Wrestling History


A Little History 

Wrestling is considered man’s oldest sport and was apart of the ancient Olympics. Wrestling styles and various forms are as different as the cultures that exist here on Earth. Scholars believe wrestling and its many cousins derived as a defensive mechanism to stay alive, thrive, and flourish. Not only was wrestling used as a combative tactic to preserve life, it was also used to strengthen the mind, body, and spirit. Many of the topics alluded to above will be discussed below.

As early as 3400 BC on the continent of Africa, Egyptians were practicing wrestling as a combative skill used to thwart enemies. Soon the Egyptians began to use wrestling as a sport and performed in front of the Pharaohs. Many of these practices and competitions can be seen on the tomb walls of Beni-Hasan, Vizier Ptahhaotpe, Ramesses 3 temple Medinet Habu and other middle Egyptian kingdoms.

Wrestling also has been found in neighboring countries of Africa such as Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. Dating back to 2600 BC, a vase found near Baghdad depicting wrestlers was unearthed. The traditional Turkish style of wrestling, called Kuresh, uses oil on the bodies of competitors to make holds harder to apply. The Iranian style of wrestling, called Paklewani, is also a traditional form that dates back 1000 years. Both the Turks and the Iranians enjoy success today in wrestling with wrestling being the national sport in Iran.

Wrestling in Great Britain dates back to 1829 BC. Many of the styles of wrestling were named after the region where they were developed such as: Cornwall, Cumberland, Westmoreland, & Lancashire. Catch-as-catch-can, a no holds barred forerunner of freestyle wrestling, was said to be developed in Lancashire. Some of these forms of wrestling were called simply strong arm fighting. Scottish wrestlers compete to this day in their Highland Games.

Scandinavian wrestling dates back to the Viking age of 4000 years ago. Glima and Schwingen are two popular styles of wrestling from Sweden and Iceland. Glima is similar to Sumo but wrestlers where trousers and grab belts for control.

It is written that the original Greek Olympics, held in Europe, were started because Zeus and Cromus wrestled for control of the universe. The Greek Olympics were to commemorate Zeus’ victory and began around the 8th century. Wrestling was considered one of the most important Olympic sports held. Records of the first wrestling style champions in the Greek Olympics, known as Ortopali, date back to 708 BC.

Pankration, wrestling mixed with kicking, punching, and striking was also apart of the early Greek Olympics of 648 BC. This combative sport used rope tied around the fist lined with spikes to penetrate opponents. Today, this sport may seem similar to the Ultimate Fighting Championships were just about anything goes. Many participants were injured and even died during Pankration competition.

Around 2 BC, the Roman Empire conquered Greece and forever changed the sport. The Greek style of wrestling had a lot of ground wrestling which was unexciting for spectators (a theme that will be later seen). The Roman style of wrestling had more upright wrestling and spectacular throws from the feet. When these two styles merged, the forerunner of Greco-Roman wrestling was created.

Death was not feared and it was a sign of courage during early Olympia wrestling competition. It was common for losers of competitions or wrestlers who died to be seen as courageous. This idea spawned man wrestling beast to test his physical nature and prowess. African lions were often brought in as man’s supreme opponent. 

Several other styles of wrestling or grappling were developed in Asia. Sumo, Jujitsu, and Judo were all variants of wrestling developed in Japan. Sumo dates back to 23 BC and wrestlers are often 300-400 lbs. Jujitsu was developed by Samurai around 1600 AD and was used when swords were unavailable in close contact. Judo, a daughter of Jujitsu, was founded in 1850 and has been an Olympic sport since the 1964. Both sports use submission holds to subdue opponents while wearing judogis (heavy canvass like jacket). 

India and China also offered unique wrestling styles. Indians had a distinct style known as Pahalwani or Mallavidya that dates back to 11 AD. Hinduism is linked to this form of wrestling and training was in the temples or gyms known as Akharas. Indians felt that strengthening the mind, body, and spirit could be accomplished through wrestling and training. China offered wrestling sports such as Choa Shua, Sanda, & Chin-Na. Some of these styles used jackets like judogis and are closely linked to Tibet and the Mogul Empire. China also is linked to several other styles of wrestling.

With the expansion of the Roman Empire in Europe around 125 AD, the catch-as-catch-can style, a no holds barred forerunner of freestyle wrestling, became popular as did the Olympic Games. 

During the middle ages in Europe, wrestling was akin to knightly skill mainly due to combative tactics that secured kingdoms and the like. Kings of Europe were known to compete against each other most notably King Henry VIII of England & King Francis of France.

The Americas also practiced wrestling as a recreational sport. Native Americans enjoyed the sport and combative training of wrestling prior to America being “discovered”. Seven American presidents are also known to have been skilled wrestlers; two of the presidents were George Washington & Abraham Lincoln and they practiced catch-as-catch-can. 

Catch-as-catch-can was a British variant of wrestling that included neck cranks, toe holds, bent arm and leg locks, & other submission holds. Applying many of these holds took a really long time (boring for spectators) and were deemed too dangerous for the wrestlers health and welfare so the holds were barred. Around that same time, wrestling saw its popularity as a spectator sport decline. Rules were changed to make the sport more people friendly and today we have "Professional Wrestling" which has many scripted and acted displays of sport, performance, and entertainment.

Most nations of this world have some form of wrestling and the former Soviet Union is no exception. During the “Cold War”, folkstyle championships and exhibitions were given to display the diverse styles like tchidaoba from Georgia, kokh from Amernia, gulech from Azerbaidjan, kurach from Uzbekistan, & kurek from Kazakhstan. The Russians are also credited with founding sombo in 1938. Sombo (aka somba, sambo, cambo) is a self-defense strategy turned to sport that combines elements from freestyle & Greco-Roman wrestling, Judo, and Jujitsu. 


Today, the International Amateur Wrestling Federation (FILA) recognizes 3 of the 160 grappling styles as wrestling sports holding world championships. Freestyle, Greco-Roman, & Sombo are internationally recognized by FILA and have world championships. Judo & Jujitu also has world championships but are considered sports in their own right. Judo, Jujitsu, and Sombo all have there own international governing bodies, as do freestyle & Greco-Roman wrestling.

Most experts in the USA recognize collegiate or folkstyle, freestyle, & Greco-Roman as wrestling. Many American’s at the grass roots level and into college wrestle folkstyle while transitioning into freestyle and Greco-Roman later on or after high school. This is because primarily collegiate scholarships can be awarded for folkstyle or collegiate style wrestling. Currently, freestyle and Greco-Roman grappling are the Olympic sports for wrestling. As stated earlier, Judo is also an Olympic sport and is considered a grappling sport but not necessarily wrestling.



History of Wrestling
All In Wrestling - Submission Wrestling
History of Wrestling
The Oldest Sport
Does It Matter if Judo is a Martial Art or a Sport?
The History of Sombo


It is important to understand that combining exercise with good nutrition helps to facilitate an efficient, healthy body & mind. Also important, is to comprehend the Recommended Dietary Allowances. What follows is a brief overview of the aforementioned.


The regular intake of foods that are high in fat, sugar, salt, & cholesterol do more damage to your body than good. These foods increase your chances of stroke, kidney failure, heart disease & obesity while decreasing your motivation to exercise. These foods also inadequately fuel your body; your body will perform at a low, efficiency rate because it was polluted with foods that lacked high nutritional value. The United States Department of Agriculture suggests the ABC's for good health includechoosing a variety of grains daily, especially whole grains & a variety of fruits and vegetables daily.


The foods you eat should increase your overall energy level while decreasing your chances of chronic diseases. The Health and Human Services also believes to choose a diet that is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, & moderate in total fat to decrease your likelihood of stroke, kidney failure, heart disease & obesity. Choosing foods with lower salts and sugars will decrease your caloric & sodium intake while increasing your nutritional value; this leads to efficient food consumption and decreases the risk of high blood pressure. The Dietary Guidelines for American's suggest to choose beverages and foods that moderate your intake of sugars and prepare foods with less salt to lesson unnecessary weight gain & high blood pressure.


The International Food Information Council (IFIC) believes a wide variety of foods rich in essential nutrients are necessary for healthy, growing bodies. Many of these foods can be seen in the below "Food Guide Pyramid". The IFIC went on to say such foods include carbohydrate-rich grains and fruits and vegetables necessary to supply vitamins, minerals, fiber and energy vital to good health. Adequate amounts of dairy products, lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, dry beans and nuts also provide nutrients that contribute to proper growth and development. Following this prescription & exercising increases your health while adding life to your years. 


These locations are provided only as a resource. Additional information is available directly from the various sites. BKWC does not endorse any of the web sites. Related Words are provided by WebMD & Bartleby.com


Related Words
Fats & Oils
Yo-Yo Diet
Diet Pills
Eating Disorders


Informational Links
National Institutes of Health
United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Health & Human Services
International Food Information Council
American Dietetic Association
American Heart Association
American Cancer Society

What Is Wrestling All About? 

The name of the game in wrestling is "take them down & pin them". But what really constitutes a take down and what is a pin?. These questions will be unraveled along with many more basic folkstyle rules, scoring, & positions. 

First, let's explain the difference between professional wrestling and folkstyle wrestling. Although the general idea is the same, "take them down & pin them", the focus or thrust of each style of wrestling is different. Professional wrestling is purely entertainment lacking true competition and/or any rules except for the rules of drama, acting, & scripting. Folkstyle wrestling is purely competitive and has many rules some of which we will cover.



At the beginning of a folkstyle match, the wrestlers are both standing in the neutral position. The neutral position literally is neutral because neither wrestler has control of another i.e. both wrestlers have neutral control. If either wrestlers gets established control via a take down, 2 points are awarded (the points are awarded for established control). A take down occurs in folkstyle wrestling when one gets established control from the standing neutral position. Established control in this sense means getting behind the opponent & taking the opponent down to the mat or ground & controlling the opponent for at least 1 second. Often times in folkstyle matches, control is not gained & 2 points are not awarded because the referee feels no one had established control or the 1 second of control did not occur. This lack of established control may be called a scramble.


Referee's Position

Wrestlers can score points from the neutral standing position or the top & bottom positions. The French call this top & bottom position par terre (which means on the mat or ground). American (USA) folkstylers call this position, where one wrestler is given a clear control starting position, referee's position. The wrestler given the clear control starting position is the top wrestler. The wrestler who is being controlled is in the bottom position. If the wrestler on bottom reverses control, s/he is awarded 2 points for a reversal. If the wrestler on bottom escapes control, s/he is awarded 1 point for an escape. As stated earlier, wrestlers can score from all positions.


Near Fall

The top wrestler may score by trying to pin the opponent or pinning the opponent. This occurs when the top wrestler uses control holds or techniques to get the opponents shoulders or back to the mat or ground. When the top wrestler gets the opponents back or shoulders 45 degrees to the mat or ground & controls or holds the back/shoulders for 3-5 seconds in that position, aka near fall or back points, points are awarded (3 seconds = 2 points & 5 seconds = 3 points). If the opponent's back/shoulders are flat to the mat, a pin or fall has occurred (when attempting to pin is the only time the top wrestler may lock hands). The timing (time back/shoulders must be pinned to the mat) of the pin/fall varies in the USA from 1 second to 3 seconds depending on age groups.



Points can also be given if either wrestler is deemed to be stalling or not attempting to be active in controlling holds or techniques. The referee has discretion in this area or the referee decides if a wrestler is stalling and not attempting to be active. Stalling starts off as a warning from the referee and eventually leads to disqualification. Along the way or prior to disqualification, points are awarded for lack of controlling attempts.


Other penalty points may be awarded for the following illegal holds, techniques: kicking, biting, scratching, talking, locking hands while not attempting to pin, & other similar un-sportsman like conduct. Wrestlers may lock hands in the neutral position prior to a take down or while attempting to pin in the top position. All other locked hands are illegal and can lead to disqualification.


Essentially, control is what awarded in folkstyle wrestling. The ultimate control in wrestling is the pin. Wrestlers may also be awarded points for escapes, take downs, reversals, stalling, locked hands & flagrant misconduct (penalty points). This paper highlighted some key terms and scoring rules and is only a brief guide to help you understand the basics.



·  neutral = both standing; neutral control


·  referee's position = top & bottom or par terre; top control


·  take down = 2 points; established control


·  reversal = 2 points; reverse control


·  escape = 1 point; escape control


·  near fall = 2 or 3 points; control back/shoulders to mat or ground


·  stalling = points accumulate till disqualification; no attempt at control


·  pin or fall = match over; pin back/shoulders to mat


·  penalty points = biting, kicking, scratching, talking, locked hands, & other flagrant misconduct


Frequently Used Wrestling Terminology


CAUTION: A ruling made by the referee where one wrestler is called for stalling, a false start, wrong starting position, etc. A second offense is a penalty. See: Stalling, Warning.

CONTROL: A position of advantage where one wrestler maintains restraining power over the other. This usually means that the other wrestler is off his feet and on the mat.

CRADLE: A pinning situation where the offensive wrestler has his opponent's head and one of his legs encircled, usually with his arms. In a pinning situation, locking of the hands is legal.

ESCAPE: When the defensive wrestler gains a neutral position and his opponent has lost control while either wrestler is inbounds, Counts for one (1) point.

FALL: Also called a "Pin." When either both shoulders and or both shoulder blades are held in contact with the mat for two (2) continuous seconds. It terminates the match and is worth six (6) team points.

LEG BANDS: In tournaments, the contestants wear leg bands to identify which one is being scored as the home wrestler and which is the away wrestler. The green leg band is for home, the red for away. Scoring cards, when used, are also green and red. The referee's coin is green on one side and red on the other. It is used to determine which wrestler chooses the starting position at the beginning of the second period.

Locking Hands: Interlocking or overlapping hands, arms or fingers around the opponent's body is illegal, except when both wrestlers are on their feet or in a pinning (near fall) situation.

MATCH: Individual contest between two wrestlers.

MEET: A contest between two wrestling teams. Each team may have one wrestler in each weight class. Team points are awarded on the basis of the results of individual matches between wrestlers. See: Points (Team), Tournaments.

NEAR FALL: A near fall occurs when the offensive wrestler has control of his opponent in a pinning situation. It involves holding the shoulders or shoulder blades within four (4) inches of the mat or holding one (1) shoulder or shoulder blade on the mat and the other is held at a 45-degree angle for two (2) seconds. It is awarded when the defensive wrestler gets out of the pinning situation. A nearfall is two (2) points if held for two (2) seconds or three (3) points if held for five (5) seconds.

NEUTRAL POSITION: A position where neither wrestler has control. 

POINTS (MATCH): Awarded for a takedown (2 points), escape (1 point), reversal (2 points), and nearfall (2 or 3 points). Penalty points are awarded for warnings. See: Warnings.

POINTS (TEAM): Awarded on the basis of individual matches. A fall (or pin), forfeit, default or disqualification is six (6) points. A technical fall is five (5) points. A major decision (point spread of 8 to 14 match points) is four (4) points. A decision (point spread of 1 to 7 match points) is three (3) points. See: Tournament.

REFEREE'S POSITION: A starting position where one wrestler is in a defensive position (on hands and knees) and the other is in an offensive position (positioned over the other, normally with at least one knee on the mat).

Reversal: When the defensive wrestler comes from underneath and gains control over his opponent either on the mat or in a near-standing position, while either wrestler is inbounds, Counts two (2) points.

STALLING: A caution by the referee when one of the wrestlers fails to make a reasonable effort to wrestle aggressively. An offensive wrestler must make a reasonable effort to pin his opponent; a defensive wrestler, to escape.

STARTING POSITION: The wrestlers begin each period either in the neutral or referee's position. The first period always starts in the neutral position. For the second period, a coin toss decides which wrestler chooses the starting position. He elects the neutral, offensive or defensive position, or he may defer his choice. Unless he defers, the other wrestler chooses the starting position for the third period. When the wrestlers go out of bounds, either the neutral or referee's starting position is used, depending on whether one wrestler has control. See: Leg Bands, Neutral Starting Position, Referee's Starting Position.

TAKEDOWN: When one wrestler gains control over the other down on the mat from a neutral position while either wrestler is inbounds. A takedown is normally awarded when one or both of the defensive wrestler's knees are down on the mat, Counts two (2) points.

TECHNICAL FALL: It occurs when one wrestler has accumulated fifteen (15) points more than his opponent. It terminates the match and is worth five (5) team points.

TOURNAMENT: A contest between several schools where wrestlers are divided into weight brackets. Each school may have one or more wrestlers per bracket. Normally, wrestlers in each bracket are seeded according to past records. Team points are given on the basis of the final placement of its wrestlers. See: Leg Bands.

WARNING: A ruling made by the referee when one wrestler has made an illegal or potentially dangerous hold or other serious violation. False starts or stalling is given a caution for the first offense. A first or second warning awards the opposing 
wrestler one (1) point, a third two (2) points; a fourth results in disqualification of the offending wrestler. See: Caution.


Frequently Asked Questions


How long is a wrestling match?
Youth wresting matches are 3 minutes (3-one minute periods) or 3.5 minutes. High school matches are 6 minutes. College matches are 7 minutes. International, Olympic, and World level matches are 5 minutes. If the score is tied at the end of the match, an overtime period is wrestled with the first person to score winning the match.

Why do the team members wear red and green straps on their ankles when they wrestle, and why do the referees wear read and green bands on their wrists?
The green band denotes the home team and the red is the visiting team. The referee raises the arm with the green arm band when awarding points, issuing cautions or assessing penalties to the home team. The same procedure is used for the visiting team.

What is a wrestle-off?
A wrestle-off is when a wrestler wishes to challenge a member to attempt to win that spot. These wrestle-offs are held at the discretion of the coaching staff, who may or may not see fit to allow the wrestle-off, based on a variety of issues. The coaching staff will make the final decision on team members.

Why does the team participate in so many tournaments?
The team participates in tournaments to gain experience. Sometimes the wrestlers will refer to this as "mat time". It is very important that the younger wrestlers get as much mat time as possible. This enables them to hone their skills.

Why are there two (2) sets of scores on the scoreboard? What are the other numbers on the board?
The team score, individual score, period clock, weight class and the number of periods can all be found on the scoreboard.

How are individual scores determined?
Individual scores are determined by the types of moves that are executed during the match.


·  take down = 2 points; established control


·  reversal = 2 points; reverse control


·  escape = 1 point; escape control


·  near fall = 2 or 3 points; control back/shoulders to mat or ground


·  stalling = points accumulate till disqualification; no attempt at control


·  penalty points = biting, kicking, scratching, talking, locked hands, & other flagrant misconduct


How are team scores determined?
Team scores are determined by the type of victory each individual on the team has made.


·  Decision (1-7 point spread): Three (3) points.


·  Major decision (8-14 point spread): Four (4) points.


·  Technical Fall (15 point spread): Five (5) points.


·  Pin: Six (6) points.

Why do referees get tagged with a rolled up towel or flexible tube? When several mats are in the same gymnasium, the buzzers cannot be used to let the referee know when the match periods are over. To allow the referee to watch the match instead of the timekeeper, the referee is tagged when time has run out.

Health Tips 

These weekly tips are provided to inform how to increase healthy living.


Dietary Supplementation

With so many different types of aids sold in the local supplement store, it is hard to tell what will actually help or hurt your performance and ultimately your health. This paper takes a look at some ideas that would be ‘snake oil’ sales folks may try to get you to buy.

First, the reasons any athlete may think to take dietary supplementation. Most folks try to supplement their diets with vitamins or minerals or other agents because of unbalanced-malnutritional diets. A balanced diet is essential for health, growth, and optimal performance. Other folks are simply trying to gain a physical or mental advantage in training and competition. Supplements do not replace a balanced diet as prescribed by the Recommended Dietary Allowances.

Some facts that your local dietary supplement store may not reveal are compelling. Studies have shown that the labeling on these products sold is not the truth. Because many of these ‘supplements’ are not foods or drugs (most vitamins & minerals are deemed safe), they do not have to pass stringent tests nor explain the adverse effects that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requires of all drugs and foods sold in the USA. The incredible claims of the products are: rarely based on scientific research or study; sometimes fabricated; and based solely on opinion.

There are several dangerous factors clouding dietary supplementation. Often times, athletes take these products without the testing or acceptance by the FDA. If this is true, the products may not be safe for one’s body. The FDA allows these products for sale without scrutiny because they are not foods or drugs. The problem arises when some of these products become harmful and lethal like ephedra, which is now illegal and banned by the NCAA & the International Olympic Committee because of many deaths. Without much needed examination, research, or study new dietary supplements can become serious health risks. 

Taking agents sold at stores that may have misleading claims and distrustful labeling is another risk. Researchers have tested the amounts claimed on the packages in labs and determined the amounts were incorrect. Studies have also shown that some ingredients are not even listed. These findings are also compelling because banned or illegal substances maybe in the products and lethal amounts of ingredients in regard to false representation. 

Recently, many legislators at the state and national levels have determined that it may be wise to treat all dietary supplements as foods or drugs. In this way, the FDA will analyze the agents like foods and drugs thus giving credibility to the labeling and claims. Now, the products may say just about anything and this appears unsafe and dishonest. 

It may be prudent for all to have all dietary supplements evaluated by medical doctors or certified nutritionists or certified dieticians prior to consumption until the FDA regulates these products and deems them safe.

In this day and age of immediate gratification, it’s important to understand there is no 'magic pill' to make one quicker or stronger or smarter or healthier. Proper nutrition, exercise, training, & education are prerequisites that take time (as in months & years) and will not happen over night; this is the "recipe for success". 


Suggested Reading

Doping in SportPDF

The Use and Testing of Performance-Enhancing Drugs in SportPDF

SSE RT #50: Herbal Supplements and Sport Performance
Performance Enhancing Drugs Essays at eNotes
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is an anabolic hormone important for ...
Senate Majority Caucus Member
Guidelines on Dietary Supplementation PDF


Trans Fat

Trans fatty acid, also known as trans fat, may not be listed on food labels now but is linked to health risks. We will look at what trans fat is, how to detect it, and how it effects our bodies.

What is Trans Fat? These man-made fats are formed during a process called hydrogenation, which converts a relatively healthy, unsaturated liquid fat like corn oil or soybean oil into a solid one. Hydrogenation is done to preserve shelf life of fats and is more convenient for restaurants and food manufactures. Saturated fats are linked to heart disease, clogging arteries, and high cholesterol. After the hydrogenation process, unsaturated fats have similar health risks like saturated fats. 

What foods have Trans Fats? Many foods have trans fat but you may be unaware because of the non descript nature of labels. Most food labels do not contain trans fat as an ingredient but do contain hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredients and these may be trans fats. This is the main reason the FDA and other groups have been lobbying congress to get trans fat as a labeled item. Until the new rule will goes in effect Jan. 1, 2006, consumers will have to play close attention to labels and or call the company who makes the food to get more informed answers.

How can Trans Fat effect me? High concentrations of fats or trans fats in anyone’s diet may lead to heart disease, obesity, and other related diseases. Fats are also linked to sedentary activities and increased motivation to not exercise. The aforementioned information may be a deadly combination for anyone.

The Top 10 "Trans Fat" Foods:


  • Spreads
  • Packaged foods
  • Soups
  • Fast Food
  • Frozen Food
  • Baked Goods
  • Chips and Crackers
  • Breakfast food
  • Cookies and Candy
  • Toppings and Dips

    Healthier choices at the supermarket

  • Limit or avoid both saturated and trans fats types of fat
  • Use nutrition labels to estimate the trans fat content in a product
  • Remember: Reduced-fat and fat-free foods will have virtually no trans fat in them
  • Look for the term "partially hydrogenated oil" on the package ingredients list

    You can cook most of your foods to limit the amounts of fats and trans fats. Processed foods at stores, restaurants, and supermarkets tend to have higher concentrations of fats and trans fats. Some animal products have trans fats but they are not linked to health risks at this point.

    Understanding how to read labels and making an attempt to be aware of foods with trans fats may help you avoid this unlabeled ingredient.



    Jeanie Lerche Davis, Special Report: Trans Fats - The Top 10 Foods to Beware, July 10, 2003, WebMD Feature 

    Jeanie Lerche Davis, Special Report: Trans Fats - Follow These 4 Tips to Reduce Harmful Fats in Your Diet, July 17, 2003, WebMD Feature 

    Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD, Trans Fats: Just How Bad Are They?, 8/14/03, WebMD Live Events


    Water or Sport Drinks

    Fluid replacement is vital for athletes or anybody who is alive and breathing. This paper looks at fluid replacement to replenish the body.

    Water. Water is most important for several reasons. For one, water is abound and around everywhere in the continental USA and in most cases is free. Experts believe water to be the most important nutrient to all bodies…second only to the air we breathe or oxygen. Some other important functions of water are that: it is needed to maintain homeostasis, it is the most abundant solvent or medium in the human body, it is important in regulating cell volume, nutrient transport, waste removal, and body temperature, & it is distributed both in intra- and intercellular compartments and accounts for up to 80% of our body weight at birth and up to 70% of our adult body weight.

    People who work out and or lose water or sweat via workouts may need to replace more of this fluid. Researchers believe it depends on several factors such as climate, age, exercise level, and body weight to determine the appropriate amounts of water needed daily. For instance, if you sweat more profusely or more than someone older, younger, bigger, or smaller, you may need to drink more water. Two other examples are people exercising at high altitudes and people exercising at elevated or hot environments. These folks may lose more water via sweat thus requiring more water replacement. Every ones body is different, but all bodies need water. 

    Proper hydration should begin before you begin to exercise, while you are exercising, and after exercise is complete. Here are some suggestions:

  • drink 17 to 20 oz of water 2 to 3 hours before exercise 
  • drink 7 to 10 oz of water 10 to 20 minutes before exercise 
  • drink 7 to 10 oz of water every 10 to 20 minutes during activity 
  • if you sweat heavily, you may need to drink more 

    Experts have not determined how much water everyone needs because everyone is different and several other factors. But, all of the experts suggest by the time you are thirsty due to exercising you may already be dehydrated.

    Sport Drinks. There are several sport drinks that replenish the body with electrolytes. These drinks and others like them (read the labels to find what the drinks contain) are known to keep the body from overheating, much like water, and also supply the body with the electrolytes potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium to provide energy during intense workouts (water does not replace these energy sources). Sport drinks may be considered an enhancement over water as a body temperature regulator and fluid replacer for the aforementioned reasons.

    It is interesting to note that most sport drinks, if not all, have flavors. This is done, perhaps, to make certain you drink the appropriate amounts of the drinks and or a marketing ploy. Sometimes, people drink till they are not thirsty which may or may not replace or hydrate the body fully. Most sport drinks with flavor tend to make folks drink more thus hydrating the body fully. Unlike most waters, sport drinks are not free.

    Super Sport Drinks. Super sport drinks tend to add to what water and sport drinks already have. Some of the ingredients in super sport drinks may include: choline, creatine, protein, carbohydrates, & antioxidants (again, it is important to read the labels). Most of these drinks are designed for endurance athletes or sports they may perform for hours on end. The body tends to lose more energy and other nutrients when workouts are longer or of the endurance nature.

    Super sport drinks are also known to help muscle recovery. Soreness that results from overuse of body or muscles may be relieved if super sports drinks are employed within half an hour after intense exercising. 

    Fruit Juices. Fruit juices are fine for dinners and or snacks. But, fruit juices are typically over concentrated with carbohydrates and sugars and thus may not be suited ideally as a fluid replacer before, during, or after exercising. The high levels of sugars and carbohydrates may trigger an upset stomach or a laxative effect in your body. This may work against your body and dehydrate you further or make your stomach have severe pains.

    Caffeine Drinks. Drinks like coffee or colas may not replace fluids in the short or long run. In fact, these drinks are known to be diuretics and can even have a laxative effect too. Although most of these drinks are water like and water is the main source of fluid in them, they appear to do more damage as a fluid replacer. Caffeine drinks also do not replenish any of the electrolyte stores the body loses during sweating.

    Understanding why & how fluid replacement may enhance your workouts is important. This paper briefly alluded to suggestions that may help you on your quest to effectively and efficiently replenish your body with fluids.



    Jeanie Lerche Davis, Sports Drinks Go Way Beyond Gatorade, April 19, 2002, WebMD Feature Archive

    Daniel DeNoon, How Much Water Do You Need?, Feb. 27, 2004, WebMD Medical News 

    Elizabeth Somer, Water, Water, What's the Deal?, 2001 WebMD Corporation

    Richard Weil, MEd, CDE, Staying Well Hydrated During Workouts, Feb. 10, 2003, WebMD Answers to Questions Archive


    HDL vs. LDL

    HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol & LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol are fats and proteins used as a source of fuel by the body. This paper describes the daily roles each play in your life.

    HDL is considered good cholesterol because it contains more protein than fat and also helps clear LDL cholesterol from the body. Studies have shown that high levels of HDL lower the incidence of heart disease. Daily exercise and daily medications have been known to increase HDL thus lowering your chance at heart disease.

    LDL is considered bad cholesterol because it is made mostly of fat and contains only a small amount of protein. LDL also has been known to collect in the walls of arteries causing hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a leading cause of coronary artery disease, which may lead to heart attacks and deaths. Eating foods from the RDA, the food pyramid guide, & low in dietary fats or cholesterol lowers LDL levels thus lowering incidence for heart disease. 

    Cholesterol is measured either in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mm/dL) or millimoles per liter of blood (mmol/L): 


  • An HDL cholesterol level of 60 mg/dL (1.56 mmol/L) or higher is desirable. An HDL level over 60     mg/dL reduces the risk of heart disease, even if LDL or total cholesterol is high. 
  • An HDL level of 40 to 60 mg/dL (1.04 to 1.56 mmol/L) is considered acceptable. 
  • An HDL cholesterol level of less than 40 mg/dL (below 1.04 mmol/L) is considered a risk factor     for coronary artery disease. 


  • An LDL cholesterol level of less than 100 mg/dL (less than 2.6 mmol/L) is considered optimal.
  • An LDL cholesterol level of 100 to 129 mg/dL (2.6 to 3.35 mmol/L) is considered near optimal. 
  • An LDL level of 130 to 158 mg/dL (3.35 mmol/L to 4.10 mmol/L) is considered borderline high.
  • An LDL level of 160 to 189 mg/dL (4.12 to 4.88 mmol/L) is considered high.
  • An LDL level of 190 and above (4.90 mmol/L to 4.88 mmol/L) is considered very high. 

    You can generally get your cholesterol checked by a medical professional like a medical doctor. In most cases, lowering your LDL and increasing your HDL will protect you from heart disease thus making you more healthy.



    Health Guide A-Z, Lipids, 1996-2004 WebMD Inc

    Health Guide A-Z, HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, 1995-2004, Healthwise

    Health Guide A-Z, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, 1996-2004 WebMD Inc

    Dean Ornish, Q& A, 2000 WebMD Corporation



    Steroids have been used over the last 30 years or so to increase testosterone, strength, body mass, & perhaps athletic ability. Numerous studies have shown the effects of steroids both perceived or real - good and bad. This paper looks at both sides.

    ‘Roids”, as they are commonly called, are termed anabolic-androgenic steroids by some in the medical profession. These substances are man made and related to male sex hormones. Legally, these drugs are prescribed by doctors to treat conditions that occur when the body produces abnormally low amounts of testosterone, body wasting in patients with AIDS, and other diseases that result in loss of lean muscle mass. These drugs also promote the growth of skeletal muscle (anabolic effects) and the development of male sexual characteristics (androgenic effects). Steroids when prescribed by doctor in non-lethal doses appear to have medicinal effects that are not associated with steroid abuse.

    Of the 100 or more steroids developed, all require prescriptions in the United States of America. Part of the problem lies there i.e. all countries do not require prescriptions for these drugs. Many of the substances produced may also come from illegal labs in the USA or illegally smuggled or diverted from pharmacies. 

    Researchers say people have many reasons for using steroids. Some of these reasons include: to improve their performance in sports; increase their muscle size and/or reduce their body fat; to improve physical appearance; having experienced physical or sexual abuse; & adolescents showing a pattern of high-risk behaviors like smoking marijuana, drinking and driving, and other drug use. Because of the varied nature of reasons researches have found that around 500,000 or more eighth to 10th graders across the country use anabolic steroids every year. 

    Although the negative side effects seem to out weigh the perceived or real positive effects of anabolic-androgenic steroid abuse, it has been shown that teens still abuse these drugs. Apparently, teens do not respond well when given only the adverse effects of steroid abuse. Perhaps, they believe it will not happen to them. Effective steroid educational programs may need to show both the risks and benefits of anabolic steroid use

    There are many adverse of effects of “‘roids”. Some of the more common side effects areshort stature, tendon rupture, heart attacks, enlargement of the heart's left ventricle, cancer, peliosis hepatis , acne and cysts, oily scalp, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, homicidal rage, mania, & delusions. These negative long term physical effectsappear more damaging than perceived or real positive short term effects of increased muscle mass, strength, power, & physical appearance. 



    Jeanie Lerche Davis, Steroids May Alter Aggression Area of Brain, Nov. 26, 2003

    Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D., NIDA Research Report Series, Revised April 2000

    National Institute on Drug Abuse, Revised March 2004


    Teen Substance Abuse

    Education is a large factor in preventing addictive behavior and also recognizing warning signs or at risk activities. Studies have shown a variety of signs or risk factors to watch for that may indicate counseling and or intervention to deter addiction and abuse. What follows is a brief synopsis of the above words.

    As early as 9 years of age, many youth have established values towards physically and emotionally harmful substances. These beliefs are primarily the influences of parents, tv, radio, media, friends, & relatives. Children see & hear information and this data could deter or increase experimenting depending on other factors. The likelihood for children to experiment increases when other attitudes towards harmful substances are lax or appear not to care one way or the other. Children will also model what they see and hear if they are uncertain what the effects may be; an example would be when a child’s parent abuses drugs, alcohol, or drugs. For these reasons, children need to know the harmful effects of drug & alcohol & cigarette use as soon as possible via education and appropriate information. 

    Teens are likely to start experimenting with cigarettes and alcohol then progress to other illegal drugs. Research explains teens who smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol are 7 times more likely to use illegal drugs than teens who do not smoke or drink & teens who use both cigarettes and alcohol are more than twice as likely to use illegal drugs than teens who only smoke or only drink. If effects, behaviors, and attitudes towards experimenting and use can be communicated to youth early on, chances of trying drugs or alcohol may go down. 

    Although many teens actually never get beyond the experimenting stage, many are trapped and become dependant due to other risk factors associated with: genetics; temperament and personality; having certain diseases or conditions (having behavior or psychiatric conditions); lack of consistent parental involvement; use prior to age 15; & access to substances. This suggests it is important to talk to children and teens about what is going on in their lives and to stay connected with them at all times. It may also be imperative to hear what children and teens think about which substances are addictive and what dependence can do to a body and mind.

    Some signs that teens are regularly using not so good substances are: school problems; conflicts with parents; legal problems; & giving up activities that they use to enjoy. Teens may have these same symptoms even if they are not using illegal substances. The difference may be subtle…but again, this could be an opportunity to see what is going on and or a time to just listen if applicable. 

    Addiction or dependence are sometimes defined as the use of a substance that results in tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and taking more of the substance over a longer period of time than intended. There are also signs of dependence that should be mentioned that include: increasing difficulty carrying out normal daily routines; physical appearance or health may worsen; hiding and lying about substance use, and becoming isolated. It is easier to prevent rather than to intervene when a child or teen becomes addicted. However, there are treatment centers and the like to help everyone all over the country.

    Anyone and you can type in similar words in a search engine and find more info regarding this important topic. These words were put together to stimulate discussion, perhaps, amongst administrators, teachers, coaches, peers, parents, relatives, & students. 


    Development of Addiction, 1995-2004, Healthwise, Incorporated

    What Increases a Teen's Risk?, 1995-2004, Healthwise, Incorporated

    Prevention, 1995-2004, Healthwise, Incorporated


    Smoke Toxins

    The smoke that comes from the opposite end of the cigarette or cigar may be as dangerous or more dangerous than the smoke inhaled by a smoker. Smokers are endangering more than just their own lives when lighting up.

    Side stream smoke, smoke produced between puffs, has been linked to lung cancer. This smoke that nonsmokers breathe appears to affect how well the lungs function. Researchers say that children and infants are more susceptible to this smoke and its affects because their lungs are still developing. Studies have shown about 150,000 to 300,000 non-smoking children are affected annually and 53,000 nonsmokers die each year.

    Second hand smoke, smoke which is exhaled by a smoker and then inhaled by another, is also related to respiratory and ear problems such as decreased lung performance, chronic coughing and wheezing, bronchitis, pneumonia, fluid in the middle ear, allergies, and asthma. These “other” aforementioned health risks associated with smoking are more prevalent than lung cancer. 

    Some of the more common cancer causing agents are: nicotine, formaldehyde, cyanide, arsenic, carbon monoxide, methane, and benzene. Beyond these carcinogens, there are close to 60 other cancer causing agents linked to smoking. Second hand smoke is also linked to killing the cells that line the blood vessels leading from the heart. This thinning of the blood vessel lining leads to blocking of arteries or atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a leading cause of heart disease which may lead to death. 

    Smoke inhaled in the lungs via a cigarette or second hand or passively is dangerous and leads to health risks. 




    Daniel DeNoon, “Your Cigarette Is Killing Me”, WebMD Medical News Archive, July 24, 2001

    Dr. Ornish, “Ask Dr. Ornish”, 2001 WebMD Corporation

    Jennifer Warner,” 'Side' Smoke Hurts Infants and Children”, WebMD Medical News Archive, April 23, 2002

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