West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Arrogance in Officiating

"To err is human . . ."

I have been associated with many outstanding individuals throughout my life, but not one of them is (or ever has been) perfect. If you are a human being, you are subject to occasional flaws in judgment. This premise is also true of officials.

Now there is something I wanted to get off my chest for a number of years. So please listen carefully. Over the last two decades I have officiated literally hundreds of wrestling matches and scores of Pony League baseball games. During this time, I have had the misfortune of meeting a couple of referees and umpires who felt they could do no wrong. Luckily, such men are the exception to the rule in West Virginia, for we are blessed with many sincere and dedicated officials.

Speaking only for myself, I have made a few judgment calls that even I did not like. Each time such situations occurred, I have had to live with the decision. It is part of the responsibility which comes with the territory. In addition, I wasn't afraid (or too proud) to admit that I might have "blown a call" when confronted by a coach at the end of a match or game. In closing, there is one final point I want to emphsize in reference to today's commentary. If an official of any event tells you he has never made a mistake, in my opinion, you are talking to a person of questionable character.

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Updated October 29, 1998