The sport of wrestling has been left relatively unchanged throughout its history, but a radical transformation in the look of high school wrestling might not be too far away.
Two years ago, the NCAA approved the use of two-piece wrestling uniforms, “doubles” as they are called, as opposed to a singlet. The new uniforms feature a body hugging short-sleeved top that tucks into form fitting shorts, not dissimilar to the bottom half of a singlet. The uniforms have been approved for use in NCAA wrestling competition for two years, but are worn by few teams. While many rules changes start at the collegiate level before trickling down to the high schools, there are no plans to allow the uniforms in high school competition for now.
“We’ve had discussions on it,” said Bob Colgate, assistant director for the National Federation of State High School Associations.
“We’ve had a proposal come to our committee, but our committee has not approved it. In due time it may get through, but right now, they’re still looking at it.
“The singlet became popular in the 1970s, but had been in use internationally as far back as the 1960 Olympic games. Before that, two-piece and three-piece uniforms were the norm.The two-piece uniform became popular for workouts and at younger age levels, but feelings are mixed among current high school wrestlers.
“I like the two-piece uniforms,” said St. Augustine junior Leon White. “But the thing about two-piece uniforms is, as you’re wrestling, if a kid grabs it he can pull it out and now you have an untucked shirt.”
Delsea sophomore Eric Reger has worn two-piece uniforms in all-star competition for Team New Jersey and would like to see them approved at the high school level.
“I actually prefer the two-piece,” Reger said. “It’s different than the singlet and all the teams don’t have it and I would be looking for something that the Buy Cialis Online other teams don’t have.”
Reger said concerns over safety and getting hands caught in the seams are easily fixed.
“If they don’t fit right you can grab it,” Reger said. “But if it fits right, it’s just like a normal singlet.”
Schalick senior Joe Manno agrees with Reger.
“I’ve wrestled people that had them,” Manno said. “And it didn’t seem to be a problem.”
Manno said he’s never worn one, but is looking into getting one for tournaments outside of high school.
Schalick coach Brian Farnham said his team wouldn’t have them if they were approved.
“I wouldn’t even consider it,” Farnham said.
However, Delsea coach Greg Sawyer sees the two-piece uniform in a different light.
“If they allowed them, I would definitely look into it,” Sawyer said. “I like them. It’s just something different.”
The fact that the uniforms are heavier and cover more of the body does present other concerns.
“They are hotter,” Reger said. “But you’re wrestling six minutes. It’s not an hour-long event, you cool back down in a couple minutes.”