Health and Safety Protocols in Wrestling

Health and Safety Protocols in Wrestling

When it comes to wrestling, there are many health and safety risks associated with it. Its heavy physical contact together with the minimal protection worn by wrestlers puts them at risk. Given the physical nature of wrestling, potential injuries should be addressed through medical protocols. 

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Anti-Doping Policies In Wrestling

Like many other competitive sports, wrestling has had several big doping scandals. To fix this issue, various wrestling organizations have implemented strict anti-doping measures. One of them is the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA), which is now known as United World Wrestling (UWW). It follows the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code, which is the international standard for anti-doping in sports. 

Fighters have to go through different tests to be able to compete. In-competition testing is held during wrestling events. Here the committee selects athletes for random drug testing. This way they check the presence of prohibited substances like anabolic steroids and stimulants. These can enhance performance and provide unfair advantages to wrestlers. Fighters may also be subject to unannounced testing at any time, regardless of whether they are actively competing or not. 

Penalties for doping violations can be severe and damaging to wrestlers’ careers. They may include suspensions, fines, and disqualification from major competitions. Those found guilty of doping several times may be expelled from wrestling altogether.

The Most Common Health Issues Professional Wrestlers Face

Here is the list of the most common health-related issues that professional wrestlers may struggle with:

  • Skin Infections. The biggest risk that comes with wrestling is skin infections. Direct skin-to-skin contact is common because of its physical nature. In addition, wrestlers don’t wear a lot of padding and have primarily bare skin. Skin infections such as mat herpes, ringworm, strep, and others thrive in these conditions. Wrestlers are required to adhere to a stringent regimen that includes washing all practice and match apparel as soon as possible, taking a daily skin check, and showering right away after practices and matches to help prevent these conditions. 
  • Concussions. These are particularly common in wrestlers. Wrestlers are frequently hurled to the ground while donning flimsy headgear that isn’t strong enough to shield their heads.
  • Weight Issues. To be eligible for a lighter weight class, some wrestlers resort to harmful means. This is not an appropriate practice. Wrestlers should follow a balanced diet and recommended dietary standards, just like any other athlete. To avoid the temptation of harmful weight loss strategies like fasting or severe diets, wrestlers should compete in the right weight class.
  • Youth-Related Risks. Younger wrestlers are more likely to get injuries compared to older athletes. They usually suffer from common shoulder girdles and elbow dislocations. As they are still developing physically, young wrestlers are more likely than adult wrestlers to sustain these injuries.
  • Cauliflower Ear. A common injury among wrestlers is the cauliflower ear. It happens when an infected or improperly drained wound causes blood to pool in the outer ear.
  • Knee Bursitis. The length of time wrestlers spend on the ground bending their knees is the cause of this frequent ailment. When the knee gets inflamed due to frequent, repetitive motions performed on the joints, bursitis develops.

Medical Regulations in Wrestling

At both the amateur and professional levels, wrestling organizations implement medical regulations to reduce injuries and provide appropriate care during competition and training. These practices cover athlete eligibility, pre-participation medical examinations, injury prevention measures, and medical personnel requirements.

Pre-participation examinations are a standard practice, where wrestlers go thorough medical assessments to check their health and identify any conditions that may affect their ability to compete safely. Sports paramedics may be present at wrestling events to provide immediate medical care in the event of an injury.

Wrestling organizations have specific medical protocols like on-site medical care, facilitating referrals to appropriate healthcare providers, and implementing rehabilitation plans for fighter’s recovery and return to competition. 

Disciplinary and safety regulations in wrestling

Wrestling draws in thousands of viewers from all around the world for the major championships. That’s why it’s important to have disciplinary and safety regulations, as these help to ensure sportsmanship and the physical well-being of the fighters. 

Parties involved in this sport have the guidelines to be able to protect fighters from possible injuries harmful to their well-being.

  • Safety Equipment: The athletes have to wear safety equipment during competitions. The gear such as headgear, mouthguards, and knee pads helps protect them from head injuries and abrasions.
  • Prohibited Actions: Striking, eye gouging, and small joint manipulation are forbidden in the sport. If the fighter violates these rules, point deductions or possible disqualification may be imposed on him.
  • Referee Intervention: Referees has to stop the match if they see that a wrestler is at risk or if there is a rule violation. They should issue warnings, deduct points, or disqualify wrestlers for moves that are forbidden or inappropriate actions.
  • Post-match Evaluation: After the fight, wrestlers may undergo evaluations to check up their health condition. This way they can address any injuries sustained during competition and receive appropriate treatment.
  • Disciplinary Procedures: These are there to address any misconduct, inappropriate behavior, or violations of rules during fights. Depending on the violation, these procedures usually include warnings, fines, or suspensions from future competitions.

Final Thoughts

Professional wrestling challenges the athlete’s health, so having protocols in place ensures that fighters are safe and can continue competing in the sport. While fans are enjoying the show and tune in from all over the world, wrestling associations should acknowledge and value the fighters that participate in competitions. Health and safety protocos and policies ensure not only overall well-being of the athletes but also great experience for the viewers.

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