Sweeping changes have been made the weight classes in high school wrestling after the National Federation of State High School Associations’ wrestling rules committee approved an upward shift that changes 10 of the 14 weight classes.
The four weight classes that did not change are 145, 152, 160 and 285 pounds. The new weights are: 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285.
When aligned against the new weights, however, the 145-, 152- and 160-pound classes are not in the same position (7-8-9) as they have been since 1988 (8-9-10), which was the last time there were wholesale changes to the weights.
Vandalia coach Jason Clay said he expects to fill all 14 weight classes next season, but he is not overly thrilled with the changes.
"I'm not a huge fan of it," he said. "They basically eliminated one weight between 130 and 145, which is where we have a lot of kids.
"We have an easier time finding kids who are in the 130 and 140 range then we do at the upper weights."
The five Vandalia individuals who made the state tournament this past season had weights of 125, 135, 140, 152 and 171, and the Vandals had the most depth between 125 and 160.
"I don't think we'll have trouble filling every weight, but it's a matter of how experienced each weight will be,” Clay said. “We have a good chunk of kids in the 140 range, so losing one weight there may hurt.
"You have to sell the sport to a lot of kids at a young age,” he said. “It's a sport for little kids and big kids; we need kids of all sizes."
The new weights stem from a 3-4 year process that involved analyzing weights of about 200,000 wrestlers from around the country.
Approximately 7 percent of all high school wrestlers are hoped to be in each weight class next season.