Wrestling - Prepare for Referee Errors

Wrestling - Prepare for Referee Errors

Dick Moss

A wrestling referee's job is a difficult one. A study by the United States Wrestling Officials Association found that referees make as many as 95 decisions in a typical folkstyle match of three two-minute rounds. Of these decisions, over half are judgment calls.

The point is, errors are bound to happen and referee fatigue will increase as the tournament progresses.

Referee Error Strategy
Bill Perkins, a long-time referee and wrestling coach, freely admits that referees make mistakes. As a coach, he had a strategy for dealing with such anticipated errors. He told his wrestlers to always give the officials a "two-point error factor." That is, in every match, wrestlers should always assume the official will make a two-point close-call in their opponent's favour.

This built-in error factor accomplishes two things. First, it helps your wrestlers stay calm when a call goes against them. Second, it forces them to always maintain a lead large enough to overcome a bad call. This prevents your athletes from becoming complacent with only a one- or two-point lead.

Reference: Bill Perkins, "Learning from our mat mistakes." Ontario Wrestler, Spring 2007. With membership in the Ontario Amateur Wrestling Association http://www.oawa.ca


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