West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on the West Virginia "Sock Rule"

Sock it to them, but don't knock their socks off!

While officiating a match a few year's ago, a coach informed me that his wrestler's opponent was not wearing socks. Furthermore, this mentor brought to my attention a little known West Virginia rule in wrestling. It reads as follows:

In reference to the match noted above, I had to disqualify the offending wrestler when he was unable to procure socks in the allotted time. Needless to say, I wasn't too thrilled about making the call, but a rule is a rule.

One highly respected coach, with nearly 30 years of experience, has attempted to have this Mountain State regulation deleted over the years. His objections were in vain and the rule is still enforced to this day. Although he makes his matmen wear socks, he sees no valid reason for this ruling. One point made was the fact that surrounding states do not have such a regulation, and another was the point that there is no similar rule in the National Federation Wrestling Rulebook.

Personally, I believe that wearing socks does look much better. However, I also feel that wearing or not wearing socks has no effect on the outcome of a match.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

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