The NCAA Wrestling Rules Committee has published their proposed rule changes for the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 seasons. Several changes would dramatically alter college wrestling for the upcoming season. The biggest change is increasing a takedown’s value from two to three points. Another major change is only awarding a riding time point if the wrestler has also scored near fall points in the match. NCAA coaches have been informed they will have a chance to comment on the proposed changes, and the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel will consider the changes at their meeting on June 8th.
Other changes include modifying weigh in times for dual meets, eliminating the controversial hand-touch takedown, and adding a three point near fall when a wrestler holds his opponent in criteria for three seconds in addition to the unchanged two and four point near falls.
Additionally, the following changes have been proposed:
- Allow officials to use video review to review an entire sequence and apply the correct calls which would eliminate dead time under the current rules.
- The first medical forfeit of a tournament would count as a loss on the wrestler’s record unless the medical forfeit occurs immediately after an injury default in a tournament.
- The penalty for a delayed coach’s video review challenge request would be changed to a loss of the video review instead of a control-of-mat violation.
- True placement matches conducted in an event would not alter the final team score.
- Officials could let action continue after penalizing an illegal hold and not require a stoppage after imminent scoring finishes when the safety of wrestlers is not in danger.
- The five-second count for the waist and ankle ride would be expanded to include all situations in which the top wrestler grasps the bottom wrestler’s ankle.
- Weigh-in times across all competition types would be standardized to two hours or sooner before the start of competition. Currently, tournament weigh-ins are two hours or sooner, but dual meet weigh-ins are permitted only one hour or sooner before the start of competition.
- Weight certification for all schools would be permitted to start Sept. 1.
- The rule limiting facial hair to no longer than half an inch would be eliminated.