Long Island Wrestling Association


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Steve Meehan
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2004 - 2005 Major Rule Changes


Rule 3-1-13:  The referee’s duties during injury, blood or recovery time outs were addressed in a change to rule 3-1-13.   Rather than having the referee hovering near an injured, bleeding or recovering wrestler and coach, the referee should be near the scorer’s table to monitor the time remaining.  With one minute and again with 30 seconds remaining, the referee should inform the coach and / or wrestler.

Suggested Mechanics:  Start the injury clock by use of the correct signal.  Then go to the table and if a hand held clock is being used you can take the clock in hand and position your self far enough away from the coach and injured contestant, so as not to be hovering, but close enough to be able to notify the coach of the time remaining in 30 second intervals. You must also be close enough so that when the injured contestant is prepared to wrestle you will be able to turn off the injury clock in a timely manner.  At that time you will request that the wrestlers return to the center of the mat.  Notify the time keeper of the amount of injury time used.  Have the score keeper log in the time used on the score sheet.

If large wall or free standing clocks are being used, you will need to modify your mechanics; however, your position relative to the coach and contestant will remain the same.


Rule 5-9-2 f, g, h, i:  Awarding additional points in near fall situations will be easier this season thanks to an adjustment to Rules 5-9-2. The change was approved by the NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee. If the referee is holding three near fall points and the defensive wrestler bleeds or "cries out" a three-point near fall plus one point for stopping the match shall be awarded.  This will be recorded N4 in the score book.

If the referee is holding two near fall points and the defensive wrestler bleeds or "cries out" a two-point near fall plus one point for stopping the match shall be awarded.  This will be recorded N3 in the score book. 

(Rule 5-9-2i indicates the appropriate penalty points will also be awarded to f, g and h). Should the injury occur just as the defensive wrestler is brought into criteria but the referee is not holding near fall points, a two-point near fall will be awarded. No point for stoppage of the match.

Situation 1: The offensive wrestler leads the match, 2-0, and has the defensive wrestler on his back. The defensive wrestler cries out, indicating an injury. That declaration occurs (a) when the defensive wrestler has been brought into criteria; (b) after criteria for a two-point near fall has been met, or (c) after criteria for a three-point near fall has been met.

Ruling: The referee should stop the match in all cases. In (a), the offensive wrestler is awarded a two- point near fall. When wrestling resumes, the score will be 4-0. In (b), a three- point near fall is awarded. When wrestling resumes, the score will be 5-0. In (c), the offensive wrestler is awarded a four-point near fall. When wrestling resumes, the score will be 6-0.

Note:  If bleeding or a injury occurs or the wrestler gives the indication of an injury, just prior to near fall criteria being met and in the referees judgment the near fall was imminent a 2 point near fall would be awarded.


Situation 2: The offensive wrestler leads the match, 2-0, and has the defensive wrestler on his back. The defensive wrestler curses. That occurs (a) when the defensive wrestler has been brought into criteria; (b) after criteria for a two-point near fall has been met, or (c) after criteria for a three-point near fall has been met.

Ruling: The referee should not stop the match unless there is concern for the safety of either wrestler. Wrestling should be allowed to continue to afford the offensive wrestler the opportunity to secure a fall or additional near-fall points. When action is stopped (a) the offensive wrestler is awarded a two-point near fall (5-9-2f). In (b) a three-point near fall is awarded (5-9-2g). In (c) the offensive wrestler is awarded a four-point near fall (5-9-2h). In (a), (b) and (c) an additional point for unsportsmanlike conduct will be awarded (5-9-2i). NOTE: Should the cursing act be construed as a flagrant act the violator shall be ejected immediately and his team score will have a two-point deduction.

If the defensive wrestler bleeds or "cries out," just as the defensive wrestler is brought into criteria but the referee is not holding near fall points, a two-point near fall will be awarded, and no point for stoppage of the match. If the referee is holding near fall points and the defensive wrestler bleeds or "cries out," the near fall points plus one point for stopping the match shall be awarded.

Also we have added technical violations to the list of infractions covered under rule 5-9-2i.


Rule 5-13-2:  The word “hands” have been added to include supporting points.

Rule 5-18-5:  Offensive wrestler may put a foot behind the defensive wrestler feet.  Last year the word “may” was erroneously replaced with shall.

Rule 8-1-5 and 6-6-6:  Two sportsmanship- related rule changes were adopted by the NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee.

Changes to Rules 7-3-7, 7-5-3 and 8-1-1, deal with conduct of a wrestler. If a wrestler reports to the mat not properly equipped or prepared to wrestle, it will be considered a technical violation and the penalty will be charged to the wrestler.

In the past, the penalty was considered unsportsmanlike conduct. The wrestler's coach was penalized; if two violations occurred, the coach was ejected. By changing the rule, the committee believes the penalty is charged to the proper party.

An increased penalty for misconduct by a coach was also approved. The rule affected was Rule 6-6- 6. The penalty for a coach who has been ejected for misconduct has been increased from the deduction of one team point to a two-point deduction. The committee hopes that the increased penalty will improve conduct by coaches.

When a coach is ejected for misconduct, two points are deducted from his team's score. That is a change for 2004-05. The reference for the new rule is 6-6-6.

Penalty sequence:  1st offense warning, 2nd offense deduct one team point, 3rd offense deduct 2 team points and removal from the premises for the remainder of the day.  At the end of the penalty sequence 3 team points will have been deducted.

Note:  Penalties for coach’s misconduct start a new each day, of a multiple day event. 

The penalty for a second unsportsmanlike conduct against a coach or non participating team personal or a wrestler not during the match has been increased to a two team point deduction.

Penalty sequence: 1st offense deduct one team point, 2nd offense deduct two additional team points and removal from the premises for the remainder of the event.

In New York, removal from the premises for any of the above stated infractions or flagrant misconduct also requires that the offender not participate in the next scheduled event.


Rule 6-7-1: An addition to the rule regarding tiebreaker scoring and a new scorebook symbol were approved by the NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee. 

The alteration to the tiebreaker scoring will appear in Rule 6-7-1. Actually, an omission in the rule regarding the final score in a scoreless tiebreaker was filled. If no scoring occurs in the 30- second tiebreaker, the offensive wrestler will be declared the winner and 1 point added to his score.

Situation: Overtime ends with the wrestlers tied, 2-2. Neither wrestler scores during the tiebreaker.

Ruling: The offensive wrestler is declared the winner. The final score is recorded as 3- 2 in favor of the offensive wrestler.

The new scoring symbol comes into play in that situation. Scorers are to use "RO" to signify that one match point was awarded to the wrestler who controls his opponent during the 30-second tiebreaker.


Ruling 9-2-2:  When determining the winning team by use of the tie-breaking system a team point shall be added to the prevailing team.  The criterion used to break the tie shall be noted.

Determining the winner of a dual meet was addressed in Rule 9-2-2 sub-sections b, f and n. Forfeits are included in the number of matches won when determining the winner of a tied dual meet. Sub-section f was amended to note that total match points are considered when tabulating first-points scored. If the first 13 criteria do not determine a winner, a flip of the disk will be conducted. The option of declaring the meet a tie has been eliminated.


New scoring symbols:

RO (Ride Out), indicates the offensive wrestler won by use of the tie-breaker.

CMw, indicates a Coaches Misconduct Warning.

Cm, Coach Misconduct.

Sw, Indicates a warning for stalling.


Signal Chart:  A new signal for starting a match has been added.  Also, the signals for stopping the match (1) and neutral position (6) have been modified.

Rule 8-2-5:  Now states if a Physician/Medical Staff determines a injured wrestler should not continue, even though consciousness is not involved, they shall not be overruled.


Additional Changes


Rule 5:  has been completely revised.

Rule 2-1-1:  The diagram has been changed to show that if the optional restricted zone is used for tournament competition a five foot safety area must still be provided.

Rule 3-1-1:  The referee is required to have a black lanyard and whistle.

Rule 3-2-2f:  When necessary, the referee and assistant shall meet briefly on the edge of the mat away from the wrestlers and coaches, near the scorer’s table to discuss the point of disagreement.

Rule 6-6-2: The procedure for addressing specific errors has been clarified and simplified. The passages involving procedures if an error occurs in positioning wrestlers at the start of the third period, giving the wrong wrestler the choice of position or involving the second injury time-out have been reworded and broken into sub-sections for ease of understanding.

Notes have been added to Rules 6-6-4B and 6-6-5B. It is the coach's responsibility to know both the team score at the conclusion of either a dual meet or tournament. Any discrepancy must be reported within the 30-minute time frame following the conclusion of the dual meet or tournament. That restriction was deemed more reasonable than the former 48-hour limit.

Advancement points in tournaments will only be awarded to a wrestler who receives a bye in a round in which at least one match is wrestled. Those changes appear in Rules 9-2-3a-b. Another editorial change regarding tournaments involves Rule 10-2-8 specifies that all vacancies created in the tournament pairing after the first round shall be scored as forfeits. There was no mention in the old rule regarding the first round.

Rule 5, in its entirety, has also been reorganized to better reflect definitions. Some items considered definitions have been removed from various rules, but no changes in the definitions were made.  



Changes to NYSPHSAA  Handbook


Honor Weigh-Ins for a school day, dual meet wrestling matches are allowed; Honor Weigh-Ins for non-school day, dual meet wrestling matches are not allowed and if one team has school and the opponent does not have school on the day of a dual meet, Honor Weigh-Ins are allowed.  Each wrestler shall make the scratch weight at the weigh-in to be conducted prior to the school’s first scheduled academic instruction period on the day of the match.

Beginning with the 2004-05 season, the honor weigh-in must take place before the school’s first period class, or the additional 3 lb allowance will not be granted.

Scoring:  National Federation rules will be followed.  See 2004-05 Rules Book, page 41 “summary of scoring”.



Dual Meet

Tournament Bonus Points




Tech Fall (+15)


+1 ˝

Superior Decision



Major Decision (+8 to 14)



Regular Decision




The NYS rulebook states that wrestlers receive a 2 lb allowance on Xmas day and a 1lb allowance when schools have back to back competitions.  48 hours notice is required to get the extra pound. 

Under no circumstances may coaches agree to grant an extra pound(s) with the following exceptions:

Dual meet:  A team is scheduled for back to back duals on two consecutive days.  Team A informs Team B that within 48 hours that they have a match the day before, so both teams get an extra pound.  Team A’s match the day before the match with Team B is then cancelled (bad weather etc.).  The extra pound stands for the next day, even though Team A did not wrestle back to back.

If a dual is cancelled on Day One (bad weather etc.) and is then rescheduled for Day Two (the next consecutive day), no additional pound is allowed.

Tournament:  A tournament director grants all the teams in the tournament an extra pound because one of the teams entered is wrestling a dual the day before the tournament.  The dual the day before the tournament is cancelled (bad weather, etc.).  All teams in the tournament the next day still get the extra pound.

Should a Sectional Chairman become aware of two teams allowing an extra weight allowance for any other reason, the teams and all of the wrestlers become ineligible.  The teams will both forfeit the dual and each individual wrestler will receive a loss on their individual records.  If this was a tournament, all wrestlers from all teams become ineligible and all receive a loss on their records.

Ineligible weight class:  After a dual is wrestled, it is found out that a team uses a wrestler at a weight lower than his certified weight (or at a weight above the State minimum weight: Ex. 80 pound wrestles at 96 and does not meet the 88 pound minimum), the team forfeits the dual meet and the wrestler takes a loss on his record.  The won/loss record of the other wrestler in a dual meet are not effected and the results of their individual bouts stand.

Points of Emphasis

Stalling in the Tiebreaker :

The following sentence was deleted from rule 6-7-2 in 1998-99: "During the tiebreaker stalling will be called when it is unquestionably occurring." The rules committee made that change simply because it has been one of the most misunderstood rules for officials to follow. The tiebreaker situation is somewhat different from the previous seven minutes of the match. The rules say that the wrestler who scores the first point(s) during the tiebreaker will be declared the winner. If no scoring occurs in 30 seconds, the offensive wrestler will be declared the winner. If the defensive wrestler escapes, he will be the winner of the contest. If the offensive wrestler is able to control his opponent for the 30-second period, he will be declared the winner.

We should not categorize controlled wrestling as stalling. While it is true that the rules for stalling state that "while the contestant is in the advantage position, he must wrestle aggressively and attempt to secure a fall," if we have a contest that reaches the tiebreaker we have already had seven minutes of wrestling. Therefore, as long as the offensive wrestler is in a controlled wrestling situation, he should not be called for stalling.

However, if the offensive wrestler immediately grasps an ankle and is simply hanging on, that is not controlled wrestling. In that situation, the official should call a stalemate, stop the match and return to the center of the mat. If the offensive wrestler continues that maneuver, he should be called for stalling. That is only one example of when stalling might be called. 


False Starts from the Neutral Position:

Officials need to address the starting position when the wrestlers are in the neutral position (7-3-1).

False starts need to be eliminated from this position because of potential injury.  That can best be accomplished by the referee being in tight with wrestlers and not standing back several feet from them.  Normally when there is movement prior to the official starting the match it is simply counted as a false start and penalized accordingly.  If, however, that false start results in contact with the opponent and injury occurs either by hitting a knee or and ankle, then the individual must also be charged with unnecessary  roughness if the official judged it unnecessary contact.

That can develop into a major problem, but if the official will start the contestants from a tight position, it will help to eliminate the problem.


Shaking Hands with Referee or Opposing Coach: 

Rule 6-5-2, does not prohibit the wrestler from shaking hands with the referee during the end-of-match procedure or the opposing coach after the end-of-match procedure.  Since 1990, wrestlers have been allowed, but not required, to shake hands with the referee and/or the opposing coach after the end of each match if they so choose.  Rule 6-5-2 does not require wrestlers to shake hands with the referee or the opposing coach at the end of each match.  The opposing coach can, but does not have to shake hands with the opposing wrestler at the end of the match.  More and more sportsmanship issues have come about in recent years on the hand shake between the wrestler and the opposing coach.  If any wrestler shakes the hand of the opposing wrestler, referee or opposing coach in a negative fashion, they shall be penalized.  If a coach also shakes hands with an opposing wrestler in a negative fashion, the coach shall be penalized.  An act of unsportsmanlike conduct is to be penalized whenever it occurs regardless of the circumstances.  Good sportsmanship in high school wrestling should be a priority!

Set-ups. There has been a noticeable increase in the use of a forceful head tap to set an opponent up for a takedown. There is a fine line between a tap and the use of a hand to jolt the opponent, forcibly slap the side of the ear guards or even put a hand directly in the face of the opponent. Unnecessary roughness includes any act that exceeds normal aggressiveness. As a deterrent to that action, the referee shall penalize the offending wrestler without hesitation, when the force is deemed excessive. The determining factor when the hand makes contact from the front should be that the contact is made above the eyebrow or hairline and without excessive force. Any contact against the side of the opponent's head shall not be such that it jolts the wrestler's head.


Physician's determination (4-2-4, 8-2-5), If there is an on site physician at the site of a dual meet or tournament, the on site physician can overrule the diagnosis of a previous physician, who had indicated, in writing, that an apparent skin condition was not communicable.  

There are some physicians who sign the release form with a pre-emptive statement such as, "Wrestler A will be cleared for competition on January 22/1 during an office visit on January 17. While well intentioned, that release is based on the healing process taking place according to a subjective standard and assuming the athlete takes required medications. An on- site meet physician, looking at the progress of the skin infection, is better able to make a sound judgment based on current facts.

Situation: Before the tournament weigh-in, the coach of Team C hands the referee a physician's release form for his 140-pound wrestler. During weigh-ins, as the referee verifies weight, nails and skin condition, the referee suspects there may still be an active skin condition. The referee asks the on-site meet physician to examine the wrestler from Team C. The physician determines it is still a communicable condition and does not allow the athlete to compete. The coach of Team C protests.

Ruling: The protest will not be upheld. The on-site meet physician has the final determination. Even though a competent, respected physician signed the original release form, the on-site evaluation takes precedent. The athlete will not compete.

Note:  If a physician/medical staff person determines that an injured wrestler should not continue, even though consciousness is not involved, he or she shall not be overruled.

A team forfeit shall be scored 1-0; if the offended team is ahead, the score stands (9-2-1e).  Two years ago, a team that was winning 35-0 would still have the win recorded as 1-0.  Of course, if the team is losing at the time the forfeit is declared, then the score would be recorded as 1-0 in their favor.

The jurisdiction time of the referee will begin upon arrival at the site (3-1-3). That is unchanged. The official's jurisdiction concludes with the approval and signing of the scorebook in dual meets, and when the referee signs the bout sheet following the last match of the tournament. That change takes on added importance as the time to correct errors is now measured from the time that the official's jurisdiction ends or the posting of team scores in a tournament.

The referee must indicate the completion time of the dual meet in the score book.