Stalling will always be the toughest call in officiating in our sport. While out and safe in baseball is very clear, you can never write a rule that clearly explains stalling. It's something very unique to our sport and really makes it tough to grasp. Here's a few reasons why it's very tough.
1) It's different from ref to ref.
- Each official calls stalling differently and at varying speeds. Coaches and fans then have different expectations leading to many complaints. This is tough when a similar situation just happened to a teammate but the calls were much different.
2) Coaches and fans have rose-colored glasses.
- I've officiated a lot of matches but I have also coached, wrestled, and cheered. I've been on all sides of the coin and know I am guilty of this as well. When it's your guy getting dinged you are outraged, but then two matches later you're cheering the same situation if it's the other team's guy getting hit. It's life, but we should all try to be a little more impartial before we blast the ref.
3) Wrestling needs stall calls.
- It'd be a lot easier if we could avoid such a controversial situation, but we can't. We can't have one wrestler stiff arming and backing away to avoid any action. It ceases to be a competitive sport at that point. Stall calls are a must sometimes. It's best when not needed, but we don't live in a perfect world.
4) It's shaky, but improving.
- To end on a positive note, I think TV and more video is helping officials become more consistent. Access to wrestling matches is at an all-time high and improving as technological developments continue. This is helping officials relate and get more comfortable with calls and create more across the board consistency. It will never be perfect, but it will improve.
P.S. Get out there and ref! I guarantee your area needs officials in high school and college. If you can, get out there and make some extra cash while staying involved in the sport.