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NCAA Approves Three-Point Takedown in Wrestling Matches



The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved the motion to make all takedowns in wrestling matches worth three points. This adjustment was among a number of other rule changes discussed during a meeting on Thursday, according to a release by the NCAA.

Members of the Wrestling Rules Committee, which proposed the change, agreed that increasing the scoring for takedowns by an additional point will enhance the sport by rewarding wrestlers for offensive actions and additional risk-taking.

The committee also agreed there was a need to create a more appropriate point differential between takedowns and escapes and give offense an incentive when competitors are in the neutral position.

To help balance the new takedown scoring rule, there also are new requirements for the top wrestler to work toward a near fall or pin. A 3-point near-fall scoring component was added. Previously, officials could award 2 or 4 points for near falls. The rationale for the rule change includes giving wrestlers a chance to be more creative in attempting to earn points.

The panel also approved the removal of the hand-touch takedown. For video review, the referee has been given the authority to confirm or overturn all calls or missed calls during a challenge sequence, which is the time from the error or missed call until the match is, or should have been, stopped.

Other rule changes carrying a greater impact include the first medical forfeit of a tournament will count as a loss on the wrestler’s record (an exception will be made if the medical forfeit occurs immediately after an injury default in a tournament), the penalty for a delayed coaches video review challenge request will be changed to a loss of the video review (previously, it was a control-of-mat violation and one-point deduction from the team point total) and the current mandatory five-second count for the waist and ankle ride will be expanded to include all situations in which the top wrestler grasps the bottom wrestler’s ankle.

The latter rule change again carries benefits toward offensive attempts for a wrestler.

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