New rules take effect

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— New state rules about losing weight at the last minute will change how Colorado high school wrestlers weigh in this year.

Following the lead of national changes after the death of college wrestlers in the past few years, the Colorado High School Activities Association has put stricter regulations on weigh-ins.

The new rules will let wrestlers have one chance to weigh in. If the wrestlers do not make weight, they get three chances to challenge the scale. That means stepping off the scale and then stepping back on three times.

"It will eliminate really quick weight reduction," CHSAA Associate Commissioner Bill Reader said. "You can't do anything once you step on the scale to reduce that weight."

In the past, sudden weight reduction methods such as exercising with heavy hooded sweatshirts to sweat out the weight or spitting were dangerous, Reader said.

"There was the possibility of dehydration or starvation or getting below the normal level of body fat," Reader said.

Other practices, he said, such as wearing a rubber suit or using saunas to sweat off weight, are also not allowed to be used for taking weight off quickly.

Although Reader said the new rules are geared toward weigh-ins, he did say coaches might be able to find ways around the rules by bringing their own portable scales to away competitions. Portable scales would let wrestlers gauge their weight before the official weigh-in and find ways to lose extra pounds quickly.

Hayden coach James Svoboda said taking your own scales to far-away matches is already a common occurrence, but he does not think the new rules will affect his program that much.

"I take and promote a good, solid weight-loss program. It's not difficult if it's gradual weight loss and you don't wait to do sudden weight loss," he said. "(The new rules) are not a major concern. I don't ask (my wrestlers) to lose that much weight."

Soroco coach Doug Gates does not expect that much of a change either.

"It isn't going to affect us at all," he said. "We don't push weight loss."

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