At its April 6-8 meeting in Indianapolis, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Wrestling Rules Committee added another maneuver to the list of potentially dangerous holds in high school wrestling.
The new potentially dangerous hold occurs when a wrestler, from a standing position, is placed in a body lock with one or both arms trapped and then is lifted and is unable to use his arm(s) to break the fall.
“The rear standing position with a trapped arm should be considered potentially dangerous and should be monitored very closely by the referee,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and student services and liaison to the Wrestling Rules Committee. “Coaches, officials and competitors should be aware of the potential for injury in this situation if the defensive wrestler is returned to the mat and has no arm available to break the fall.”
The committee also approved a change in Rule 5-11-2 that will award penalty point(s) to the offensive wrestler in situations where the defensive wrestler exhibits inappropriate behavior in order to avoid being pinned.
Rule 5-11-2(i) will now read, “. . . when a defensive wrestler commits a technical violation, applies an illegal hold/maneuver, commits unnecessary roughness or unsportsmanlike act during an imminent or near fall situation, the offensive wrestler shall be awarded a penalty point(s) in addition to the near fall points in accordance with (subarticles) f-h at the next stoppage.”
“The committee felt that when the defensive wrestler uses unethical techniques to avoid being pinned, the offensive wrestler should not only be awarded the near fall or fall points, but should be awarded the appropriate penalty point(s) for that transgression at the next stoppage of the match,’ Hopkins said.
These rules changes recommended by the Wrestling Rules Committee were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
A complete listing of all rules changes will be available soon on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page, and select “Wrestling.”
Wrestling ranks No. 6 in popularity among boys at the high school level with 258,208 participants, according to the 2014-15 NFHS Athletics Participation Survey. In addition, 11,496 girls were involved in wrestling in 2014-15.