Wrestling Rules Interpretations - 2021-22

By NFHS on October 20, 2021 wrestling Print

Publisher’s Note: The National Federation of State High School Associations is the only source of official high school interpretations. They do not set aside nor modify any rule. They are made and published by the NFHS in response to situations presented.
Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, Publisher, NFHS Publications © 2021

SITUATION 1: Beginning with the 2023-24 season, can a state association select different weight classes to be used at various times during the season? For example, can a state use 12 classes for the smaller schools, 13 classes for the medium-sized schools and 14 classes for the larger schools? RULING: No, a state association must select one set of weights for all classes for the entire season. (4-4-1)

SITUATION 2: After an out-of-bounds situation, both wrestlers are placed in the wrong position on the restart. Wrestler B is in the defensive position and should have started in the offensive position. Wrestler B is able to reverse Wrestler A. After the reversal has been awarded, Wrestler A requests the match be stopped because Wrestler A has a headache and is dizzy. The referee stops the match, signals to the scorer’s table to start the head, neck involving cervical column and/or nervous system (HNC) injury clock as the appropriate health-care provider (AHCP) comes over to examine Wrestler A. The coach of Wrestler A informs the referee that bad time has occurred because the wrestlers were placed in the wrong position and also requests that the reversal points and the HNC time-out be voided. RULING: Because bad time occurred, the referee shall remove the reversal points but shall not void the HNC time-out. (5-1-3, 5-1-3f)

SITUATION 3: Wrestler A is awarded a penalty point and placed on recovery time after being slammed to the mat by Wrestler B. During the examination of Wrestler A, the appropriate health-care provider (AHCP) notices signs and symptoms of a concussion and requests to have the recovery time stopped and be switched to an (HNC) time-out. Is this allowable? RULING: No, the referee must inform the AHCP that the recovery time will continue because the HNC time-out shall not be used to extend recovery time. (5-28-3)

SITUATION 4: Can a wrestler take a second HNC time-out? RULING: No, a second HNC injury in the same match will require the wrestler to default the match. (5-28-6)

SITUATION 5: Can the referee use the HNC time-out without an appropriate health-care provider (AHCP) present? RULING: No, an AHCP must be present before the referee can start the HNC time-out. (8-2-6)

SITUATION 6: Is there a limit to the number of coaches allowed on the mat during an HNC time-out? RULING: Yes, only two team attendants are allowed on the mat with either wrestler. (8-2-6)

SITUATION 7: Does imminent scoring apply to an HNC time-out? RULING: Yes, imminent scoring applies to a match if stopped for an injury time-out as well as an HNC time-out. (8-2-9)

SITUATION 8: Can HNC time-out start after recovery time is concluded and the wrestler wants to return to competition? RULING: No, if the wrestler is unable to continue after recovery time has concluded, an HNC time-out shall not be used to continue the examination to allow the wrestler additional time to recover. (5-28-3)

SITUATION 9: Can injury time start after recovery time is concluded and the wrestler wants to return to competition? RULING: No, if the wrestler is unable to continue after recovery time has concluded, an injury time-out shall not be used to continue the examination to allow the wrestler additional time to recover. (8-2-2)

SITUATION 10: If injury time starts, and the athletic trainer (an appropriate health-care provider) determines that this is a head, neck involving cervical column and/or nervous system (HNC) situation, what are the correct procedures? RULING: The clock continues to the five-minute limit for the HNC as requested. The referee will correct the injury time to HNC time-out. The wrestler is not charged for taking an injury time. (5-28-6)

SITUATION 11: If HNC time-out is started by the referee, and then the AHCP states the wrestler is fine and there was no need for HNC to be used, what is the procedure? Can the coach request that the HNC be recorded as an injury time-out? RULING: [It is prudent that the referee not make a medical diagnosis and wait for the AHCP to evaluate the injured wrestler.] Yes, if the examination did not exceed the allowable 1 1/2 minutes for injury time, then the referee can make the correction; however, if the examination exceeded the 1:30 limit, then the match is defaulted. (3-1-2)

SITUATION 12: If either wrestler begins to bleed during injury, recovery or HNC time, what is the proper procedure? RULING: Blood time-out will take precedence in all situations. The injury, recovery or HNC time is stopped, and the blood time clock begins for the bleeding individual. Once the blood time-out is stopped the wrestler may continue on the original stoppage of the clock and it is a continuation of the time-out stoppage; it does not count as an additional time-out. For example, injury time stopped at :25 seconds as the blood clock starts and ends with :30 seconds of blood time that is recorded. The wrestler may go back to injury time if needed. This is the procedure no matter who is injured or who is bleeding. (8-2-8)

SITUATION 13: Are coaches and team personnel restricted to the bench/chairs only while the mat clock is running? RULING: No, coaches and team personnel are also restricted to the bench/ chairs, but also during normal out of bounds and resumption of wrestling. The coach may move toward the mat only during one of the charged timeouts or at the conclusion of the match. (7-5-2)

SITUATION 14: Do knee pads require permission from the referee to be worn? RULING: Yes, knee pads fall under special equipment and shall be approved by the referee prior to the match starting. (4-3-1)

SITUATION 15: Does the appropriate health-care provider (AHCP) have to provide written documentation to the referee or meet administrator to return a concussed wrestler to competition? RULING: No, there is no rule support requiring written permission to return to competition, but a state association may choose to make this a requirement. (8-2-4)

SITUATION 16: Can ear guards have one manufacturer’s logo on the left side and one logo on the right side? RULING: Yes, ear guards are considered one piece of uniform/equipment with two important components that make up the ear guards. Ear guards may have one manufacturer’s logo/trademark/ reference on each ear cup, similar to the logos on wrestling shoes. However, the ear guards are not allowed to have their logo/trademark/reference on the straps or on the chin cup of the ear guards; nor any promotional or advocacy references. (4-1-4)

SITUATION 17: Is stalling called differently in the ultimate tiebreaker than other periods? RULING: The ultimate tiebreaker presents a different expectation when it comes to stalling. The referee should consider that the offensive wrestler does not have to score to win and can win by controlling the defensive wrestler for 30 seconds. 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 in an effort to prevent the defensive wrestler from scoring, a stalemate should be called immediately. If the offensive wrestler uses a similar tactic again, stalling should be called and penalized accordingly. (6-7)

SITUATION 18: If a wrestler fails to make weight while wearing a two-piece uniform, is the wrestler allowed to change into an approved one-piece singlet to attempt to make weight? RULING: No, the wrestler must immediately step on each available scale and cannot engage in activities that promote weight loss or weight gain. (4-5-3)

SITUATION 19: If an appropriate health-care provider (AHCP) is not present, is the wrestler immediately removed from competition? RULING: No, the rule requires immediate removal of the wrestler if the wrestler exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion. Not all head, neck involving cervical column and/or nervous system (HNC) injuries are part of concussion protocols. (8-2-4)

SITUATION 20: If a state association decides not to adopt the new wrestling weight classes until the 2023-24 season, what weight classes does the state use for boys and girls wrestlers? RULING: A state association is not required to move immediately to the new 2023-24 wrestling weight (3) classes for boys and girls. The state association would use the current 14 weight classes that are for wrestlers (boys and/or girls). The current weight classes are: 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285. (4-4-1)