West Virginia Wrestling


Dr. Bill Welker, Mat Talk Columnist, was commissioned by the American Sports Education Program (ASEP), a division of Human Kinetics Publishing, as a consultant in developing a wrestling officials on-line course. It is being created under the auspices of the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations (NFHS).

Welker's responsibilities included reviewing and editing the lesson units of the course, including the official-students' final examination. He also had to develop three simulated matches.

After editing the matches, ASEP flew in a director and camera crew from Champaign, Illinois to videotape the matches at Oak Glen High School. Welker served as the wrestling technique, official mechanics, and match-scoring advisor. The match actors included Abbie Rush, Ronnie Green, and Bryce Rush from Wheeling Park and Ethan Dray, Joel Timmons, and TJ Osbon from Oak Glen. Ultra-successful Oak Glen coach, Larry Shaw, also shared his expertise in the production of the bouts. Ray Marling and Chris Diserio served as the match officials.

The Wrestling Officials On-Line Course is scheduled to hit the market by next fall. The educational device will be an interactive program in which new and experienced officials will have the opportunity to increase their knowledge of the rules and improve their officiating mechanics on the mats.

The NFHS intends to make this course part of the curriculum for more thoroughly preparing new officials in the art and science of refereeing.

Welker, a NFHS Distinguished Official, is no novice at developing learning programs. He has directed and produced two videos for officials and rule improvement: The Baker's Dozen of Difficult Calls in Wrestling and The Stall Procedure. Besides the over 500 Mat Talk columns he has written over the last 28 years, Welker has penned a computer-assisted book titled Wrestling: Sports Officials Applied Skills and Knowledge. Most recently, Welker edited and authored the newest instructional mat-sport book on the national market: The Wrestling Drill Book.

Welker, a former Pennsylvania State Champion, still assumes the duties as state rules interpreter and clinician for the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission, a position he has held since 1989. He and his wife, Peggy, are the proud parents of four children and 10 grandchildren. They have had their residence on Wheeling Island (Wheeling, WV) since 1972.

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Updated March 25, 1999