Atomic City Update: Wrestling changes should make the sport better for everyone

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By Phil Scherer

Last week, several changes were made to the rules in high school wrestling that should make the sport safer and make the experience better for everyone. Watching wrestling is one of the most exciting things I have been able to do in my time here in New Mexico, as the competition is always fierce and the drama is second-to-none. 

The one thing that has always concerned me has been the injury risk, which seems to be higher than in almost any other sport. That shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering the hand-to-hand combat nature of the sport. 

But unlike other sports, where injuries are seen as an automatic end of competition, it seems that in the past wrestlers have pushed through serious injuries even when the risk is high. 

Until now, wrestlers have gotten 90 seconds of injury time during matches, and five minutes to get bleeding stopped. Now, as long as there is a medical professional onsite, there will be a five-minute clock started when there is a possible head or neck injury. If there is reason to believe an injury has occurred according to the medical professional, the wrestler must immediately forfeit the match. 

This is a step in the right direction, and I hope it will lead people to be more conscious and careful of injuries moving forward. It is a serious concern. 

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