West Virginia Wrestling

The "Stall Procedure: Revised" in West Virginia, 1999-2000

by Dr. Bill Welker, WVSSAC Rules Interpreter

The 1998-99 "Stall Procedure" National Federation (NF) pilot study in West Virginia was a dramatic change for penalizing stalling in wrestling. Instead of earning point(s) during the penalty stage, choice of position was awarded to the offended wrestler. (See the November 1998 issue of the WVSSAC's THE INTERSCHOL4STIC for further details on the original "Stall Procedure" concept, p. 57.)

At the end of the 1998-99 wrestling season, all junior and senior high school wrestling coaches were canvassed, as well as the state's wrestling officials. It was determined that although the respondents liked the "choice of position" after the warning stage, the majority wanted point-penalties to follow. With the approval of the WV Wrestling Coaches Committee, below are the revisions and rationale for the "Stall Procedure: Revised" during the 1999-2000 wrestling season.

The Stall Procedure: Revised The following is the "Stall Procedure: Revised" Progressive Penalty Chart:

(S) Warning
(T) Choice of Position
(A) One Penalty Point
(L) Two Penalty Points
(L) Disqualification

Points of Emphasis

1. The "Stall Procedure: Revised" will be separate from the regular progressive penalty chart, which includes illegal holds, technical violations, unnecessary roughness, and unsportsmanlike conduct during a match. Thus, the letters of STALL, along with the choice of position and point(s) awarded will be circled on the score sheet. We contend that because stalling is so subjective and virtually no two officials ever call stalling the same, it would not be part of the regular progressive penalty chart.

2. Double stalling has been reinstated with the new revision.

3. There will be no stalling in the "Tiebreaker." Instead, quick stalemates will be indicated when the top wrestler appears to be hanging on, rather than riding or pinning his opponent.

Rationale for original and revised "Stall Procedure"

WRESTLER CONCERNS -- Too often over the years we have witnessed the problem of the questionable second "stalling call" indicated late in the third period, costing one of the wrestlers the match or taking it into Overtime.

Secondly, there is the "Tiebreaker" dilemma in which officials are only thinking of calling the top wrestler for stalling, and he most likely lost the coin toss. We believe that the quick stalemate is a much more equitable approach.

COACH CONCERNS -- Many coaches perceive officials as having too much power regarding stalling during close matches. They believe that officials often become the focal point of matches, not the wrestlers, due to last-second "iffy" stalling calls.

OFFICIAL CONCERNS -- The majority of officials feel there is too much pressure on them to make that second "tough" stalling call that could determine the match. With the original and revised "Stall Procedure, officials are more apt to make that second stalling call, knowing the wrestlers will decide the match themselves by scoring the final point(s) -- not the officials.

Rationale for revising the original Stall Procedure

With the original "Stall Procedure," we neglected to take into account coaching or wrestler tactics toward the end of the third period. There were isolated incidents where a wrestler blatantly stalled, knowing no points would ever be awarded to his opponent. The "Stall Procedure: Revised" should resolve this problem.

Below is a scorekeeping example of a "Stall Procedure: Revised" simulated wrestling match.

NOTE: In reference to double stalling, the following interpretations shall apply:

1. If both wrestlers are penalized for stalling at the "position choice" level, (T), neither wrestler would receive a choice of position.

2. If both wrestlers are penalized for stalling -- Wrestler A with a (T) and Wrestler B with an (A), Wrestler B would be given choice of position and Wrestler A would earn one match point.

At the conclusion of the 1999-2000 wrestling season, the coaches and officials will again be sent a detailed questionaire to evaluate the "Stall Procedure: Revised," comparing it to the original "Stall Procedure" and the traditional stalling set-up. The results of this two-year pilot study will then be forwarded to the National Federation Wrestling Committee for their consideration.

Hopefully, this innovative "stalling" experiment, with the steadfast support of the WV Secondary Schools Activities Commission, will ultimately benefit all wrestlers throughout the United States.

(Editor's Note: Should you want any further information regarding the "Stall Procedure: Revised," you are encourage to write Dr. Bill Welker at 110 North Huron Street, Wheeling, West Virginia 26003. Dr. Welker can also be contacted by e-mail directed to this website at wrestle@wvmat.com).

Return to the WV-Mat front page