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Poor Officiating: Revisiting Zeerip vs Heflin

Before instant replay. This is the worst case scenario. 

Before instant replay. This is the worst case scenario. 

After we did a piece on the Grajales vs Alton crazy match we got several feedbacks that included the Zeerip vs Heflin match. This match can be found by googling "worst wrestling official". Before the luxury of instant replay, this match found its way in to collegiate wrestling lore with about as much confusion as it gets. 

It was February 3rd, 2012, and Michigan was visiting Ohio State in their annual Big Ten dual. The match had gone through the 1st overtime period in to the 30 second tiebreakers. Heflin ends up on top in the first go and Zeerip catches a foot for a unique situation. The ref goes to give 2 reversal but quickly waves it off, gives 1 escape, and then 2 takedown. The announcers agree to the score being 5-2 once they see the first replay of the situation on their monitors. Again, this is before the refs have that luxury. It's quite possibly the reason the Big Ten went to experimentally using it in their conference matches the next season.

Somehow the head ref gets confused (quite possibly from the assistant ref saying something as soon as the period is done) and says he waved off the reversal so it was 1 escape Zeerip, forgetting that Zeerip spent the last 10 seconds on top. They arrive at 1 escape green which is about the only conclusion they couldn't come to with Zeerip ending the period on top. 5, 3, and 2 are all possibilities but not 1. 

Honestly, I do not blame the head ref that much for this. I have seen him officiate many times and he is a good ref. The only thing I really don't like is the wave off of points. It's simple, don't call points till you see it in folkstyle. If you called it, there's a reason and 99% of the time that was the right call. The wave off is what causes the initial confusion. After that, the assistant ref and the table help are there to help after a flurry. All refs have been there after a flurry of position changes where with the aid of table help and an assistant ref you quickly get it right. The table help and the assistant ref screwed this thing up and it's too bad. I'm not a huge fan of replay in wrestling, but it would have been extremely helpful in this situation. 

Editor's note: Is this the same assistant ref from the Grajales vs Alton match?!!! It seriously looks like him, and if he is still reffing college there is some sort of failure in the system.