WRESTLING: Nationwide weight classifications bump up

Just when wrestling fans started memorizing the 14 weight classifications, the National Federation of State High School Associations Wrestling Rules Committee switched them.

“I just got use to the old ones,” White River High coach Joe Klein said. “There’s not a whole lot we can do about it.”

“I liked the old ones better,” Enumclaw coach Lee Reichert said, but he admitted starting at 106 pounds makes things easier.

The changes are made nationally by the high school sports governing body, the NFSHSA committee.

Changes are for both boys and girls wrestling.

For the boys, it marks the most significant changes in weight classes in high school wrestling in 23 years.

In April, the National Federation of State High School Associations Wrestling Rules Committee approved the upward shift of the weight classes, beginning with the 103-pound class moving to 106 pounds, which resulted in new weights for 10 of the 14 classes.

The 14 weight classes approved by the committee for 2011-12 are as follows: 106 (pounds), 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285. Three middle weight classes – 145, 152 and 160 – were retained, although they are 7-8-9 in order now rather than 8-9-10. The largest weight class (285 pounds) remains unchanged as well.

“The change in weight classes resulted from a three-to-four year process utilizing data from the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Optimal Performance Calculator,” said Dale Pleimann, chair of the NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee and former assistant executive director of the Missouri State High School Activities Association. “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 each weight class.

“Throughout the process, each state association was kept completely informed and was provided multiple opportunities for input. The results of the last survey of each state association indicated that the majority of states favored a change, and the committee listened and acted accordingly.”

The last big shift in weight classes occurred in 1988, when the lowest weight class was increased from 98 to 103 pounds. The only other changes since then were in 2002, when the number of classes went from 13 to 14 and the 215-pound weight class became mandatory, and in 2006, when the 275-pound class was increased to 285 pounds.

Girls weights for 2011-12 will start at 100 pounds and continue as 106, 112, 118, 124, 130, 137, 145, 155, 170, 195, 275/265 (275 will change to 265 Jan. 1). In 2012-13, the girls weights change again, this time changing the last two weight classifications to 190 and 235.