West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Anything Can Happen

"If it can happen, it will" -- Murphy's Law

Over ten years ago I was officiating a match in Ohio, a dual meet between Steubenville Central Catholic High School and Buckeye North High School. The meet was a "barn-burner" which was decided in the heavyheight bout.

Now note, the "believe-it-or-not" situation occurred in the 189-pound weight class. In the third period, the Buckeye North grappler secured a fall. Immediately following the match, the Steubenville Central coach called me over to the head scorer's table. And after a short discussion and with both coaches in agreement, the pin was erased.

So, why was the fall taken away? There was more than enough time remaining in the period. Furthermore, the Buckeye North wrestler did not do anything illegal to gain the pin. Well, pay close attention and you'll learn what little-known rule applied in this case. In essence, I made a mistake. At the start of the third period, the Buckeye North boy chose down, and at the whistle reversed and pinned his opponent. What was the error? It should have been the choice of Steubenville Central's wrestler. This was the point the Steubenville Central coach brought to my attention, which I in turn told the Buckeye North coach. Here is the rule: If an error has been made in the wrestler who was to have the choice in the third period, all points earned (including a pin) must be wiped off. (Note: The only exception is a "flagrant misconduct.) Both wrestlers then receive one minute's rest before the third period is then properly rewrestled. That is the rule and I enforced it.

In closing, I must commend the sportsmanship behavior of both coaches. They handled the situation in a gentlemanly manner, especially the Buckeye North mentor. As far as I'm concerned, these two men were "Coaching Models" for wrestlers everywhere to follow.

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Updated December 10, 1998