West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker
National Wrestling Hall of Famer

Crowd Control

Individuals in youth wrestling circles never cease to amaze me. Just when I thought I heard it all, something new pops up!

One of the most important concerns of any wrestling tournament director should be crowd control, especially on the main floor. And the West Virginia State High School Tournament is no exception.

A few years ago, I was sitting at the main score table with Bill Archer (state co-director along with his wife Diana). He looked at me and said, "There's too many d#@! assistant coaches and wrestlers on the main floor."

Bill can be very blunt when it comes to the sport he so dearly loves. Both he and Diana put their heart and soul into making the state wrestling tournament second to none…and they have never failed in doing so. The next year the main floor of the state wrestling tournament was as clean as a baby's powdered butt.

What I'm about to tell you would even cause Bill Archer to shake his head in disbelief. And Coach Archer, like myself, has seen it all.

My son Rick has been officiating youth through high school matches for several years, and has been doing an excellent job. Below is the story he related to me. While officiating at a youth tournament, he thought, "Wow! There is a heck of a lot of people on the main floor." They were not only loud, but also very close to the mats. It was as if each wrestler had a dozen coaches in his/her corner. Rick figured that they needed to work on crowd control, and mentioned it to a fellow official.

His colleague replied, "Ricky, spectators are allowed on the floor. If they pay an extra ten bucks, they can get floor passes like the coaches." Ricky was in a state of shock. It's not bad enough that officials have to deal with father coaches who often don't know the rules, but now they also have to contend with potentially irate mothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.

It was ludicrous, and a very unsafe condition for everyone, especially if the crowd turned ugly over a close call. How could an official deal with the "mat rage" of a crowd turned into a "mob." In essence, the wrestlers,' coaches' and officials' physical well-being could easily be put at risk.

I hope the tournament director in question has a lot of liability insurance and a good lawyer should pandemonium break out due to such a "money hungry" practice. One could only imagine the legal ramifications. But there's more to the story.

The irony is that one fan was almost removed from the facility for being unruly, and he was sitting in the stands. Maybe he went too far, but he did have a valid point.

His complaint: "I can't see the wrestlers from the stands with all the people around the mats." And that's just minor compared to the potential chaos that is an accident "ready to happen" on the main floor due to greed.

A tournament director's main concern should always be for the safety of the participants - wrestlers, coaches, and officials - not the almighty dollar. If a middle or high school tournament director in West Virginia or Ohio allowed fans on the main floor for a few extra dollars, the WVSSAC or OHSAA would immediately reprimand the individual (and school) and put an immediate stop to the practice. There is no place for avarice in nonprofessional sports, especially in youth contests. Such a practice that permits a very unsafe environment for our adolescent participants is appalling!

Wouldn't you agree?

Team Scoring and Tiebreakers in Dual Meets

The chart for team and match scoring at dual meets is as follows:

Team Scoring
3 points: Decision (1-7 point spread)
4 points: Major Decision (8-14 point spread)
5 points: Technical Fall (15 or more point spread)
6 points: Fall, Forfeit, default, or disqualification
Remember, this is team scoring for dual meets, not tournaments. We will discuss tournament team scoring next week.

In dual meet competition, if the team score concludes in a draw or tie, the winning team would be determined by the following criteria:
1) The team that has received the fewest points for flagrant misconduct or unsportsmanlike conduct shall be declared the winner.
2) The team whose opposing wrestlers or team personnel have been penalized the greater number of team point deductions for unsportsmanlike conduct, flagrant misconduct, and coaching misconduct shall be declared the winner.
3) The team whose opposing wrestlers were penalized the greater number of match points for unsportsmanlike conduct during a match shall be declared the winner.
4) The team that has won the greater number of matches (including forfeits) shall be declared the winner.
5) The team that has accumulated the greatest number of points from falls, defaults, forfeits, or disqualifications shall be declared the winner.
6) The team that has earned the greater number of points from technical falls shall be declared the winner.
7) The team that has earned the greater number of points from major decisions shall be declared the winner.
8) The team having the greater number of total match points of first points scored shall be declared the winner.
9) The team securing the greater number of near-fall points will be declared the winner.
10) The team securing the greater number of takedown points will be declared the winner.
11) The team having the greater number of reversals will be declared the winner.
12) The team having the greater number of escapes will be declared the winner.
13) The team whose opponent has been penalized more often for stalling will be declared the winner.
14) The team whose opponent has been warned more often for stalling shall be declared the winner.
15) The team whose opponent has the greater number of penalty points for all other infractions shall be declared the winner.
16) If none of the above resolves the tie, a flip of the referee's disk will determine the winner.

Upon determining the winning team, a single team point will be added to the winning team's score.

Mini-Mat Quiz

Q: Wrestler A won his match 17-2. How many points would he score for his team and what type of win would this be?
A: He would score 5 points for his team with a technical fall.

OVAC Joe Thomas Wrestling Warrior

The Coach Joe Thomas OVAC Wrestling Warrior of the Week is Oak Glen's senior mat man, Joel Paolo. His overall record on the mats is 108 wins and 24 losses. His past accomplishments include a 1st place finish in the OVACs last year and a West Virginia state runner-up effort at 135 pounds. He also is a three-time place winner at both the OVACs and the West Virginia State Championships. Joel Poalo was also a regional champion both his sophomore and junior years, and second his freshman year. As a senior this year, Poalo will be competing at the 140-pound weight class. Congratulations are extended to Joel Paolo - this week's OVAC Wrestling Warrior.

The OVAC Wrestling fan of the Week is KEITH DUDICK, an Oak Glen booster and team videographer for many years.

The Deaton-Regis Weekly Dual Meet Predictions

Larry Deaton and Jack Regis, two of the Valley's finest mat officials are competing with each other this season, picking the winners of selected weekly matches. This week's featured matches are Bishop Donahue at Bridgeport (6:00 pm) and Bellaire at Wheeling Park (6:00 pm), which are both on Tuesday. Deaton picks Bishop Donahue over Bridgeport 39-37 and Bellaire over Wheeling Park 34-32. Regis calls Bridgeport to win 35-33 over Bishop Donahue and Wheeling Park defeating Bellaire 38-28.


The Wrestling Drill Book edited and authored by Bill Welker, with over 16,300 sold nationwide, and/or his DVD: Bill Welker's Pancake Takedown Series, would be great Christmas gifts for your favorite wrestler! To purchase an autographed copy of The Wrestling Drill Book or the DVD, the cost for each is $25.00. A "SPECIAL" price of $40.00 is offered for both. Just send a check or money order for $25.00 for one or $40.00 for both (shipping and handling is included) made payable to:
Bill Welker
110 North Huron Street
Wheeling, West Virginia 26003
Phone: (304) 218-1950

Don't forget to send your return address and any personal note you want Bill Welker to write, with his autograph. He will accept requests until December 22, for The Wrestling Drill Book and/or DVD to arrive in your hands before Christmas!

Mat Message

"Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance."
-- Samuel Johnson

(Dr. Bill Welker can be reached via e-mail at: mattalkwv@hotmail.com)

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