Refs calling stalling is too subjective, especially when both wrestlers seem to want to go straight to the edge.
The old freestyle rules had a warning zone at the edge of the mat and if you ended up there you had so many seconds to work your way out.
At least that is my memory of the rules... Judo also used to have a similar rule
I acknowledge that sometimes both wrestlers prefer to be close to the edge, so they can get off, if they're in trouble. But, if you have a wrestler that really wants to wrestle in the center of the mat, once the other wrestler starts backing off--let the aggressive wrestler quickly go back to the center. If the other guy keeps backing off when the first wrestler is consistently going back to the center--hit him with stalling!
With the old freestyle rules (seems they change so often that all rules are old rules) if Blue backed into the warning zone, the ref would call"zone blue," indicating that Blue had to wrestle back onto the mat, but I don't remember what happened if Blue ignored the warning.
Atrophy: what you get when you win atournament.
I believe the reason freestyle did away with penalties for stalling is because it can be pretty arbitrary. On the international stage there is enough mistrust and allegations of corruption gong on already, without given the officials any more power. Hence the push-out rule, which is more black and white. (Though even in modern freestyle you can be cautioned if you actively avoid wrestling by running away).
I think my rule has the following advantages for improving folkstyle wrestling:
a) by making it easier to score on an offensive move, you encourage wrestlers to attack more.
b) encouraged throws, which everyone likes to see.
Keep in mind, I'm not talking about full exposure points, but a situation where wrestler A holds wrestler B on his back, but B is grabbing onto a leg or something and no control points are awarded. It seems wrong that holding someone's ankles or putting them in a tripod (which is neither taking them "down" in the strict sense of the word not putting them in a pinning position) awards you a takedown, while holding someone on their back (in which they are "down" and in fact reasonably close to being pinned) does not (or sometimes does not) award you one.
I was listening to a 99% invisible podcast today and they were talking about how the 24-second shot clock literally saved basketball and made it one of the behemoths of the sports world today. None of us like to admit it, but wrestling, as a sport, is dying. I've always been a traditionalist when it comes to rule changes, etc., but I think we're at a cross-roads where we need to do some radical things to make this more palpitable for casual viewers.
I'm sure this has been proposed before, but what if we were to institute a shot clock for wrestling? You either make an offensive move (i.e. attempt a throw or take a real, full shot) within 15 seconds or you are penalized one point. This still leaves some time to set up some moves and ties, certainly not a lot of time, but enough that it doesn't totally ruin the integrity of the sport. I realize that this is perhaps just another take on stalling calls, but stalling calls are too subjective in my mind. This would certainly drive the action; just imagine a heavyweight match with this rule in place.