Just so you won’t be disappointed or surprised…
So that no one will be disappointed or surprised at Regionals or State, here are a few things to be aware of:
1. An escape requires the defensive wrestler to achieve a NEUTRAL position. Please don’t say, “Isn’t that loss of control?” when the offensive wrestler is still exercising some restraining power over his opponent (e.g., still has one arm wrapped around the opponent’s leg during the escape attempt). The buzzer sounding or going out of bounds do not change the control status of the wrestlers. When you see the official holding out his arm for 30 seconds during the scramble and saying things like “No change, Green still in control” and then they go out of bounds, guess what? Green was still in control and we restart with Red on the bottom – no escape. An escape is not a consolation prize for a nice attempt or hard work on the part of the defensive wrestler. As long as the offensive wrestler demonstrates either restraining power or position of advantange, there is not a neutral positon and there is no escape. Please stop begging for that escape inappropriately.
2. That Under Armor hair cover with all of those logos is not legal. Come on the mat with one where multiple logos are visible and the official will kindly penalize you for a Technical Violation and throw in an injury time out to correct the problem. Take the whole 90 seconds if you wish. But, whatever you do, please do not complain or waste time saying things like, “He wore that last week”. If so, it was illegal last week too. And I don’t care if you think it is a dumb rule – it’s a rule, the coaches have known about it for years, and anyone stupid enough to show up on the mat with this particular violation deserves no sympathy.
3. Yes, it’s a Caution for assuming an incorrect starting position. But guess what – you get two Cautions before you ever get penalized a point. So calm down and simply correct your mistake and wait for the whistle. Don’t roll your eyes or make a disgusted expression on your face. If you are looking for someone to blame for that Caution, ask the referee and he will hand you a mirror – then you will be able to clearly see the face of the person who is to blame. This is totally within the control of the wrestler and it happens at a moment when no wrestling is taking place. Did I mention that it’s the end of the season? Why is it so hard for some people to do this very simple act correctly? It remains a mystery to me.
4. If you have a doctor’s note and it is not on the NFHS approved form, then don’t expect to wrestle that day. Your coach knows that the NFHS form is required. So have your angry dad settle this matter with the coach after you get disqualified at the weigh-in. And everyone else in the locker room can thank the official for saving them from catching that awful skin condition from the kid who was trying to use a bogus note. Cards and flowers are a nice gesture to express your appreciation to the referee.
5. If you choose to stay outside of the 10 foot circle when you could otherwise return to it, take your stall warning like a man. It is not an acceptable tactic to “play the edge”. Staying outside of the 10 foot circle is an easy stall call for the official. You are required, by rule, to be in the 10 foot circle when you have a chance to be there. That is the equivalent of the old “Prime Directive” from Star Trek. So, when the referee verbalizes to you, “CENTER CIRCLE”, I recommend you heed that advice. After you receive your stall warning, I bet the official won’t have to remind you any more about the requirement to stay in the center. Oh, and I bet we see a lot less out of bounds situations and a lot more scoring. Isn’t wrestling a fan friendly sport when there is more scoring? Yeah, it is.
6. Two people in the corner – that’s two human beings maximum. That doesn’t mean two coaches + the girl with the scorebook sitting next to the chairs + the videographer standing behind the coaches – it means two people. Your choice who they are. If the official penalizes the Head Coach for Unsportsmanlike Conduct when he sees more than 2 people, the Head Coach can rant on those deadbeats that got him in trouble in the first place. This rule has been around forever, so there’s no reason why anyone should violate it. Help your coach out by practicing some basic math – look in the chairs and count heads. When you reach “2”, turn around and return to the stands. It’s more fun to watch the action and cheer with the rest of your school’s delegation anyway.
7. Near fall criteria occurs when the shoulders are within 45 degrees of the mat. The official does not have protractor out there, but he can easily distinguish between 45 degrees and 80 degrees. When the opponents shoulders are only around 80 degrees, please don’t say things like “COUNT IT!” No one is trying to deny your wrestler near fall points – when they are truly earned. But, if you aren’t sure what 45 degrees looks like, then I recommend you stop at Fred Meyer on the way to the tournament and purchase a protractor – they are in the school supplies section and they only cost about 49 cents. Then, hold it up to your eye whenever the opponent starts getting turned. Maybe it will help.
All that being said, best of luck to all the wrestlers these next two weekends. And for the spectators, have fun – your sons and daughters have accomplished much to make it this far.