... on Official Errors
Coaches make mistakes, wrestlers error, and officials blunder, too! So, wrestlers, how can you compensate for potential refereeing mistakes? Listen carefully.
As a coach, I told all my matmen to wrestle as though they were two points behind to take into account the possibility of what I call the "Official's Two-Point Error Factor."
What I am trying to say is that a wrestler should never expect any favors from the referee during a match. As a matter of fact, he should assume just the opposite--and that is the official will make at least one (two-point), close call which will probably go against him. By doing so, the wrestler sees to it that he has a big enough lead to protect against any questionable decisions made by the "ref."
As I have previously mentioned in this column, officials (like coaches and their athletes) fall short of perfection--even the best of them. It can not be helped; it is the price we pay for being human. So to play it safe, pretend that you are losing by two points before the match even starts. This will spare you from the problem of "official bloopers."
In conclusion, by wrestling aggressively and by taking advantage of every scoring opportunity, you will seldom have to concern yourself with errors made by the referee. Yes, by keeping in mind the "Official's Two-Point Error Factor," you will always have a "defense mechanism" to guard you against unusual or unique judgment calls in wrestling. Dan Gable lived by this maxim, and you should, too!
Updated March 13, 1999