West Virginia Wrestling

Making The Call ...

by Dr. Bill Welker

Part Five, October 1998 - March 1999
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March 27, 1999
Q: Wrestler A takes Wrestler B down to the mat straight to his back. What is the proper official mechanics in this situation?
Brian Sine
A: The official should immediately begin counting back points. He can always award the takedown after the near-fall situation. The priority is to see to it that Wrestler A receives the back points he has earned.

Q: When should a match be stopped for stalling?
A: The match shall be stopped at all times only when the top man is stalling.

March 2, 1999
Q: Does an official have the authority to wave-off takedown points after awarding them?
Girlfriend Fan
A: If an official feels he has awarded takedown points too quickly, he has every right to wave them off. In fact, I would be disappointed if he didn't after realizing he made a mistake. Great Question!

February 24, 1999
Q: Wrestler A (bottom man) stands up supporting all of Wrestler B's weight. Before the referee can stop the match for a potentially dangerous situation, Wrestler A falls back to the mat on top Wrestler B is injured and can not continue. Who wins the match? --Wrestling Freak
A: If it was accidental, Wrestler A would win the match. If the official feels Wrestler A did it intentionally, then Wrestler B would win the match. Good question!

February 16, 1999
Q: Wrestler A is on top and locks hands (a technical violation) just before Wrestler B switches him for a reversal, receiving one point for the technical violation and 2 points for the reversal. A few seconds later Wrestler reverses Wrestler B for two points and puts him on his back for a three-point near fall. Should the match have been stopped after Wrestler B secured the initial reversal?
Dr. Tim Miller
A: No. If the bottom man escapes or reverses the top man who is committing a locked-hands technical violation, the match is not stopped. If the bottom wrestler in the same situation could not escape or reverse his opponent quickly, the match would then be stopped and the bottom man would be awarded a point.

February 16, 1999
Q: Wrestler A (on top) locks hands which the official indicates as a technical violation--delayed call--as Wrestler B in is in the midst of a reversal. During the reversal move, Wrestler B executes an illegal headlock. Does Wrestler B give up one point for the illegal headlock, or is this illegal hold null because of the locked hands?
Coach Emil Nardone
A: Wrestler B would receive one match-point for the locked hands and Wrestler A would earn one match-point for the illegal headlock. Remember, both infractions occurred during actual wrestling time; it was not during "bad time." Thus, both penalties must be indicated.

February 12, 1999
Q: Does a wrestler earn a win on his record for a forfeit and does his opponent receive a loss on his record?
A: The wrestler who wins by a forfeit does earn a win on his record. However, since it is a forfeit and there is nobody to wrestle, it would not be counted as a loss for anybody.

February 11, 1999
Q: When is it a four-point near fall: when the referee calls potentially dangerous or when there is injury/blood time?
Robert Scott
A: When there is a potentially dangerous situation only the three points would be awarded for the near fall--NO extra point. With injury or blood time, an extra point would be awarded for the near fall.

February 10, 1999
Q: Often when I have a cradle, my opponent will grab only one finger. Should I call the referee's attention to this problem.
A: The good official should see this problem and call an illegal hold. However, Matt, look me up at states and I will show you how to grasp your hands so your opponent cannot grab a finger.

Q: If Wrestler A crossfaces and Wrestler B leaves teeth marks because his mouth was open, would this be a flagrant misconduct?
A: If the official believes that it was unintentional (because the mouth happened to be open during the crossface), a flagrant misconduct would NOT be called. This is a judgment call by the referee.

Q: If Wrestler A is being pinned and starts bleeding, what call should the referee make?
Robert Hickman
A: If criteria was met for just a fraction of a second, Wrestler B would receive 3 match points. If Wrestler A was held there for at least the mandatory five-count, Wrestler B would receive 4 match points. Bleeding is the same as an injury in this situation.

Q: What is the ruling for weigh-ins during a dual meet tournament?
Steve Felder & Chris Diserio
A: There are no rulebook formats for dual meet tournaments. As long as the tournament abides by all the certified minimum weight and weigh-in requirements, the tournament director can dictate the other rules of his dual meet tournament. This should be done well in advance of the event so all coaches are made aware of the particular rules of his dual meet tournament.

January 19, 1999
Q: What is the penalty for "fleeing the mat" or forcing your opponent out of the wrestling area to avoid wrestling?
Tim Miller
A: This is a technical violation and a point(s) would be awarded depending where the wrestler is at regarding progressive penalties. It should not be called stalling.

January 13, 1999
Q: Many coaches around the state have been confused on the rule regarding moving up to wrestle, but not losing eligibility at your "certified minimum weight." Would you please clarify it for us?
Wrestling Coach
A: Rule 1-3-2 (p. 8 of the NF Rulebook) states:
"For health and safety reasons the state's weight-control program shall require each wrestler to establish a certified minimum weight sometime prior to January 15th (in WV it is Dec. 23rd), and prohibits recertification at a lower weight during the season. After certification, a wrestler may NOT WEIGH-IN MORE THAN ONE WEIGHT CLASS ABOVE THE WEIGHT OF CERTIFICATION WITHOUT RECERTIFYING AT A HIGHER WEIGHT."
Example 1: Wrestler A's certified minimum weight is 103. He weighs-in at the 112 pound class and then wrestles at 119. Does this recertify Wrestler A to a higher weight class? NO, because he only weighed in at one weight class above his weight of certification. Wrestler A's certified minimum weight would still be 103.
Example 2: Wrestler B's certified minimum weight is 103. He weighs-in at the 119 pound class and then wrestles at 119. Does this recertify Wrestler B to a higher weight class? YES, because he weighed in TWO weight classes above his weight of certification. Wrestler A's certified minimum weight would now be 112.

January 10, 1999
Q: What takes precedence -- blood time or injury time?
A: Blood Time must always be administered to first.

December 22, 1998
Q: How can a wrestler acquire three near-fall points after scoring two near-fall points?

A: The first pinning situation must be over with the bottom man returning to his base and the pinning combination is released. This is a very tough call for officials at times. Good Question

Q: If one state allows 8th graders on the varsity squad, can he wrestle in a state that does not have 8th grade wrestlers on the varsity squad.
A: As far as I know, yes.

Q: If a wrestler is academically ineligible at the start of wrestling season, how can he become eligible to wrestle?
A: The wrestler must have a 2.0 average the first semester, which would be sometime in January. He could wrestle in states if he did so.

December 17, 1998
Q:The wrestler on top has applied a guillotine and has legally encircled the head, locking wrists or hands, without an arm included after meeting near-fall criteria. If his guillotine leg then converts to a straight leg scissors across the body, is the headlock now illegal?
Tim Miller
A: Yes, but the top man does have reaction time to release the illegal headlock.

December 15, 1998
Q: Is it possible to get a defensive pin because I have seen a lot of close calls and the referee does not acknowledge that it is occurring. I think they should pay more attention to "defensive pin" situations.
Chris Satterfield
A: Sometimes referees do miss defensive pins because they are looking at the defensive wrestler's shoulders. But you are right, in some situations, they should be checking for a defensive pin. I am sure I have missed such pins in the past. However, I did call a defensive pin on a defending state champion once. So, yes, defensive pins are called.

Q: Wrestler A starts on top second period and is winning 2-0. A few seconds after the official starts the second period, Wrestler B scores a 2-point reversal and then 3 back points, now winning 5-2. Then the official scorer stops the match to inform the referee that they forgot to start the clock for the second period. Will Wrestler B lose those points for that period?
A: ABSOLUTELY NOT. It is not bad time; thus,the official would just have to make an educated guess at how much time expired, and restart the match at that point.

December 8, 1998
Q: How does the official know if the wrestler is faking an injury when getting pinned?
The Pin
A: The referee may signal an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty if he KNOWS that the wrestler is faking an injury. I have two criteria I go by before making this call: 1) The wrestler tells me he was faking or 2) He openly makes a joke about fooling me with a faked injury right after the call. In other words, the referee better KNOW, not think the wrestler is faking, so he can explain his call precisely and convincingly to the penalized wrestler's coach We can't read minds!

Q: Can a referee remove a loose headgear from a wrestler while they are wrestling without stopping the match?
WV Enthusiast
A: Yes, especially if a near-fall situation is taking place.

Q: Is a chicken wing legal?
A: Yes, as long as the hand is located on the middle of the back. When the hand is nearer the shoulder, it can be considered potentially dangerous, and when there is pressure to the shoulder, it is illegal. Its the same concept when two chicken wings are simultaneously applied.

December 1, 1998
Q: Do you have to be a former wrestler to be a good official?
New Referee
A: No, I have witnessed many fine officials who never wrestled. However, I must admit that officials who wrestled tend to have a better grasp regarding the subtleties of the sport, especially in the area of sensing control.

November 27, 1998
Q: Wrestler A accidently pokes Wrestler B in the eye, and Wrestler B must take a time-out for the injury.
1. Will Wrestler B be charged with an injury time-out?
2. Will Wrestler A be charged with unnecessary roughness?
3. Will this be an "official's time-out?
4. If charged as injury time, some coaches might take advantage of the rule. Is this right?
Bob Hickman
A: The answers:
1. Wrestler B would be charged with an injury time-out if it was accidental.
2. The only way Wrestler A could be charged with unnecessary roughness is if the official feels it was done on purpose.
3. It will not be an official's time-out.
4. If a coach would take advantage of such a rule, he would be unethical and should resign!

November 20, 1998
Q: Can a wrestling competition start with the heavier weight classes rather than the lighter weight classes?
A: Yes, the weight classes could be competed in any order as long as there is mutual consent between all coaches involved in that particular event.

November 17, 1998
Q: I have two questions:
1) What is the length of time, if any, when the wrestlers return to the mat that locked hands must be broken?
2) What are your thoughts on teaching young wrestlers to avoid this penalty?
M. Nogay
A: 1) Wrestlers are given reaction time to release hands when they bring their opponents to the mat. The rule of thumb is normally saying the words - "Reaction Time." If they are still locking after saying that, you penalize for locked hands..
2) Teach your wrestlers to quickly go to a:
1. Double one-on-one of each wrist ride
2. Two-on-one wrist ride
3. Ankle-waist ride
Learning these rides and performing them right after hitting the mat will solve the locked hands dilemma.
Great questions!

November 11, 1998
Q: I have two questions:
1) What is the toughest call for wrestling officials to make?
2) Do wrestling officials take more criticism from fans than other officials, especially when there is only one referee doing most matches?
New Fan
A: 1) There are many difficult calls such as out-of-bounds situations, subtle control, and potentially dangerous circumstances. However, I believe I speak for most officials when I say calling "questionable stalling" is the toughest call in the sport.
2) I would have to say that wrestling officials take no more or less grief than referees in other sports. This includes officiating a match alone.

November 10, 1998
Q: Team A has two wrestlers who are certified to wrestle no lower than the 102-pound weight class. Both wrestlers weigh 100 pounds. Wrestler A wrestles at the 102-pound weight class all year before the season ending Junior High Championships. Then Wrestler A is injured seriously enough in his last dual meet that he is unable to compete in the end-of-the-year tournament. Wrestler B has been weighing-in all year at 100 pounds for the 102-pound weight class, but wrestled 110 all season because he couldn't beat Wrestler A. Can Wrestler B compete in the year-ending Junior High Championships at the 102-pound weight class?
Robert Hickman
Junior High Wrestling Coach
East Fairmont
A: YES, because over 50% of Wrestler B's weigh-ins were at the 102-pound weight class, which is his minimum certified weight.

October 30, 1998
Q: I have the following questions:
1. Should mouth guards be mandatory in wrestling?
2. Should officials be picky with cautions?
3. If Wrestler A applies an illegal headlock in the neutral position, in which position should the match be restarted?
A: The answers:
1. The Sports Medicine people may have the final say on whether or not month guards become mandatory. As of this season, month guards are recommended.
2. Officials must call false starts when they occur. To help the wrestlers, I always try to start them as quickly as possible to eliminate the chances of false starts.
3. The referee would start the match in the same position in which it was stopped for the illegal hold. In Wrestler A's case, the match would be restarted in the neutral position.

October 23, 1998
Q: As a beginning official, how should I handle officiating youth wrestling matches?
New Official
A: The following are ten "do's" and "don'ts" for officiating youth wrestlers:

October 19, 1998
Q: When should an official award back points?
Total Mat
A: Near-fall points should be awarded when the pinning situation is over, time runs out, an injury occurs, they go out-of-bounds, or the pinning combination turns illegal or potentially dangerous to the point where it must be stopped.

Q: Should an official give a verbal count and should he tell the top wrestler how close he is to a pin?
Motor Mat
A: I always give a verbal count with the arm sweep (when feasible--arm sweep, that is). At times, When it's hard for coaches to see how close the shoulders are to the mat, I let both opposing coaches know how close the shoulders are to the mat.

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