West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker
National Wrestling Hall of Famer

Figure Four

Today's column is probably going to shock you. The following wrestling scenario will prove my point.

Wrestler A shoots in for a double leg takedown. Wrestler B, in order to stop the takedown, executes a figure four around Wrestler A's head. In reference to the rules of wrestling, Wrestler B is committing a technical violation.

Now let us return to the match. Wrestler A is given the opportunity to complete his takedown in this situation. As he is about to score, Wrestler A wrenches his neck and the referee stops the match. The injury is so severe that Wrestler A can not continue the match. Who wins the bout - Wrestler A or Wrestler B, who committed the technical violation?

Did you pick Wrestler A due to Wrestler B's technical violation infraction? If you did, YOU'RE WRONG!

How could that be!

Well, Rule 8-2-2 specifically states that if a wrestler is hurt (and can't continue) due to an illegal hold, unsportsmanlike conduct, or unnecessary roughness, he wins the match. Notice that technical violations are not mentioned in this rule. That's why in our aforementioned scenario Wrestler B was declared the winner.

Should this rule be changed? Absolutely!

Allow me to digress a bit at this point.

Years ago the figure four around the body was also a technical violation. Unfortunately, wrestlers were getting hurt when the body figure four was applied. And if they couldn't continue, these same mat men lost by default.

Addressing this problem, the National Federation rules committee wisely changed the figure four around the body to an illegal hold, rather than a technical violation. Thus, they eliminated this unfair situation.

In my opinion, the rules committee should do the same for the figure four around the head in the neutral position as well.

At the end of each wrestling season, anyone involved in middle or high school wrestling can fill out a "Rule Change Proposal Form," which is first sent to the state athletic association. It is then mailed to the National Federation in Indianapolis, Indiana for their consideration.

Personally, I believe that any technical violation that involves a wrestling hold should be changed to an illegal maneuver.

Needless to say, as the West Virginia state rules interpreter, I will be proposing that such a change is made with the figure four when applied around the head in the neutral position.

Should the National Federation rules committee reject my proposal, there is another simple solution to the problem. All they would have to do is to include technical violations in Rule 8-2-2, along with illegal holds, unsportsmanlike conduct, and unnecessary roughness.

What do you think?

Escapes and Reversals

The wrestler in control or on top is referred to as the offensive wrestler while the wrestler on bottom is the defensive wrestler.

Keep in mind, only the defensive wrestler can score an escape or reversal.

The Escape: For the bottom man to score an escape, he must place himself in the neutral position, causing his opponent to lose control.

The defensive wrestler may also be awarded an escape going out-of-bounds if his adversary is in-bounds at the completion of the move.

The official will indicate one point for the wrestler who earns an escape.

The stand-up, forward or granby roll, sit-out turn-in or sit-out turn-out are examples of common escape maneuvers.

The Reversal:

The defensive wrestler may procure a reversal by moving from the bottom position, gaining control of his opponent either on the mat or on their feet.

Like the escape, a reversal can be obtained crossing the out-of-bounds line if one of the wrestlers is still in-bounds at the completion of the move.

The official will indicate two points for a reversal.

The switch, side roll, and Peterson roll are examples of common reversal maneuvers.

Remember, one match point is given for an escape and two match points are awarded for a reversal.

Mini-Mat Quiz

Q: The bottom man maneuvers to his feet and executes a standing switch, spinning behind and controlling his opponent while both wrestlers were still on their feet. Would the bottom wrestler be credited with an escape or reversal.
A: The referee would award a two-point reversal because the bottom wrestler gained control of his opponent while they were both on their feet.
(Important Note: In the neutral position, if a wrestler employed a takedown move, maneuvering behind his adversary, he would have to bring his opponent to the mat for takedown points to be awarded. Why? It's the rule for takedowns. Go figure.)

OVAC Joe Thomas Wrestling Warrior

Coach Joe Thomas OVAC Wrestling Warrior of the Week is John Marshall's junior Monarch 140-pound wrestler Dalton Hall.

Last year, Dalton's record was 31-16. He placed 8th in the Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Tournament and 3rd in the Region I AAA championships, which qualified him for the West Virginia states.

This year Dalton Hall holds a 22-2 record, placing 3rd in the Brooke Classic. He was undefeated in the Park Duals (8-0) and was 4-1 at the Meadowbrook Duals. Dalton currently has 65 career victories.

Congratulations are extended to Dalton Hall - this week's OVAC Wrestling Warrior.

The OVAC Mark Gerrity Wrestling Fan of the Week is John Marshall's KENNY SIMMONS. Kenny is an avid "Monarch" sports fan who rarely misses a wrestling match. With three sons who coach in Marshall County, Kenny says, "I love all sports, but wrestling is the greatest."

The Deaton-Regis Weekly Dual Meet Predictions

There are no dual meet predictions this week because of the gigantic Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Tournament to be held at the Wesbanco Arena on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Don't miss the excitement!

Mat Message

"I did my best teaching when I made the students laugh."
-- Bill Welker
(Dr. Bill Welker can be reached via e-mail at: mattalkwv@hotmail.com)

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