West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Unsportsmanlike Conduct

This year (1997-98) the National Federation has incorporated a new rule regarding the area of "unsportsmanlike conduct." It would be wise for everybody involved with wrestling to pay particular attention.

In the past, any wrestler or coach who was ejected from the premises for unsportsmanlike conduct was:
1. Removed for the duration of the dual meet.
2. Removed for the rest of that tournament session only.

Now, however, the rule state's as follows:
"Unsportsmanlike conduct by a wrestling prior to or after the conclusion of wrestling, and a coach at any time during the event, will result in the deduction of one team point for the first offense. On the second offense, the individual will be removed from the premises for the remainder of the day with an additional team-point deduction."

Here's an additional consequence that everyone should be aware of when competing in West Virginia. The West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission has taken this regulation a step further. If a wrestler or coach is removed from the facility for unsportsmanlike conduct, he is not permitted to participate any more in the that competition. Let's consider the following scenerio for a three day tournament: During a first-day session, a wrestler from TEAM A "bad mouths" the official after winning a very intense and controversial match. Consequently, the referee immediately penalizes him one team point for unsportsmanlike conduct. Later that night, the same contestant inappropriately screams at another official during the course of his teammate's match. This referee, in turn, hits this wrestler for unsportsmanlike conduct, deducts another team point, learns it's his second offense, and ejects the boy from the premises.

What does this mean? Well, the wrestler in question is eliminated from further competition in the entire tournament, even though he won his first match. Keep in mind, this Mountain State ruling also includes wrestlers from other states, including Ohio, who compete in West Virginia. So, it is imperative that wrestlers and coaches from surrounding states be cognizant of this fact. It could cost their team dearly in tournament competition.

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Updated March 24, 1998