Since 1992, the VHSL has been conducting educational programs about the safe and healthy ways to manage weight in wrestlers across the Commonwealth.  We have also conducted pilot programs in nearly 20 schools in Virginia during that time to study the practicality and effectiveness of a program to minimize the excessive weight loss and bouncing that occurs in the wrestling community.  We have studied the results in other states where similar programs have been implemented.  We are also aware of the tragic deaths this past year of two wrestlers who were using unhealthy measures to lose too much weight too quickly.  Influenced by these events and convinced that we now have the ingredients of a program that will maintain the integrity of wrestling and keep the mats even, while making the sport safer, the VHSL will implement a mandatory program for the 1999-2000 season.  This program will be similar to what we have discussed at rules clinics and in previous communications over the past several years.  We strongly recommend that all schools begin instituting as much as possible of this program for the 1998-1999 year to become familiar with what will be required of schools, coaches and wrestlers.  We are available to help during these early stages of implementing this program and receptive to any suggestions or concerns that may exist.


1. Body Fat Determination: Sometime prior to the first match, every wrestler will be weighed and will have his/her body fat determined.  Underwater weighing is acceptable, but the most practical method that is considered accurate when done properly is the skin fold measurements with calipers.  The Lohman equation which uses the measurement of triceps, abdominal, and subscapular skin folds in males is considered the most appropriate for high school age wrestlers.  The sites for females involves the triceps, suprailiac, and abdominal skin folds.  This formula calculates body density which is used to determining body fat content.

2. Minimum Wrestling Weight: The Bronzek Equation will utilize the body density determined by the Lohman Equation to determine body fat.  From this, the wrestler's weight, the lowest at which a wrestler can wrestle, based on a minimum of 7% body fat, is calculated.  For females the minimum body fat is 12%.

3. Allowed Amount Weight Loss: The maximum weight loss allowed is three pounds the first week and two pounds per week thereafter.  For example, if a wrestler's minimum wrestling weight is 119 and on December 1 he weights 127, he could not wrestle at that weight for 4 weeks.  On December 7 he could wrestle at 125, by December 28 he could wrestle at 119.  This would emphasize the importance of weighing in and making this determination as early as possible.