West Virginia Wrestling

Making The Call ...

by Dr. Bill Welker

Part Seven, January 2002 - May 2003
Return to the current Making the Call Page

May 15, 2003

Q: Do you feel we should go back to the old "slam rule" to make sure a wrestler is really injured.
A: The old slam rule seemed to worked in West Virginia for approximately 8 years. However, the National Federation of High School Associations made us discontinue it because it did not conform to the rest of the states.

March 13, 2003

Q: I have heard talk/discussion concerning the overtime procedures that have been used in WV and more specifically the stalling concerns some coaches have. I would like to give my humble opinion on the matter.

As an assistant coach that has been on BOTH sides of a somewhat questionable call when it comes to one of our young men in a overtime match, I understand the concerns some wrestlers/coaches may have. However, the current system seems to be the most logical and equitable means to determine a winner (in what is undoubtedly a difficult situation for all involved).

Using "riding time", as I have heard rumbling about, would be a logistical nightmare to implement in most duals/tournaments in our state. Honestly, when a school or tournament is using teenage volunteers (if they are lucky enough to get them) at scoring tables - who keeps riding time? The ref? During a heated overtime period(s)?

The current system allows for a aggressive wrestler (the one who scores first) to be "awarded" in the second overtime with a choice. If he can escape, great he wins. If he can ride a kid out for 30 seconds, more power to him, he also wins. A good ride should never be called stalling, particularly in an overtime period. Too many coaches (including myself on occasion :->), scream stalling far to often when it comes to folkstyle wrestling. I believe we have lost sight of the fact that the top/control wrestler is already demonstrating offense by remaining in that position. If the bottom wrestler is behind, that should be incentive enough to wrestle aggressively; if he is ahead and can remain unturned without extremely obvious "balling-up" techniques, he should be allowed to do so to an extent. Let's face it, there will ALWAYS be some degree of variation from ref to ref on calls - it's the same in most sports and simply a fact of life.

Bottom line, keep the system the way it is, and DO NOT complicate matters by going to riding-time, extended overtime periods, three one minute or three 30 second overtimes, etc.,etc.
A: You have some very valid points. In all my experiences in the sport, I have come to two conclusions:

1. Stalling will never be called the same by two different officials.

2. We cannot figure out a way to break the tie in wrestling, unless you put them on their feet in the overtime period and wait until one wrestler drops :-) or is taken down.

Again, thanks so much for your input and concerns.

March 5, 2003

Q: Can a ninth grade student who attends a school where ninth grade is considered junior high wrestle for his high school team.
Answer: To my knowledge, the answer is "yes," but you would have to get verification from the WVSSAC (304/485-5494).

March 4, 2003

Q: Why isn't the state tournament seeded? I've seen a few wrestlers get 3rd in their region and have a hard road to placing, while the person that got 4th gets beat by another region's champ, and have a much easier ride to placing. It doesn't seem fair that a kid that got 4th would be given an easier ride to placing all because of the pills they draw.
Answer: I have nothing to do with the state brackets. You need to contact the WVSSAC (304/485-5494).

Q: Where in the rule book is the "Sock rule" and what does it say about striped socks? Are they legal?
Answer: The "sock rule" is a WV rule that the West Virginia Wrestling Coaches Committee instituted years ago. To my knowledge, striped socks are fine.

March 2, 2003

Q: I was doing a match where the offensive wrestler scored a near fall with a cradle. The defensive wrestler then rolled to his stomach and the offensive wrestler couldn't turn him again. Keep in mind that he still had the cradle lock on. I waited for about 20 seconds and then called stalemate. Was this the right call?
Answer: That can be done should there be no improvement of position. And if the wrestler earlier scored near-fall points with the cradle, you would award them at the time you indicated a stalemate.

February 25, 2003

Q: During weigh-ins, if a wrestler doesn't make weight, is he allowed to leave the weigh-in area to run or whatever.

Answer: A wrestler only has one shot for making weight at a tournament. If he steps on the scale and is overweight, the wrestler immediately stops off and then back on the same scale again. If he is still overweight, he may immediately step on any other scale used for the tournament, once on each scale. At that point, if he is still overweight -- he is done. No running is allowed after not making weight

February 24, 2003

Q: An official made a call of "biting" which was a flagrant misconduct and the wrestler was immediately disqualified. At a regional tournament would it not be wise to have another official confirm the mark to verify that that was infact what the mark was?
Answer: If an official believes Wrestler A has bitten Wrestler B, it is a flagrant misconduct and Wrestler A is disqualified from the tournament. The match is over and Wrestler B wins. In the above situation, Wrestler A is disqualified from both the regional and state tournaments because the regional tournament is the qualifying tournament for states. The official does not have to confer with another official on such a call.

Answer: If an official believes Wrestler A has bitten Wrestler B, it is a flagrant misconduct and Wrestler A is disqualified from the tournament. The match is over and Wrestler B wins. In the above situation, Wrestler A is disqualified from both the regional and state tournaments because the regional tournament is the qualifying tournament for states. The official does not have to confer with another official on such a call.

February 20, 2003

Q: If a wrestler scissors the head but his feet are below the shoulder(his shoulder would be inside the scissor taking pressure off the neck)would it still be illegal? One leg across the upperback and the other across the upper chest and the ankles crossed on the shoulder?
Answer: If it is a draping scissors, the referee can call a potentially dangerous situation and stop the match. Otherwise a scissors is illegal with or without an arm. Again, it is a judgment call by the match official.

February 18, 2003

Q: Since a wrestler has only one shot to make weight, at state tournament time if someone doesnt make weight, can the 5th place finish in that Region take the spot of the guy who did not make weight? That is saying the 5th place finisher is there and he is underweight.
Answer: If a wrestler gets sick or injured the week before states, he can be replaced by the fifth or sixth place finisher from that region. However, should a wrestler weigh-in at states (which is a continuation of the regional tournament) and not make weight, no replacement will be allowed. Any bracket in which that wrestler would have wrestled in the state tournament will be a forfeit.
NOTE: See also question 2/20/04

February 7, 2003

Q: Bill,if the bottom man is to assume a correct starting postion, and sets on his left cheek of this butt which throughs his legs and knees wau out to the right, but palms and knees are infront and behind the line , and the top wrestler wish's to mount from the right should the official then make the bottom man reset hit him with a caution. Then if he resets and then puts his knees to the other side and the top man then wishs to mount from that side what do you do,This could go on for ever! or do you just hit the top man for stalling, and tell him to get set?????
Answer: The bottom man must adjust so the top man can get on legally. There is no caution. The top man can not change his mind after he told the referee which side he wanted to mount. It can not go on indefinitely because the top man may not change his mind after the bottom man adjusted once.

Q: On the National Federation web page, under rule clarifications for wrestling, at bottom of page, it leads you to believe that bleeding and injury that takes the bottem man off his back, can earn the top man, up to 5 points. Why is bleeding and injury considered the same as illegal in the summary. Am i reading this wrong?
Answer: Your not reading the rule wrong. The reason WHY ... because the National Federation rulebook says so (p. 19): Rule 5-2-5h.

Q:Why was numbers for the Regionals changed? For instance what has been Region 3 over the years is now Region 4 this year and Vice Visa. Why was it changed to that extent?
Answer: I do not know; you would have to contact the WVSSAC: 304/485-5494.

February 6, 2003

Q: Locked hands around the body can sometimes be as difficult to counter when in the standing position as when on the mat. We were taught in high school, that one technique to get the wrestler in the advantage position to have to release the lock and try to control hands or something else is to put one knee on the mat while continuing to fight hands and pop the hips. The idea being that he will be in technical violation for locking hands if he doesn't change off to something else. I have heard this has been considered as unsportsmanlike. Is this covered strictly by rule or is it judgement by the official whether or not the wrestler being controlled is making an honest effort to improve his position?
A: It could be considered unsportsmanlike conduct by the bottom wrestler if the official believes he is doing it on purpose in order to earn a technical violation point. And yes, it would be a judgment call by the official, as many other calls in wrestling are.

January 30, 2003

Q: What is the critera for Seeding in a tounrament such as Regionals?
A: That is now determined by the tournament director and regional coaches.

January 25, 2003

Q: I witnessed a referee call stalling on the top man in double overtime. I thought the purpose of the top man was to hold his opponent down for 30 seconds. What is the call.
A: If a wrestler is blatantly stalling in the 30-second tiebreaker, instead of just riding, the official can indicate stalling.

January 20, 2003

Q: Wrestler A has wrestler B in a pinning combination with the 15 pt. tech. fall point spread. Allowing the match to continue for the fall, is it possible for wrestler A to lose the match by pinning himself?
A: No. The match is virtually over; Wrestler A is just given the opportunity for the fall.

January 16, 2003

Q: Does a wrestler have to make base weight the first time he wrestles at a lower weight?
A: Yes.

Q:I know there is no such thing as a legal slam. I just want to know why the ref. calls it an illegal move and then asked the wrestler if he can continue. Why don't they make the wrestler decide if he is going to continue and then say if the move was illegal or not? I believe this would show if a wrestler was truely hurt or not.
A: We did that for 8 years, until the NFHS Associations said we could not wait to call the slam. Thus, we must call the slam immediately.

Q: This is a Two part question
Wrestler A has just beaten Wrestler B 5-4 and Wrestler A begins to boast quite excessively. How can he be penalized? Could he loose the match even after it has ended due to unsportsman like conduct? How else could he be penalized? How would it effect Team scoring?
Same curcumstances as above except Wrestler A shoves or hits Wrestler B After the match? How would he be Penalized? Could he loose the match, even after it had been decided? How would it affect team scoring?
A: Point 1: The referee would award the match to Wrestler A and penalize Wrestler A'S team one team point deduction for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Point 2: If it were a shove, the same as Point 1. If Wrestler A hit Wrestler B at the conclusion of wrestling, Wrestler A would win the match, but would be disqualified for flagrant misconduct, his team would be penalized a deduction of two team points, and any team points he scored in that event would be eliminated.

January 14, 2003

Q: In a Dual match can the team move their 215 up to heavy weight after the 189 match? if so can they do it if the other teams heavy weight has already had his hand raised. Thank you
A: A 215 pounder can move up to wrestle at 275 (instead of 215) in a dual meet. If the other team's 275 pounder has just had his hand raised, it would be too late unless the referee feels he made a mistake.

January 10, 2003

Q:Was curious as to the ruling that a wrestlers socks must show above the top of the shoe. What is the purpose of this rule, and why must they show above the top. Other than personal hygiene, if the wrestler can show he/she is wearing socks, what's the point?
A: The WV Wrestling Coaches Committee has voted to wear visible socks for over a decade. They do it for two reasons: Personal hygiene and the wrestler's appearance (It looks better.)

January 9, 2003

Q: Some other parents and I would like to start a 6-7-8 grade wrestling team next year at St.Joseph's Catholic Elementary School (and include St.Paul's like the Jr. Don football program) in Weirton which are feeder schools for Madonna. Whose permission at the state level do we need to obtain, if any, and is there a jr. high governing organization that can give us a list of tournaments? If not, is there a coaches' list, and do our coaches have to be state certified i.e., tested? Also, based on your experience how many of the weights would we have to fill in order to be considered "competitive" in a dual meet by other public school middle school programs? Thanks.
A: A school must be a member of the WVSSAC in order to compete in its member-school activities. You need to contact the WVSSAC for further details. The WVSSAC office phone number is (304) 485-5494.

January 8, 2003

Q: I have seen many people wear "tights" with their singlets. Is it required for the whole team to wear them if one person wears them?
A: Both tights or just singlets are allowable for the same team.

January 7, 2003

Q: In Ohio, why can't a jr. high wrestler wrestle at youth wrestling tournaments and also particapate at their school jr. high wrestling events?
Also, if a wrestler is on their stomach and on the bottom with their fingers locked together, holding on to the leg, and not moving, but the guy on top is trying to break the finger lock, is the bottom guy considered stalling?
A: Answer to Question One: I do not know the answer, being the WV interpreter. You need to contact the Ohio High School Athletic Association in Columbus. I am sorry but I do not know the number; directory assistance would be able to give you the phone number.
Answer to Question Two: The bottom man could be stalling, but I would have to witness the situation myself. Also, keep in mind, stalling is a judgment call made by officials.

Q: When a diabetic needs to check his blood sugar is he using blood >time or injury time?
A: This diabetic wrestler would be using injury time.

December 31, 2002

Q: If a wrestler were ineligible to wrestle at the opening of the season due to grade difficulties, if his grades have improved at the beginning of the second semester is he eligible to wrestle the rest of the season, and compete at regionals and states?
A: If at the end of the first semester the wrestler has a 2.0 average or better, he is eligible to wrestle the second semester and to compete in regionals and states.

December 18, 2002

Q: If it is unsportsmanlike conduct to have ones shoulder straps down in the gym then when and where should a wrestler who leaves them down until he takes his warm up suit off go to put them up for his match?
A: In West Virginia, a wrestler whose straps are down, exposing the upper body in the gym area during competition will be penalized one team-point deduction should an official see it.

Wrestler A can pull his straps up in the restroom area, the locker room, or outside the gym area somewhere.

Q: Can a wrestler that is wrestling for a middle school team also wrestle with a youth league during ths middle school season?
A: Yes -- with permission from the principal. Also, a wrestler can not compete for a club team on the same day there is a middle school match.

December 17, 2002

Q: A coach believes that the official has misapplied a rule and requests to discuss the situation at the scorers table. Before leaving the mat, the official directs both wrestlers to the ten foot circle and tells them to be sure not to leave that area. While talking with the coach he notices that one of the wrestlers has left the ten foot circle, where he is now recieving advice fom the assistant coach. Upon resolving the issue with the first coach, what would be the call for he wrestler who left the ten foot circle and or the call for the assistant coach. Would that be unsportsmanlike on the wrestler and a deduction of a team point for a second misconduct by the assistant coach?
A: If a wrestler leaves the ten-foot circle after being told to stay there, tell the wrestler he must return to the ten-foot circle. At this point, should he ignore your instructions, then he would be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct, and his a opponent would receive a match point. If the assistant coach would give you a rough time, then he should be penalized with a one-point team score deduction.

Q: Are diabetics allowed a few pounds during weigh ins so they can eat before and not have to worry about their sugar going too low?
A: The rules regarding weigh-ins and making weight are the same for everyone; there are no exceptions. If a wrestler is overweight, s/he can not compete at that weight class.

Q: Wrestler A is attempting to take down wrestler B. In the process, both wrestlers go to the mat and no control is gained by either wrestler. In the scramble wrestler B commits an illegal headlock. Should the match be stopped right there, or is wrestler A allowed to continue with trying to complete the takedown? I had this situation happen as I was coaching, and the official allowed wrestler A complete the takedown and awarded 2 pts. for a takedown, and 1 pt. for the illegal headlock. I approached the table and said the match sould have been stopped during the illegal headlock, but the official explained otherwise. Just thought is was an interesting situation, and wanted to clear it up. Thanks
A: All illegal headlocks must be stopped immediately.

December 6, 2002
Q: If a wrestler can move up at anytime, can he also move down at anytime?

A: Before December 23rd (the certification date) a wrestler can compete at any weight he is eligible to wrestle. After the certification date, he can wrestle no lower than his certified weight, say 103 pounds.

However, should the wrestler compete at 119 pounds in January, he has now recertified himself at 112 pounds and can go no lower.

November 29, 2002
Q: If both shoulders are flat on the mat, the right shoulder and scapula inbounds and the left shoulder and scapula out-of-bounds, what is the call?
- Jesse Shell
A: No fall or backpoints can be awarded until part of the left shoulder or scapula is inbounds as well. Good question!!!

November 22, 2002
Q: What is the minimum weight for the 75-pound weight class in junior high wrestling?
A: There is no minimum weight for 75-pounders.

Q: Can a tournament director make a rule that only one wrestler per team can weigh-in per weight class in his tournament?
A: To my knowledge, yes, but everyone should be aware of it from the "get go."

November 20, 2002
Q: Wrestler A weighs in at the 135-pound weight class at a dual meet. His actual weight was 129 pounds. Can Wrestler A wrestle at the 130-pound weight class? A: Answer: No -- because Wrestler A did not weigh in at the 130-pound weight class. Also, he is too light to wrestle at the 140-pound weight class.
Rule Interpretation by: Mr. Jerry Diehl, Editor
NFHS Wrestling Rule Book

March 29, 2002
Q: In high school wrestling, if a wrestler straight leg scissors his opponent, what is the call?
The match would be stopped immediately and his opponent would receive a penalty point.

March 21, 2002
Q:If a slam is called and a penalty point awarded, why is the offending wrestler not disqualified?
A: A slam is nothing more than an illegal hold, as is a full-nelson, keylock, or a number of other illegal holds. A slam or other illegal hold does not in and of itself disqualify a wrestler, unless the recipient of the illegal hold (in this case, a slam) is injured and cannnot continue. However, if the official feels the wrestler intentionally slamed his opponent with intent to hurt, he could be hit with a flagrant misconduct.

March 18, 2002
Q: If a wrestler is held in a painful pinning situation for a long period of time, can a referee stop the match and put them back in the referee's position?
A: Yes, if the referee thinks its a "potentially dangerous" situation, he can stop the match, award the appropriate points, and start them back in the referee's position.

March 7, 2002
Q: If both wrestlers in the championship finals match are DQ'ed for flagrant misconduct, what is the ruling?
A: There would be no first and second place awards. Third and fourth place would not move up two places.

March 11, 2002
Q: When is the straight leg scissors illegal?
A: The straight leg scissors is illegal when it is applied for pain alone around the body and around the head with or without an arm encircled. (Note: In a future West Virginia Mat Thoughts, I express my thoughts on the straight leg scissors in general.)

March 3, 2002
Q: If Wrestler A earns a three-point nearfall that gives him a 15-point spread, is the match over due to a technical fall?
A: No. Wrestler A still has the opportunity to pin his opponent in that situation.

March 1, 2002
Q: Is the West Virginia Sock Rule binding on teams from other states that travel to West Virginia and if so, who should tell them?
A: Yes, all out-of-state teams must abide by the West Virginia Sock Rule. Actually, the coach from the out-of-state team should ask if there are any rule differences in the state they are going to. But often, the home state coach or tournament director will let out-of-state teams know. Still, the ultimate responsibility lies in the out-of-state coaches' hands.

March 1, 2002
Q: How must an official call a possible slam situation?
-- South Fan
A: A slam must be called immediately, and keep in mind all slams are illegal. In West Virginia from 1988 to 1998, we had the "Slam Rule" in which the referee would not tell the wrestler who was hurt if it was a slam until he was ready to wrestle after injury/recovery time ran out. Again, that is no longer the case; a slam must be called when it occurs.

February 27, 2002
Q: Can a 5th place winner from the same region show up for the first state tournament weigh-in and weigh-in if one of the first four regional placewinners does not make weight?
A: Not all-knowing, I checked with Bill Archer, state tournament director, for the answer. The answer is YES!

Q: If a wrestler has a legal head lock that becomes potentially dangerous, how is it handled?

A: Should a legal headlock become potentially dangerous, the referee must stop the match. The top wrestler has done nothing wrong and he would not be penalized.

February 17, 2002
Q: Can a wrestler move up for regionals after wrestling at a lower weight class all season?
-- GM
A: He sure can. A wrestler can always move up

Q: Wrestler A moves up to 145 for the regionals with a record of 30-3. Wrestler B has wrestled at 145 all year with a record of 36-2. Is it possible for Wrestler A to be seeded higher than Wrestler B?
-- GM
A: Yes, especially if one of Wrestler B's losses was to Wrestler A.

January 30, 2002
Q: Can the bottom wrestler score a reversal with a figure-4 head scissors, even with an arm encircled?
A: Yes. The only time a figure-4 head scissors is a technical violation (not an illegal hold), even with an arm encircled, would be in the neutral position.

January 25, 2002
Q: If a wrestler is injured, can he show up for a match and take a forfeit?
A: Yes, because the other team does not have a wrestler.

Q: If a wrestler turns 19 his senior year, is he eligible to wrestle?
A: You must contact the West Virginia SSAC for the rules regarding this question.

January 20, 2002
Q: If a wrestler is on his back and his shoulders are out of bounds, but his opponent is in-bounds, can the top wrestler score a near-fall or pin in this position?
A: No. The shoulders of the bottom wrestler must be in-bounds.

January 9, 2002
Q: May a wrestler use injury time to check his/her blood sugar?
A: Yes.

January 9, 2002
Q: What happens if a boy is DQ'd in the third round of a dual meet tournament? Can he be substituted?
A: The two previous duals are over; their scores can not be changed. The DQ only affects the dual in which he committed the act. In the fourth round you can substitute the DQ'd wrestler with another matman.

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