West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker, National Wrestling Hall of Famer
and Rick Welker

New Weight Classes

As every wrestling enthusiast knows, this year we have been introduced to new weight classes for scholastic wrestlers. They are as follows:

106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220, 285

Throughout the season, I have heard both positive and negative remarks regarding the new weight classifications. The biggest complaint from coaches is the fact that one middle weight class was eliminated where they felt most wrestlers were located. What they don't understand is the amount of work, time, and research that the National Federation State High School Association (NFHS) wrestling rules committee put into the matter.

It's no secret that the wrestling community is, in general, very resistant to change. But change is a fact of life. And this change is based on facts. Allow me to explain.

The NFHS wrestling committee spent nearly four years studying the possibility of creating new weight classes that would benefit everyone concerned. They even recruited the assistance of the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA).

The committee examined the weight classes of nearly 200,000 wrestlers across the country, developing 14 weight classes where about seven percent of wrestlers competed in each weight classification. Furthermore, every state athletic association was kept well informed about the four-year study. They were also given numerous opportunities to give their input.

So, folks, let's wait and see how everything works out.

Keep in mind William Drayton's quote: "Change starts when someone sees the next step."

Unnecessary Roughness

Any intentional act that is hazardous to an opponent's physical well being is considered unnecessary roughness.

Furthermore, if a hold is utilized for the sole purpose of punishment alone, the referee may see fit to declare unnecessary roughness.

Such offenses as striking, pushing, shoving, a swinging crossface, elbowing, and forceful tripping are just some examples of this infraction.

The normal progression of penalties is as follows:
" First Offense: One match point for the opponent
" Second Offense: One match point for the opponent
" Third Offense: Two Match points for the opponent
" Fourth Offense: Disqualification

Please note, if an official believes the infraction to be totally inexcusable, he can invoke the "flagrant misconduct" rule.

The flagrant misconduct results in the immediate and automatic disqualification of the wrestler. He is penalized three team points and if it is in a tournament, he losses all team points scored in the event, including placement points.

Certainly, a sucker punch to the jaw or head butt would come under the flagrant misconduct category.

Mini-Mat Quiz
Q: Wrestler A shoots a hard double-leg, causing Wrestler B to hit his head on the mat forcefully when taken down. The match had to be stopped to check on Wrestler B's physical well being. Would this be considered unnecessary roughness on the part of Wrestler A?
A: Wrestler A would not be penalized for unnecessary roughness. A hard double-leg takedown is a perfectly legal maneuver, similar to a hard tackle in football. Mat Message

"He who believes that the past cannot be changed has not yet written his memoirs."
-- Torvald Gahlin

Return to the West Virginia Mat Thoughts Index Page
Return to the WV-Mat front page