This weekend while watching a match I saw a referee make a mistake.
The coach respectfully argued for his wrestler to no avail.
After reviewing the video at home the mistake was confirmed.
The real news flash for many in the wrestling community...
The wrong call was made, the call cost a wrestler the match... but, life continued on... the sun still rose the next day just like it always does.
We are a passionate group in the wrestling community. Sometimes our emotions can blind us to the fact that a ref can and will make a mistake.
A mistake can come at a crucial time during a match but cool heads all around and respect for the sport must prevail from coaches to wrestlers to fans and parents and from the refs themselves.
Remember that many wrestling calls are a judgment call. Those calls are made in a split second. There is not instant replay for most circumstances in wrestling with certain national events and large tourneys being the exceptions.
With the freestyle and greco season coming soon there will be many less experienced parent/coaches and ref's with less knowledge of all the rules.
Mistakes will be made by ref's and coaches alike.
Here are some of the things I have learned from coaching over the years-
* Be respectful at the table with ref's and scoring officials while trying to overturn a call.
* Read the rule book and have a copy of it will you.
* Make the case for overturning the call and then most importantly - Respect the final outcome of the call being overturned or not being overturned.
* Keep in mind many of the calls are judgement calls and are based on what a ref saw at that split second. A good way to find out why a call went a certain way is to ask the ref what they saw while making the call. This may not change the call, but will help you coach and inform your wrestlers of what to expect if a ref sees things happen a certain way during a match.
* Did I mention respect? Emotions can cloud judgement. Be respectful and demand that your wrestlers and parents and fans are respectful as well.
In my experience overwhelmingly most referees are very respectful and do a wonderful job but I do have some advice for refs as well-
* Understand that a coach or coach/parent arguing for a call may be emotional. Your emotional control may calm all involved.
* Be prepared to explain why you made a call.
* Listen carefully to what is being challenged and be open to correcting a mistake. Yes, even you as a knowledgeable ref may have made a mistake.