Michlynn Churchwell, Contributor

Wrestling is the newest sport to join an ever-growing list of sports available for Palestine High School students.

The host school for wrestling Oblong, and so far, five Palestine students have signed up to participate.  The sport is a winter sport, so practices have not started yet.

PHS has never offered wresting as a sport before and many may not know much about it.

First of all, wrestlers are required to weigh in before every match so that they will be placed in the correct weight category.

Both girls and boys may wrestle, but there are hairstyle restrictions.  Various twists are allowed, but they can’t be abrasive, and hair cannot be below your eyebrows.

The equipment and uniform has a few requirements too. They can’t have any straps on the headgear criss-crossed and they can’t have any tape on the head gear. Shoe laces have to be secured on taped around the ankle. A proper mouth guard is required. Knee sleeves/braces need referee approval. If a wrestler reports to the mat without all of his equipment it will be a technical violation.

The starting sequence goes a little bit like this. Once the bottom wrestler is set, the top wrestler will cover, making sure their palm is covering the opponents elbow. It cannot be a thumb or first finger pinch. The referee will then say “set” and pause momentarily before he blows the whistle and starts the match. The top wrestler may not touch or use the bottom opponent as a stabilizer.

An escape is when the opponent is on offense. It is not an escape if both wrestlers are on their feet facing each other, while the top wrestler still has his hands locked around the body. It could be an escape if the officials feels the distance between the players; this is usually and arms length worth of distance.

There is a difference between stalling and being overpowered. Neutral position is where both wrestlers should work on staying in bounds. Backing off the mat with no attempt to circle, or pushing or pulling your opponent off the mat is stalling. Offensive and defensive positions is where the top wrestler gives space and taking advantage of it.

Wrestling is not without risks. If a contestant is injured as a result of a false start, the injured wrestler is entitled to two minutes of recovery time.  Suplay and salto are throws and they’re very dangerous. Another dangerous move is an Arm Trap Lift. While on their feet, if a wrestler’s arm is trapped and the opponent lifts the off the mat, this creates a potentially dangerous situation and need to be stopped immediately. Head taps above the eyebrow are allowed, but head slaps and clubbing are not.