11/21/2014-Required Wrestling Mat Area
As a part of the Wrestling rules clinic each year, the NFHS lists certain rules that have not changed but should be reviewed and made a “Point of Emphasis” (POE). One such POE this year has resulted in some dialogue among our member school representatives regarding the requirements for our member schools.
Required Safety Mat Area Surrounding Wrestling Mats During Competition (NFHS Rule 2-1-2) states, “The wrestling area of the mat shall be a circular area a minimum of 28 feet in diameter. Surrounding and secured to the wrestling area of the mat shall be a safety mat area of approximately 5 feet wide.”
This means there shall be approximately 5 feet of safety mat area from the out of bounds circle to the nearest obstacle of any kind, i.e., gym floor, tables, chairs, clocks, etc.
The wording “approximately 5 feet” is used because as mats age they may shrink, which could minimally reduce the safety mat area. The wording is NOT to be interpreted to allow less than 5 feet of safety area because a gym or competition area is too small for the number of mats desiring to be used.
If a section of one, or more, mats is removed in order to fit all mats into a gym or other venue, the approximate 5 feet safety mat area between the circles of two mats CANNOT be ignored.
If a mat extends near a wall or other immovable objects, it is strongly recommended that you allow for an approximate safety area of 10 feet between the edge of the out of bounds circle and the immovable object. Even if the wall is padded, there should be an approximate safety mat area of 10 feet from the out of bounds circle to the padded wall.
Compliance with this rule and verification is the responsibility of meet management.
Rule 2-1-5. . . The mat area includes the wrestling mat and a space of at least 10 feet surrounding the mat, as well as the team benches and scorer’s table where facilities permit. The team bench in dual meets should be at least 10 feet from the wrestling mat and 10 feet from the scorer’s table.
The diagrams on page 10 in the 2014-15 NFHS Wrestling Rules are a suggested configuration.
– KHSAA –
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