West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Humor in Wrestling

The present ruling for determining the position of each wrestler in the second and third periods has caused some very humorous situations. To refresh your memories, the wrestler who has the choice in the second period may select top, bottom, neutral, or defer. Now these options have confused wrestlers, coaches, and even officials through the years. Consider the following two humorous examples.

As is the referee's duty, I was explaining this procedure to one wrestling team as part of my pre-match duties. Likewise, the coach added, "Now boys, be careful to use the right words when you have the choice, and look over at me for instructions before making your selection." Well, during the course of the dual meet, one of his wrestlers glanced at this coach for advice on what to choose. Immediately, the mentor yelled as loudly as he could, "Takedowns! "Takedowns!" The wrestler then terned to me and firmly asserted, "Mr. Official, sir, I'll take DOWN!"

Officials are making mistakes, too. Recently, when giving one wrestler his options, the referee said, " Son, you have the choice of top, bottom, neutral, or REEFER (when he meant to say defer)." The perplexed wrestler quickly responded with a one word question, "What?!?" Actually, the official was lucky the matman didn't say, "Hey, ref, I don't smoke that stuff; I'm an athlete!" Oh yes, today's wrestling authorities (along with their other responsibilities) must also become experts in the field of linguistics!

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Updated January 3, 1999