High school wrestlers will have to follow a more stringent program to prevent rapid weight loss under rules adopted this week by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Starting in 2006-07, wrestlers may not lose more than 1.5 percent of their weight per week and must maintain body fat of at least 7 percent for boys and 12 percent for girls. Also, their weight-loss plans must be monitored weekly by the schools.
The issue surfaced in 1997 after three college wrestlers died as a result of ailments attributed to excessive weight loss in an attempt to reach a lower weight class for competition. The NCAA clamped down the next year, and since then, high school athletic associations in at least 18 states also have set standards for the amount of weight wrestlers may lose.