NY moves to 13 wrestling weight classes

OBSERVER File Photo The NYSPHSAA Central Committee passed a resolution Wednesday to move to 13 weight classes in wrestling.

LATHAM — High school wrestling in New York state will move to 13 weight classes and pitch-count limits for baseball were altered during the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s Central Committee meeting Wednesday.

The committee approved utilizing 13 weight classes in the sport or wrestling as a two-year pilot beginning this school year. New weight classes, starting with this winter sports season will be: 102 pounds, 110 pounds, 118 pounds, 126 pounds, 132 pounds, 145 pounds, 152 pounds, 160 pounds, 172 pounds, 189 pounds, 215 pounds and 285 pounds.

In the proposal, state Wrestling Chairman Marty Sherman said there has been ongoing discussion and concern at the sectional, state and national level regarding the increased amount of forfeits during dual meets. While the National Federation of State High School Associations did not pass the proposal this past year, New York state still proposed it. Pennsylvania is proposing adjusting the current weight classes to 13 for the upcoming school year. New York state’s new weight classes align with the Pennsylvania proposal, except for the bottom three weights.

In its proposal, the state wrestling committee said the new weight classes will provide schools with smaller rosters the chance to compete in dual meets and bring back the competitiveness and focus on team results at dual meets.

The state showed that this past year there were 719 athletes certified at the 99-pound weight class and 532 of them were seventh-, eighth- or ninth-graders — typically JV student-athletes in other sports. They would still be able to wrestle in a JV dual match or an exhibition match the day of the varsity match.

New baseball pitch count restrictions were approved for the 2021 season. Now, maximum pitch counts and nights of rest will change based on the month of the season.

In March, a pitcher who throws between 1 and 30 pitches will require one night of rest; 31-45 pitches will require two nights of rest; 46-75 pitches will require three nights of rest; and 76-85 pitches will require four nights of rest.

In April, a pitcher who throws between 1 and 30 pitches will require one night of rest; 31-65 pitches will require two nights of rest; 66-95 pitches will require three nights of rest; and 96-105 pitches will require four nights of rest.

In May, a pitcher who throws between 1 and 30 pitches will require one night of rest; 41-71 will require two nights of rest; 72-102 will require three nights of rest; and 103-125 will require four nights of rest.

For the past several seasons, the first time a pitcher was eligible to throw 125 pitches was a sectional playoff game. Now, pitchers will be able to build up to that number over the last few weeks of the regular season. The rules will not affect the previous modified and JV pitch limits.

A waiver for the nights rest rule and maximum number of contests for JV football players was approved. Under the new rule, JV football players will be allowed to participate in up to 10 plays of a varsity game and still be eligible for the JV game that same week as long as there is a two-night rest period between the two games. Coaches or athletic directors will be required to track the number of plays and submit a roster that indicates which student-athletes are JV players that might participate in the JV game.

The sport of boys ice hockey received approval to adopt 17-minute periods with adjusted penalty times beginning this season. Boys ice hockey was also granted approval to use a two-referee, one-linesman officiating system in all regional and state final four games.

In the sport of indoor track and field, only one relay team per school will be allowed at the state championships.

The Central Committee approved the expansion of the NYSPHSAA Coaches and Officials Appreciation Days to three times per year to include all three sport seasons. The Albany Capital Center was approved to host the Boys Volleyball Championships from 2021-23 and the Cool Insuring Arena to host the Girls Volleyball Championships from 2021-23.

The sport of field hockey had a proposal approved to allow the game clock to run when a five-goal differential is reached.

Section X was awarded the Stay in the Game trophy for having the highest percentage of schools (75%) to not have any disqualifications by a player or coach at any level during the 2019-20 school year.

The meeting concluded with the passing of the gavel from outgoing NYSPHSAA President Paul Harrica (Section X) to incoming President Julie Bergman (Section IV). Harrica now transitions to the role of past president for two years and Tim Mullins (Section XI) officially joins the NYSPHSAA officers as the second vice president. The committee thanked Past President Jim Osborne (Section IX) for his eight years of service as a NYSPHSAA officer. The 2021 Central Committee meeting will take place July 27-28, 2021 at the World Resort Catskills in Monticello.


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