West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

Flagrant Misconduct

Last year, I had a discussion with a friend who felt that the "Flagrant Misconduct" rule in wrestling was far too stringent. The rule is quite simple - you fight, you're done. Furthermore, two team points are deducted and any other points the wrestler scored for the team in tournament competition.

Because I knew he was so wrong and also knew that the rule worked exremely well in our very physical sport, I did not feel the need to debate the subject with him. Afterall, he thought fighting was a traditional and an accepted part of ice hockey.

I do not believe that there is another sport that involves so much athletic agility, skill, and physical prowess as hockey does. To be able to skate on ice and perform the manual dexterity that these athletes perform is absolutely amazing to me. But don't tell me that fighting is part of a sport that's not boxing or any of the martial arts.

If fighting was an essential facet of ice hockey, couldn't you score points doing so? Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that high school and college ice hockey players who fight during the contest are expelled from the competition. So why don't they always remove professional ice hockey players for fighting? Could it be that the fans are amused by it? I'll let you answer that question.

My friend further stated that it was okay to fight in ice hockey, stressing that it was brought on by the "heat of the moment" associated with the sport. I do not believe he truly understood the athletic background of who he was talking to. Any wrestler who has ever competed intensely in a match knows the meaning of the "heat of the moment," and they don't wear any protective gear other than ear guards. (In the years that I competed, we weren't even required to wear them.) But fighting has never been part of this very, very intense and physical individual sport. And it will never be tolerated.

Any one who won states in wrestling during my time in my high school had to go through four weekends (one month) of grueling competition and could not lose. I know, through personal experience, there have been many emotional "heat of the moment" situations. However, part of wrestling is a total discipline of both the mind and body. To fight not only costs a wrestler the match, but also demonstrates a weakness in character.

Sports prepare athletes for the challenges of life. How one handles the emotional pressure in sports as a youth is a strong barometer of how he or she will face the stress of adult living.

Unnecessary Roughness
Any intentional act that is hazardous to an opponent's physical well being is considered unnecessary roughness. Furthermore, if a hold is utilized for the sole purpose of punishment alone, the referee may see fit to declare unnecessary roughness.

Such offenses as striking, pushing, shoving, a swinging crossface, elbowing, and forceful tripping are just some examples of this infraction.

The normal progression of penalties is as follows:
     " First Offense: One match point for the opponent      " Second Offense: One match point for the opponent      " Third Offense: Two Match points for the opponent      " Fourth Offense: Disqualification

Please note, if an official believes the infraction to be totally inexcusable, he can invoke the "flagrant misconduct" rule.

The flagrant misconduct results in the immediate and automatic disqualification of the wrestler. He is penalized three team points and if it is in a tournament, he losses all team points scored in the event, including placement points.

Certainly, a sucker punch to the jaw or head butt would come under the flagrant misconduct category.

Mini-Mat Quiz

Q: Wrestler A shoots a hard double-leg, causing Wrestler B to hit his head on the mat forcefully when taken down. The match had to be stopped to check on Wrestler B's physical well being. Would this be considered unnecessary roughness on the part of Wrestler A?
A: Wrestler A would not be penalized for unnecessary roughness. A hard double-leg takedown is a perfectly legal maneuver, similar to a hard tackle in football.

OVAC Joe Thomas Wrestling Warrior
Coach Joe Thomas OVAC Wrestling Warrior of the Week is John Marshall's 160-pounder Seth Skrypek. Seth placed 5th in the 2006 OVACs and had an 8-1 record at the Park Duals. This Monarch wrestler has won 30 matches thus far this season.

Last year, Skrypek won 29 matches at 140 pounds. He placed 5th in the OVACs, 4th in Regionals, qualifying him for the West Virginia State Championships. Seth Skrypek was also a West Virginia Academic All-State wrestler in 2005.

Congratulations are extended to John Marshall's Seth Skrypek - this week's OVAC Wrestling Warrior.

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 dual meets featured matches are John Marshall at Parkersburg South (Wed.) and Buckeye Local at Steubenville (Wed.)

Deaton picks Parkersburg South over John Marshall 48-12 and Buckeye Local over Steubenville 44-19.
Regis calls Parkersburg South over John Marshall 50-14 and Buckeye Local over Steubenville 37-11.

Mat Message
"The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves."
-- William Penn

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

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Updated March 25, 1999