West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

...on the Unusual Wrestling Rules

As the West Virginia state rules interpreter, two interesting situations were brought to my attention. Allow me to explain.

What is the wrestling rule interpretation when Wrestler B is bleeding due to an infraction?

Let's consider the following hypothetical occurrence.
Wrestler A applies a crossface counter with excessive force and is penalized for unnecessary roughness. Wrestler B's nose is bleeding due to the infraction.
Three questions were posed regarding this action:

1) Would Wrestler B receive recovery time for the bleeding?
2) Does Wrestler B win if the bleeding can not be checked in the required amount of time?
3) What happens if the nose starts bleeding after wrestling has resumed?

First, Wrestler B would have to use blood time, which has a five-minute limit. Secondly, if Wrestler B cannot stop the bleeding within the five-minute time period, he would win the match by default due to unnecessary roughness.

The answer to the third question is a bit more complicated. Let's say Wrestler B checked the bleeding using 4 minutes and 30 seconds of his blood time. He starts wrestling again, but a little later his nose starts bleeding again. Wrestler B now only has 30 seconds to check the bleeding. If he is unable to do so, Wrestler A would win the match by default.

Since Wrestler B was able to compete after the unnecessary roughness penalty, the infraction is no longer in play later in the match.

Yes, I know that the nose bleed was initially caused by an illegal act. But that doesn't matter. The present rule is clear on this point. The regulation can only be changed by the National Federation rules committee, with input from wrestling coaches and officials across the United States.

Wrestler A applies an illegal full nelson and the official immediately stops the match. In the process, Wrestler B reinjures his ankle, which was not caused by the full nelson. What's the call?

Of course, Wrestler B would receive a point for the illegal maneuver. As for his injury, Wrestler B would have to his "injury time," which is one and a half minutes. (Note: If the injury was caused by an illegal hold, Wrestler B would have utilized recover time of two minutes.) Now should Wrestler B not be able to continue after the injury time expired, Wrestler A would the win. Remember, the illegal full nelson did not cause the injury.

To be totally honest, rarely does this situation ever take place, but it can happen. A very tough call for the official to make.

In sum, there are a number of unusual interpretations in wrestling. So, before you give the referee heck for a call he made, be sure you know the rule. You could easily end up eating crow.

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