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August 14, 1967

Wrestling and Weight Control

JAMA. 1967;201(7):541-543. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130070061019

Wrestling is an excellent sport, especially for high school students. It offers personal combative experiences to competitive-minded youths of any height and weight. It demands total readiness: superb mental and physical strength, stamina, and skill. Weight classifications provide the structure for safe and equitable competition. Weight control maintains the wrestler's readiness for competition at an appropriate (certified) weight level.

The recent rapid growth in popularity of interscholastic wrestling—participation has nearly tripled since 1960—is testimony that most schools, communities, and parents share the views of the AMA Committee on the Medical Aspects of Sports that it is a worthy sport. However, wrestling's good name has been tainted by charges that ill-advised practices of weight control are in use.

Allegedly, some wrestling coaches have (1) required growing boys to attain and maintain for the season certified weights considerably below their optimum weights and (2) advised boys to lose weight suddenly by crash