HYGIENE Since wrestling involves a lot of skin-on-skin and skin-on-mat contact, hygiene is of great importance to the health of all wrestlers. Below are guidelines that every wrestling family should follow to minimize the risk to themselves and the entire club. Wrestling shoes should only be worn on wrestling mats. They should never be worn at home or outside. Wrestlers should carry their wrestling shoes to practice and put them on inside the practice gym. Street shoes should never be worn on the practice mats. Wrestlers should shower immediately after EVERY practice and competition, without exception. Please emphasize to your child the importance of thoroughly cleaning every square inch of their body to get the “mat cooties” off. For wrestlers, liquid soap is better than bar soap since many types of skin infections can live on a wet bar of soap. This can cause recurrance of the skin infection and possible spread it to other family members Practice clothes should be washed after every practice. Other wrestling equipment (shoes, headgear, kneepads, duffel bags, etc.) should be cleaned and disinfected periodically, especially after tournaments. All new equipment (especially shoes) should be cleaned and disinfected before the first practice. Wrestlers should keep their fingernails trimmed short to prevent scratching themselves or their opponents. Any rough edges should be filed or trimmed. Fingernails will be checked during weigh-ins at each tournament. Wrestlers with a fever or any potentially contagious illness should not participate in practice or competition to prevent the spread to the other participants. Skin checks are performed at tournament weigh-ins to prevent the spread of infections among competitors. If a wrestler has any type of rash, lesion or other indication of an infectious disease they may be scratched from the tournament to prevent spreading the disease to hundreds of other children at the tournament. Covering the affected area with a shirt or bandage is not an acceptable remedy. A note from a doctor stating that the skin problem is not contagious may be taken into consideration, but the head referee has the final say on whether a wrestler is allowed to participate.