High school college wrestling nwca weight management program
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High School & College Wrestling NWCA Weight Management Program PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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High School & College Wrestling NWCA Weight Management Program. Brian Waiter MS, ATC Co-Head Athletic Trainer Carlisle High School. Past History for Weight Management and Wrestling at the College Setting. Previous Protocol

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High School & College Wrestling NWCA Weight Management Program

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High School & College Wrestling NWCA Weight Management Program

Brian Waiter MS, ATC

Co-Head Athletic Trainer

Carlisle High School

Past History for Weight Management and Wrestling at the College Setting

  • Previous Protocol

  • Prior to 1999 there were no wrestling certifications for specific weight classes.

  • Individuals could wrestle at preferred weight class.

  • No limitations on jumping from one class to the next.

  • Problems with Past Protocol for the College Level

  • Unhealthy Eating Behaviors

  • In 1997 three wrestlers died within 35 days of each other

  • Extreme Weight Loss/Yo-Yo Dieting

Past History for Weight Management and Wrestling at the High School Setting

Previous Protocol

  • The year 2000 wrestler was certified by physician.

  • Could change wrestling weight class from week to week.

  • In 2003 rule changes required athletes to wrestle 50 percent of matches at certified weight.


  • Extreme Weight Loss/Yo-Yo Dieting

  • Unhealthy Eating Habits

  • In March 2004, a high school wrestling coach in the southeastern part of the United States was being investigated by the Sheriffs Department for child abuse charges stemming from overseeing inappropriate weight loss activities of a wrestler.

Evolution of Weight Management Program for College Wrestling

  • Research Studies by NWCA, NCAA, & NFHS to Determine Course of Action for New Wrestling Weight Program

  • Sport scientists research information and Mike Moyer, executive director, of the NWCA were the driving force behind the development of the new weight program.

  • Rationale for Implementation of NWCA Weight Management Program

  • Elimination of all weight control practices that could potentially risk the health of wrestlers.

  • Focus on competition, not weight loss.

  • Recommendation should be practical, enforceable, and scientifically based.

  • Ways to Accomplish Goals of NWCA for Each Individual Wrestler

  • Assess individuals hydration level

  • Assess body fat percentage

  • Identify body weight

  • Purpose of Raw Data Assessments

  • Put safeguards into place that would identify the lowest allowable weight class.

  • Establish a safe weight loss descent plan.

  • Introduction of New Weight Management Program for Wrestling at Collegiate Level

  • The 1998-1999 college wrestling season was the first year for the New Weight Management Program by the NWCA.

  • The NWCA program was mandatory nationwide.

  • New regulations for college wrestling allowed an individual to only lose 1 ¼ percent of his overall body weight.

  • College wrestlers were not able to go below 5 percent body fat during each wrestling season.

  • If a college wrestler’s body fat was below the 5 percent minimum, the person needed an authorized medical examiner to sign off to indicate that it is natural for this individual.

Evolution of Weight Management Program for High School Wrestling

  • Introduction of Weight Management Program to High School Wrestling

  • Prior to Pennsylvania joining New Weight Management Program, 35 of 50 states had started to use it.

  • Weight Management Program got its start in Pennsylvania by individual wrestlers trying it on their own in 2005-2006 season.

  • Introduction of New Weight Program

  • By the start of 2006-2007 wrestling season the PIAA and NFHS makes the new weight management program mandatory.

  • Prior to use of NWCA Weight Management Program there were no limitations on how much weight a wrestler could lose per week.

  • Under the new guidelines of the Weight Management Program like the college rules each wrestler cannot lose more than 1.5 percent of his total body weight

  • Wrestlers are not able to compete under 7 percent body fat with the NWCA Program

  • Similar to the collegiate level, individuals at the high school level who are below the 7 percent body fat minimum during the initial assessment must get an signature of authorized medical examiner indicating that the individuals current body fat is natural.

  • Qualifications to be Trained Assessor

  • Each state identifies master assessors that are certified athletic trainers.

  • Master assessors train others to go to local sites to assess wrestlers.

  • Pennsylvania’s master assessors include:Larry Cooper, ATC (West) John Moyer, ATC (East)

  • Professions Eligible for Training

  • Authorized Medical Examiners

  • Authorized Medical Examiners may include: licensed physician of medicine or osteopathic medicine, physician assistant, nurse practitioner or school nurse practitioner, athletic trainers, or other Allied Health Care professionals of member school sport medicine staffs determined by school physician and principal of school.

  • Requirements for Becoming a Trained Assessor

  • Two hours of classroom training and one hour of practical training.

  • A fee may be charged to each assessor candidate to attend a training program.

  • Annual educational updates will be given to maintain training.

  • Responsibilities for the Trained Assessor

  • Conduct the required testing.

  • Assessor will be responsible for compiling and entering the measurement results in the Optimal Performance Calculator on the NWCA Web site.

  • Initial Hydration Assessments for College and High School

  • High School wrestlers can start as early as October 19th but has to be completed prior to the start of the first official wrestling practice, which is November 26th.

  • College wrestlers just need to have it completed prior to the start of the first official wrestling practice.

  • Protocol for Hydration Assessment for College and High School

  • Weigh wrestlers in on digital scale.

  • Use Lange Skinfold Calipers to take body fat measurements from the wrestler by PATS/NWCA trained assessor.

  • Three sites for skinfold measurements are taken at the chest, abdomen, and thigh.

  • Assessors must take three measurements at each skinfold site for accuracy.

  • Wrestler must fill specimen cup with urine to determine if each individual is properly hydrated.

  • Assessor uses refractometer to determine if wrestler meets appropriate guidelines.

  • Appropriate Hydration Levels for Wrestlers

  • For collegiate wrestlers they cannot exceed 1.020 for the reading on the refractometer.

  • For high school wrestlers they cannot exceed 1.025 for the reading on the refractometer.

  • Equipment for Hydration Assessment

  • Refractometer-Digital/Manual

  • Distilled Water

  • Graduated Pipettes

  • Rubber Gloves

  • Paper Towel

  • Primary Reasons for Wrestler Failing the Hydration Test

  • Did not drink enough water prior to hydration assessment.

  • Consumed caffeine prior to assessment during the day.

  • If wrestler fails the hydration assessment they are required to wait 24 hours before trying again.

  • Appeal Process at the College & High School Level

  • Each wrestler has the option of appealing the results of the certified weight recommendations by NWCA.

  • The appeal can be registered by the athlete, coach, or parent by a school official.

  • The appeal must be filed with the PIAA or NCAA organization by a school official prior to start of first wrestling contest.

  • The individual wrestler is instructed to go to a regional site identified by either the NCAA or PIAA to verify certification weight.

  • The individual wrestler is responsible for paying the site fee of 85 dollars out of pocket and is non-refundable pass/fail.

  • Preparation Needed by Wrestler for Appeal Process

  • Athlete needs to be hydrated before any testing is done.

  • Specific Gravity testing is done and must be equal to or below 1.025 for appeal process to proceed.

  • Student must wear form fitting speedo or lycra/spandex type swimsuit or single layer compression short without padding.

  • Student must not exercise two hours prior to testing.

  • Student should limit food consumption two hours before the test.

  • The regional site fee for additional testing is not returned to the athlete regardless of pass/fail results.

  • The equipment used for appeal of weight certification is typically done by either hydrostatic weighing or a bod pod.

  • If student-athlete loses appeal process, they are not permitted to re-apply for the rest of the current season.

  • Nutritional Component of NWCA Weight Management Program

  • Program can assist the wrestler in meeting daily and weekly goals for weight maintenence through nutritional component.

  • Nutritional program is available to every wrestler that participates in PIAA or NCAA.

  • Nutrition program establishes its menus on a 55 percent carbohydrate, 30 percent fat, and 15 percent protein dietary profile.

  • Uses specific volumes and serving sizes.

  • Nutrition program also recommends diets and sample menus and offers choices based on personal preferences.

  • Nutrition component will also assist with long term goals during season to reach lower weight within certification range.

  • Individual wrestlers and parents have ability to set up nutritional components on program with individual ID and passwords.

  • Accountability Issues with NWCA Program.

  • Weekly updates of each wrestlers current weight must be typed in following each wrestling match by the coach.

  • Each teams coach has access to weekly updates of current weights of opposing teams.

  • Ensures integrity of the program.

  • Signs of Success Related to Weight Certification Program

  • Studies were conducted by researchers from various universities from 1992 to 1999 in the NCAA.

  • A total of 4,338 wrestlers were studied.

  • In 1992 the average weight gain after weigh ins prior to competition was 8 pounds.

  • In 1999 the average weight gain after weigh-ins prior to competition was 1.5 pounds. (Weight Management Program in Place)

  • In 1998 the average weight gain was 6 pounds after weigh-ins with seven pound weight allowance prior to competition.

  • In 1999 there were 420 NCAA qualifiers, and the average weight lost from October to November was 6.74 pounds.

  • During the same time the average decrease in body fat was 2.38 percent, which would indicate that most weight lost during the season was fat weight as opposed to muscle mass.

  • The average percent body fat at the NCAA Championships was 8.47 percent with very few athletes at or below 5 percent.

  • Thank you

  • Brian Waiter

  • [email protected]

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