Clarified that a suitable undergarment that provides maximum coverage shall be worn under a one-piece singlet. (4-1-1a) – This rule reinforces the importance of how wrestlers should be required to be properly attired on the mat during competition, regardless of gender. Currently, there is no specific requirement for what a wrestler wears under a singlet. Light colored or white singlets become transparent if an undergarment is not worn underneath. This creates a modesty concern that athletes are revealing more than is appropriate.
Clarified that a suitable undergarment that provides maximum coverage shall be worn under a short designed for wrestling and under compression shorts. (4-1-1b) - This rule reinforces the importance of how wrestlers should be required to be properly attired on the mat during competition, regardless of gender. Currently, there is no specific requirement for what a wrestler wears under shorts that are designed for wrestling and a compression short. Light colored or white singlets become transparent if an undergarment is not worn underneath. This creates a modesty concern that athletes are revealing more than is appropriate.
Clarified that female wrestlers wear an undergarment that completely covers their breast and that all wrestlers wear suitable undergarments that completely covers parts of their body. (4-1-1c Note) – Female wrestlers are required to wear an undergarment that covers the breasts. By adding additional language to minimize the risk of exposure, it is the expectation that the suitable undergarment should provide coverage and support during competition.
Clarified how wrestling shoelaces shall be secured in an acceptable fashion. (4-1-3) – This rule holds the coach and wrestler accountable regarding verification that they have come to the mat properly equipped, and if not, there would be an automatic stalling call issued. This also allows the use of double knotting of the laces as another way to secure the shoes. If the laces become unsecure from the locking device and visible, there is no penalty. If the laces become undone, now there is a stalling call issued.
Clarified what can be displayed on wrestling ear guards. (4-1-4) – The available space on ear guards has become a blank canvas for non-school issued, non-approved promotional logos or references. The intent of NFHS Rule 4 is to maintain the sanctity of the wrestler's uniform and ear guards by not allowing images that detracts from school-issued equipment and uniforms.
Modified the hair rule and identified inappropriate hair control items. (4-2-1) – The term "well groomed" is extremely subjective and there is no standard to meet such an arbitrary expectation. Hair that is manipulated poses no threat to either wrestler. It is neither abrasive nor cumbersome. However, physical hair treatments/control items do present a risk to either wrestler due to the hardness, texture (sharpness) or abrasiveness and should not be allowed.
Clarified what a wrestler shall not wear during a match. (4-3-5) – There is no purpose or function for use of a leg or arm sleeve that does not contain a pad for protection. There is no peer review data or research to support their existence. They are intrusive and do not properly fit all wrestlers.
Clarified what item(s) a female wrestler shall wear at weigh-ins. (4-5-7) – This language specifies that a female wrestler wears item(s) that completely covers their buttocks and breasts.
Clarified the definition of a takedown. (5-25-2) – This rule change eliminates a confusion by some last year. Our rule is not the college rule that if the hands touch the mat, you immediately score a takedown. To be consistent, we say that whenever the hand(s) touch the mat they are considered supporting point(s). By removal of the "majority of the wrestler's weight" criteria, we will eliminate the need for the official to make a judgmental call on weight bearing extremities. In addition, the application of our new rule on "supporting points" becomes consistent throughout the rulebook, not just on or around the 28-foot circle.
Modified the definition of a technical violation. (5-27-1a) – By adding this language, it will clarify that intentionally going off the mat or forcing your opponent off the mat to avoid wrestling would be stalling. If it occurred to avoid being scored upon, it would be considered a technical violation. This technical violation has been underutilized for years, and hopefully this will give officials the tools and the confidence to distinguish between it and stalling.
Clarified the application of a technical violation. (7-3-1) – The current rule for stalling presents a situational conflict for the referee to make one of two calls, fleeing versus stalling for the similar type of action. Fleeing is an automatic point where stalling may be a warning on the first violation and a point on the second violation. This change would allow the referee to only apply the technical violation call of fleeing when the action is related specifically to a scoring situation. All other types of leaving the wrestling area as a means of avoiding wrestling would fall under the rule of stalling.
Modified the definition of stalling. (7-6-6d) – This rule holds the coach and wrestler accountable to verification that they have come to the mat properly equipped. If shoelaces become undone this impedes the flow of the match and the intent of continual action. This also alleviates the burden on the official to determine if it was intentional and or unintentional.
Modified the administration of the stalling penalty. (8-1-3, 4, 5, 6, 7)- Officials need to call stalling more consistently in order to increase the level of aggressive, offensive wrestling. By removing stalling from the progressive penalty sequence, officials will be able to penalize wrestlers more freely without complicating the matter when it is combined with other penalties (locked hands, fleeing, grasping clothing, etc.) Removing the stalling call from the penalty progression will allow officials more freedom to call stalling earlier, more consistently and without hesitation when they feel it is warranted.
Modified to reflect the administration of the new stalling penalty. (Penalty Chart) – The new Penalty Chart is reflective of the removing of the stalling call from the penalty progression. Hopefully, this will allow officials more freedom to call stalling earlier, more consistently and without hesitation when they feel it is warranted.
Modified the rule to extend time to evaluate head, neck and cervical
column injuries. (8-2-4a, b(1), (2), (3)) – This rule allows additional time to evaluate head, neck, cervical column and/or nervous system injuries when an appropriate health-care provider is present. If one is not present, the regular injury time is used. It cannot be used for any other types of injuries.
Modified the tie-breaking criteria in a dual-meet competition. (9-2-2f) – This rule maintains that forfeits should not be encouraged by rules that give the forfeiting team an advantage. Teams should be encouraged to put a wrestler on the mat for every weight class - not penalized by the likelihood of giving up scoring events counting against them (criteria h and beyond).
Modified new signal to indicate that additional time has begun to evaluate head, neck and cervical column injury. (Official’s Signal) – To support the new rule change to indicate that Head/Neck/Cervical Column evaluation time has begun.