2008-09 NFHS Wrestling Rules Changes

Major Changes

2-2-2: A clarification was made of the existence of a boundary for the coaches' restricted zone on the corner of the wrestling mat.

4-1-5 NEW: The wrestler's uniform is to be worn as intended/designed by the manufacturer.

4-2-1: A wrestler's hair in its natural state, in the front, shall not extend below the eyebrows.

4-2-3: The physician's release form for a wrestler to participate with a particular skin condition is now to be presented at the weigh-in unless a designated, on-site meet physician is present and is able to examine the wrestler immediately after the weigh-in.

4-2-5 NEW: A contestant may have documentation from a physician only indicating a specific condition such as a birthmark or other non-communicable skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, and that documentation is valid for the duration of the season. It is valid with the understanding that a chronic condition could become secondarily infected and may require re-evaluation.

4-5-5: A one-pound weight allowance was added in the event of a school closing due to inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances, where wrestling practice(s) cannot take place due to school policies. The rule change also makes it clear as to who should be notified when weight allowance is justified.

5-1-4; 6-6-1: Previously, the wrong wrestler being given choice in the first 30-second tiebreaker would have been considered bad time. Both situations under Rules 5-1-4 and 6-6-1 are similar and may now be connected equally. The rules now state what exactly takes place in the third period.

5-15-3: The referee now has the option at the edge of the mat to stop wrestling when no action is taking place without penalizing either wrestler and restart the wrestling in the center of the mat.

5-20-5 NOTE NEW: Nothing has changed in the offensive starting position. There is now a time sequence to follow.

5-25-6c NEW; 7-6-6c NEW: Referees now have rules support for a stalling call against a wrestler who repeatedly creates a stalemate situation to simply prevent his/her opponent from scoring and not from his/her own attempt to score.

5-31-1: The head coach will no longer be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct when his/her wrestlers report to the scorer's table not in proper uniform, not properly groomed, not properly equipped or not ready to wrestle.

6-7-1c6: The wrestler whose opponent has been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct at anytime during the match now gets the choice of position for the ultimate tiebreaker. The unsportsmanlike conduct penalty will supersede the first points scored in the regulation match.

7-1-5w NEW: A back flip from the standing position is now an illegal maneuver.

7-4-1: Unnecessary roughness is further defined to include a forceful slap to the head or face, and/or gouging or poking the eyes.

New Referee Signal: A new referee signal has been implemented to indicate when to start recovery time during a match.

Editorial and Other Changes
3-3-2; 4-2-4; 5-15-2b; 5-16-3; 5-22-1; 5-28-1; 6-2-2; 6-6-6; 7-4-3; 8-1-6; 8-2-1; 8-2-8; PHOTOS 2, 3 (New), 31-33 (New), 57 (New), 84, 89.

Points of Emphasis
1. Grooming and Medical Checks
2. Reporting to the Scorer's Table Ready to Wrestle
3. Going Out of the Wrestling Area
4. Referees' Signals and Mechanics