West Virginia Wrestling

Making The Call ...

Do you have a question regarding wrestling rules and their interpretations?

In an effort to promote a fuller understanding of the rules of our sport, Dr. Bill Welker will field your inquires and reply on this page. Dr. Welker is an active Wrestling Official and experienced in wrestling rules interpretation.

You may submit inquiries directly to Dr. Welker at mattalkwv@hotmail.com.

Important notes:

  • This feature is made available solely for the enlightenment of our readers, and should not be used in any inquiry or petition to another official, the WVSSAC or other sanctioning or governing body.
  • Inquiries which bring personalities into question will be rejected.
  • We reserve the right to reject any inquiry which, in our opinion, may fuel controversy over a disputed call in a recent match.

The Sparrow's Spirit, by Dr. Bill Welker, Ed.D.
A Champion Wrestler's Lifetime Reflections on Prayer and Perseverance

Available on-line from the publishing company RoseDog Books through its online bookstore.

Also available on-line at amazon.com

Publication Notes

The Wrestling Drill Book, 2nd Edition, edited and authored by Dr. Bill Welker
with contributions by Jim Akerly, Bill Archer, Dave Lamotte, Pat Pecora, Edwin C. Peery, Bruce Burnett, Larry Shaw, Ken L. Taylor, and Craig Turnbull.

Available on-line from the publishing company, Human Kinetics, or through book stores nationwide.

Also available at amazon.com

Bill Welker's Pancake Takedown Series.
Available for mini-clinic demonstration
FOLLOW THIS LINK for details

March 5, 2017
Question: Wrestler b is down face first, wrestler a on top and keeps roughly head butting wrestler b. Is this allowed?
A: No.

December 8, 2016
Question: What are the "altered" hair rules regarding the 2016-2017 season?
A: There are no new rules regarding hair length and requirements - Rule: 4-2-1 (Page 16).

November 16, 2016
Q:What is the minimum weight to wrestle at 285?
Is this answered in the rule “a wrestler shall not wrestle more than one weight class above that class for which his actual weight, at the time of weigh-in, qualifies the competitor.”
Thus, a wrestler who qualifies for the 220 lb class by weighing 196, may wrestle 285. Is the answer 196 lbs?
Answer: At the beginning of the year prior to the two-pound allowance, if a wrestler weighs over 195 pounds, s/he can wrestle at 220 pounds or 285 pounds.

February 22, 2016
Question: Can a wrestler wait until regionals to make base weight? Wrestler only wrestled 152 and 145 all year and then all of a sudden is down to 138. I know he can wrestle 152 if he weighs 139, but how could he get around the 50% of match rule ??
A: After a wrestler's Alpha Date, he must have 50% of his weigh-ins at his lowest minimum eligible weight class. Furthermore, he must make base weight prior to regionals.
Editors' note: Note, the critical issue is at what weight did the wrestler weigh-in, not necessarily what weight he/she actually wrestled.

February 17, 2016
Question: I am trying to find information on choking. We had a young ref in the u14 age group. The guy running the tournament said if you have any questions about reffing calls please come to him and don't get on the refs. During one of my sons matches the boy he was wrestling used a move that obstructed my sons breathing. He oppenent had him in a cross body ride with his arm in to the crook of his elbow compressing his throat. He flipped him pulling with his arm to choke him. He was upside down with one of his arms pinned. He had no way to tap out so he started smacking his oppent to get the refs attention. The ref ignored him. The boy rolled over mad that my son had smacked him. At this point my son verbalized to the ref stop the match. He didn't and allowed the boy to put the choke hold in again. My son began flailing in obvious distress. Ref wouldn't call until the coach ran onto the mat. I didn't say anything to the young ref but went to find the organizer to ask him to review illegal potentially dangerous moves with his young ref. I was told there is no such thing as an illegal choke and it is only potentially dangerous if it is held for a couple of minutes. I showed him video I had taken and he said he wasn't choked long enough. Could you clear this up for me.
A: If Wrestler A is choking Wrestler B (in other words, restricting Wrestler B's ability to breath), it is an ILLEGAL ACTION and should be stopped immediately, awarding Wrestler B one penalty (match) point.

February 13, 2016
Q: I need a form to have a doctor sign off so my child can go back to wrestling. He had ringworm.
A: Editor's note: You will find a variety of forms at the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commissiom (WVSSAC) Website, look under "forms." I also have a link to the form you are looking for on the front page in the gray box under "Officials / Comments on the Rules" - Communicable Skin Disease Form.

February 10, 2016
Question: When are results final in a bracketed tournament? ...
In a bracketed tournament, there's nothing to sign at the end of the day. When is the coach responsible for pointing out a team scoring error and to whom does he point it out? Example: Scoresheet shows tech fall, but head table incorrectly enters the result as a decision. At a tournament where results are not announced, it is very difficult to verify scores until (oftentimes days later) when the results are posted. When can team scores be adjusted at a sanctioned event?
Answer: Check out Rule 6, Section 6, Articles 1 thru 5 on pages 32 and 33 of the NFHS Wrestling Rules Book 2015 - 2016. It is too complex for me to explain in a few words. If you can't acquire or don't have a rulebook, you can purchase one on www.Amazon.com

Editors note: My 2011-12 rule book says...
Rule 6.6.5b.1
"Tournament Scoring Errors by the referee or official scorer:
Team Score
1. Errors involving the recording or computation of team scores must be corrected within 30 minutes of the official posting of team scores.
NOTE: it is the coach's responsibility to know the team scores at the conclusion of the tournament. Any discrepancy must be reported within a 30-minute time frame following the conclusion of the tournament."

January 19, 2016
Question: Wrestler A is leading the match 8-0 and is penalized for unnecessary roughness after an aggressive move. As a result of the aggressive move, his opponent wrestler B sustains a bloody nose. Wrestler B is unable to control the bleeding in the allotted bleeding time and cannot finish the match. Who wins the match?
A: The Winner - WRESTLER B

January 19, 2016
Question: Early in the year my boy was wrestling in the northern panhandle and was up 8-3. The ref didn't warn my boy about stalling just gave the kid 2 pts, then the boys got tied up at edge of circle the boy pushed my boy backwards out of the circle and he called him for fleeing the mat. What is the rules on stalling and fleeing the mat because it cost my boy his only loss and it is hard to see watching the match what he did wrong.
A: The progression for stalling is warning - 1 Point - 1 Point - 2 Points - Disqualification. Fleeing the mat (a Technical Violation) is a judgment call by an official.

January 12, 2016
Question: If a wrestler gets hit with FM he is out of the tournament and 10% of the season (usually 2 weigh ins). In a bracketed tournament his team points are taken away as if he didn't score. In a duals tournament the past points earned are not deducted. Here's my question: Does the wrestler's individual record change? Let's say that he went 7-1 in a 2 day bracketed tournament and gets tossed due to FM, is his record still 7-1 or is it 0-8? If his record is 0-8, he effectively ended up with a worse record than the kid who went 2 & BBQ.
A: If he was 7-1, and in the 9th match he is DQ'd for a FM, his record is now 7-2

January 10, 2016
Question: My son and three of his team mates who were all slightly over weight were recently running in sweats prior to weighing in for a dual meet. A referee saw them and disqualified them all from competition for the day. Is there a rule against this? We have just never seen it enforced if there is, so we were all confused.
A: Before weigh-ins, a wrestler can wear a cotton top (long sleeve) and cotton pants to run in. Nylon and plastic suits are considered illegal and punishable by disqualification.

January 7, 2016
Wrestler A is injured as a result of an illegal move by wrestler B. Wrestler A cannot continue in the match as a result of the injury.

a) In the opinion of the referee the illegal move by wrestler B does not rise to the level of unsportsmanlike conduct or flagrant misconduct. Who is the winner of the match, and what penalty if any is assessed to wrestler B?
Answer: Wrestler A wins by injury default - six team points in a dual meet or two team points in a tournament in addition to advancement and/or place points.

b) In the opinion of the referee the illegal move by wrestler B rises to the level of unsportsmanlike conduct. Who is the winner of the match, and what penalty if any is assessed to wrestler B?
Answer: Wrestler A wins by injury default - six team points in a dual meet or two team points in a tournament in addition to advancement and/or place points.

c) In the opinion of the referee the illegal move by wrestler B constituted flagrant misconduct. Who is the winner of the match, and what penalty if any is assessed to wrestler B?
Answer: Wrestler A wins - six team points in dual meet or two team points in a tournament in addition to advancement and/or place points. Wrestler B also has three team-point deduction in dual meet or three team-point deduction in a tournament and deduction of all points earned in the tournament. In West Virginia, he must sit out the next two weigh-ins his team has on their schedule.

January 5, 2016
Question: My son's alpha weight is today. He wishes to wrestle 170, but he has been wrestling 182 because he was told he had to wait until his Alpha date. Right after football and trying to pack on lbs, he had weight test done and weighed 181. He was told he had to wrestle 182 until alpha date. He has been eating extra to keep his weight up to be more competitive at 182 and he recently weighed in at 180 this past weekend. Can he now wrestle 170 this coming weekend? Which will be one week from his recent weigh in.
A: A wrestler can only lose 1.5 percent of his body weight per week. This is to eliminate yo-yo dieting (i.e. gaining and losing a lot of weight in a short period of time).

January 1, 2016
Question: I noticed several teams this year have been using tightly rolled up cotton balls to stop nose bleeds. It appears that most of the time it just holds back the blood and does not stop it at all. My question is, should they be able to wrestle with those still in place or should blood time continue until he/she full stops bleeding without it?
A: It is the judgment of the official when bleeding time stops and clean-up time is given the wrestler.

December 21, 2015
Question: I am an orthopedic surgeon and an assistant coach for a mat club. Yesterday, a wrestler of mine who was nine was thrown in a suplex. I pulled my kid with a possible concussion. The official didn't seem to think this was illegal for a kids club. What is USA wrestling rules?
A: As the rules interpreter for the WVSSAC, and a national committee member of the NFHS, the suplex is most definitely illegal. I do not know the USA Wrestling rules.

December 16, 2015
Question: If a wrestler's name is entered at a weight for an individual tournament and they never weigh-in (were absent, no show, etc.) are they considered entered into the tournament? Is this recorded as a bye or a forfeit?
A: It's recorded as a BYE. When a wrestler fails to make weight, it's a FORFEIT in an individual tournament.

December 10, 2015
Question: Is it locked hands when the top wrestler has one arm over the bottom wrestlers shoulder (by neck area) and the other under the bottom wrestlers arm and he locks his hands?
A: NO.

September 12, 2015
Question: Regarding high school wrestling: Do all weigh-in rules still apply prior to the alpha date (such as,..may only wrestle up one class higher than you qualify for without recertifying yourself to the next higher minimum weight, etc.), but the 50% at minimum weight for regionals kicks in only after the wrestlers alpha date, and it only applies to the "minimum" weight? So, provided that he makes base weight, the 50% rule does not apply to a wrestler dropping one weight class at regional as long as that class is still above his "minimum" class? Is this correct? Please clarify.
A: Before a wrestler's alpha date, he can wrestle anywhere according to his individual weight management program. Beginning with his alpha date, he must have 50-percent of his weigh ins at the lower weight to compete in regionals there. For example, even though a wrestler's minimum weight is 106 - if he weighed in 60-percent of his matches at 113 after the alpha date, he is not eligible for regional competition at 106.

September 5, 2015
Q: In the ultimate tie breaker, if the top wrestler does not take advantage by just grabbing onto a body part, and a stalemate has once been called, and if the offensive wrestler uses a similar tactic again, the rule states that stalling should be called and penalized accordingly. If there has been no prior stall warning issued to the top wrestler, is a warning issued first, or are points awarded on the first stall call in the ultimate tie breaker?
A: The first stalling call a wrestler receives is a "Warning," even in the Ultimate Tiebreaker.

February 16, 2015
Question: Under what circumstances is it acceptable to cut a wrestler loose or intentionally release a wrestler? The scenario I saw was a score of 10-0 in the 3rd period. The bottom wrestler was working to get up as the top wrestler had attempted several times to turn the bottom wrestler over to attempt a pin. After several unsuccessful attempts to turn the bottom wrestler the top wrestler was just riding the bottom wrestler and was just attempting not to allow bottom wrestler to escape since he obviously had given up on a pin. The top wrestlers coach told him to go for the TF and cut him loose since he wasn't going to score another 5 points just riding the bottom wrestler. When the top wrestlers coach instructed him to cut him loose they were close to the edge of the mat and the top wrestler got up, shoved both hands into the bottom wrestlers back and stepped over the wrestler and walked to the middle of the mat. The bottom wrestler was obviously somewhat confused as to what was going on but quickly jumped up and met the wrestler in the middle of the mat. Is this unsportsmanlike conduct?
A: No. The top wrestler is allowed to cut the bottom wrestler loose in order to possibly score another takedown and maybe gain a technical fall..

January 26, 2015
Question: When wanting to wrestle a lower weight class. Is 50% of your matches due to the weight class or how much you actually weigh.
A: After a wrestler's alpha date, he must have 50% of his weigh-ins at his certified minimum weight if he plans to wrestle there at regionals.

January 9, 2015
Question: My 9 year old was wrestling in a holiday dual first weekend in December. On Saturday the first match of the day he was wrestling a kid from Georgia. He was being a little rough and ref kept saying keep it clean. He hit my son's head once but couldn't tell if it was intent or not. Then he bull ran my son and head butted him and my son was standing still!!!! So hard that blood serviced the top of his head. The whole gym got quiet. My son finished out the period and came off the mat couldn't put clothes on and seeing colors. Why oh why was this kid not pulled??? His coach said that he would not wrestle the rest of the weekend. NOT!!! I watched him wrestle sunday. Know I am left with a 9 year old who has been taking to the er twice now due to talking out of his head! I want action taken before this kid does it to someone else. So. My question is how is this suppose to be handled.
A: I have no answer for you since I have no jurisdiction with youth wrestling competitions in my capacity as WVSSAC rules interpreter for middle school and high school wrestling.

January 3, 2015
Question: At what point in a pinning position is the pinning wrestler allowed to legally lock hands to sink a move? Pinning move for instance in this case was the guillotine. He has always been taught you can lock hands when in pinning move? Looking for clarification, He was recently stopped from a pin and reset in the center due to per said illegally locking hands when leg was in and the opponent was already being turned to their back and he was sinking the move and leveraging the shoulder for the pin, as we've seen many times? Even the coaches were confused?
Answer: Hands can be locked when near-fall criteria is met. That is, you can lock your hands with your guillotine AS SOON AS the ref starts counting off seconds.

December 27, 2014
Question: The 145 match is over and a winner declared. The 152 match is started and ends with a quick pin. The opposing coach questions that during the 145 match the 3rd period was not wrestled. The ref then bring the 145's back out to wrestle the 3rd period. They said that was a correctable error. Rulebook states otherwise, does it not?
Answer: The 145 pound match should not have continued after the 152 match was wrestled. When additional wrestling is required, it must be detected prior to the offended wrestler leaving the mat area. (Rule 6-5-1)

March 3, 2014
Question: A wrestler is down and the top wrestler has legs in. If the bottom wrestler pulls one of the top wrestlers legs up to create an illegal figure four of the body what is the proper call?
A: The referee would stop the match and no penalty point would occur since the bottom wrestler caused it to become illegal.

February 5, 2014
1. Does a weigh in count for a wrestler who weighs in but does not wrestle in the event?

2. Does Regionals count as part of the 50% of weigh ins after alpha date?

February 5, 2014
Q: Will the wrestler's ear guards protect him from concussions?
A: No. The ear guards only protect a wrestler's ears from injury during a match.

February 4, 2014
Question:If a wrestler gets to the semis and doesn't make weight the next day, do you get the placement points?
A: NO, unless there was a medical reason why the wrestler could not make the weigh-in.

January 22, 2014
Question: Hi. I have an 8 year old son who participates in our local youth wrestling club. In a recent match for first place, my son found himself face down while the kid was trying to roll him. He was having difficulty as my son was trying to 'look away and peel' the opponent's hand away. The opponent's coach yelled "Force the Flip" prompting the wrestler to slam his chin into my son's spine. The coach encouraged the wrestler to do it again. This was not a chin dig, as I know wrestlers sometimes do. My son (who has gotten over crying in the sport--unless he's hurt)was bawling, flipped and got pinned. I think the act of using a 'chin drop' as another parent called it, is AT LEAST unsportsmanlike conduct at this level. He didn't win with wrestling maneuvers, he took a cheap shot equivalent to punching my son in the back. Am I right? Or are these tactics 'ok' at the 2nd grade level? Thanks!!!
A: If the offensive wrestler bangs his chin into the defensive wrestler's back, the match should be stopped and the defensive wrestler awarded one point for "unnecessary roughness." Should it continue, the referee has every right to call "Flagrant Misconduct," resulting in disqualifying the offensive wrestler.

January 16, 2014
Question: Is a wrestler able to re-certify their weight (Alpha number)?
A: After the initial assessment date, the wrestler has 14 days to appeal the assessment to the WVSSAC.

November 27, 2013
Question: Is it legal for a wrestler to weigh in for a weight class higher than that for which his actual weight qualifies him. According to rule 4.4.2?
A: NO.
For example: At a dual meet, team A doesn't have a 275 lb contestant. May a JV wrestler from Team B who weighs, say, 100 lbs, weigh in for 275 and accept the forfeit?

Question: I'm wondering if a Wrestler can wrestle above his weight class?
1. Before a wrestler's alpha date, he can weigh in at any weight class he qualifies for.

2. After a wrestler's alpha date, he can weigh in anywhere (He qualifies for.) as long as 50% of his weigh ins are at his certified minimum weight class to wrestle there for regionals.

November 2, 2013
Question: What is the minimum weight to wrestle in the 285 pound class?
Answer: The minimum weight required to wrestle 285 at the beginning of the season is 195.1 pounds. After the two-pound allowance, the minimum weight is 197.1. Note, this a NFHS rule which WV follows.

October 18, 2013
Q: Can a wrestler who has a skin condition such as acne that is not contagious have documentation that is valid the entire wrestling season?
Answer: Yes. Visit Rule 4-2-5 in the NFHS 2013-2014 Rules Book on page 16.

February 24, 2013
Q: Wrestler A puts wrestler B on his back using the underhooks/cement mixer and holds him for a five count/3 points. Wrestler B fights off his back, is stomach down and working to get to wrestler A's legs for about 6 seconds. Wrestler A never let go of the underhooks and puts wrestler B to his back again with the cement mixer and holds him there for the remaining 10 seconds of the match. The referee only awarded wrestler A 3 back points. The refs reasoning was because wrestler A never let go of the cement mixer, so he doesn't get 2 sets of back points. Was that the right call?
A: Yes, because Wrestler A never released his pinning combination. It is the same as holding onto a cradle, even when the bottom wrestler has gained his base on hands and knees with stomach down. You don't award points until the pinning hold is broken.

February 13, 2013
Question: Two questions re a head to head two teams only dual.
1) Do the coaches have choice of starting at lowest weight class rather than drawing out a starting weight class?
2) is it a must that second period starting position choice alternate team to team (by disc flip prior I believe) or can both coaches agree to a disc flip choice at start of second period for each bout?
Question 1: No.
Question 2: There must be a random drawing before weigh-ins as to which weight class will start first in the dual meet, and from there the choice of position the second period is determined by the odd and even matches as determined by the random drawing.

February 6, 2013
Question: Saw a interesting call at the MSAC. A wrestler was turned to his back, but then arched on his head. His back was completely parallel with the mat for what seemed like 30 seconds. No back points were given. Please explain
A: When a wrestler is held in a high bridge, near-fall points should be scored.

February 5, 2013
Question: When is the period over? When the Clock Reads 0.0 or when the buzzer sounds?
A: The period is over when the head timekeeper says it's over when the official asks him.

February 1, 2013
Question: A wrestlers signals for injury time and the ref quickly stops the match. The wrestler quickly jumps to his feet and the ref ask are you injured and the werestler replies no but he was "smacktalking" refering to the other wrestler. Is there or should there be an additional penalty for this behavior such as stalling or unsportsmanlike?
A: Not only would the wrestler lose an injury timeout, but also be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct - a match point.

January 20, 2013
Question: Is (repeated, as in three in a row) head butting permitted in Elementary wrestling? If not, what kind of call and/or penalty is made?
A: Head Butting is considered a "Flagrant Misconduct" on the first offense, which eliminates the wrestler from further competition in that event.

January 4, 2013
Question: If a wrestler weighs in for a match but is heavy and doesn't make weight and does not wrestle does this count as one of their weighins for the year?

January 1, 2013
Q: In a recent large tournament I witnessed several slams. I spoke with several coaches who are also concerned. The NFHS has a point of emphasis concerning slams this year published at http://www.nfhs.org/Workarea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=7880 . With the emphasis the WVSSAC has placed on concussions this needs to be reviewed on a state wide basis in my opinion. I have several of these slams on a DVD. Can we do something about this? I realize that in the past these slams were thought of as a part of wrestling but times are changing. The wrestlers safety and health should be our main concern. In my opinion we need to err on the side of caution. I don't know if there is a limit on the words in this form but I will attempt to copy and paste the NFHS point here.
SLAMS Slams are extremely dangerous and every attempt must be made to remove them from wrestling. It is the responsibility of wrestlers, coaches and referees to avoid slams. Wrestlers must return opponents to the mat safely after a lift and must realize a slam may be called on wrestlers in the neutral, top or bottom position. Which wrestler’s knees hit the mat first is irrelevant in determining whether or not a slam has occurred. The key is whether or not a wrestler is returned to the mat unsafely due to the overuse of force. Coaches bear the responsibility of teaching their wrestlers to return opponents to the mat safely and instructing their wrestlers not to perform lifts for which they are not adequately skilled. They must never intentionally bring an opponent to the mat with excessive force. When possible, referees must attempt to prevent slams by reminding wrestlers of their responsibility to return opponents to the mat safely from any position. Referees shall stop the wrestling action to avoid an imminent slam whenever possible. Referees must call slams without delay. It is not acceptable to determine whether a wrestler is injured by a slam before making the call. Intentional attempts to injure a wrestler by slam shall be called flagrant misconduct.
Thank you for your time.
A: You are absolutely right. Everyone who plays a part in scholastic wrestling - coaches, officials, and wrestlers - must be made aware of the significance of eliminating "slams" in the mat sport. Officials must try their best to stop slams, but sometimes it is humanly impossible. During my officiating tenure, I was faced with slam situations that happened so fast I could not stop them. Coaches must continually stress to their wrestlers how to properly bring their opponents to the mat. And superior wrestlers must also show care when competing against fledgling wrestlers that they don't over-do-it when bringing the less experienced matmen to the mat. It is everybody's responsibility.

December 5, 2012
Q: First high school wrestling match, teenager's headgear is obviously loose, falling into his eyes and over his nose. What should the teen or the ref or coach have done? Stop and correctly tighten headgear? Nothing was done at this match. Didn't seem right. What should have been done?
A: If a headgear comes loose, the official will stop the match to correct the problem when there is no point-scoring action.

March 13, 2012
Q:Why isn't vomiting treated as blood time instead of injury time (which may mean re-naming it bodily fluid time)? As I understand it the bleeding or vomiting wrestler is not charged with cleanup time with blood or vomit. Similar to blood time, vomiting is typically an involuntary reaction (I understand that someone can force themself to vomit but someone can also force themself to bleed). It seems odd that a body scissors or tight waist can be used to cause the opponent to vomit and if done twice, the scissorer gets choice, done three times and the scissorer wins by default when if it were classified like blood time the only thing that happens is the blood time clock runs.

Related issue is whether it is in the referree's discretion to award a point or ignore the violation for leaving the mat without permission when the wrestler doesn't have time to ask to run to the trash can to vomit.

Weighins are supposed to be shoulder to shoulder and there is a set procedure to follow so that no one cuts weight by using the bathroom after stepping off the scale and stepping back on, but what if someone vomits immediately before stepping back on (doesn't leave the weigh in area, just lets it fly)?

I know it is not nearly as exciting as talking about the importance of tape and stickers on headgear or the kind of underwear that must be worn during weigh ins, but is this something that has been discussed at the rules conference?

What do you see coming down the pipeline as far as rule changes/interpretations go for next season?

Answer: The official is to be prepared to act on any unexpected situation. A wrestler purging himself is not his fault and there would be no penalty in the weigh-in room or in competition. Of course, spitting is another matter that can be controlled. Thus, if a wrestler leaves the mat area to spit without permission or is spitting during weigh-ins, he will be penalized accordingly.

February 17, 2012
Question: My son was winning 3 to 0(he got a take down in the 1st and a escape in the 2nd), starting of the 3rd. At the beginning of the 3rd, he got a caution for stalling for a far ankle and a half nelson. The bottom guy who never scored a entire point in the match stayed on his base the entire 3rd period. 20 seconds later my son gets his first stall call, 20 seconds later he gets his 2nd stall call, now with 9 seconds left gets his 3rd stall call(was told the 3rd stall call is worth 2 points). Now my son is losing 4 to 3 and his opponent never attempted to move, it appeared he just didnt want to get turned.Also was told told because of the 9 seconds left on the clock and the 3rd stall call, he should have received 30 seconds. Is this true? Also, we were always taught that a half nelson is a turning move. The kid my son was beating never escaped, due to him just staying on his base with my son using a ankle and a half nelson. PLEASE HELP IN VA BEACH.
Answer: This situation sounds similar to what I was asked earlier today. Although the stalling calls seem to be a little quick, I would have had to witness it. As far as calling stalling, there is no time limit for when to call stalling. On the other hand, if a wrestler on top is trying to break his opponent down on his belly to the mat, and the bottom man is doing nothing but keeping his base on all fours, then the bottom man is, in essence, stalling. Stalling is a subjective call, and the referee has the final judgment, or word, regarding such calls.

February 11, 2012
Question: What are the rules as far as yelling/voicing displeasure at an official during a match. Have seen fans range from booing to calling him by name and yelling "BS".
Answer: If a fan is belligerent, the official order the home management to remove him/her from the facility. There are no team points deducted from either team.

February 1, 2012
Q: How is it possible to wrestle at a weight class two classes higher than previous matches and not lose certification at the lower weight class?

EXAMPLE: Wrestler is certified and has most weigh-ins at 120. On one particular match he weighs in for 126 and wrestles 132. As long as 50% of his weigh-ins are at 120, is the wrestler still eligible for 120 at the regional tournamnent?
Answer: Absolutely correct - as long as he weighs in at 126 he is still eligible to wrestle at 120.

Q:As a followup to the previous question, a wrestler has wrestled 145 and on occasion moved up during dual meets. What happens if he weighs in with the 160 lb'ers in a bracketed tournament. Even if he only weighs weighing 149. If he weighs in with the 160 lbs can he go back down. Please clarify before disaster strikes. I think if he weighs in at 160, he cannot go back to 145. However, if he weighs in at 152 and wrestles up to 160, he is OK to go back to 145. Is this correct?
Answer: You are absolutely right! If a wrestler is certified at 106, weighs in at 113, and wrestles 120 - he is still eligible to wrestle at 106. However, if this wrestler weighs in at 120 - he has recertified himself at 113. Note, these scenarios go into effect at the wrestler's minimum certified weight alpha date - say January 7 for example - when he can wrestle 106.

January 31, 2012
Question: My question is on the descent plan works. If a wrestler has two competitions in the same week, can he weigh in at a lower weight (and thus a lower weight class for which he is certified) in the second competition if it is within 1.5% of the first weigh in? Does the 1.5% apply at all in this case?
Answer: The rule is that a wrestler can not lose more than 1.5% of his body weight per week.

January 31, 2012
Question: wrestler A has head gear that some how became loose. Wrestler B notices and all 3 periods pulls them in front of his eyes to block his view. The offical will not let wrestler A fix head gear in between periods. I understand why but the match comes down to wrestler A needs a take down to tie. Wrestler B knows A can beat him so he pulls gear down as a stalling tactic. Is it ok to do this or should wrestler B been called for stalling.
Answer: My interpretations is that Wrestler B's acts would be construed as unsportsmanlike conduct.

January 13, 2012
Question: In the process of weighing in for a six team match and after 3 of the 6 competing teams have completed weigh ins, the 4th team is in the process of weighing and the coach informs the official that his team wrestled the day before which means all teams are eligible for base +3. This makes some wrestlers ineligible to wrestle up on teams that have already weighed in, or does it? For example a wrestler weighed in at 104.1 making him eligible to wrestle up to 116. Then we find out about the base +3 which makes him ineligible to wrestle 116, or does it?
Answer: NO extra pound should be given. The coach did not notify the competition officials 48 hours before their event.

January 13, 2012
Question: During wrestling season, a wrestlers team has NOTHING planed for a weekend. A wrestler is asked to participate in a out of state allstar event. Wrestler gets the OK from his principal and AD.
1 - Can he participate without repercussions?
2 - Same rule for middle school?
Answer: Be it high school or middle school, there are three requirements to wrestle in club-type matches:
1. The Principal must give the okay.
2. The school team must not have a match the same day.
3. You can not wear the school uniform in club-type competitions.
January 13, 2012
Question: If I certified @ 113 but have wrestled @ 120 all my matches but this one I wrestled 132. Did I lose my certification to wrestle @ 113, because I wrestled 2 weight classes above my cert weight?
Answer: If your alpha date (the date you could wrestle at 113) was prior to you weighing in at the 132 weight class, you have just recertified yourself at the 126 weight class.

January 11, 2012
Question: During a match wrestler A puts in a chicken wing which ends up with the fist being above the shoulder blades. The ref stops the match and gives a point to wrestler B. When the coach tells him that is a potentially dangerous move and not a illegal one because this was the first and only time it happend the ref says they are in high school and should know better. Is he correct or needs a refresher course in the rules?
Answer: A chicken wing is illegal if there is pressure on the shoulder. It is a judgment call. The official was correct.

January 8, 2012
Question: If someone is certified at 120 and lowest weight is at 115 can he or she can go to 106?
Answer: If a wrestler's certified minimum weight is 120, s/he can not wrestle at a lower weight class.

January 6, 2012
Question: : Do our officials have a meeting before each day match to discuss call consistency? Also do they have to pass some type of an annual physical and rule interpretation for a refresher?
Answer: Officials are constantly discussing "close and unusual" calls at every match with each other. To my knowledge, the first year individuals apply for a registered official's card they must get a physical. After that, it is their responsibility to be physically prepared for overseeing dual meets and tournaments throughout the season.

January 2, 2012
Question: My son was called for illegal slam. Can you explain what the the referee is looking for to be illegal?
Answer: A slam is lifting and returning an opponent to the mat with unnecessary force. This infraction may be committed by a contestant in either top or bottom position on the mat, as well as during a takedown. A slam shall be called without hesitation.

January 1, 2012
Question: A wrestler's lowest eligible weight class is 132 at the start of the season. His OPC allows him to go to a minimum weight of 127. Does this mean that after a two pound weight allowance starting January 1st changes the weight classes? Can the wrestler then become eligible for 126 as that weight class which now allows for an additional two pounds to become 128?
Answer: NO. Once a wrestler's certified minimum weight class has been established at the beginning of the season, he cannot re-certify to a lower weight.

October 20, 2011
Question: I heard that wrestlers are no longer allowed to have tape on their headgears. Does this mean they are also prohibited from having stickers on their headgears? We use stickers much like Ohio State does on their football helmets.
A: The headgear can not be taped in any way. It must be worn as designed by the headgear manufacturer. Stickers may be on the headgear as long as they are not demeaning to the opponent.

October 10, 2011
Question: A wrestler competes in the 132 weight class the entire season but is certified at 126. Does the 50% rule apply? What is the rule concerning this? Do they have to weigh in at 126 each time or can they weigh above 126 and drop at regions?
A: As long as the wrestler weighs in at the lower weight class 50% of his/her weigh ins, he is eligible to wrestle at the lower weight class - even if he/she wrestled at the next higher weight class. The key is weighing in at the lower weight class. Of course, if his/her certified minimum weight is 106 and he/she weighs in at 120 for one match, he/she is then recertified at 113.

March 1, 2011
Question: In the thirty second ride out, does the rules actually state that a ride out is necessary to win the match?
I guess my question would be if top man tilted bottom man for two near fall, is match over or does the bottom man still have the opportunity to get an escape? I think I know the answer but was curious on the exact wording for this rule. It is called ride out!!
Answer: If the top man rides out his opponent he wins and is given one point. Also, if the top man scores back points, he wins and the match is over.

February 23, 2011
Question: Can a ref call stalling in the 30 second rideout overtime period for the offensive wrestler riding hips?
Answer: Yes.

February 22, 2011
Question: I have a 3rd grader who is new to wrestling and we are trying to get a better understanding of the locked hands rule. when can you lock hands? when can you not lock hands?
A: While on the mat, the offensive (top) wrestler can not lock hands around his opponent's body or both legs. In the standing position, the offensive wrestler may lock hands around his opponent's body or legs. When near-fall criteria has been met, you may lock hands around the body.

February 8, 2011
Question: from the INTERSCHOLASTIC
"10. The Middle School/9th Grade wrestling programs will still utilize the Certified Minimum Weight Permit Forms. They must continue to weigh-in at their certified minimum weight 50-percent of their matches. Should they weigh-in two weight classes above their certified minimum weight, the wrestlers would then be recertified at the next higher weight. After being certified, wrestlers cannot ask to be certified a second time."
We have at least three wrestlers in our county championship who dropped a weight class lower than they have been wrestling all season. To me it says those wrestlers are not eligible to wrestle that lower weight unless at least half of their weigh-ins(not matches) have been at the weight they are dropping to for the championship tourney. Is that how you would interpret it?
Answer: YES.

December 28, 2010
Q: Can a referee end a match in sudden victory overtime by calling a wrestler for stalling and awarding 1 penalty point to his opponent?
A: Yes. If during the one-minute overtime a wrestler is penalized one point for stalling, the match is over.

December 26, 2010
Q: Wrestler A has wrestler B in nearfall criteria for a 5 count. During this time, wrestler B does something illegal, but correctable. The wrestlers then roll out of nearfall criteria and the pinning combination is broken. Should wrestler A be awarded a 4 point nearfall plus the penalty point, or just 3 nearfall plus the penalty point?
A: After the pinning situation is over, the referee shall stop the match and award 4 points for the near-fall and 1 penalty point for the illegal maneuver.

December 16, 2010
Q: Wrestler A and B are neutral with both wrestlers standing, and wrestler A wraps his arms around B, locking hands, and takes wrestler B straight to his back in NF criteria. Wrestler A lands on his side, with hands still locked, but immediately rolls on top of B, with hands locked at all times. Wrestler B never comes out of NF criteria. Should wrestler A be called for a locked hands TV, or would this be considered a pinning combination and not locked hands?
A: As long as Wrestler B is in the near-fall criteria, Wrestler A can lock his hands around the body. In your situation, it would be a pinning combination, not locked hands.

February 22, 2010
Q: How many weigh ins must a wrestler have to participate in the regional and state tournaments? With base weight being met and contained, however, due to illness (not injury) did not wrestle or practice after the fifth week of the season.
A: After a wrestler's alpha date (the date in which he can wrestle at his minimum certified weight class), he must make base weight the first time he wrestles there - and then wrestle at least 50% of his weigh-ins at his minimum certified weight class to participate at that weight class for regionals/states. Keep in mind, the 50% weigh-in rule does not include regionals.

Q: Wrestler A and B are neutral, and wrestler A takes wrestler B to the mat and immediately gets wrestler B in a near fall situation using a cradle. The official completes a five count and holds 3 near fall points. After the 5 count, wrester B pulls wrestler A's finger back in an attempt to break the hold. The official pulls wrestler's B's hands off of wrestler A's hands to prevent the grasping of the finger. The wrestlers end the period with wrestler B still in a near fall position (no injury time was taken). The official awards wrestler A 2 points for the takedown, 1 point for a penalty for pulling the finger, and 4 points for a near fall. The offical explained that he awarded 4 near fall points because there was a penalty on wrestler B while he was in a near fall position and they ended the period still in the near fall position. Is this a correct awarding of near fall points?
A: Yes - by National Federation Interpretation.

January 17, 2010
Q: The match is restarted from referees position. Defensive wrestler stands and has all his weight on two feet. The offensive wrestler, standing behind, locks his hands around the defensive wrestler's waist. The defensive wrestler, who is standing bent over at the waist, reaches down and touches the mat with both hands for no other apparent reason than to draw a point for a technical violation of locked hands. Does the referee have any call to make other than a technical violation and award a point to the defensive wrestler? What if the defensive wrestler does this repeatedly?
A: If the official believes the defensive wrestler is dropping down to his hands to cause the offensive wrestler to be hit for the technical violation of locked hands, it is "unsportsmanlike conduct" on the defensive wrestler. The offensive wrestler would receive one match point.

January 17, 2010
Q: I was trying to find the rule on Flagrant Misconduct (ejection, the match is over). My question is if a wrestler is disqualified for this is he also penalized for the next 2 weigh in's.
A: Yes, in WV, he must miss the next two weigh-ins as his punishment?

January 5, 2010
Question: If neither wrestler attempts a shot from the neutral position during all three periods of a match. Can a referee warn either wrestler for stalling while in the neutral position?
A: Yes. In fact, in this situation, the referee could disqualify both wrestlers for stalling.

January 2, 2010
Question: If a wrestler is in a duals tournament and receives several forfeits can he wrestle an exhibition match that makes him have more than 5 matches in one day. In other words can he have six matches if 3 are forfeits and he actually only wrestles 3 times.
A: NO!

January 1, 2010
Question: If a wrestler on bottom attempts a stand up and gets to his feet, the offensive wrestler uses a front trip returning the wrestler to the mat with an arm trapped and the defensive wrestler lands on his head because he is unable to protect himself, is this an illegal slam?
A: It is a judgment by the official. It just depends on how the wrestler lands and with how much force.

December 28, 2009
Q: Wrestler A is on bottom. He gets up faces Wrestler B, although they are still tied up in an overhook, underhook situation. Wrestler A then uses the tie to throw Wrestler B. They end up out of bounds and no points are awarded. (The tie lasted a couple seconds before the throw) They start again with Wrestler A on bottom. Should an escape should have been awarded in this situation?
A: From your description, if there would have been a takedown in the middle of the mat, then Wrestler B would have lost control as Wrestler A was throwing him as they went out of bounds - 1 point escape. But remember, this is a judgment call by the official.

December 14, 2009
Q: Wrestler A has Wrestler B in a nearfall situation. The official is signaling the count for nearfall points as he is counting. He signals a five count and then signals that it is no longer in a nearfall situation and then only awards two nearfall points. Could that call be contested?
Answer: If an official had a continuous 5-count, then it is a 3-point near fall. However, sometimes an official will begin with a 2-count, hesitate because near fall criteria is no longer there, and then start over making a 3-count. Often to the observer it looked like a continuous 5-count, when in fact it was a 2-count, criteria lost, then a 3-count, and the situation ending with the wrestler only receiving (correctly) 2 near fall points.

March 18, 2009
Q: My question is concerning the matter of control. Wrestler A shoots legs and secures one, Wreslter B Sprawls. Wreslter B then takes his free leg and steps between Wrestler A's legs. I have seen some matches where a takedown for wrestler B and even though Wrestler A has his leg secure. I have seen instances where it is not a takedown and no call is made. Can you please clarify the feeling of control on this situation??
A: I would have to see the situation in order to make a definitive ruling. Ultimately, it comes down to the referee's judgment regarding control.

March 18, 2009
Q: My question is concerning a possible choke that is being more commonly used than the cross face. Wrestler A shoots legs and wrestler B sprawls. Wrestler B then wraps his arm around wrestler A's throat and grabs the shoulder, applying downward pressure to the back of Wreslter A's head with his torso while squeezing tightly around wrestler A's throat. Sometimes I have seen this move down without even attempting to grab the shoulder, thereby just choking Wreslter A. Is there something I am missing here, or is choking your opponent still illegal? I have brought this to referees attention on occasion and was told it was not a choke. Should I teach this move to my kids as well?? I dont think its within the rules but I think its being overlooked by officials.
A: Choking is illegal. A coach should never promote or teach a move that is used to choke a wrestler. But remember, this is a judgment call by officials, and each isolated situation is different.

March 14, 2009
Q: Bill, (I emailed you before about this but wondered if you could discuss it in general some here?). When "stalling" is warned (and/or penalized), under what circumstances is it appropriate for the official to stop the match and conduct a restart? And, when is it not?
A: The easiest way to answer this question is the referee only stops the match when the top man is warned or penalized for stalling, and both wrestlers are on the mat - with the top man riding. All other times the match continues.

March 13, 2009
Q: Wrestler A is leading wrestler B by 12 points. 3rd period starts and both wrestlers are standing. Wrestler A gets a takedown and puts wrestler B onto his back. Wrestler A is awarded 2 points for the takedown. He holds wrestler B in a near fall position for a five count, but then gets sloppy and ends up pinning himself before the hold is released. How do you rule on this? Does wrestler A lose because he pins himself or does he win because he had earned a tech fall by beating the other wrestler by 15 points? What is the rule on this?
A: He wins because he has already earned a 15 point- spread advantage. The only way a wrestler can lose with a 15 point-spread advantage is by committing a flagrant misconduct.

February 16, 2009
Q: In a flurry of activity in the closing seconds of a match, with the score tied, wrestler A is called for...
a) an illegal head-lock
b) illegally locking the hands.
After conferring with the scorekeeper and timekeeper, it is clearly determined that the above described infractions occurred AFTER time had expired. What is the call in situation A and B?
A: Neither Situation A or B would be called. The referee would remove the penalty call because it happened after time ran out.

February 14, 2009
Q: Why do some refs let wrestlers wrestle on the mat line and some don't? I've seen good action on the mat and as soon as the wrestlers get on the line the action is stopped ....let them wrestle I say.
A. Judgment call.

February 5, 2009
Q: Wrestler A & B are wrestling. Wrestler B takes wrestler A down and proceeds to push his chin into wrestler A's back in circle like patterns. The period ends and wrestler A starts in the down position. As soon as the whistle blows for round 2 to start, wrestler B again starts pushing his chin into wrestler A's back in circle like pattern's. Is this not unsportsmanlike conduct and if so what punishments can be dealt out to wrestler B and/or his team if he continues this tactic?
A: The referee could call "Unnecessary Roughness" and award the offending wrestler's opponent a match penalty point.

February 3, 2009
Q: What is the ruling on an athlete who is disqualified for flagrant misconduct? He is out of that event. and is it then the next 2? If so is it next 2 weigh ins or events? Just curious
A: It is the next two weigh-ins. For example if the next event is a two-day tournament with two weigh-ins, the wrestler has fulfilled his penalty obligation.

February 1, 2009
Q: in regards to this post on the post on your forum
January 28, 2009
Q: A match between wrestler A & wrestler B is taking place. The match is tied 6-6 towards the end of the 3rd period. Right as the clock is winding down wrestler A gets a quick takedown. Referee gives the 2 takedown points. The 2 wrestlers go to shake hands. Before they do this, a coach goes to argue the call. The referee disregaurds the protest as he believes he made the right call. But, then another offical which was not asigned to the match comes over and talks with the assigned official. After talking the assigned official takes away the 2 points & tells the wrestlers to prepare for overtime. During overtime, wrestler B gets a takedown & wins the match. Was it correct to disregaurd the call & go to overtime.
A: In reference to match score, only the head official can change a call. If there is an assistant official during the match, he can converse with the head official. At that point, the head official can alter his call if he believes he made a mistake. However, regarding if time was out prior to the takedown, an observing official can let the head official know. Also, if the coach questioning the head official performs an unsportsmanlike or flagrant behavior, an official observing the match from the sidelines can bring it to the head official for appropriate action. "

I believe I witnessed the match in question.

The head ref in the match was a junior ref in training. He was over ruled by a senior ref who was the assistant in the match. Does the fact that the head ref was in training make a difference?

A: Any official on-site can help a match official. I assume the other official (senior assistant official) witnessed that time ran out prior to the takedown and informed the match official. Thus, the takedown was wiped off. Perfectly, within the rules.

The jurisdiction time for all officials is when they arrive on-site until they sign the scorebook in a dual meet or last score card in a tournament. For example, if an off official saw a wrestler/coach make an obscene gesture at the match official without him seeing it, the off-official can penalize the wrestler/coach on his own, without even conversing with the match official. In this case, flagrant misconduct.

Junior or senior official makes no difference; each is there to assist the other.

February 1, 2009
Q: Is it appropriate to award takedown points to wrestler A when wrestler B has a hold of wrestler A's leg? Please explain in which situations it is or isn't. THANK YOU!
A: Yes, if the top wrestler has control of these supporting areas - hooks one leg with his leg and grabs far leg, crossfacing him, forcing the far shoulder to mat. Again, it involves official judgment when these criteria has been reached.

January 28, 2009
Q: Wrestler A is the bottom (Defensive) wrestler, when he comes to his feet wrestler B throws a leg in and leaves his free leg on the mat. If he returns wrestler A to the mat using this method and leaving one foot on the mat is there any call to be made? (ie stalling, or potentially dangerous)
A: From the description given, there would be no call. However, if the offensive wrestler's free leg goes off the mat prior to bringing the defensive wrestler to the mat, it would be potentially dangerous, and the official should stop the match immediately.

January 28, 2009
Q: Wrestler A & Wrestler B are tied in the 3rd period. With about 25 seconds left, Wrestler B takes a shot. In response wrestler A sprawls. Wrestler B is able to hold onto wrestler A's legs & lifts him into the air. Wrestler A figure-fours the head & it is clear that he did. The two wrestlers stay in this same position for the ramaining 20-25 seconds of the match. The 2 wrestlers beliieve to be going to overtime. Then the official signals techinal violation for figure-four. Was he correct in waiting until the end of the match to award the point. Or should the match have been stopped when the figure-four was 1st applied. Wut would be the correct call in this situation?
A: The official did the right thing. If he felt there was a possibility for a takedown, he can wait it out. This situation (or penalty) is considered a delayed call.

January 28, 2009
Q: A match between wrestler A & wrestler B is taking place. The match is tied 6-6 towards the end of the 3rd period. Right as the clock is winding down wrestler A gets a quick takedown. Referee gives the 2 takedown points. The 2 wrestlers go to shake hands. Before they do this, a coach goes to argue the call. The referee disregaurds the protest as he believes he made the right call. But, then another offical which was not asigned to the match comes over and talks with the assigned official. After talking the assigned official takes away the 2 points & tells the wrestlers to prepare for overtime. During overtime, wrestler B gets a takedown & wins the match. Was it correct to disregaurd the call & go to overtime.
A: In reference to match score, only the head official can change a call. If there is an assistant official during the match, he can converse with the head official. At that point, the head official can alter his call if he believes he made a mistake. However, regarding if time was out prior to the takedown, an observing official can let the head official know. Also, if the coach questioning the head official performs an unsportsmanlike or flagrant behavior, an official observing the match from the sidelines can bring it to the head official for appropriate action.

January 27, 2009
Q: Wrestler A goes for a one leg take down wrestler B sprawls and wrestler A is not able to take wrestler B off his feet. Wrestler A is on knees and elbows with with hands locked around wrestler B's knee and pulls the knee to the mat. Wrestler B continues to work to break the grip while wrestler A stays in his position and does not attempt to finish the take down. What should the call be?
A: It's a "stalemate" situation.

January 27, 2009
Q: This is a question about a junior high folkstyle wrestling match. Wrestler A is ahead of wrestler B 4-0 going into the third period. Wrestler B choses bottom in an attempt to score an escape or a reversal. When the whistle blows wrestler B gets to his feet while wrestler A is still on one knee. Wrestler A locks hands around wrestler B's legs and takes him back to the mat wrestler A doesn't release his hold once wrestler B is on his belly on the mat and continues to his lock around wrestler B between his waist and knees for the remainder of the third period while wrestler B is unable to ever get more than one foot flat on the mat or break his grip. What should the call have been in this situation? Any help would be appreciated.
A: This is locked hands, a technical violation, and the match should have been stopped, awarding Wrestler B one match point.

January 21, 2009
Q: Recently I had a tied dual that went to f criteria which states, "f. The team having the greater number (total match points) of first point(s) shall be declared the winner."
It was applied in this way: they counted all the matches in which each team scored first, which we lost. It seems to me that the criteria was misapplied. The rule seems to me to be saying that you should add all of your teams first match points together to get a score. I realize that most likely the same team will win no matter which way its defined. The possibility exists though that the first points scored could be a penalty point or may come in the second period as an escape instead of a first period take down. Which way is correct in defining this criteria?
A: They were wrong. You must total up all the first match points scored by each team to determine the winner. For example, Team A has 31 and Team B has 30 total first match points scored. Team A wins.

January 21, 2009
Q: In a recent match one of my wrestlers was continually on the offensive while the other wrestler kept backing away from him. The wrestlers went out of bounds several times. After the third or fourth time the referee called my wrestler for stalling saying he was driving the other wrestler out of bounds unnecessarily. Is that the correct call? I had never seen it called that way.
A: No. If the official thought your wrestler was driving his opponent out of bounds, it should have been a technical violation (one point for the opponent) for forcing him out of the wrestling area to avoid wrestling.

January 21, 2009
Q: We know that grasping clothing during the match is a technical violation. May a wrestler grab his OWN clothing? For example, a wrestler on bottom has his right forearm tucked under his abdomen. The top man is trying to pull his arm out for a guillotine. May the bottom wrestler grab his own singlet in an effort to keep his arm tucked under his abdomen?
A: No he can not grab his own clothes for an advantage over his opponent. It would also be a technical violation.

January 20, 2009
Q: At one of my matches I was doing the banana split and when I started to split it the offical told me to watch the split and take it towards the head. Is there a rule one not splitting that?
A: If an official feels that a wrestler is spreading his opponent's legs too far apart, instead of criss-cross, he can stop the match and signal "potentially dangerous."

January 20, 2009
Q: If you show a referee and are able to prove that the wrong call was made, should he reverse the call? What if he doesn't?
A: If an official has misapplied a rule, say giving only 2 near-fall points after a five count, the official should make the correction. However, if it is a judgment call, the official has every right to tell the coach to sit down.

January 14, 2009
Q: Is it legal to have a air/soft cast that has metal/hard plastic in it but have it wrapped and wrestle?
A: The on-site official(s) determines if special equipment such as extra padding or braces are legal.

December 11, 2008
Q: If a wrestler is too light to wrestle at the weight class he is weighing-in for, can he step off the scale drink some water (hydrate himself) and then step on the scale so he's heavy enough?
A: Absolutely NOT! If it's a dual meet and there's only one scale, the wrestler must step on the scale, step off, and immediately step on the scale again, whether he's too heavy or too light. With a meet where more than one scale is being utilized, the same is true for the first scale, and he's given one shot on all the other scales IMMEDIATELY. No dehydrating or hydrating when a wrestler weighs-in.

November 4, 2008
Q: In a duals tournament, during a wrestler's fifth team dual of the day, he/she is disqualified for flagrant misconduct. Are the team points earned by that wrestlers wiped off for the entire day including all prior duals that day, or only for the dual match in which the misconduct occured? May the wrestler continue in the dual meet tournament the next day?
A: Each dual meet is considered a competitive entity within itself. The four previous dual scores would not be changed. But he is done for further dual-meet competition in that event.

Q: A wrestler wins the match by one point, but refuses to shake his opponents hand. Failure to comply with the end-of-match procedure is classified as unsportsmanlike conduct. How is this handled/scored?
Answer: It is one team-point deduction from his team for not shaking hands. But the wrestler does win the match because wrestling has concluded.

April 7, 2008
Q: I would like to know the definition of stalling, I read one question in the blog and I understand the top wrestler should be working to turn the bottom man, but I have seen too many matches this year where the bottom man isn't making any move to better his position at all or even trying to escape he is making no motion and it never seems to be called so I was hoping you could just give the rule book defination since I can't find it online anywhere.

A: Stalling Rulebook Answer:
ART. 1 . . . Each wrestler is required to make an honest attempt to stay within the 10-foot circle and wrestle aggressively, regardless of position or the time or score of the match. Action is to be maintained throughout the match by the contestants wrestling aggressively whether in the top, bottom or neutral position and both contestants are equally responsible for initiating action. It is the responsibility of contestants, coaches and referees to avoid the use of stalling tactics or allowing the use thereof. This shall be demonstrated by those responsible with strict enforcement by referees.
ART. 2 . . . When a referee recognizes stalling occurring at any time and in any position, the offender shall be warned and thereafter violations shall be penalized when stalling recurs. These provisions require the referee to penalize stalling without hesitation.
ART. 3 . . It is stalling in the neutral position when a wrestler:
a. continuously avoids contact with the opponent;
b. plays the edge of the mat;
c. prevents the opponent from returning to or remaining inbounds; or
d. is not attempting to secure a takedown.
ART. 4 . . . It is stalling when the contestant in the advantage position:
a. does not wrestle aggressively and attempt to secure a fall, except when the wrestler intentionally releases the opponent in order to thereafter immediately attempt to secure a takedown;
b. legally holds the heel to the buttocks while the defensive wrestler is broken down on the mat for more than five seconds; or
c. holding an opponent's leg with the use of two hands on two legs or two hands on one leg in action not designed to break the opponent down, or is for the purpose of securing a fall, or is to prevent an escape or reversal, is stalling. Repeated grasping and holding the leg or legs with both hands or arms to break an opponent down for the sole purpose of controlling is stalling.
ART. 5 . . . When a defensive wrestler refuses to aggressively attempt escapes or reversals, it is stalling.
ART. 6 . It is stalling when either wrestler:
a. repeatedly grasps or interlocks around one leg of the opponent to prevent scoring; or
b. delays the match. This includes straggling back from out of bounds, unnecessarily changing or adjusting equipment or delay in assuming the starting position on the mat.

The defensive wrestler is not stalling when overpowered.

Stalling In Practice Answer:
Stalling is a very, very subjective call by officials. It is like the "balk" in baseball, "holding" in football, and "traveling" in basketball.

You will probably often scratch your head when you witness different officials call stalling. The reality is that no two officials will ever call stalling the same, even if they had the same instructor.

All you can hope for is that the individual official calling the match is consistant on how he indicates stalling throughout the meet. A coach may or may not like it, but at least he knows what to expect from that particular referee in reference to stalling.

With over 50 years of mat experience in all capacities, all I can say is that "individual official consistency" regarding stalling is the best a wrestler, coach, or fan can ever hope for - it's that subjective!

March 4, 2008
Q: If wrestler A shoots a double leg and Wrestler B does a figure four to A's head, does it result in one penalty point for A?
A: Yes, it's a technical violation against Wrestler B. But note, in this situation, Wrestler A is also given the opportunity to score a takedown. If he does, Wrestler A gets 2 points for the takedown and 1 point for the technical violation

February 24, 2008
Q: I mentioned earlier about between periods when wrestler (A) selects down and wrestler (B) signals to Wrestler (A) to his feet giving away a 1 point escape. This year I've seen it way too much. What was once a call to benefit the bottom wrestler resulting in possible reversal points etc. from the flip of the disk. Has now benefited wrestler (B) by avoiding the possible reversal and following points. The only 100% call is top position. It hurts a good bottom wrestler. Should it be looked into changing the rule Back, or giving 2 points for the free untouched escape.
A: This is the first year for the "escape choice" by the top man. You make a very valid point. However, I have heard no complaints by coaches regarding this rule. At the end of the year a survey is given to coaches all across the U.S. They will be the ones to make the final decision. If the majority of the coaches do not like it, the national rules committee usually abides by what the coaches want. I personally, have no problem with the rule because it speeds up the match. Rather than take the optional start and push bottom man away, and wait till he faces the top man; just give him the escape and be over with it. But I am not a coach any more, and if the coaches don't like it, I think it then should be removed. We'll see what happens.

February 19, 2008
Q: Can a referee award one point to a wrestler and end the match in the first wrestlers favor if the other wrestler headbutts twice but the first time was never called?
A: An intentional head butt is a flagrant misconduct, and should be called when observed by the official.
1) Disqualification from further competition in that event and
2) a deduction of three team points.

February 15, 2008
Q: 1) A wrestler reports to the mat with vaseline smeared all over the front of his singlet, and a sharp object is embedded within his knee pad. Are points for technical violation (improper equipment, greasy substance) awarded, or is the wrestler allowed to use injury time to correct the problem with no penalty points prior to the start of the match?
    2) Once the match has started, the above described greasy substance and illegal equipment is discovered. What is the call?
A: As soon as the official sees the problem, he will immediately start injury time, penalize the wrestler, awarding his opponent one match point. Also, the head coach would be hit with a team point deduction for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Note: Regarding the sharp object in the knee pad, if the official felt it was there to harm an opponent, it would be a flagrant misconduct, and the wrestler would be disqualified. Furthermore, if the official felt that the sharp object was intended to harm an opponent, he should report it to the state governing body immediately for further potential repercussions.

January 28, 2008
Q: If there was a complaint of biting during a match and the referee did not act on the complaint and after the match is over there is obvious evidence of the bite and it is shown to the referee, what should the referee have done?
A: If biting is not indicated by the official during the match, it can't be called after the match is over.

January 2, 2008
Q: At what point does it become stalling when the top wrestler is riding legs ? Do they have to be attemting to turn the bottom wrestler. Could it be considered stalling if a wrestler continues to create a stalemate situation to avoid wrestling? I understand the bottom wrestler needs to continue to work for an escape, but when you are strung out and the top guy has both legs in and is not coming off the hip it is difficult to move.
A: Boy, that's a tough one. Every official has a problem with this situation. All I call say, if the top wrestler continues to use the same leg-riding tactic, and does not attempt to force his opponent to his back (and a stalemate has been called a number of times), then it's time to hit him for stalling. I am sorry I cannot be more specific, but each situation is different.

December 20, 2007
Q: Can you clarify a weigh-in issue for a dual meet? We had this situation at last year's tournament. Say for middle school weights 102, 110 and 116, a wrestler weighing 100 pounds weighs-in and enters the dual meet at the 110 pound class. My understanding is he is eligible to wrestle only the 110 pound division (He is too light for the 116 pound division and he did not weigh in for the 102 pound division.) The coach argues that he can wrestle all three weight classes during the two day meet. What is the correct interpretation?
1) All 3 weight classes.
2) The class he weighed in for and up one class (if he makes minmum weight).
3) Only 110 pound class.
A:The correct answer is: No. 3. Since the boy missed weighing in for the 102-pound weight class, he can't wrestle 102, and he can't wrestle 116 because his stripped weight would have made him eligible for 102. One other point: A wrestler is typically only able to wrestle at 2 weight classes, no more. Unfortunately. the boy in this situation chose (or forgot to show up for 102) to weigh in at the 110-pound class.

December 16, 2007
Q: In a recent match the ref told the wrestlers to move to the center to wrestle. They were not wrestling on the line, but were moving towards it. When the wrestlers did not move from the area and broke their tie up, the ref physicaly pushed both wrestlers to the center while they were in their stance. Is the ref allowed to physcialy interfere with a match like this? It looked like he could have put one of the wrestlers at a disadvantage because he pushed him out of his stance. What if one of the wrestlers fell down while he pushed them? Could the ref could be written up from improper conduct?
A: The referee should never touch/push the wrestlers unless he is stopping a potentially dangerous or illegal hold, protecting them when they are going out of bounds (from hitting the floor), or raising the winner's hand.

December 6, 2007
Q: Your WV team is in an Ohio tournament on Saturday. It is announced at the seeding meeting that one of the teams has a dual meet on Friday; thus each wrestler will be given an extra pound at weigh-ins Saturday morning under the consecutive day rule.
It snows Friday and, although none of the other teams know, the dual meet is cancelled.
Since all of the other teams left practice Friday anticipating the 1 lb. allowance can the tournament director still give it? Do you know if OH is different than WV.
A: If asked to make that interpretation in West Virginia, ALL the teams WOULD get the extra pound. I do not know and can not speak for Ohio.

November 22, 2007
Q: Is a double arm bar legal when the wrestlers are in a standing position (i.e., the wrestler applying the hold is standing behind his opponent?) How is this hold distinguished from a full-nelson?
A: The double armbar in the standing position, with wrestler applying the hold from behind his opponent is legal, but potentially dangerous because the other wrestler can not break his fall when brought to the mat. The full nelson is under both arms with pressure to the neck (illegal); the double armbar is under both arms with pressure to the back (legal).

August 13, 2007
Q: How would you advise officials, coaches and wrestlers as a good rule of thumb to determine what is or is not a slam? e.g. would a hip throw where I pull my opponent over my body, he lands on his back with me on top be considered a slam?
A: That sounds like a very close "slam type" of call. But always understand, a slam is a judgment call by the official.

February 27, 2007
Q: Bill...give us your thoughts for possible "matside" weigh-ins for high school competition here in WV.
A: That's a tough one. This has been bounced around for years. I can live with what the majority of the coaches want, and accepted by the NFHS.

Q: I realize this may not have a short answer...but can you give some brief points on how "control" is determined for a takedown or reversal?
A: Actually, I am going to make this short. It's when the official feels control. That is why I believe an experienced wrestler is better in the capacity as a match official. It is my personal belief that he has a better feel for such situations

February 26, 2007
Q: If a youth wrestler weighs in just over the weight allowed and there is time before weigh ins are over can he go to the gym and run and use the restroom and weigh in again.
A: In high school wrestling, it is not allowed. I can't speak for youth wrestling tournaments that usually have no national or state governing body.

February 21, 2007
Q: May a wrestler call "time-out" for a reason other than injury or bleeding?
A: Yes. For example, a lost contact lens.

February 7, 2007
Q: I was at a conference tournement over the weekend. When they had the parade of finalist one of the finalist was wearing a hat that was not part of his uniform. How should that have been Handled? What types of penalties are there for this?
A: That would be unsportsmanlike conduct in WV.

February 6, 2007
Q: I know it sounds crazy but here is another what if: Wrestler A has a pinning move on Wrestler B and they both end up on their backs and are both pinned. I know it would be hard for the ref to see both at the same time, but who gets the pin?
A: The offensive wrestler would be awarded the fall with simultaneous pins.

February 1, 2007
Q: I think but I'm not sure, if a wrestler gets called three times for illegal locked hands in one match, then he/she has to foreit that said match. Is that correct, if not is there any limit to the amount of times inwhich one could get called for illegal locked hands?
A: Locked hands is a technical violation with the following progression:
First Time: 1 Penalty Point.
Second Time: 1 Penalty Point.
Third Time: 2 Penalty Points.
Fourth Time: Disqualification from that match only.

January 24, 2007
Q: Is the "cowboy" a legal take down and pinning move in youth wrestling?
A: To my knowledge, yes, with an arm included, unless the referee thinks it is potentially dangerous in a wrestling situation.

January 22, 2007
Q: If a wrestler takes another wrestler down with a headlock, is he awarded with the takedown and then penalized with a technical violation?
A: A wrestler can never score a takedown with an illegal headlock. The action would be stopped and a penalty point awarded.

December 31, 2006
Q: Is an eye poke, accidental or not, considered an illegal move? This question is in reference to the new rule: "7-1-5: Hand(s) to the face and/or raking the eyes have been added to the listing of illegal holds." OH is having an issue with the interpretation.
Also, if wrestler A is in criteria and begins pushing on Wrestler B's face, does the ref stop the match to award the illegal hold point? This sounds like a judgement call to me, but wanted to hear the state's official interpretation. Anything else to clarify this rule for other refs would be appreciated. Thanks.
A: In both situations, it is a judgment call by the official. If the referee deems the act to be intentional, penalty point(s) will be awarded. If the referee considers the action to be accidental, no points will be awarded.

December 25, 2006
Q: A wrestler throws up during a match, but continues to wrestle. Once the official sees this he will obviously stop the match. My question would be is that injury time or just simply clean up? I thought clean up, but thats just my interpretation.
A: Official's timeout to clean up.

Q: I noticed that a wrestler had a duals match earlier in the year at 125 lbs. and this weekend I watched him wrestle in a pool tournament at 112 lbs. Is this possible, and can you explain?
A: I cannot explain anything without seeing a wrestler's weight management alpha report date.

December 21, 2006
Q: If a wrestler weighs 135 and the alpha sheet reads that he may drop to 125 say January 1, but the wrestler participates at the 135 weight class prior to the alpha date (January 1). Then drops to 125 and starts wrestling . What date will he achieve his 50% at the lower weight class? Will this 50% start Jan.1 or is it 50% of all matches wrestled ?
A: The 50% weigh-ins start on the wrestler's alpha date.

December 18, 2006
Q: As a parent we sign a form for the SSAC on what weight you want your child not to go below. What happens if during the season he drops below and to a lower that weight naturally, than what we signed?
A: It's too late. He must wrestle at the higher weight class.

December 11, 2006
Q: I have heard this rule interpreted both ways. If a wrestler is wrestling up in weight class, example: weighs in at 119.5 and wrestles 130 that is perfectly legal. But if there is a 1 pound allowance (for whatever reason) that day is he still legal for 130, or must he weigh in above 120?
A: Good question. The wrestler would have to weigh above 120. Otherwise, he would be eligible for three weight classes, and that can't happen. Again, very good question.

Q: You are at a 2 day DUALS TOURNAMENT. Said wrestler weighs-in the first day at 130-1/4 for the 135# weight class. On day 2 of the DUALS TOURNAMNET said wrestler comes to weigh-ins and is eligible by the alpha roster to make his base/minimum weight of 130. Is said wrestler eligible to weigh-in at the 130# weight class, but not wrestle, if the weight class that he originally started the DUALS TOURNAMENT is 135#.
A: The answer is NO. The reason being it would make him eligible for three weight classes during the two-day single event. The first day: 135 and 140 and the second day: 130 and 135, which is three weight classes. That can't be. He would have to wait to the next event to make his alpha weight. Great question!

December 10, 2006
Q: If a wrestler loses a contact during a match (but finds it very quickly) and the referee stops the match to let the wrestler put it back in, should injury time be used?
A: NO -- That is an official's time-out.

December 4, 2006
Q: This past weekend we were at a tournament in which Blood Time became a factor. A young man busted his nose and began to bleed early in the first period. The match was stopped 6 or 7 times for blood. Starting the third period the young man only had 26 seconds of blood time left. He starting bleeding again and it took 10 sec. to get it stopped, leaving 16 seconds left. During a break in the action (official stopped the match, and went over to the head table) the boys coach tape up the boys nose. The official then informed them that they only had 4 sec. of blood time remaining.
My question is if the boy’s nose wasn't bleeding when the coach taped it up would it be considered blood time, clean-up time, or injury time?
A: If the nose was not bleeding prior to the coach taping it, one injury timeout would be used.

November 11, 2006
Q: I can't really explain how this happend but trust me it did. I was officiating a JV match and both wrestlers ended up on thier back with both shoulders on the mat without a takedown being scored. Since no takedown was ever scored I called a stalemate and returned the wrestler back to neutral. I realize that this is a one-and a million situation, but was that the right call??
A: You did the right thing; afterall, it was a JV match. On the other hand, you could have called a double fall and each team receives 6 points IF the falls occurred at the same time. If not, the wrestler who pinned himself first would lose. Had there been control, the wrestler in control would receive the fall and victory.

October 15, 2006
Q: Are suplex throws legal as long as you are careful when doing them?
A: No. They can not be performed in any way in interscholastic competition.

March 21, 2006
Q: Wrestler A has wrestler B on his back but with his arm clearly under wrestler B's back not allowing wrestler B's shoulder,or scapula to be held to the mat. Can wrestler B be Pinned in this manner ?
A: No. Both shoulders must be touching the mat.

Q: At a open meet do they have the right to forfeit one of your matches if you are already in a match on another mat?? I did two weight classes at a meet this weekend and was doing one weight on one mat and was called in the middle of it and by the time I went to check in they already forfeited it. Any comments??
A: Please, I will answer any questions that are under the auspices of the WVSSAC. An open tournament is not regulated by any athletic association. They can basically do whatever they want. If you don't like what they do, don't go back the next year. Bottom line: I can't help you or give any advice for such events.

March 14, 2006
Q: If you brigde on your shoulders is it considered a pin?
A: Yes.

March 9, 2006
Q: Is body armour type garments legal under singlets
A: I am not sure what you are talking about because I do not know what body armour is. But to answer your question, except for a proper undergarment, the answer to your question is NO.

March 8, 2006
Q: My understanding of the overtime rule in the one minute overtime was if stalling was called it automatically went to the 30 second period of wrestling. As this happen to a wrestler at a match was that the right call?
A: Each wrestler must be penalized the same point(s) to move from the overtime to the 30-second tiebreaker.

Q: Can a stalling point be given without a warning? I saw it for the first time this weekend. It did not determine the outcome of the match but was just wondering.
A: There must be a warning first.

March 7, 2006
Q: Not to be rude because I appreciate your time you spend on answering questions, but i don't think you answered the question that was asked about what to do if the ref is wrong on the rules. This is an interesting question and would like your answer.
A: Sorry. As a coach (and I was for 10 years), I would not leave the mat area until the problem is rectified, and the official shows me in the rule book that stalling is called different in the Overtime match. As noted before, only in the 30-tiebreaker is stalling called a little bit different. I apologize for my "beating around the bush" answer previously given. After I read it, I realized I did not give a definitive answer.

Q: This may not be the right place to ask this question, but this past weekend i heard a referee tell a parent "...if you touch me you will be arrested for battery of an athletic offical and it is a felony." While I feel a referee should not have to quote state code to keep from becoming the victim of a battery I do feel they should have the correct information. What I found under State Code 61-2-15a(b) shows the pentalty as a misdemeanor punishable by not less than 24 hours in jail nor more than 30 days. Do you know if this law has recently changed and has been upgraded to a felony?
A: Bottom line: Don't touch the referee

March 3, 2006
Q: We're all human and this is a learning process at every level. That being said, what do you recommend that a coach do if an official is clearly wrong about a rule (I am cognizant of the fact that a coach should NEVER question a judgment call)? We had a situation in which both wrestlers had been warned for stalling during regulation and beginning the first overtime (neutral start) wrestler A took several steps backwards immediately on the whistle (we, the coaches raised our hands suggesting the stall call) the referee stopped the match and came over to tell us that while he agreed with our assessment that wrestler A was indeed stalling, he was not at liberty to call stalling. We were shocked but respectful. I explained to him that I agreed with his assessment if this were the second overtime/rideout period (I think that technically stalling can be called then too, but it is such a short time it would be difficult) and walked toward the scoring table, pulling out the rule book. He then informed us that if he so much as saw us open the book, we'd be watching from the parking lot. (I suspect that he realized his understanding of the rule was flawed). Obviously, if he had simply said that wrestler A was not stalling, we would have kept our mouths shut, it's his judgment call. But b/c he talked too much, it went from a judgment call to a rule application. How should we have handled this situation?
A: It is only during the 30-second tiebreaker that a wrestler may ride, and stalling called a little different. Blatant stalling during the 30-second tiebreaker would be quickly stalemated and the wrestler and coach be told next time stalling will be called. Stalling should be called normally in the overtime period. I hope this answers your question. Let me know.

March 1, 2006
Q: If a match ends tied up at the end of regulation, and wrestler A takes his second injury time before the start of overtime; what are the proper procedures that follow? Does wrestler B not get his choice of position and if he does, how does this work? Does the match just go into overtime as usual?
A: If the match reaches the 30-second tiebreaker, Wrestler B is given the choice.

Editor's note: I was puzzled by this question and answer until I reviewed the rules regarding injury time-outs.
"Rule 8-2-1: An injured or ill contestant is entitled to a maximum injury time-out of 1 1/2 minutes which is cumulative throughout the match. There is a limit of two injury time-outs which may be permitted in any match, provided the total time does not exceed 1 1/2 minutes. If a second injury time-out is taken, the opponent will have choice of position for the restart, (The up, down, or neutral position shall be chosen). If the second injury time-out occurs at the end of the first period, the opponent will have the choice at the start of the second and third period." (2004-05 NFHS Rulebook)

This rule was clarified for 2005-06, such that "...during the Tiebreaker, the wrestler who has the choice of position following the opponent’s second injury time-out is restricted to the offensive, defensive or defer choices."

Follow-up to the above question:
Q: Thanks for the quick response to my previous question. I think that my wording of the question was a little off. What I was wondering is that if the second injury time happens right after the third period ends and before the first overtime begins, do you still wrestle the 1 minute on your feet or does the opposing wrestler (say he chooses bottom position) have 1 minute to escape? That is, in view of the rule stipulating that "if a second injury time-out is is taken, the opponent will have choice of position for the restart" -- does this restart apply to the FIRST overtime period, and can the opponent choose to start the FIRST overtime period on bottom, rather than neutral?? Thanks again.
A: No. The wrestlers compete for one minute on their feet in the Overtime Period. In the 30-second tiebreaker, the wrestler, whose opponent used a second injury time-out, would be given the choice.

Q: Has the National Federation or anyone ever suggested the idea of using technology to help in accurate timing of matches such as a receiver or vibrating device that could be worn by officials at tournaments? It seems a little old-fashioned to still rely on a tapper person. I envision a small receiver that is reset when the clock is set and signals to the official when time is expired. Do you know of any invention or anything like this ever being tested? I'd like to be smart enough to produce such a device. What are the rules about this?
A: It's been discussed. Right now you cannot use them, but you can contact Jerry Diehl at nfhs.org He could repond to your question.

February 27, 2006
Q: Wrestler A has wrestler B in a cradle, in a pinning combination. Wrestler B pulls wrestler A's finger to attempt to break the hold. Wrestling is stopped and resumed in the referee's position. In this situation should the referee allow wrestling to continue as long as wrestler A has wrestler B in the pinning combination?
A: The referee would normally push Wrestler B's hand away from Wrestler A's hand to allow Wrestler A the opportunity for the fall. Should there not be a fall, the referee would award Wrestler A the appropriate near-fall points and one penalty point.

February 21, 2006
Q: Wrestler A stops a shot from wrestler B and gets a front headlock then moves around and locks up a nearside cradle. When does this become a takedown?
A: When Wrestler A drives his opponent's hip to the mat with the cradle, he scores a takedown.

Q: Is there a national or state rule regarding the wrestler immediately shaking the hand of the OPPOSING coach after the match in a tournament?
A: There is no rule requiring a wrestler shaking an opposing coach's hand immediately after his match. The wrestler is only required to shake his opponent's hand immediately after the match. Also, there is no rule that states a wrestler cannot shake the opposing coach's hand immediately after his match.

Q: Is there a system in place that provides for "Performance Reviews" for officials. If so, what are the categories they are rated on and who does the review?
A: The coaches have a list of approximately 10 performance categories to evaluate an official. The WVSSAC would have that list of categories.

February 20, 2006
Q: Wrestler A takes a shot near the boundary and attempts to finish a single leg takedown with Wrestler B completely out of bounds by putting both toes to the mat. In Wrestler A's attempt to gain control and keep both toes in bounds, Wrestler B reacts by throwing his free leg over the body and grasping a farside power half, thus gaining control himself. Wrestler B is completely out of bounds and Wrestler A is outstretched with only both feet still in. Should B have been awarded the takedown since no part of his own body was in bounds? He was and there wasn't much complaining about it, but I thought it was odd.
A: NO. Because the feet inbounds is only for the attacking wrestler. If he doesn't immediately score a takedown, they are blown out of bounds.

February 16, 2006
Q: I was recently at a Youth tournament where there was a wrestler clearly over weight for the weight class he was wrestling in. This was questioned every time he got ready to wrestle and again when the match was over. Nothing was done by the tournament committee to address this because the wrestler was from the hosting team. The response they gave every time was that the kid had already been weighed in and that he could not be reweighed because he has eaten. Don't you think if he was at the appropriate weight at weigh-ins, even if he did eat, he should not be more than 5 lbs over weight? If you have to be able to provide proof of age, what are the rules with regard to weight?
A: You are talking about a youth tournament, so there is no governing body such as the WVSSAC. The WVSSAC has no jurisdiction over youth tournaments. The rules of a youth tournament, I assume, are determined by that event's tournament committee. Complaints end with the youth tournament committee; there's no where else to go.

February 4, 2006
Q: If wrestler A gets two seperate cautions for an incorrect starting position, and then is signaled for stalling, would he receive a 1 point penalty, or a warning?
A: A warning for stalling.

February 2, 2006
Q: The question dated 1/29/06 seems to ask if a point for stalling can be given without there first being a warning or caution for stalling. Your response seems to address the fact that stalling is judgement call of the official, which of course is correct. However, doesn't there always have to be a caution given first, prior to subsequently awarding points and eventual disqualification for repeated offenses? Or am I incorrect in my reading of the question?
A: You are right. With stalling there is first a warning. My error. Note, if there was a previous warning and two illegal holds, and the wrestler is then penalized for stalling, it would be a two-point penaly. Sorry for the confusion.

January 31, 2006
Q: Wrestler A locks his hands while Wrestler B is on the mat. Because scoring may be imminent for Wrestler B, the locked hands is a delayed call while Wrestler B attempts to complete a switch. Prior to stoppage, Wrestler A commits an illegal hold by locking on a full nelson. Are both violations called?

Q: Are you allowed to compete in a open tournament at the age 0f 13-15 if you are 15 years old and have wrestled high school matches as a 9th grader??
A: With the principal's permission and the team does not have a match that day, but double check with the WVSSAC (304) 485-5494, for safety's sake. The WVSSAC rule may have changed; you don't want him to be ineligible.

January 30, 2006
Q: Can a wrestler be penalized for locked hands if he has a "two on one" hold. In other words, the wrestler in control holds one of his opponents arms with both of his hands, while his arms are wrapped around the opponent's body?
A: The only way a wrestler can be penalized for locked hands with the "two-on-one ride" is if his hands overlap.

January 29, 2006
Q: Interpretation of the stalling rule in high school wrestling. Approximately how long before it is called and how many tines before a point is awarded to the opponent that committed the foul? The scenerio was wrestler A was reversed then attempting to do a stand up could only move from referee position to left leg up and on right knee with right hand control while wrestler B never attempted a pinning move just tried too prevent the stand up wrestler A lost a point for stalling and never was warned or cautioned is this a correct call?
A: You're not going to like this answer, but stalling is in the eyes and mind of the individual official. It's a jugdment call, and no two officials call stalling the same way. All you can hope for is that the individual official is consistent.

January 28, 2006
Q: Exactly what does the rule say about wrestlers NOT having to shake the hand of the opposing coach following the completion of a match? Is there such a rule?
A: There is no rule against shaking the opponent's coach's hand after a match.

Q: I will have a homescholled 8th grader in two years who loves to wretle and is Good. Can he compete in a non public school youth league and still compete in the wsaz tournament since it is not sanctioned by a school system? This being he is not enrolled in school.
A: I don't think so. You will need to contact the WVSSAC. The phone number is (304) 485-5494.

January 27, 2006
Q: Wrestler A applies a cradle and then rocks the bottom wrestler directly on top of himself placing both his shoulders on the mat. While still in control of wrestler B, can wrestler A pin himself by sitting there flat on his back?

The rule book states that only the wrestler with the advantage may score a near fall.

Would a reversal need to be signaled before awarding back points and a fall, or, can the wrestler in control be pinned without near-fall time being counted out, and with no near fall points being awarded if the wrestler in control gets off his back prior to a reversal or pin?.

These were little kids but it went on for like like ten seconds and I called a pin for wrestler B. The opposing coach got upset, but I didn't know how else to call it. Anyway, I like volunteering as a ref and need to know, Can you inadvertantly pin yourself with no change of control and no near fall count?

A: ABSOLUTELY! It's what is called a "Defensive Pin or Fall."

January 23, 2006
Q: If a wrestler's foot or any other body part goes off the mat and touches the floor is the match stopped even if it is on a "split mat"?
A: It should be stopped. With the split mat, the referee would stop the match himself and see to it that mat tape is applied to eliminate the split. Safety first!

January 22, 2006
Q: Is it illegal to use suana suits to make weight?
A: Plastic and nylon sweat suits are illegal.

January 20, 2006
Q: My son wrestled a tournament in which his opponent stuck his finger down my son's throat. My son complained to the referee and his response was he didn't see it...
A: A wrestler can not stick his finger in his opponent's mouth. It is unnecessary roughness and would be penalized as such if observed by the official.

January 18, 2006
Q: Can you figure 4 the head in a pinning combination?

January 9, 2006
Q: What exactly is considered an illegal "slam" in pee wee wrestling? Is it legal to throw an opponet using the hip while having opponent in head lock (cowboy)?
A: A slam is when a wrestler drives his opponent's body to the mat with excessive force from a standing position. The slam is a judgment call by the official.

Q: Wrestler A has an arm bar across the back and the wrestlers are on the edge of the mat. Wrestler B circles around to try to get off of the mat while wrestler A tries to keep him on and his arm gets twisted up too high. Is it the wrestlers fault?
A: If the defensive wrestler causes a hold by the offensive wrestler to become illegal, there is NO penalty. The referee would stop the match immediately for the safety of the defensive wrestler

January 4, 2006
Q: Wrestler A and Wrestler B are locked up. They proceed to wrestle out of bounds in front of the scorer's table. After the referee stops the match due to being out of bounds, Wrestler A shoves Wrestler B to break the lock. Wrestler B is thus thrown into the scorers table. Is the referee responsible to warning Wrestler A about his conduct?
A: Depending on the severity, the referee can indicate "unsportsmanlike conduct," awarding his opponent a match point. Or, he could call a "flagrant misconduct," which would end the match, awarding his opponent with the win.

Jump to Making the Call, Part One (October 22, 1997 to January 9, 1998)
Jump to Making the Call, Part Two (January 15 - February 20, 1998)
Jump to Making the Call, Part Three(February 21 - May 1998)
Jump to Making the Call, Part Four (June - September 1998)
Jump to Making the Call, Part Five (October 1998 - March 1999)
Jump to Making the Call, Part Six (April 1999 - December 2001)
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Jump to Making the Call, Part Eight (May 2003 - December 2005)

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