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Delaying a Drop Down May Be Biggest Change


Of all the rule changes this year, this one has flown under the radar of having impact on the action and scoring this season. 

There is a change to the drop-down rule for the NCAA 2017-18 season. If the top wrestler drops down below the waist and does not advance for five seconds, a stall call against the top wrestler will be called as in the previous season. A new clarification encourages the referee to allow progress of the bottom wrestler beyond that five seconds, if the referee believes there is a scoring opportunity. This is to be called like locked hands where the ref should let the bottom man score if he can. 

This did cross my brain a few times last year. Top Wrestlers knowing they have a stall to give could "waste" an amount of time floating and knowing they could drop down to give up that first stall. A few times it appeared the bottom man could break the lock on a leg and be in really good position to get behind for a reversal but the referee would automatically blow his whistle at the 5-count regardless. This year that has changed. The ref should allow the advantage to the bottom man if they feel they have it. 

Of course, this is kind of interesting. If the top man has received a stall warning earlier in the match, the bottom guy will receive that point on a 2nd call after his score. This creates some unusual sequences like: reversal 2, nf 4, and then stalling 1 after the action. 

This may happen with more frequency than at first blush. Also, does this lead to a "yolo" Dylan Ness throw from bottom as soon as the ref counts to five? Hell, let's throw a locked hands call into the mix and get a reversal 2, near fall 4, stall 1 and technical violation locked hands 1 to give an 8-point move. It could happen with the rule change depending on how much the refs buy into the leniency.