It’s The Ref? Really?


February 21, 2011 by David Gillaspie

Make The Call

An Age Old Sport, An Age Old Problem

If you’re a young wrestler in your first regional meet going against the host school’s varsity guy, don’t expect the call when it’s close.

What if you’ve got a near-wrist and working toward pulling your opponents arm out to bar and you get called for stalling?

You don’t get dinged a point without a warning.  The ref is sending a message, kick it into high gear.

Listen to your coach.

What do you do if you’re behind in the last round but you’re turning a guy for the winning points when time runs out?

Are you really watching the clock that closely while you’re cranking on your guy?

Let your coach sort it out.  If the coach accepts the call and walks away, go with him.

The ref has his job to do, so let him do it.  You have yours.

What is the ref’s job?  Score a match fairly.  Keep the competitors on the mat safe.

What’s your job?  Start by wrestling well enough to keep the ref out of it.  All you want him to do is blow his whistle and raise your arm at the end of a match.

If you have a close call on the edge, take it to center.

If you have a close call with time running out, start earlier.

The ref isn’t there to fix a match because he has a grudge against your school, your coach, or your dad.  He’s not there to make calls against you because he has a son who refuses to wrestle, a wife who dumped him for someone from your town, or because he got bad calls when he wrestled.

Why then?

Like you’ve probably heard, the ref is human.  He’ll make the right calls and the wrong calls.  When he’s on the mat, he’s the man with the say so.

You on the other hand are on the mat to make sure the ref doesn’t have a chance to make the questionable call.

Do it by circling the center of the mat. 

If your opponent can’t do much more than push you around and you get to the edge, make the pivot that takes him out first.

If your opponent doesn’t do much more on top than saw the back of your neck, and you get called for stalling when you’re on top for digging out an arm, break out the saw.

If your opponent shoots and you get warned for stalling because you can’t spin on him and he won’t stop driving, then push his head down with your right and hand and snake your left under his right shoulder to grip your own right wrist.  Everytime he drives his head dips, which means you’re doing more than just holding on.

Your guy might lunge forward at the right time your pressure is strongest and flip himself to his back.

If you’ve got your guy in a pinning head and arm, but he’s so strong he flops toward the edge with each bridge, guide him back to the center and hang on.  One of you will get tired first, probably him.

Maybe you’ve got a guy you beat before in overtime and you’re planning a close match again.  Talk strategy with your coach and teammates.  If that’s not enough, do this:

After the handshake start chopping his arms down with each reach.  Grab a two on one.  Do an outside drag and push that elbow.  Stay busy on the mat and push to get in close.

Once you’re in close lower your elevation to pick a knee.  Avoid the dive bomber shot with your arms out.  Show the ref you understand his tough job and be the aggressor.

If you mix it up from the start, the ref will remember at the end.  When he calls it your way for the win, let the other guy complain.

“The ref made a bad call.”

“Really?  Should I call the waaaambulance?”


4 thoughts on “It’s The Ref? Really?

  1. Nick says:

    Great post!

  2. Terry Thomas says:

    nice touch.. but there were times when the ref. could have seen it my way.

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