number one health problem?

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