Major changes in Iowa high school wrestling
April 28, 2011By Brian Rathjen of North Scott Senior High School
Some big, big changes are taking place this winter regarding high school wrestling. One of those changes affects state tournament wrestling in Iowa, while the other will affect teams nationwide.
The Iowa change concerns the state dual meet. Traditionally, this had taken place the weekend after the traditional state meet (usually the third weekend in February) at the U.S. Cellular Center in Des Moines. But, according to The Predicament, on Wednesday, April 27, the Board of Control for the Iowa High School Athletic Association voted to move the dual meet to the same week as the traditional state wrestling meet.
Now, the state duals will be on the Wednesday of the state wrestling meet -- that is, the weekend after the state-qualifying district meet -- at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Teams that qualify for the state meet will be guaranteed three duals (no more eliminations for first-round losers), with teams wrestling out to eighth place.
The Predicament also reported that the traditional state wrestling tournament will consolidate to a three-day event, such as the tournament was prior to 2003. However, wrestlers up to eighth place will still be awarded medals and get to stand on the championship stand.
The change concerning wrestling weights was the result of a vote by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Wrestling Rules Committee earlier this month. The Predicament reported the new 14-weight class structure, starting with 106 lbs., will take effect for the 2011-2012 wrestling season.
The new weight structure is: 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285. (The long familiar structure, in place since 1988, had been 103, 112, 119, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 152, 160, 171, 189, 215 and 285; the 215 weight class was added in the early 2000s.)
This is an upward shift, as years ago there was a 96-pound weight class and the heaviest weight (before heavyweight) was in the 180-pound range; this meant a team's heavyweight could conceivably have weighed less than 200 lbs. Also, the 145-152-160 range is now seventh, eighth and ninth in the weight order rather than 8-9-10.
Anyone wanting to read more about the weight changes can click on the National Wrestling Coaches Association website.