Weight classes changed in high school wrestling
In what it called the most significant changes in weight classes in high school wrestling over the past 23 years, the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) announced Tuesday that there will be an upward shift in weight classes for the 2011-12 season.
At its April 4-6 meeting in Indianapolis, Ind., the NFHS Rules Committee approved the changes, which begin with the 103-pound class moving to 106, resulting in new weights for 10 of the 14 classes.
The changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
The 14 weight classes will be: 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285.
"The change in weight classes resulted from a three- to four-year process utilizing data from the national Wrestling Coaches Association Optimal Performance Calculator," said Dale Pleiman, chair of the NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee. "The rules committee was able to analyze data from almost 200,000 wrestlers across the country, with the goal to create weight classes that have approximately seven percent of the wrestlers in eight weight classes."
While they're could be some concern for some prep wrestlers, River Valley High coach Ron Benton sees advantages and disadvantages, although he admits he needs to look at the changes in more detail.
"It's going to help some kids and hurt some kids," he said. "Sometimes (wrestlers) have a hard time dropping that extra two to three pounds, so it will help those guys."
Orland High wrestling coach Victor Perry, who has no shortage of grapplers trying to earn spots on one of the most dominant squads in the Northern Section, believes the new classes will have an immediate and positive impact on the sport.
"It allows the smaller weight class to have more upper classmen in them. I like that it is being moved to 106," Perry remarked.
"I think it gives more opportunity for the upper- weight wrestlers to find a true weight class for them," he added.
For the most part, most states agree with the changes, according to Pleiman.
"Throughout the process, each state association was kept completely informed and was provided multiple opportunities for input," he said. "The results of the last survey of each state association indicated that the majority of the states favored a change, and the committee listened and acted accordingly."