Wrestling Rules Interpretations - 2016-17

By NFHS on October 25, 2016 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.
Robert B. Gardner, Publisher, NFHS Publications © 2016

SITUATION 1: Wrestler A reports to the mat with her laces double-knotted and taped together. She is instructed by the referee to correctly secure or replace her shoes within the 1½-minute injury time. RULING: Correct procedure. Rule 4-1-3 states if the shoes have laces, the laces shall be taped to the shoe or secured by a locking device. Rule 7-3-5 also requires one match point to be awarded to the opponent for a technical violation.

SITUATION 2: Wrestler B reports to the mat with a tight-fitting, shortsleeved undershirt of a single, solid color unadorned with no more than one manufacturer’s logo/trademark/reference worn under the one-piece singlet matching the school’s team colors of the singlet. The referee asks the wrestler why he is wearing a undershirt. The wrestler doesn’t have any conditions that require the undershirt. RULING: The wrestler should remove the undershirt. Rule 4-1-1a provides guidance that such a undershirt/singlet combination has to meet a sufficient reason determined by the referee before it is allowed. Rule 7-3-5 also requires one match point to be awarded to the opponent for technical violation and the injury clock will start until the wrestler is properly equipped

SITUATION 3: Wrestler A has purchased a new wrestling “helmet” that is touted as preventing concussions. When he reports to the mat, he is instructed to find proper wrestling earguards before he can continue. RULING: Correct procedure. Rule 4-1-4 states that the wrestling earguards are designed by manufacturers for the sport of wrestling that have rigid and padded earcups which provide for adequate ear protection, no injury hazard to the opponent and an adjustable locking device to prevent it from coming off or turning on the wrestler’s head.

SITUATION 4: Team Bulldogs arrive early at a dual meet to check weight. Some wrestlers are over their weights by a few tenths. They put on multiple layers of clothing, a knit cap and coat and run in the hallways or gym area to shed the few tenths after the weigh-in starts. The meet referee arrives early as well and disqualifies the wrestlers who were running in their hat and coats. RULING: Correct procedure. Anyone running indoors with a hat or a coat is not warming up and should be considered for quick weight reduction. This is prohibited by Rule 4-4-3.

SITUATION 5: The head coach of Team Bulldogs is excited about the move his Wrestler A is applying to Wrestler B. In his excitement, the coach gets out of his chair and moves closer to the action to encourage his wrestler. The referee penalizes the coach for unsportsmanlike conduct. RULING: This is a violation of Rule 7-5-2, which states that coaches are restricted to the chairs/bench while the clock is running and during normal out of bounds and resumption of wrestling. The coach may only move toward the mat during a charged time-out or at the end of the match. Rule 7-5-3 requires the coach to be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for violation of Rule 7-5-2.

SITUATION 6: The 103-pound wrestler for Team Python brings a skin lesion documentation from his doctor stating that his lesion (ringworm) is under the doctor’s treatment, which permits the wrestler to compete. However, during the skin check, it is noticed by the referee that the skin lesion (ringworm) appears to be very active. There is no on-site health care professional to re-evaluate the skin lesion and the referee does not allow the wrestler to compete. RULING: Correct procedure. Rules 3-1-2 and 4-2-3 grant the referee full control of the match and his decisions are final. In addition, the referee has the authority to overrule the diagnosis of an appropriate health-care professional who has signed a medical release form if the skin condition appears to be active. 

SITUATION 7: Wrestler B of Team Black Bears goes back and forth between the junior varsity and varsity squads but never exceeds contest or match limits. On Thursday, Wrestler B wrestles in a junior varsity team event. On Friday, he wrestles in a varsity team event. The coach of Team Black Bears feels that Wrestler B and the other wrestlers are eligible for consecutive day pound allowance. RULING: Rule 4-5-5 states that when there are consecutive days of team competition, there shall be a one-pound additional allowance granted. The key word here is team not individual. (4.5.5 Situation C)

SITUATION 8: In a match in one particular state, Wrestler A is holding Wrestler B with both of his arms trapped as he lifts him off the mat in an attempt to place him in a disadvantageous position back on the mat. The referee immediately stops the match with a potentially dangerous call as soon as the arm trap is applied. RULING: While the NFHS Wrestling Rules Book does not require the match to be stopped immediately, it is the prerogative of each NFHS member state association to instruct officials in their state to stop the match for this move.

SITUATION 9: Wrestler A is frequently going out of the wrestling area and/or forcing Wrestler B out of the wrestling area. Wrestler B’s coach expresses that a technical violation should only be enforced if a wrestler is avoiding a scoring situation. RULING: Rule 7-3-1 states going out of the wrestling area or forcing an opponent out of the wrestling area – by either wrestler at any time as a means of avoiding wrestling – is a technical violation. Both wrestlers should make every effort to remain inbounds. When the referee feels that either wrestler has failed to make every effort to stay inbounds, the offending wrestler shall be penalized. 

SITUATION 10: Team Antelopes are “takedown specialists,” with their strategy being to take their opponent down frequently and out-point them as opposed to securing a fall. The opponent questions when the defensive wrestler stands, how long does the offensive wrestler have to either release the defensive wrestler or work to return to the mat? The rule does not specify a time, but it is clear that the offensive wrestler has to work to secure a fall or release the defensive wrestler and attempt to secure a takedown. RULING: Rule 7-6-4 states it is stalling when the contestant in the advantage position does not wrestle aggressively and attempt to secure a fall, except when the wrestler intentionally releases the opponent in order to thereafter immediately attempt to secure a takedown.