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4th Annual Best High School Girls Programs in California Top-30 List

First, let me apologize for not posting as often as I usually do, I’ve been dealing with some issues that have made it challenging for me to sit down and get as many things up onto the site as I would like. I have also been finishing up a project that I have been working on for the past couple of years and which I believe is finally ready for me to unveil in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, it’s about time I release the 4th Annual Best High School Girls Programs in California Top-30 List. This year it’s much earlier than last year’s (which I posted in August) but still not as early as I would like (I would like to shoot for April next season).

Albany HS has moved up to the number 3 spot this year. Northview seems unmovable from the number 1 spot, sending multiple wrestlers to state every year. The biggest jump in the rankings come from Menlo Atherton (from 19 to 10) and Beaumont (32 to 23). I’m please to say that girls wrestling continues to grow at a healthy pace and that is reflected in my list where more and more schools seem to be trading spots every year. But enough of my blabbering.

In 2011, when the first official CIF girls wrestling state championships took place, 154 schools participated. In 2019, with the increase from 25 to 32 wrestlers per weight class, a total of 263 schools competed (an increase of 43 schools over last year). Since that first championship tournament, 541 different schools have sent at least one wrestler to represent them. This year, 50 schools that had not sent a single wrestler to the tournament since 2011 were represented by at least one! Programs have come and gone but a few have continued to thrive year after year.

Inevitably, at the end of each season the question gets asked, which are the best high school girls wrestling programs in California? This is not a question that is answered as easily as one might think. What are the criteria that should be used to decide? Does the number of individual champions trump the number of team championships? Does a team with acclaimed consistent coaching out-rank one from a school that has supported girls wrestling year after year but has been unable to find staff that will stay longer than a season or two?  And, is a program with a single wrestler that places at state better than a one that sends 6 wrestlers that do not place? Some coaches have even commented that the number of boys sent to their respective state championships should be included when deciding, in effect throwing the girls back into the fold that they have tried to separate themselves from for so long.

As difficult as the question may be to answer, I have decided to make an attempt at doing just that. In the year’s best list, I have taken 2 factors into consideration and given them point values. The first is the number of wrestlers sent to state. The second is the final top-8 placings of wrestlers, giving a higher value to higher placings.

I have also included an All-time best program list. The method I used to decide who goes on that list is to simply take the points accumulated by a program in each year and add them up. There are 3 points of contention I expect to hear:

  1. The fact that I only go back to 2011 in my rankings, when the first CIF-sanctioned state championship was held, there may be some who believe a certain program is not being recognized because I did not go back far enough in time. To those who feel that way, I apologize and can only say that I wish getting hold of records from earlier dates was as easy as getting them since the time CIF recognized the sport.
  2. There will be those who feel the programs at the top of the list are there because they dominated the sport when the competition was not as developed as it now is and it will be difficult to catch up to them. My response to that is, a program cannot rest on its laurels it must continue to work, even if it no longer dominates the state championships, every wrestler it sends to state cements its standing atop the list (and sending wrestlers to state is no longer a cakewalk). As for a program being unable to catch-up, I believe this sport is here to stay, I think there is plenty of time for the All-time list to see some changes (pun intended).
  3. Some will wonder why some schools are not in the top 30 when they have had a dominant wrestler, for example Gabby Garcia (Valencia of Placentia)— a 4-time state champion (2013-2016). Unfortunately, even though Miss Garcia is a legend in her own right, a single wrestler cannot constitute a top program. Schools can build a successful program out of having a single dominant wrestler but the program, to be considered a top program, in my opinion, needs to continue to produce results beyond that single wrestler.

As I said at the opening, there have been 491 different schools that have competed at state since 2011, for the sake brevity I will only list the top-30 in both the year and the all-time list but I will give as much context and justification as possible to each listing. I hope you enjoy this list and see it as my humble effort to continue to celebrate and record the history of this great sport. If someone disagrees with my lists or methods please feel free to contact me, I will be more than happy to discuss differing viewpoints but the bottom line is that these ranking are a product of what I consider the most important factors in rating a successful program and they may be very different from other people’s.

Section codes are as follow:

  • Central Coast Section, CCS
  • Central Section, CS
  • Los Angeles City Section, LACS
  • North Coast Section, NCS
  • Sac-Joaquin Section, SJS
  • San Diego Section, SDS
  • Southern Section, SS

Top-30 All-time Best High School Girls Wrestling Programs in California (as of 2019)

In the table below, along with the school’s all-time ranking, I have also included their all-time ranking prior to the end of the 2018-2019 season, the total number of wrestlers they have sent to the state championships, as well as the total number of placers the school has had since 2011.

Rank School Section All-time Ranking Previous Season Total Wrestlers to Have Competed Total Placers (including Champions) Total Top-3 Placers (including Champions) Total Champions
1 Northview SS 1 68 22 15 3
2 Selma CS 2 43 21 12 11
3 Albany NCS 5 41 15 9 4
4 West Covina SS 3 37 6 10 5
5 James Logan NCS 4 35 17 6 2
6 Birmingham LACS 11 30 14 8 4
7 San Fernando LACS 17 45 7 5 1
8 Corona SS 7 25 15 6 0
9 Jesse Bethel SJS 6 26 2 6 1
10 Menlo-Atherton CCS 19 24 12 5 2
11 Pioneer Valley CS 9 34 6 2 1
12 Hillcrest SS 9 28 15 4 0
13 Del Oro SJS 12 30 10 4 3
13 Enochs SJS 7 16 12 8 4
15 Walnut SS 18 27 9 4 0
16 Benicia NCS 13 19 9 7 2
17 Tokay SJS 15 29 7 4 0
18 Santa Ana SS 14 28 6 3 1
19 Terra Nova CCS 15 28 8 2 0
20 Newark Memorial NCS 20 24 4 3 2
21 Steele Canyon SDS 21 26 5 1 0
22 Santa Paula SS 22 24 6 0 0
23 Beaumont SS 32 20 5 1 1
24 Bella Vista SJS 35 10 8 6 3
25 Porterville CS 23 19 4 2 0
25 San Dimas SS 28 17 6 2 0
27 Millikan SS 24 21 7 1 0
28 Lincoln-Stockton SJS 26 15 4 3 2
29 Overfelt CCS 25 19 2 3 2
29 Santa Monica SS 32 11 5 5 2

Top-30 Best High School Girls Programs in California of the 2018-2019 Season

In the table below, I have listed the top-30 programs out of the 263 schools that participated in the state championships of the 2018-2019 wrestling season. I have also included the programs’ all-time ranking as of the end of the season.

Something that might be noticed, my formulation does not guarantee a top-spot by simply having a champion, though it does help. The best way to insure a high ranking in the list is to send a large delegation and to get as many placers as possible.

Rank School Section All-time Ranking After 2018-2019 Season Competing Wrestlers Champions Top-3 Placers (including Champions) Placers (including Champions)
1 San Fernando LACS 7 13 0 2 3
2 Birmingham LACS 6 9 0 2 4
3 Menlo-Atherton CCS 10 7 1 2 4
4 Albany NCS 3 7 0 1 4
5 Northview SS 1 4 0 1 3
6 Norte Vista SS 101 (tied) 3 1 2 2
7 Monroe, James LACS 75 (tied) 4 0 1 2
8 Walnut SS 15 5 0 1 1
8 Corona SS 8 4 0 0 2
10 Arroyo-N NCS 132 (tied) 2 1 1 2
10 McClatchy SJS 94 (tied) 2 1 1 2
12 Liberty NCS 44 (tied) 4 0 1 1
12 Selma CS 2 4 0 0 2
12 Newark Memorial NCS 20 4 0 1 1
12 Silver Creek CCS 40 (tied) 2 0 1 2
16 Orland (N) SJS 143 (tied) 3 1 1 1
16 Cerritos SS 97 (tied) 3 0 0 2
16 Mt. Whitney CS 88 (tied) 2 0 1 2
16 La Costa Canyon SDS 132 (tied) 2 0 1 2
20 Clovis CS 223 (tied) 2 0 1 2
20 Westminster SS 90 (tied) 2 0 1 2
20 Bella Vista SJS 24 2 1 1 2
20 Beaumont SS 23 2 0 0 2
24 Fremont CCS 231 (tied) 4 0 0 1
24 Folsom SJS 70 (tied) 2 0 1 2
24 Yucaipa SS 231 (tied) 2 1 1 1
24 Rowland SS 78 (tied) 2 1 1 1
28 Del Oro SJS 13 (tied) 4 0 0 2
28 Durham SJS 252 (tied) 4 0 0 1
28 Ayala SS 97 (tied) 2 0 1 1
28 Norco SS 252 (tied) 2 0 0 2
28 Escalon SJS 155 (tied) 2 0 1 1

College Wrestling Programs Page Updated

Hello everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I have updated the College Wrestling Programs page and made some changes to it.

Now that women’s wrestling has become an NAIA invitational sport, I have given the NAIA school their own section I have added a notation indicating when the last time (if ever) that school competed in the WCWA national tournament.

The WCWA section will continue to have all WCWA schools not taking part in the NAIA national Tournament.

I have removed the U Sports schools. When I started the site, the number of collegiate programs in the U.S. were low enough that, I felt that making wrestlers aware of opportunities to compete in Canada was justified. But, I no longer feel that way, as there are new programs being added every year.

Finally, I have made no changes to the NCWA section.

I hope the page, the most popular on the site will continue to be of use, as a starting point, to all wrestlers looking to continue their academic and athletic careers at the collegiate level.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

Three More Women’s Wrestling Programs to Start in 2019

New Jersey City University

New Jersey City University, in Jersey City, New Jersey, has announced it will be adding women’s wrestling, as a club sport starting in the 2019-2020 season, before being elevated to full varsity status in Fall 2020.

NJCU, as it is also known, is a public liberal arts university. It consists of the NJCU School of Business, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, and College of Professional Studies and 41 undergraduate study and 27 graduate degree programs. Its urban 46-acre campus serves over 8,500 students

“…wrestling is one of the fastest growing women’s sports in the United States and the world. With the introduction of the sport at our institution, we will be positioned well to capitalize on the movement and be at the forefront as leaders in another women’s sport, giving new opportunities to female student-athletes.”

Dr. Sue Henderson, NJCU President

A nationwide search for the Gothic Knights’s inaugural head coach is currently taking place. NJCU is an NCAA Div. III school, which leads me to believe they will be competing in the WCWA though the school’s announcement made no mention of the association. If you would like to find out more about the school, please visit itssite.

Life Pacific College

I don’t like posting about programs starting when the schools have not issued an official announcement. I have, in the past, posted prematurely only to end up disappointing those who had trusted my post. However, I am breaking my policy, with this next school, because a Southern Section coach, with a tradition of supporting girls wrestling, just had his daughter commit to the school. On top of that, The California Wrestler reported that Life Pacific had hired Menlo College Assistant Coach, Javier Gonzalez, as its program’s inaugural head coach. So, I’m feeling confident this program will come to fruition.

Life Pacific College is located in San Dimas, California, and according to Coach Gonzalez, the team will begin competing during the 2019-2020 season.

The school is a private Christian bible college associated with the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. It offers two associate and six undergraduate degrees. The campus serves around 700 students.

I have always been of the belief that everyone deserves to wrestle. The amazing lessons and values that wrestling brings to young people should be afforded all regardless of gender. I am amazed of the growth of the sport in last 5 years and believe that the California wrestling community needs to continue and encourage young female athletes to pursue high school and college wrestling.

Javier Gonzalez, Life Pacific College Women’s Wrestling Head Coach

The Warriors compete in the NAIA. At this time, there is no word on whether the program will compete in the WCWA. If you would like to learn more about the school, please visit itssite.

Santa Rosa Junior College

Another school that has not made an official announcement but which I am choosing to believe will be sponsoring a women’s wrestling program starting in the 2019-2020 season is Santa Rosa Junior College. I’m choosing to believe the information because it’s coming from its inaugural head coach, Shane Roberts, another coach with a proven track record in girls wrestling.

Santa Rosa Junior College is located in Santa Rosa, California. The school was modeled as a feeder school for the University of California system and offers a wide variety of associate degrees. The 80-acre campus serves over 36,000 students.

According to Coach Roberts, the Bear Cubs will be competing in the WCWA. If you would like to learn more about the school, please visit its site. If you would like to learn more about the program, you can contact Coach Shane Roberts.

Exciting Times for California Collegiate Wrestling

With these two programs, California will have at least four sponsored collegiate women’s wrestling by the end of the 2019-2020 season and that is awesome! It is something supporters of California girls wrestling have been clamoring for! I have a feeling that the flood gates are about to open! I look forward to many more programs being announced in the coming years.

As always good luck to all three of the new programs in their first year of competition and thank you for giving the athletes the opportunity to pursue both their academic and athletic dreams.

Great Showing for California at the 2019 US Open

22 Placers for the Golden State

The 2019 edition of the US Open took place this past weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada and the California wrestlers who competed did not disappoint. We had 22 placers.

Of those 22, three received berths for the Final X Series while another became an automatic finalist at the World Team Trials Challenge. Nine other California wrestlers qualified to compete at the World Team Trials Challenge, taking place in Raleigh, North Carolina, May 17-19.

Below is a list of the placers. Native California wrestlers are denoted in blue.

50 kg
1 Whitney Conder – Final X berth
2 Erin Golston – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
3 Victoria Anthony – Southern Section Alumna – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
4 Haley Augello – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
5 Amy Fearnside – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
6 Emily Shilson
7 Alleida Martinez
8 Maria Vidales

53 kg
1 Tiare Ikei – World Team Trials Challenge Finalist
2 Katherine Shai – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
3 Gracie Figueroa – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
4 Cody Pfau – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
5 Peyton Prussin – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
6 Marissa Ritchie
7 Madison Angelito
8 Kierstien Bush

55 kg
1 Jacarra Winchester – Southern Section Alumna – Final X berth
2 Areana Villaescusa – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
3 Dominique Parrish – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
4 Alisha Howk – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
5 Shauna Isbell-Kemp – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
6 Alexandra Hedrick
7 Ronna Heaton
8 Samantha Klingel

57 kg
1 Becka Leathers – Final X berth
2 Jenna Burkert – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
3 Cameron Guerin – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
4 Kelsey Campbell – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
5 Allison Petix – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
6 Koral Sugiyama
7 Dajan Treder
8 Sierra Brown-Ton

59 kg
1 Alli Ragan – Final X berth
2 Abigail Nette – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
3 Lauren Mason – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
4 Lauren Louive – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
5 Megan Black – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
6 Maya Porter
7 Daishea Jaime – Southern Section Alumna
8 Alayna Swilley

62 kg
1 Kayla Miracle – World Team Trials Challenge Finalist
2 Desiree Zavala – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
3 Alexis Porter – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
4 Brenda Reyna – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
5 Alexandria Liles – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
6 Amber Strong
7 Natalia Hinojo
8 Bridgette Duty

65 kg
1 Forrest Molinari – Final X berth
2 Maya Nelson – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
3 Macey Kilty – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
4 Nicole Joseph – Southern Section Alumna – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
5 Destiny Lyng – San Diego Section Alumna – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
6 Julia Salata
7 Gabrielle Garcia – Southern Section Alumna
8 Melissa Jacobs N

68 kg
1 Randi Beltz – World Team Trials Challenge Finalist
2 Jayden Laurent – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
3 Ashlynn Ortega – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
4 Kayla Marano – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
5 Skylar Grote – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
6 Anna Naylor
7 Marilyn Garcia – LA City Section Alumna
8 Ophelia Lara – Southern Section Alumna

72 kg
1 Alyvia Fiske – Final X berth
2 Victoria Francis – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
3 Iman Kazem – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
4 Lena Flanagan – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
5 Rachel Watters – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
6 Alexis Gomez
7 Dymond Guilford – Southern Section Alumna
8 Myranda Velazquez

76 kg
1 Precious Bell – Southern Section Alumna – World Team Trials Challenge Finalist
2 Hannah Gladden – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
3 Korinahe Bullock – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
4 Nahiela Magee Southern Section Alumna – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
5 Kenya-Lee Sloan – World Team Trials Challenge Qualifier
6 Paige Baynes
7 Payton Rigert
8 Leilani Camargo-Naone

Congratulations to all the placers and good luck to all the wrestlers moving on to the trials challenge, whether directly to the finals or having to compete in the tournament. And finally, congratulation to the wrestlers who earned the Final X berth, you are one step closer to making the world team!

Rule Changes for the 2019-2020 Season

Rumor has it Head Coverings are a Thing of the Past… not so Fast

The NFHS, the organization that oversees the wrestling rules CIF uses, has released its rule changes for the upcoming 2019-2020 season. Below you will find the changes. Removed language will be crossed out. Added language will be in red.

4-1-1a

The rule that deals with what a legal uniform consists of will now read:

A one-piece singlet cut no lower in the back or front than the level of the armpits and under the arms no lower than one-half the distance between the armpit and belt line. A suitable undergarment, which completely covers the buttocks and groin area, shall be worn under a one-piece singlet. Any other undergarment worn under the one-piece singlet which extends beyond the inseam shall be tight-fitting and shall not extend below the knee. The one-piece singlet may be worn with full-length tights with stirrups. Any other undergarment worn under the one-piece singlet which extends beyond the inseam shall be tight-fitting and shall not extend below the knee. The one-piece singlet shall be school-issued.

NOTE: Female contestants wearing a one-piece singlet shall wear a form-fitted compression suitable undergarment that completely covers their breasts.

Reason: Currently, there is no specific requirement for what a wrestler wears under a singlet. Light colored or white singlets become transparent if an undergarment is not worn underneath. This creates a modesty concern that athletes are revealing more than is appropriate.

4-4-1b

A legal uniform consists of:

b. Compression shorts or shorts designed for wrestling shall…snaps, buttons or pockets. A suitable undergarment, which completely covers the buttocks and groin area must shall be worn under shorts designed for wrestling and compression shorts. Shorts designed for wrestling may be worn over the singlet. Compression shorts or shorts designed for wrestling may be worn with a form-fitted compression shirt. Compression shorts or shorts designed for wrestling shall be school-issued.

Reason: suitable undergarments are required to be worn under shorts designed for wrestling and compression shorts. The previous version of the rule did not require such undergarments.

4-1-1c

The next change adds language to the following rule:

NOTE: Female contestants wearing a one-piece singlet shall wear a suitable undergarment that covers their breasts and minimizes the risk of exposure. All contestants wearing a one-piece singlet shall wear a suitable undergarment which completely covers the buttocks and groin area.

Reason: By adding additional language to minimize the risk of exposure, it will raise the expectation that the suitable undergarment should provide coverage and support during competition.

4-1-3

Rule 4-1-3 has had changes to the language as well as a penalty added for violating the rule:

Wrestlers shall wear light heelless wrestling shoes, reaching above the ankles. If the shoes have laces, the laces shall either be taped to
the shoe or secured by a locking device on the wrestling shoe in an
acceptable fashion
. If laces are visible, they shall be secured in an acceptable fashion. If the shoe laces come undone the penalty would be an automatic stalling call.

(NOTE: acceptable secure fashion could be double knotting of the laces)

Reason: This rule holds the coach and wrestler accountable to verification that they have come to the mat properly equipped. This also allows the usage of double knotting of the laces as another way to secure the shoes.

4-1-4

The change deals with branding on ear guards. The rule now reads:

Wrestlers shall wear wrestling ear guards designed by the manufacturer for the sport of wrestling that are rigid and padded, which provide:

a. adequate ear protection;
b. no injury hazard to the opponent; and,
c. an adjustable locking device to prevent it from coming off or turning
on the wrestler’s head.

Any manufacturer’s logo/trademark/reference that appears on the wrestling ear guards including legal hair covering can be no more than 2 1/4 square inches with no dimension more than 2 1/4 inches and may appear no more than once on ear guards. No additional manufacturer’s logo/trademark or promotional reference shall be allowed on the wrestling ear guard.

Reason: The intent of NFHS Rule 4 is to maintain the sanctity of the wrestler’s uniform and ear guards by not allowing impractical images that detract from school-issued equipment and uniforms.

4-2-1

The rule deals with hair and will now read:

During competition all wrestlers shall be clean shaven, with sideburns trimmed no lower than earlobe level. Hair trimmed and well groomed The hair in its natural state, shall not extend below the top of an ordinary shirt collar in the back; and on the sides, the hair shall not extend below earlobe level; in the front, the hair shall not extend below the eyebrows. (Photos 2-3) A neatly trimmed mustache that does not extend below the line of the lower lip shall be permissible. If an individual has hair longer than allowed by rule, it may be braided, or rolled if it is it shall be contained in a cover so that the hair rule is satisfied. (Photo 4) Physical hair treatment items that are hard and /or abrasive such as (beads, bobby pins, barrettes, pins, hair clips, etc. or any other hair control device) shall not be permitted. A legal hair- controlled device such as rubber band(s) shall be secured so as not to come out readily during wrestling. The legal cover shall be attached to the ear guards…at the site. If an individual has facial hair, it must shall be covered with a face mask. All legal hair covers and face masks will be considered as special equipment. If an individual’s hair is as abrasive as an unshaved face, the individual shall be required to shave the head as smooth as a face is required, or wear a legal hair cover.

Reason: The terms trimmed and well-groomed, as well as the description the hair in its natural state, have been removed as the term well-groomed is extremely subjective and there is no standard to meet such an arbitrary expectation.

There has also been in addition to the rule, dealing with hair treatment: Physical hair treatment items that are hard and /or abrasive such as (beads, bobby pins, barrettes, pins, hair clips, etc. or any other hair control device) shall not be permitted. A legal hair- controlled device such as rubber band(s) shall be secured so as not to come out readily during wrestling.

There has been speculation, that this rule change does away with head coverings. This is not true as the requirement for hair covers is still present in the rule

4-3-5

The rule now bans leg and arm sleeves:

Wrestlers may shall not wear wristbands, sweatbands, bicep bands or leg or arm sleeves that do not contain a pad during a match.

Reason: There is no purpose or function for use of a leg or arm sleeve that does not contain a pad for protection. There is no peer review data or research to support their existence. They are intrusive and do not properly fit all wrestlers.

4-5-7

The rule now requires female wrestlers to wear a suitable form fitted compression undergarment that completely covers their breasts during weigh-ins.

All contestants shall weigh-in wearing a suitable undergarment that completely covers the buttocks and the groin area. Female contestants must shall also wear a suitable form fitted compression suitable undergarment that completely covers their breasts. Contestants may wear low cut socks that cannot be removed or added if the wrestlers do not make weight.

Reason: the NFHS believes females wrestlers should use a foundation garment that provides appropriate coverage and support.

5-25-2

A takedown shall be awarded when one or both knees of the defensive wrestler are touching the mat beyond reaction time or when the defensive wrestler’s legs or torso are controlled and the majority of the wrestler’s weight is supported by his hands. (photo 31) wrestler’s hand(s) touch the mat beyond reaction time.

Reason: the change eliminates a double standard that was created when the definition of a takedown was revised last year (majority of the wrestler’s weight is supported by his hands.) By removal of the “majority of the wrestler’s weight” criteria, the need for the official to make a judgmental call on weight bearing extremities is eliminated.

5-27-1a

There are five types of technical violations. Each is penalized without warning as outlined in Rule 7-3.

a. Intentionally going out of the wrestling area or forcing an opponent out of the wrestling area to avoid an imminent scoring situation.

Reason: The addition builds upon last year’s rule change, where pushing and pulling your opponent out of bounds in the neutral position is stalling. This year’s rule change will clarify that intentionally going off the mat or forcing your opponent off the mat to avoid wrestling would be stalling.)

7-3-1

Going out of the wrestling area or forcing an opponent out of the wrestling area, by either wrestler at any time as a means of avoiding wrestling an imminent scoring situation, is a technical violation fleeing the mat. Both wrestlers should make every effort to remain inbounds. When the referee feels that either wrestler has failed to make every effort to stay inbounds during an imminent scoring situation, the offending wrestler shall be penalized for fleeing the mat. There can be no technical violation of fleeing the mat if near-fall points have been earned.

Reason: With the language change if a wrestler leaves the wrestling area or forces the opponent off the wrestling area to avoid an imminent scoring situation the referee’s call must be fleeing and the offending wrestler will be penalized a point. Going out of bounds or pushing an opponent out of bounds when not in an imminent scoring situation would be stalling and only warrant a warning for the first violation and a point for the second violation.

7-6-6d

It is stalling when either wrestler:

Sub-articles a-c remain the same.

d. Shoelaces become undone

Reason: It is now considered stalling if a wrestler’s shoelaces become undone.

8-1-3

Penalties and Warnings are cumulative throughout the match. Each infraction has its specific penalty. The penalty for an illegal hold/maneuver, technical violation (except false start or incorrect starting position), unnecessary roughness and wrestler’s unsportsmanlike conduct in the match is awarding the opponent of the offender one match point on the first and second offenses and two match points on the third offense. A fourth offense shall result in disqualification. The first call for stalling will receive a warning prior to the opponent of the offender being awarded a match point. The first two calls for a false start or incorrect starting position will be receive cautions. Following the two cautions, one match point will be awarded to the opponent of the offender for each subsequent violation. (See Penalty Chart)

Reason: the change removes stalling from the progressive penalty sequence. Which will allow referees to call stalling more frequently without the complications that come with it, when combined with other penalties where four offenses will end in the wrestler’s disqualification.

8-1-4

Warnings and Penalties for stalling are cumulative throughout the match and are penalized independent of the progressive penalty chart. On the first offense the wrestler will receive a warning. The opponent of the offender will be awarded one match point on the second and third offense, two match points and choice of position on the next restart for the fourth offense. A fifth offense shall result in disqualification. (See Penalty Chart)

Reason: the new rule goes more into detail as to how stalling is penalized as its own independent violation: Warnings and Penalties for stalling are cumulative throughout the match and are penalized independent of the progressive penalty chart.

8-2-4a, b1,2,3

a. Any contestant who exhibit signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion (such as loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion or balance problems) shall be immediately removed from the match and shall not return to competition until cleared by an appropriate health-care professional. (See NFHS Suggested Guidelines for Management of Concussion in Sports, in Appendix B.)

b. The following modifications to injury time-outs will be used in all competition regarding injuries to the head and neck involving cervical column and/or nervous system:

(1) In the absence of appropriate health-care professional, (physician and/or certified athletic trainer) all injuries to the head and neck involving the cervical column and/or nervous system will be covered by the same time frame as other injuries. (See 5-28-6, 8-2-1)

(2) When appropriate health-care professional(s) are present, they have jurisdiction to extend the allowed time limit to a maximum of five (5) minutes for evaluation of the injuries to the head and neck involving cervical column and/or nervous systems only, at which time the athlete would be required to prepare without delay for continuation or default the match.

(3) A second occurrence of injury to the head and neck involving cervical column and/or central nervous system in the same match shall require the wrestler to default the match.

NOTE: When this provision is used, the time consumed for the injury will in no way affect time used, or available, for other types of injuries.

Reasons: changes address new procedures when dealing with potential concussions:

9-2-2f

In dual-meet competition, if teams have identical scores, the following team tie-breaking system shall be used to determine the winner.

Criteria a-e remain the same.

f. The team giving up the least number of forfeits.

Criteria shall be re-labeled through q.

Reason: a sixth criteria has been added for deciding the winner of dual meets when both teams have identical scores.

Official Signal

28 Tapping the front of the head with a balled-up fist of either hand to indicate that the five (5) minute Head/Neck/Cervical Column Evaluation time is to begin.

Reason: a new signal has been introduced for officials to indicate that the head/neck/cervical column evaluation time has begun.

So what do you think about the rule changes for the upcoming season? If you would like a copy of the rule changes click here.

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