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Wrestling rule changes: Takedowns worth 3 points, near-falls could be up to 5


Sports Editor, RTC

Takedowns will be worth three match points in high school wrestling starting next year, and a wrestler may earn four or five points for a near-fall, according to a series of changes enacted by the National Federation of State High School Associations Wrestling Rules Committee at its annual meeting.

Previously, takedowns had been worth two points.

Near-falls had been worth two or three points, depending on if the offensive wrestler had his or her shoulders on the mat for two or three seconds. Now a wrestler can be awarded four points if the wrestler’s shoulders are on the mat for four seconds or five points “if the defensive wrestler is injured, indicates an injury or bleeding occurs after the four-point near-fall has been earned.”

“The goal in wrestling is to pin the opponent,” Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and student services and liaison to the Wrestling Rules Committee, said in a statement. “Changing the near-fall points should motivate wrestlers to work for a fall.”

The committee also changed the definition of what it means to be inbounds, saying that a wrestler will be deemed inbounds with only one point of contact of either wrestler inside or on the boundary line. Previously, high school wrestlers were considered to be inbounds if a total of two supporting points of either wrestler were inside or on the boundary line.

Hopkins said that the rule change will help officials call out of bounds more consistently and provide wrestlers, coaches and spectators a better understanding of out of bounds.

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