West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

I am a sport fan!

Wrestling is the sport that I truly love. So, if you want to talk to me about other sports, you picked the wrong man. I only know about wrestling; that's why I have been writing this column for nearly 30 years, without monetary compensation. In essence, it truly is a labor of love for me.

Don't get me wrong. I am interested in the sports programs of five colleges - WVU, Ohio State, Pitt, Penn State, and any team that competes against . . . well, I won't say. You'd have to ask me, personally. Other than that, I'm lost.

As far as the professional sports go, I'm as loyal to the teams as most of their players are. And their loyalty is to how huge their bank accounts can become, jumping from team to team in search of the biggest paycheck.

Likewise, I have a problem with guys who are outstanding athletes, and don't get it. Like, count your blessings, men, you have been given a gift from God - natural talent! There are many, many athletes who have worked as hard as you, even harder, but don't have the tools to reach your level of competitive ability. Count your blessings.

Then to make matters worse many of them intentionally demean the opponents they play during the rigors of competition. No respect at all for the efforts of their athletic adversaries. This, of course, sooner or later comes back to haunt them as well. Still, it appalls me as a former athlete who always respected my opponents, win or lose.

Likewise, I am always taken back by the way some professional team-sport athletes act when they score. These guys are suppose to be the best in their athletic fields of endeavor.

Consider pro gridiron players. You would think when they scored points, they would act like they "did it before," graciously handing the ball over to the official . . . instead of prancing and dancing all over the place.

I guess it is my wrestling background. There is a mutual respect for fellow wrestlers that is nonpareil in other sports. If you never trained to wrestle competitively and experienced an all-out high school six-minute match, I'm afraid you would not know what I'm talking about.

All I can tell you is that wrestlers respect each other because they know the deep sacrifice and dedication their opponents have also endured. That's why wrestlers are a humble, but proud breed of athletes. Furthermore, they do it for the sincere love of wrestling, knowing that there is no true professional arena in their mat-sport futures.

Yes, I am a sport fan.

Technical Violations (Part Two)

The are seven technical violations in wrestling. Today we will discuss the last four technical violations. All but one technical violation (Incorrect Starting Position or False Starts) are penalized via the progressive penalty chart in the following manner:

" 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

Let's now take a look at the last four technical violations: Interlocking or Overlapping Hands, Figure Four Head Scissors in the Neutral Position, Reporting to the Mat Not Ready to Wrestle, and the Incorrect Starting Position or False Start.

Interlocking or Overlapping Hands

The top or offensive wrestler can only lock hands around his opponent's body or both legs when he is scoring near-fall points, or his opponent stands up with all his weight on his feet. Now should the defensive or bottom man score points while the top man commits this technical violation, he would receive all the points he scored plus a penalty point(s) for the violation.

Note, the official can only stop the match if he feels the bottom man can not score escape or reversal points due to the interlocking or overlapping hands technical violation.

Figure Four Head Scissors in the Neutral Position

The figure four head scissors is a technical violation in the neutral position when applied to stop his opponent from scoring a takedown. The referee-protocol for this infraction would be the same as the interlocking or overlapping hands technical violation.

Reporting to the Mat Not Ready to Wrestle

A wrestler must be properly attired and ready to wrestle when call to the mat by the official, or he will be penalized with a technical violation. He also loses one of his two time-outs. If he cannot rectify the problem regarding his attire within the one minute and thirty required or his opponent wins by default.

Incorrect Starting Position or False Start

It is a technical violation for a wrestler to assume an incorrect starting position in the neutral or referee's position. The also includes false starts in both positions. Note, unlike the other six technical violations, the first two incidents in this category are merely cautioned (the referee forms a "C" with his hand). The penalty is enforced on the third incident. Furthermore, this is the only technical violation that is not included in the progressive penalty. One penalty point is always awarded for this technical violation, no matter how often it occurs in a match.

Mini-Mat Quiz

Q: At the start of the match with no score, Wrestler A applies a figure four head scissors to stop Wrestler B from taking him down. Wrestler B does score the takedown. How many points will Wrestler B be awarded?

A: Wrestler B would earn three match points - two for the takedown and one for the technical violation.

The Joe Thomas OVAC Wrestling Warrior

Coach Joe Thomas OVAC Wrestling Warrior of the Week is Cameron's Tevin Hall, who wrestles at the 112-pound weight class. A freshman, Tevin presently has a 31-4 record. This Dragon grappler placed 3rd at the OVACs, 3rd at the West Mifflin Tournament, 3rd at the Berkeley Springs Invitational, and first at both the Cameron Tri-State and River Championships.

Congratulations are extended to Tevin Hall - this week's Joe Thomas OVAC Wrestling Warrior.

Mat Message

"The first period is won by the best technician. The second period is won by the kid in the best shape. The third period is won by the kid with the biggest heart."
-- Dan Gable

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

Return to the West Virginia Mat Thoughts Index Page
Return to the WV-Mat front page