Some area high school wrestling coaches aren't pleased with the new guidelines for weight classes but realize their teams will need to adapt.

Some area high school wrestling coaches aren't pleased with the new guidelines for weight classes but realize their teams will need to adapt.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) approved the changes during its meeting April 4-6 in Indianapolis.

Tim Stried, director of information services for the Ohio High School Athletic Association, said the changes will be in effect for the coming season.

It is the first significant change in weight classes in 23 years.

The lowest weight class, 103 pounds, is being increased to 106, which resulted in new weights in 10 of the 14 classes.

The new weight classes are 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285. Only 145, 152, 160 and 285 remain unchanged.

The previous weight classes were 103, 112, 119, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 152, 160, 171, 189, 215 and 285.

"The NFHS has been studying the weight classes in wrestling for several years to determine which weight classes are most appropriate for today's student-athletes across the country that will result in fewer classes going unfilled," Stried said. "These new weight classes are the result of countless hours of data analysis by the NFHS, and Ohio will certainly comply with the new weight classes. Like anything, it will take some time for our member schools to be comfortable with the changes, but we can all appreciate that the NFHS is trying to do the right thing for kids."

Westerville North coach David Grant is concerned that the increase in the lowest weight to 106 will adversely affect lighter competitors.

Grant said his 103-pounder last season, Santino DiSabato, weighed between 85 and 90 pounds, but now is moving closer to 106 in preparation for next season.

"I don't like the weight class changes because it hurts the kids that are little," Grant said. "I have Santino DiSabato, who had a hard time making 103. Now they take it to 106, so it hurts the younger kids, the freshmen. You're going to have a lot of kids not able to be competitive at that weight. They're too young, too little."

Hilliard Davidson coach Dominic DiSabato, Santino's uncle, is not in favor of the shift in weight classes.

"For our program, I'm not a big fan of it," he said. "We'll try to get every weight class filled and then wrestle. It will hurt us in duals. Hopefully, we have a couple bigger kids coming out for the team next year and it won't hurt us as bad as it could have in the past. We just have to have our wrestlers wrestle the best they can. The other schools are in the same position we are."

Marysville coach Shawn Andrews said his program will adapt to the new guidelines, and he believes the changes actually might help his team next season.

Andrews said he expects the lower weights to be a strength of his program.

"Looking at it selfishly for a year or two, it helps Marysville specifically because it's where we have more guys than less guys, but in the broad scope of wrestling, it seems a little odd that they took away a weight class from some of the weight classes that are most competitive and then added some at the top," Andrews said. "It helps some kids from football or some kids who are concerned about losing too much weight between 171 and 189."

According to the NFHS, the last major change in weight classes occurred in 1988, when the lowest class was increased from 98 to 103. The only other changes since then were in 2002, when the number of classes went from 13 to 14 and the 215-pound weight class became mandatory, and in 2006, when the 275-pound class was increased to 285.

The NFHS also adopted a rule change involving the figure four hold around the head, which now is illegal. Previously, the figure four was illegal around the body or both legs.

"I like the new rule, it will work out," Grant said. "The figure four is unfair. It's a pretty big advantage to have that locked up like that. I don't like the figure four. ... Two legs against the neck is usually not a good idea."

In another change, the boundary line now is considered inbounds. Previously, a wrestler was out of bounds if he or she was touching any part of the line, which is two inches wide.

"I like expanding the mat a little bit and having the line inbounds instead of out of bounds," coach DiSabato said. "I'm just curious how it's going to be called because of the size of the gyms. The mats are closer together, but you award the aggressor as much as you can and that tends to help out if the line is inbounds rather than out of bounds."