Sanitizing wrestling mats

Montana All-Class State Wrestling Tournament

The Montana All-Class State Wrestling Tournament begins Friday in Billings at the Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark. Every year, there are efforts made to keep wrestlers and referees safe from infections like the ringworm.

The sanitation of mats at the state tournament begin before the mats are even rolled out at Metra. Brian Michelotti, the director for the tournament, explained the different things officials do to make sure wrestlers are ready to compete, "At each one of our meets, they are required to have a skin check, at every one of those, and at our divisional meets, we have an actual medical professional at each one of those. And then at state, Dr. Klepps here in Billings, and his team show up here and do skin checks of every wrestler."

Within those skin checks, health professionals will look for infections like ringworm and impetigo. If a wrestler's skin check proves he or she does have an infection, they can't compete until that infection is cleared. "We have done that in the past as well, is we've had to disqualify wrestlers at that point in time because they could've affected the field as well."

Once the mats are rolled out, Michelotti said a good amount of time is spent making sure after every round, the mats are sanitized. He said, "It delays the tournament just a little bit but it's a very important process to take a certain mixture of bleach and water and we have what's called a monster mop is what we have. And this monster mop is a pretty quick device that goes through and actually cleans the mat in an appropriate manner. And it's kind of like a monster swiffer, I guess."

Michelotti said that there are over 620 wrestlers who will compete at the state tournament, and that last year's tournament did not see any wrestlers who could not compete because of a skin infection.

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