Wrestling Rules Interpretations - 2020-21

By NFHS on October 20, 2020 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 © 2020

SITUATION 1: During weigh-ins, the referee notices that a wrestler has braided hair that extends below his or her shoulders. The wrestler reports to the scale without hair cover or a legal hair cover device. In this situation, should the referee allow the wrestler to weigh-in? RULING: Yes, Rule 4-2-1 allows a wrestler to wear braided hair and allows a wrestler to have long hair.

SITUATION 2: A wrestler with long hair presents a hair cover that is not attached to ear guards to the referee for approval. Can the referee approve this special equipment? RULING: No, Rule 4-2-1 requires all legal hair covers to be attached to the ear guards.

SITUATION 3: A wrestler’s legal hair-controlled device (rubber band) breaks during the match. He/she asks for a referee’s time-out to find another rubber band. RULING: No. Rule 4-2-1 has removed the hair length requirement. The length of a wrestler’s hair is no longer an issue per rule.

SITUATION 4: Team B has two female wrestlers. Is Team B required to inform Team A that it will be bringing female wrestlers so a separate weigh-in area can be set up. RULING: No, Rule 4-5-7 requires all wrestlers to weigh-in together regardless of gender.

SITUATION 5: A wrestler from Team A reports to the scale wearing shorts designed for wrestling and a suitable undergarment. Is this wrestler allowed to weigh-in? RULING: No, Rule 4-5-7 requires all contestants to be wearing a legal uniform.

SITUATION 6: During the third period, the defensive wrestler is penalized for a fourth offense for stalling. The referee allows the match to continue and awards the offensive wrestler two points. After the match is stopped for out of bounds, the coach of the offensive wrestler informs the referee that bad time occurred -- when awarding two points for stalling -- and not giving their wrestler choice. Is the coach correct? RULING: Yes, Rule 8-1-4 requires the referee to stop the match and award two points and give choice of position to the offended wrestler.

SITUATION 7: Wrestler A in the neutral position goes out of bounds to avoid being taken down, but Wrestler B is successful in scoring the takedown and is awarded two points. The coach of Wrestler B goes to the table and asks the referee why the one point for fleeing was not awarded? Should Wrestler B receive one point for fleeing the mat and two points for the takedown? RULING: No, Rule 7-3-1 does not allow awarding one point for fleeing the mat if takedown points have been earned.

SITUATION 8: What is the penalty if a wrestler has both shoes on with laces secured but not tied up to the top eyelets? RULING: A technical violation shall be charged. (4-1-5, 7-3-5)

SITUATION 9: If a wrestler chooses to wear a legal hair-control device and it breaks and the wrestler wants to re-secure his or her hair, which time-out should be charged? RULING: A referee’s time-out. (3-1-6)

SITUATION 10: Does the imminent scoring apply to a blood time situation? RULING: No, Rule 8-12-9 only addresses injury time, not blood time.

SITUATION 11: Does the imminent scoring rule apply to a fourth offense for stalling? RULING: No, Rule 8-1-4 requires the match to be stopped on the fourth offense.

SITUATION 12: During weigh-ins, are wrestlers wearing singlets required to weigh-in with straps up or down for skin checks? RULING: Rule 4-5-7 requires wrestlers to weigh-in wearing a legal uniform. There is also no requirement for straps being down during weigh-ins. Weigh-ins and skin checks are two separate and distinct actions.

SITUATION 13: During weigh-ins, a wrestler who is wearing a form-fitted compression shirt is suspected by the on-site appropriate health-care professional to have a communicable skin disease. Does the wrestler have to remove his shirt for a skin check? RULING: Yes, Rule 4-2-3 requires if the on-site meet appropriate health-care professional suspects a communicable skin disease, he/she has the authority to examine the wrestler prior to or immediately after the weigh-in.

SITUATION 14: A wrestler receiving a forfeit gets to count the forfeit as a win on his/her record. Does the opponent who forfeits the match count this as a loss on his/her record. RULING: No, Rule 5-17-2 states that a match begins when the proper wrestler reports to the scorer’s table, so there cannot be a loss if a wrestler does not begin a match. (5-13)

SITUATION 15: Can a medical release form submitted by a contestant be overruled by a designated on-site meet, appropriate health-care professional? RULING: Yes. (4-2-4)

SITUATION 16: During the blind draw for a dual meet, the 113-pound weight class was chosen. The weigh-in starts at the 113-pound weight class. A wrestler from Team A is overweight for the 106-pound weight class. Is this wrestler eligible for the 113-pound weight even though he/she did not weigh-in for that weight class? RULING: Yes, Rule 4-5-8 dictates that a contestant who fails to make weight may wrestle in the weight class for which his or her actual weight qualifies. An additional weigh-in is neither required nor allowed.

SITUATION 17: Are coaches penalized for wrestlers who appear at the scorer’s table not properly equipped? RULING: No, Rules 3-1-4d and 3-1-5d require coaches to verify that their teams are properly equipped but does not impose a penalty on the coaches if the teams are not properly equipped. '

SITUATION 18: Are wrestlers entitled to receive water when a coach has requested a conference with the referee at the scorer’s table, or is this considered unsportsmanlike conduct? RULING: No, there is no rule prohibiting either wrestler from receiving water during a conference between the coach and referee.

SITUATION 19: Can a referee wear gloves or long sleeves during a wrestling match? RULING: Yes, Rule 1-1-2 allows state associations to make reasonable accommodations as well as those individuals with unique and extenuating circumstances. The COVID-19 pandemic would qualify as a unique circumstance as well as any government mandate.

SITUATION 20: Can a referee use an electronic whistle or a whistle cover device? RULING: Yes, Rule 1-1-2 allows state associations to make reasonable accommodations as well as those individuals with unique and extenuating circumstances. The COVID-19 pandemic would qualify as a unique circumstance as well as any government mandate.