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PIAA approves weight class reduction plan from 14 to 13

PIAA wrestling is dropping weight ... all to reduce weight classes, and enhance competition among high school wrestlers within the state

The PIAA board gave final approval this week to a long-discussed plan to reduce the number high school weight classes from 14 down to 13 starting in this next season, providing greater competition and reduce potential for forfeits

The vote was unanimous.

Here's how PIAA will restructure its weight classes to enhance competition.

The PIAA will maintain weight classes 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152 and 160 pounds. However, it will modify the upper weights. Rather than 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285, the PIAA will use 172, 189, 215 and 285.

The move is intended to reduce "the huge number of forfeits" in regular-season dual meets, PIAA executive director Bob Lombardi said.

"I think last year, in 93% of our wrestling matches we had a forfeit," Lombardi said. "That's ridiculous. That means you don't have kids to fill weight classes. You've got too many."

The board heard from critics in June who argued that eliminating a weight class would cost athletes opportunities and possibly pose health risks. However, once the PIAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee said health risks were unfounded, the PIAA board moved ahead with the initiative.

Wednesday's vote finalized a multi-year effort by the PIAA wrestling steering committee that started with an idea to eliminate two weight classes. That 12-class plan eventually stalled, but this 13-class proposal gained traction with support from the wrestling coaches association, Lombardi said.

"The support of the coaches association and the sports medicine committee was huge," Lombardi said. "They think this is the right thing to do. I agree, and the board agrees."

The PIAA had asked the National Federation of State High School Associations to consider making a weight-class reduction nationwide, but the NFHS didn't include the PIAA request when it released its updated rule book in May.

Therefore, the PIAA made the change itself.

"I'll be candid with you: I'm disappointed with some of the other levels where we tried to get this addressed," Lombardi said. "Things happened and I understand that, but to wait five years to get a change that our people have been clamoring for, it's counterproductive to the young people who are wrestling."

Comments

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engineerlehigh (1) about 5 months ago
It's an individual sport. Much to do about nothing. Now PIAA should focus on important topic of a single individual tournament, with 4 regionals sending Top 8 at each weightclass to Hershey. Regionals in Erie, Pittsburgh, Allentown and State College.
Bebe1993 (1) about 5 months ago
How is this going to work when PA schools compete in out of state tournaments? Are they going to have to forfeit some of the upper weights?
ban basketball (1) about 5 months ago
Watching far too many weight classes was but just one of the reasons why I stopped watching high school wrestling many years ago. Maddening to sit through 14 subpar matches.
mikelo (1) about 5 months ago
well how about 95 lbs. many kids wrestle that are smaller in their early years. also nys went from an 11 man state tourney years ago to a small school, big school system.. 2 state champs.
nys is made up of 11 sections. you had to win yours to go to the state tourney.
they should have gone to one tourney, 3 qualifiers per 11 sections. i state champ. 33 man brackett. u know half the time the 3rd placer is better than the second.
just saying. i wrestled years ago in nys then coached my kids in NC and GA. they each have like 5 or 6 state champs per class. just roll it into one big tourney.
nys is no joke. georgia and nc are getting tough
ban basketball (1) about 5 months ago
Don't I know it! We have a direct pipeline at UNI from the top notch Georgia wrestlers. Lazor, Lujan, Gollhofer, and a new recruit this year (name escapes me).
cradleman (1) about 5 months ago
NY is going to 13 weight classes this year, I believe. It's in the final stages of acceptance.
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