Four experimental wrestling rules were approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Wednesday, all of which center around limiting stalling with hopes of creating more action on the mat.
Two of the rules will be implemented for the 2014-15 season, both focusing on wrestlers who are in control in the top position.
The first rule states if a wrestler in control locks or holds an opponent’s leg(s) and does breakdown the opponent, execute an offensive move, or work to the upper body for five seconds — stalling will be called on the wrestler in control.
The second rule states a wrestler in control will be called for stalling after five seconds if a side headlock is applied with no attempt to breakdown or execute an offensive move on the defensive wrestler.
The referee’s five-second count will be verbal and visual for both rules.
Stalling or a stalemate has commonly been used with this situation in the past, but establishing a five-second count eliminates any arbitrary decision making from a referee.
The NCAA states: “Both of the approved experimental rules are designed to promote offensive wrestling by limiting stalling tactics or a way to position oneself in a stalemate situation.”
The other two experimental rules will be used exclusively at the annual National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic on Nov. 1 at the University of Pennsylvania.
One of the rules encourages wrestlers in the neutral position to stay in the center of the mat with stalling being called against those who are not actively engaged in an offensive attack, or a defensive counter to an offensive attack, while their feet are out of bounds.
The other rule allows wrestlers who have scored a takedown or reversal to choose to resume wrestling in a neutral position after a stoppage in the action without surrendering an escape point.