All other things being equal, wrestling is a sport where extra mass can give an athlete a considerable advantage over his opponent. This is the main reason why weight classes are strictly enforced at every level of competition, from youth leagues all the way to the Olympics.

As a high school wrestler, one of your biggest concerns throughout the season will be making weight. Here’s a brief guide to what you need to know about weight class rules.

Overview

Currently, the National Federation of State High School Associations recognizes 14 weight classes:  106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 200, and 285 pounds.  To be eligible to compete in a sanctioned event, wrestlers must weigh at or below the maximum limit for his weight class.

Weigh-in

Prior to a match, athletes weigh in on a calibrated medical scale as officials and a representative from each team observe. Overweight wrestlers are sometimes given another chance to drop weight; otherwise, they must forfeit their match or be replaced by an alternate.

Growth allowance

High school wrestlers are not expected to maintain the same weight throughout the season. A growth allowance of one to two pounds is granted in both January and February to accommodate possible changes in height as well as weight.

Weight loss restrictions

Athletes have been known to take drastic measures to make sure they fit into their wrestling singlets on game day. To discourage dangerous practices, state and conference athletic associations prohibit unhealthy weight loss techniques, including the regular use of laxatives or diuretics.

Now that you know more about the weight class rules for high school wrestling, you should have a clear idea of what you need to do to meet these eligibility requirements. However, specifics may vary from state to state, so be sure to check with your coach for the most accurate information.