The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a rules change that allows medical personnel an unlimited and unimpeded amount of time for concussion evaluation of wrestlers, beginning in the 2016-17 season.
Additionally, in cases of uncertainty, the medical staff will have the ability to remove participants from the wrestling area to perform a concussion evaluation. Panel members have asked that these medical evaluations be tracked in order to determine how often this rule is applied and the time it takes to perform an adequate evaluation.
During the evaluation, the match will be suspended until a decision is rendered by the medical professional. The referee, the coaches of both participants and the noninjured wrestler are required to remain on the mat during the evaluation.
A concussion evaluation timeout will not count as an injury timeout or recovery timeout. Coaching of the wrestler being evaluated is not permitted.
In a separate rules change, injured wrestlers will not be permitted to be coached during all other nonbleeding injury timeouts.
In the case of a severe or traumatic situation, medical personnel may request that the wrestler’s coach assist in calming the injured wrestler. However, coaches are required to remove themselves from the situation during any assessment period related to the injury or concussion evaluation.
Both rules changes were issued as interpretations during the 2015-16 wrestling season based on recommendations made at the NCAA Sport Science Institute Wrestling Summit in July 2015.