West Virginia Wrestling


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

Weight Class Eligibility: Revisited -- Part II
By Bill Welker, EdD

"A Wrestling Rule Contradiction"

Today, as much as I respect the hard work of the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) rules committee, I have to take issue with one of their rulings.

In my opinion, the National Wrestling Rules Committee is wrong in regards to their interpretation of Wrestling Rule 1-2-5 as expressed in the NFHS Wrestling Casebook. In fact, they contradict themselves. Allow me to explain my case.

To begin with, Rule 1-2-5 reads as follows:

"A wrestler who weighs in for one weight class may be shifted to the next highest weight class, provided it is not more than one weight class above that for which the actual weight qualifies. The exact weight of all contestants shall be recorded and submitted to the official scorer."
Abiding by the rule, below is my example.

Wrestler A is wrestling in a two-day, dual-meet tournament. The first day of the competition Wrestler A weighs 189.5, which makes him eligible for the 215 and 285. On the second day, with the one pound allowance, Wrestler A still weighs 189.5. Can Wrestler A still wrestle at the 285? According to Rule 1-2-5, the answer would be a definitive "No." Because his actual/exact weight (189) makes Wrestler A eligible for the 189 weight class, which is now 190, on the second day of the tournament. Keep in mind that a wrestler can only compete in one weight class above his actual/exact weight. Thus, Wrestler A would only be eligible for 190 and 216, but not 285 or heavyweight on the second day of the dual-meet competition.

So, what's the wrestling oxymoron? It's found in the casebook ruling on pp. 19-20 which is written below (Italics sections added for clarification.).

4.5.5 Situation B: "On the first day of a two-day (dual-meet) tournament, a wrestler weighs 189.5 pounds thereby qualifying for the 215-pound weight class (as well as 285). On the second day of the (dual-meet) tournament (with the one-pound allowance), the wrestler (again) weighs 189.5 pounds (which now qualifies him for the 190-pound weight class). Is the wrestler still qualified for the 285-pound class?

Ruling: "Yes, wrestlers get an additional pound for each day of a (dual-meet) tournament (which, in essence, changes the weight classes one pound higher); however, the wrestler has qualified for the 215-pound weight class on the first day of the (dual-meet) tournament and is eligible to wrestle at 215 or 285 pounds. The wrestler does not have to weigh more than 190 pounds in order to qualify for the 285-pound class on the second day." Huh?

Did someone forget the exact/actual weight Rule 1-2-5? A wrestler can NEVER be eligible for three weight classes based on his exact/actual weight - only two! The above ruling qualifies the wrestler for 190, 216, and 285. That can't happen!

The casebook ruling is in direct contradiction to Rule 1-2-5 and, in my knowledgeable opinion, MUST be changed in the casebook.

Don't you agree?

Mat Message
"All glory comes from daring to begin."
-- Eugene F. Ware

(Dr. Bill Welker can be reached via e-mail at: mattalkwv@hotmail.com)
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