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Female Wrestling Uniforms Part of Rules Changes


Clarifying uniform requirements for female high school wrestlers were among the rules changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Wrestling Rules Committee and approved by the NFHS Board of Directors for the 2022-23 season.

Changes to rules 4-1-1 and 4-5-7 clarified the uniform requirements for female wrestlers. Among the requirements, female wrestlers shall wear a sports bra that completely covers their breasts and minimizes the risk of exposure during weigh-ins and competition. 

Additionally, the change also clarifies that compression shirts may be worn underneath a one-piece singlet and are not required for female wrestlers unless needed to ensure complete coverage.

An additional change permits wrestlers to wear hair-control devices and other adornments in the hair that are securely fastened and do not present an increased risk to the wrestler or opponents.

“We have been systematically removing barriers of participation in our sport,” explains Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports, sanctioning and student services and liaison to the NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee. “It started with allowing the optional two-piece uniform, then modifying the hair rule, providing options for state associations with three choices of weight classes for boys and adding three separate girls’ sets of weight classes and now this change. 

“Literally, there is no rule-based reason that a young person cannot participate,” he adds. “We accept all students who want to learn how to wrestle with no restrictions and encourage them to try out for their school team.”

In one other rule change that doesn’t really impact team dealers, NFHS says that in the event a wrestler’s shoelace laces become untied or the shoe comes off during a match, a wrestler will now be penalized for stalling. Previously, this situation resulted in a technical violation. Shoe and shoelace infractions are no longer subject to injury time and the match will not be stopped to warn or penalize this instance of stalling. 

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May 19, 2022


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