To: All Wrestling Athletic Directors, Coaches, and Officials
From: Todd Nelson, NYSPHSAA Assistant Director
Date: December 16, 2019
Re: NFHS Extended Injury Time Rule for Head/Neck
This memo is to serve as clarification of the NFHS Injury time modifications for injuries involving the head and/or neck. The NFHS rule is as follows:
b. The following modifications to the injury time-outs will be used in all competitions regarding injuries to the head and the neck involving cervical column and/or nervous system.
- In the absence of appropriate health care professional, (physician and/or certified athletic trainer) all injuries to the head and neck involving cervical column and/or nervous system will be covered by the same timeframe as other injuries. (5-28-6, 8-2- 1).
- When appropriate health care professional(s) are present, they have jurisdiction to extend the allowed time limit to a maximum of five (5) minutes for evaluation of the injuries to the head or neck involving cervical column and/or nervous systems only, at which time the athlete would be required to prepare without delay for continuation or default the match.
- A second occurrence of the injury to the head and neck involving the cervical column and/or nervous system in the same match shall require the wrestler to default the match.
Note: When this provision is used, the time consumed for the injury will in no way affect time used, or available, for other types of injuries. I would like to emphasis that this new rule was added to allow appropriate health care professionals extended time to evaluate injuries to the head and neck. This rule was not intended to give wrestlers extra time to rest during a match. The appropriate health care professional is SOLEY responsible for the determination of the use of extended time. Coaches and Officials do not have any jurisdiction over this extended time. Appropriate health care professionals must not be pressured to use this extended time if they do not feel it is needed for the athlete. Please use this rule as it was intended to be used.