West Virginia Wrestling

Making The Call ...

by Dr. Bill Welker

Part Eight, May 2003 - December 2005
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December 30, 2005
Q: My son wants to certify and wrestle at the 103 pound weight class. But before December 23, 2005 he took a forfeit at the 119 pound weight class. Can he still certify and wrestle at the 103 pound weight class. Also his certification was not turned in the day of the forfeit. He hasnt wrestled at 103 or made base weight, which he was planning on doing on January 10, 2006. Thank you.
A: From the information given, the wrestler would still be eligible for 103 pounds. However, from now on he may not weigh in at 119 pounds, or he would be recertified at 112 pounds.

December 27, 2005
Q: Are losses accrued when a wrestler pulls out in the middle of the tournament due to illness? If the wrestler was 1-2 going into his next match, but could not continue, is he awarded losses towards the next two matches he would have wrestled?
A: His record would be 1-3. Only the first forfeit counts as a match.

Q: Please expand on or give opinion of referrees calling "stalling," "stalemate," etc in either a 1st period overtime or a 2nd period ("rideout") overtime.
A: Each referee would call stalling in the one-minute overtime as he would in the regular match. The tiebreaker is different because is allows the wrestler to ride his opponent without necessarily working for a fall since it is only 30 seconds.

December 18, 2005
Q: At what point does a Russion Bar become illegal?
A: When the wrestler with the Russian bar locks his opponent's elbow joint, causing overextension, it is illegal. He must not lock the joint, but keep it in a natural semi-bent state when applying the Russian bar.

Q: If you are on your back, and your opponent as you in a pinning combination(i.e. head w/arm and his chest is on mine),can you put your hands in his face pushing on his CHEEK bone in an attempt to get to your stomach. If not, can the ref pull your hand away? The ref pulled my hand away causing my shoulder to touch the mat for a split second, and I was pinned. I'm very upset w/this.
A: A referee has the right to pull a hand from the face of the wrestler working for a fall if it is illegal. In this situation, the match should not be stopped for an illegal act of the bottom man (if possible) to allow the top man to score his fall. The top man should not be put at a disadvantage (by stopping the match) because the bottom man commited an illegal act, except in extreme cases such as a flagrant misconduct.

December 16, 2005
Q: Can my diabetic son be allowed time to drink juice between periods?
A:If it prescribed by the doctor, absolutely YES.

July 10, 2005
Q: Is the only time you can have a headlock without an arm is when near fall criteria has been met using a guillotine?
A: Actually, No.

Q: How about a double grapevine situation? Can you have a headlock without an arm? Can you lift up the head to prevent the opponent from bridging? When would it become illegal?
A: Yes, because there is no real pressure on the neck, except his head toward the top man's chest. In the double grapevine, this would not be illegal.

Q: Also, can you have locking hands when one arm is above the shoulder or your opponent and the other down around the waist area (hands are locked)? I have seen this called before; however, I always thought locking hands was around the barrel of the opponent only (i.e. below both shoulders around the body). Please clarify for me.
A: If hands are locked with one arm above the shoulder and the other around the body, it is NOT locked hands.

March 19, 2005
Q: Does the National Federation have any "official" criteria to be used to seed a tournament? The usual criteria are returning champs in the same weight class, records, head-to-head, etc. I can't find any info in the case book.
A: Years ago they had a suggested "seeding procedure." There was never an official seeding criteria. They have left that up to the tournament management to develop a seeding criteria suitable to their particular situation. Sort of a "states' rights" position by the NFHS.
PS - I would note whatever criteria you determine for your tournament, do not change it in mid-stream or you would be asking for trouble.

March 16, 2005
Q: What criteria is used to stop action after a locking hands call. Some refs call very quickly and I've seen others wait for quite some time. Even though this is a technical violation I don't think it should be used as a free, no risk, move for the bottom guy.
A: Locked hands is called quickly if the bottom man is not attempting an escape or reversal. However, if the bottom is attempting an escape or reversal, he is given extra time to do so. Should he earn the escape or reversal, wrestling would continue and he would also be awarded the technical violation point. If the bottom man is unable to escape or reverse his opponent in an appropriate amount of time determined by the official, the match would be stopped and the bottom man would be awarded his technical violation point.

February 23, 2005
Q: I've heard that some wrestlers, if they are in a tough predicament, will act like they're hurt. Your thoughts, regarding a wrestler who it is suspected of faking injury to avoid a tough spot?
A: My feelings, in general, are as follows: No matter what an official might think, he must stop the match when a wrestler says he's injured.

February 16, 2005
Q: Here's the question - defensive wrestler is on the mat...he has turned away from a near side cradle, put his near side hip to the mat and posted his far leg...the offensive wrestler drives his own head into the back (kidney area) of the defensive wrestler and pulls on defensive wrestler's head and leg - this appears to be be driving the spine beyond the way it would normally go - is this a legal hold?
A: It could be legal, but also potentially dangerous. However, if the official thinks a move is being done for punishment alone, he can call it illegal.

Q: I scanned the archives about the figure 4 and noted that you said it was a technical violation from the neutral position. Yet, I have repeatedly seen this done as a counter to the double leg take down when the head of wrestler "A" is between the legs of wrestler "B". Is this the situation to which you were referring?
A: The figure four with the legs locked (in the figure-4 around the head) as a counter for a takedown is a technical violation. But note, the referee can let the match continue if he thinks the other boy can score the takedown. Whether he stops the hold immediately or after giving the other boy the chance for the takedown, the boy trying the takedown will be awarded 1 point for the technical violation - figure-4 in the neutral position.

February 7, 2005
Q: Can a coach forfeit during a match if his wrestler is acting in a manner which doesn't reflect well on the school but isn't something a referee would stop the match for? Like the wrestler yelling at the coach, just lying there when the match is stopped and not going back to the center, a wrestler losing his composure, etc?
A: A coach may default his wrestler during a match any time he sees fit to do so.

February 5, 2005
Q: How are officals rated? Also how are they selected to officate the State Wrestling Tournament?
A: The coaches rate the officials and the WVSSAC selects the officials, starting with class I officials. Class II may also be considered, but lower class officials.

February 2, 2005
Q: Wrestler A is pinning Wreslter B but before the ref checks his shoulders Wreslter B's coach comes onto the mat and tells the ref to stop the match his wrestler is injured and the ref stops the match and starts injury time for wreslter B and awards wreslter A 4 near fall points. Is this the correect call?
A: If Wrestler A already earned three near-fall points, he would receive a 4-point near-fall for mat stoppage.

January 31, 2005
Q: If a referee is counting back points, shoulders are all the way inside the lines and the ref looks down and the wrestler that is getting pinned shoe is off the mat should the match be stopped or should it have been a pin.
A: If the referee sees any part of a wrestler's body off the mat and on the gym floor, the match should be stopped.

January 27, 2005
Q: When a wrestler has the opponent on his/her back and the period/match is nearly over and then the official slaps the mat very close to the clock/horn going off, who should make the call on whether the fall occurred before time expired or not? If it is determined that both occurred simultaneously, what is the decision?
A: The referee goes to the score table and asks the timekeeper if the fall occurred before or after the end of the period. The answer determines his decision. Secondly, just like in baseball, where the player is either out or safe, a fall is either before or after time runs out.

January 25, 2005
Q: I was wondering if you could clarify something for me concerning weigh-ins required to wrestle in the state tourney. I was informed that in order to wrestle a certain weight, the wrestler had to have 1/2 of his weigh-ins at that weight, BEFORE the regional tourney and that the regional tourney itself did NOT count as a weigh-in. Is this true and if so, could a wrestler that was injured during the year and have NO record prior to the regional tourney, wrestle in order to qualify for states? Also, what are the rules on a 9th grade junior high wrestler completing his season and then starting a high school season in February? I'm quite confused on all this and would greatly appreciate you insite.
A: Regionals do not count for number of weigh-ins. A wrestler must weigh-in 50% of his matches at lower weight if he wants to wrestle there, and he can always move up even if he hasn't wrestled there all year. A wrestler could have his first match at regionals due to injury, but he must make base weight. A freshman can move up to high school, but then he can not go back down to junior high again.

January 25, 2005
Q: Do officials such as the tournament director, asst. director, official timekeeper or scorer have authority to deduct team points against a coach using foul language behind the referee's back? If so, do they have authority to kick the coach out of the tournament if their less than desirable conduct continues?
A: Any official or tournament director(s) does have the right to remove a coach for flagrant misconduct, as well as a school administrator.

January 12, 2005
Q: Here's one that came up one evening while discussing the changes in the way that the thinking of the wrestling community has evolved regarding weighins and being overweight. I remember the days when the scale banged up (indicating the wrestler was overweight) and the wrestler went back in the lockerroom to relieve himself, gag himself or whatever else he (or his coach) could think of to make weight. Now that sort of thing is not allowed and, as I understand it, the wrestler must immediately step back on the scale (or walk to the other scales if multiple scales are being used at a tournament).

What if the wrestler relieves himself or gags himself in route to the other scales? Yeah, to the rest of the world people might say that something like this would/could never happen, I've seen enough crazy stuff to know that it probably has happened.

Has this ever happened with you? What's the rule? Can you give a brief summary of how the rule has changed over the years, some of us have selective memories of the good old days (I'm certainly guilty).
A: It is the responsibility of the official to escort the wrestler to the other scales.

January 11, 2005
Q: Last Saturday at a tournament, one of our wrestlers went down on the mat with an apparent ankle injury. As our team trainer, I immediately went to the wrestler, to check on it, as always, as he was obviously having a problem. The official asked the wrestler if he wanted to use injury time, and I said "yes, I'd like to check it". Meanwhile, the wrestler stood up, having difficulty putting weight on it. The official told me that the head coach has to ask to start the injury time. Never before, in 10 years with this sport, has an official "second-guessed" my wishes to check on an obvious injury. Watching for injuries, and taking care of them (preventing them when possible), is what I do for this team. Did this unfold properly, or should we lean toward the side of safety, and start the injury assessment, and the injury time, when someone's there to take care of it?
A: From what you told me, I agree. If a team trainer felt that injury time was necessary to check a wrestler, I would start the injury time clock as the official.

December 27, 2004
Q: How long can you ride an ankle?
A: As long as it takes to break the bottom man down on his stomach. After that, it is up to the official's judgment as to when holding onto the ankle is stalling.

December 13, 2004
Q: If you are in a school that has students in grades 7-12, >and you are a 9th grader who played Football for the High School team. Do you have to wrestle for the High School team or can you still wrestle for the junior high team?
A: Good question. I do not have the authority to answer this question. You must contact the West Virginia SSAC at (304) 485-5494. Or, the state athletic association you belong to if you are not going to a West Virginia school.

December 13, 2004
A: Stay off your back. Merry Christmas to all!

April 20, 2004
Q: Who actually certifies a wrestlers weight? A coach must sent a wrestler's verification form to the WVSSAC by December 23rd. The doctor recommends a weight. A wrestler is not actually certified until he makes base weight. For an example, if a doctor recommend a weight of 135, and the wrestler never reaches base weight for that weight class then he must wrestle at 140. If the wrestler weighs 141 his weight class is now 145, can he be bumped up one weight class to wrestle 152. Please if any rules and been broke or fractured.
A: The doctor certifies the weigtht. A wrestler must make base weight the first time he wrestles there. If he never makes base weight at his certified minimum weight, he must move up to a weight class in which he made base weight; thus, recertifying himself to a higher weight.

March 31, 2004
Q: If a wrestler takes another wrestler down the ref gives two for the takedown and then counts one for back points, before he gets to two the bottom wrestler gets out and comes back to his feet, can the ref wave off the takedown and take back the points?
A: Yes - If the official felt he gave the takedown too fast even with an arm sweep, he may remove the takedown points. This is when the referee realizes that control was not quite met, and he reacted too quickly.

March 19, 2004
Q: Double OT ... can the guy on the bottom be pinned?
A: Absolutely, yes!

March 9, 2004
Q: I saw a boy (A) this season pinning another boy (B) with a Banana Split. The ref stopped the match and called a potentially dangerous hold on boy A, but awarded him 3 back points. He said that he stopped the match because the move hurts, boy A knows it hurts and that you can't pin anyone from that move. He also instructed boy A not to use that move any more. I felt the Ref was wrong in not looking for the pin and also instructing Boy A not to use that move any more. To my knowledge the Banana Split is a legal move in Folkstyle Wrestling in West Virginia and I have seen many wrestlers pinned with that move. Was the Ref correct in his actions?
A: A Banana Split is a legal move in folkstyle wrestling, but can become potentially dangerous.

March 8, 2004
Q: Recently on the radio they were discussing wrestling and mentioned that last year's Illinois state champ defeated one of his final opponents by tickling him. The ref saw this and allowed it. I was stunned but, after looking in several rulebooks, see no mention of tickling. Is there an official stance on whether tickling is considered legal? Thank you!
A: It could be interpreted as "unsportsmanlike Conduct."

March 2, 2004
Q: After looking at the brackets for the Kentucky State Tournement I noticed they had some 7th and 8th graders in it. Now if those team come to a tourement during the regular season in WV can those same 7th and 8th graders wrestle in the high school event? Or will they have to sit out since WV high school is 9-12?
A: An 8th grade boy can compete if he is on the varsity squad.

February 24, 2004
Q: Last weekend at a tournament I saw a wrestler get on top in the referee's position facing his opponent instead of the normal one knee on the mat behind the bottom wrestler. Can you explain this? Is it legal? It must be the referee alowed it.
A: In the Optional Offensive Starting Position, the feet of the top wrestler can not be in front of the forward starting line or the line extended.

February 20, 2004
Q: Your 2/27/02 answer to the question about 5th place finishers replacing an overweight qualifer from the same region at the state tournament appears to differ from your 2/18/03 answer to what I perceived to be the same question. Did the rule change? Did I miss some nuance in one of the questions? Is it safe to assume that everyone slides up one spot if the regional champ is hurt/sick, surely the fifth place regional finisher does not get the luxury of the #1 seed.
Thanks for a great forum!
A: A clarification: If a regional placewinner gets hurt, etc., the fifth place wrestler would move to fourth place, and so on down the regional placewinners as need be. There is no deadline when this must be done. The coach of the boy who can't wrestle should notify state tournament officials as soon as possible so the fifth place wrestler can be notified.

Q: Can a wrestler who is awaiting eligibility be weighed in at a match, even though he won't be wrestling at that match? I'm curious whether or not a kid could actually be certified at base weight prior to eligibility and be able to get the 2 pounds allowance at his very first match.
Scenario: Wrestler is not yet eligible, but expects to be this Saturday. His team has a dual match Wednesday. He would like to weigh in at base weight on Wednesday and receive the two pound allowance on Saturday. Must a wrestler wrestle his first match at base weight or just weigh in at base weight at his first weigh-in. This question came to me when I started wondering whether or not an official could sign off on a wrestler as making base weight at any time, or would it have to be an official weigh-in for a meet. If he could, but only at an official weigh-in, could a wrestler go to any weigh-in anywhere in the state, get on the scale, and ask an official to check base weight? My! answer is probably in the rule book, but perhaps you could expand on it a little.
A: A wrestler can make base weight at a match and not wrestle, but it must be at a scheduled dual meet. It would count as a legal weigh-in.

February 18, 2004
Q: What is the official date of certification? Is it the date the doctor signs the certification form or the closure date for submission?
A: The official date for certification is December 23rd.

February 4, 2004
Q: Wrestler #1 shoots in on a doubleleg driving wrestler #2 to his behind, meanwhile wrestler #2 double underhooks him. If wrestler #1 works his way up wrestler #2's back with his arms and drives into him can wrestler #1 be awarded a takedown as well as backpoints even though wrestler #2 has his head between his legs and has him underhooked?
A: Yes, but the official would make a delayed call in this situation to be sure Wrestler #1 has settled in and will not be flipped over.

Q: Wrestler A gets the takedown. Wrestler A is trying different moves to turn wrestler B over. Wrestler A moves out front of wrestler B (head to head). Wrestler B stays on his knees and continues to counter and hold off wrestler A. During this time Wrestler B does not come up on his feet or reverse. It happens a couple times during the period. At the end of the period the referee awards wrestler B an escape. Who do you think?
A: This is a judgment call. If the referee believed control was lost, he can award the escape.

February 3, 2004
Q: My question is concerning injury timeouts. Wrestler A is winning the match going into the third period 7-3, but at the start of the third period, it is obvious that wresler A is tired, and wresler B is starting to take over the match. From the top postion wrestler B breaks wrestler A to the floor, and put a legal hammer lock on wrestler A, and then B wresler runs a half nelson with his other arm and is in the process of rolling wrestler A over to his back, for a possible pin, wrestler A starts crying, and the move was stopped for the injury timeout. The injury was to the wrestlers fingers, and wrestler B didn't even have a hold of wreslers A hand. Now before you think I'm some kinda hard hearted person, and don't care about the wrestler A and his injury, thats not the case at all, I love these kids, and the sport, and think its the best sport offered, but guess what, wrestler A was allowed the full timeout, per say the rules, and a much needed rest, and the match continued with wrestler A winning 8-3, after getting an escape point, and then locking up the rest of the time which was about 20 seconds.

Why doesn't the rules restart the wrestlers back in the same body postion or holds the wrestlers were in when the timeout was called, as long as the holds are legal, and let them finish the match from that point? I have seen this scenario happen several times, and when wrestler A walked off the mat after winning this match, he was smiling, and didn't seem to concern about his injury anymore, and went on to wrestle several times after that, without any complaints. Just thought I would ask. By the way I love your answer question section on this web site, and also the forum page, keep up the good work
A: Answer: If the wrestler was going to his back when he indicated he was hurt (but near-fall criteria was not yet met), the referee, after stopping the match should award two near-fall points by rule.

Note, A referee must stop a match when a wrestler says he's hurt -- no matter what the referee thinks. If not, he could be liable if the wrestler is hurt. By the rules, matches must be restarted as if the wrestlers went out of bounds

Q: I have two questions, please.
How does squirming out of bounds when on one's back relate to fleeing the mat?
Is unneccesary roughness strictly a judgement call by the offical?
A:Question One Answer: If near-fall points are scored, a wrestler can squirm off the mat without being penalized. Should no near-fall points be obtained, the official can call fleeing the mat. It is a judgment call.
Question Two Answer: Unnecessary Roughness is a judgment call by the official.

January 21, 2004

Q: If a wrestler is out the first half of the season with an injury and never wrestled the first half of the season and never even weighed in the first half of the season, and then returns to wrestle after the 2 pound weight allowance is in effect, must he still make base weight?
A: The wrestler must make base weight the first time he wrestles at that weight class. After that, he gets the two-pound allowance

January 16, 2004

Q: Here's the situation I have i have a question about. It is overtime - starting in neutral - takedown wins. Both wrestlers are down on the mat fighting for control near stalemate. Fans and coaches from one team yell at the ref that the opposing wrestler has his hands locked. Yet, no one has been give a takedown. I feel this is a pretty simple and easy to answer question but i just wanted to verify my answer. In this situation, how can a wrestler lock his hands, if neither one has control? Is there any possible way - other than a penalty point for an illegal hold or a stall - that a wrestler could lose in overtime without being takedown?
A: A wrestler can have hands locked around both legs or the body in the overtime period without having control. Thus there would be no penalty, and wrestling would continue. They are unusual situations, but they have happened in matches I officiated. A wrestler could lose by a flagrant misconduct in the overtime period without there being a takedown.

January 1, 2004

Q: I was always under the impression that if a wrestler weighed in as say a 160lber and wrestles 160 than he could go to 152, but could not go to 145 because of previously being a 160lber, is this not true?
Answer: In order for a wrestler to compete at 152, he must weigh-in at 145 or 152. If he weighed in at 160, he could also wrestle 171, but not 152.

December 17, 2003

Q: In the December 15 edition of Making the Call, I read the following: "The current system allows for a aggressive wrestler (the one who scores first) to be "awarded" in the second overtime with a choice." My question is this: If the more aggressive wrestler takes a shot, but the opposing wrestler sprawls and wrestles to a takedown, are those not still offensive points scored and thus awarded, in this case, to the less aggressive wrestler who would be a"awarded" in second OT?
A: The wrestler who scores the first point(s) -- be it a takedown, escape, reversal, etc. -- shall be given the choice of position in the 30-Tiebreaker. It does not matter if the other wrestler seemed more aggressive.

December 15, 2003

Q: When a dual match ends in a tie, say 36-36, and the tiebreaker criteria is used to declare the winner, what is the final score???
A: Team A would be the winner by the "Dual Meet Tiebreaker Criteria." The score would not change

Q: A female wrestler, after her second match, was told by the referee that she had to wear a shirt under her singlet. My question is - after a wrestler has weighed-in and wrestled can the wrestler be required to modify their uniform?
A: From what you told me, I would say she was legal and if anything had to be done regarding proper gear, that should have been taken care of at the weigh-ins. Of course, I would have to know the official's point of view as well.

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