Many times I have heard a parent or coach ask that question. This is an attempt to try to explain what a ref is looking for depending on the situation. The question that needs asked is: Sir….what was your criteria for that call?
It is all about gaining control, losing control, and changing control.
In the “nanoseconds” that a referee has to make a call….they have to take into account many different factors. These factors are merely indicators that there may or may not be scoring taking place. When all these factors are added up…they become the criteria for deciding if there has been a score, or not. These criteria are the basis for all decisions.
Here are some of the questions that refs ask themselves for different situations.
Did everyone see what the ref saw? There are always different views depending where you are, and who you are.
- When is control established? Usually when 2 of 3 supporting points are on the mat beyond reaction time.
- In or out of bounds? Two supporting points or either wrestler is considered being inbounds.
- Is control established beyond reaction time? The wrestler must have control on the mat.
- Was dominant position established? This is when one wrestler has maintained control over the other.
- Is it a stalemate? If neither can improve their position, it is a stalemate, if neither wants to improve their position, it is stalling.
- What changed? Sometimes a ref will wait to see if anything further develops, sometimes nothing changes and that is why a takedown is given.
- Did the feet finish inbounds? Inbounds or out of bounds are determined by this sometimes.
- Is the weight borne and forward? Weight forward shows dominant control beyond reaction time.
- Was there a counter involved? Continuing action with counters must be allowed to finish. Escapes:
- When was the neutral position established? Turn and able to defend oneself beyond reaction time.
- When was control lost? Control could be re-gained if the other wrestler was not free beyond reaction time.
- Was it inbounds or out? The feet, knees and supporting points play a factor here.
- Where are the hands? In a “bear hug”, if the hands break and move past the mid point of the back, it is an escape.
- Did the wrestler decide to go for a reversal versus an escape? This is a tough call.
- When was control lost and then gained? This is all about control.
- Was control maintained beyond reaction time?
- Rear standing with control? All the bottom man has to do is get behind the other guy while standing and he has a standing reversal.
- Was control established inbounds? It might be just an escape and not a reversal. Near Fall’s:
- Is control established? Did the ref let it settle in?
- Who put who where? Determining control is crucial.
- Is my count fast or slow? One thousand one etc. etc. etc.
- When does the criteria end? Same pinning situation determines that it is the same count.
- Is it the same move? Look for a base being established.
- Is it a bridgeback in a body scissors and what the heck is that anyway?
- Is it a double cradle? Once a cradle is established, the first wrestler can be pinned, but not lose control.
- When are they inbounds? If everything but the two shoulders or scapula is in, they are inbounds.
- What is the score? 15-point difference, match is over.
- What action will cease wrestling? Takedown straight to the back, wrestling continues.
- Can the kid with a TF lose the match? Yes if he commits Flagrant Misconduct.
- Is the ref positioned to see it? Sometimes being behind gives a better view.
- What constitutes a fall? The pinning area is actually huge, from top of shoulders to almost mid way down the back (scapula). Shoulders do not have to be on the
mat for a fall.
- Is it a defensive fall? Top kid shoulders/scapula is on the mat beyond 2 seconds, it is a defensive fall.
Coaches and Parents sometimes tend to see things through their heart and not their eyes.
- Copyright 2012 Frederick Feeney
About Frederick Feeney: With 25 years’ experience, Fred is a respected wrestling referee at both the high school and college levels. He is a member of the CDWOA, NWOA and is the President and Founder of the MSWOA. Fred also was
a FILA official until he retired from FS/GR in 2007. He is a certified OHSAA wrestling instructor and has taught 2 classes a year for the past 15 years. He is a moderator on several popular wrestling discussion forums, and has written numerous papers and articles on the mechanics of officiating as well as the personal inside stories as to what officiating is really about. 5 states have invited Fred to present his insightful mechanics presentation, “Are You a Duck?” to their wrestling officials. Fred’s in-depth experience encompasses both scholastic and collegiate levels, having worked the prestigious NWCA National Duals, The Midlands, The Cliff Keene Las Vegas Tournament, plus many top level D1 dual matches. Fred works primarily the Big Ten Conference, along with M.A.C., O.A.C., and G.L.I.A.C. matches. His post season work has included 10 OHSAA State Wrestling Tournaments, the Senior Nationals, several NAIA Nationals, 14 NCAA Division III Championships and 4 NCAA II Championship finals.
Fred and his wife reside in Dublin, Ohio