NDHSAA looks at reducing Class B weight classes
FARGO -- Class B wrestling could have a new look next season. The North Dakota High School Activities Association Board will consider reducing the amount of weight classes in Class B from 14 to 12 for a one-year trial period next year at next wee...
FARGO -- Class B wrestling could have a new look next season.
The North Dakota High School Activities Association Board will consider reducing the amount of weight classes in Class B from 14 to 12 for a one-year trial period next year at next week's meeting in Valley City.
"There are a handful of Class B schools that have pretty good numbers," Lisbon coach Joe Kern said. "But, for the majority, you are looking at 10-20 kids. ... It might be the best thing for North Dakota wrestling."
A recommendation by the NDHSAA's advisory committee could change the weight classes to 105 pounds, 112, 119, 126, 132, 138, 145, 155, 167, 185, 205 and 285, or to a separate recommendation by the National Federation of High School Associations.
The current weight classes in North Dakota Class A and Class B are: 103, 112, 119, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 152, 160, 171, 189, 215 and 285.
Kern said cutting two weight classes could reduce the opportunities for larger Class B schools.
"I would like to see it reduced by one and drop it to 13, instead of dropping two," said Kern, who had about 34 wrestlers from grades 7-12. "We're pretty good numbers-wise. It would just make it tougher for our kids to make the varsity lineup."
It could also be difficult for wrestlers to revert back to standard weight classes for large tournaments or meets with North Dakota Class A and Minnesota competition, Hillsboro co-head coach Eric Ptacek said.
"With a new weight program adopted four years ago, it makes things a lot more difficult to go to one of those tournaments and wrestle 135, because now you can't make 132 the next week," Ptacek said.
Wrestlers are only allowed to cut a small percent of their total body weight each week.
Ptacek said a reduction in weight has been voted down by the NDHSAA board each of the last five years. Class B coaches voted unanimously to recommend fewer weight classes in four of those years, he said.
Dropping two classes could cut 32 participants from the state tournament. That could be the major roadblock in getting it passed by the NDHSAA, Ptacek said.
Kern said a change would likely help smaller Class B schools compete without having to forfeit several weight classes due to lack of participation.
"There were a lot (of forfeits), I have to admit that." Kern said. "Some schools had four or five open weights."
"It kind of takes fun out of the duals when you drive two hours and show up to wrestle four matches and go home," Ptacek added.
The NDHSAA board is scheduled to meet Monday and next Tuesday.
Hotzler is a sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.