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Reffing Theory


I have been going back and forth with whether or not to write articles about reffing wrestling. Firstly, it sounds self-indulgent to say "I know everything", but there does seem to be a lack of conversation about officiating and technique involved. So I am trying it. Here is a first installment of who knows how many. 

Also, if anyone has any questions I would be happy to answer them. If there is more dialogue to have about reffing wrestling it would be fun to explore and gather other officials' opinions as well. 

Work Outside In aka Quadrant Theory

Positioning is the number one priority, and out of bounds calls are the biggest challenge. Working from the outside of the mat is a great technique to save you steps and not be too close to the action. However, remaining in the same quadrant of the mat will prevent you from doing the "stand of shame" (the "stand of shame" is standing in the middle of the mat waiting for the wrestlers to come back from the out of bounds.....you should be with them every time)


The trap a lot of refs fall into on the outside of the mat is being in the wrong quadrant. Let's divide the mat like the picture above (I'm a lefty polak and cannot draw....forgive me). If you are standing in #1 and the wrestlers are both in #2, if they go out of bounds in #2 you're probably alright. The risk is if one drives the action to # 3. Now, as the ref, you are running across the mat and probably blowing the whistle and making a call from the middle (queue the "stand of shame"). 

One thing I noticed really focusing on this is that it saved me steps and kept me more fresh throughout the day. Not chasing action by taking a few slow steps here and there before the attack happens, really does save you in the long run. I highly suggest experimenting the quadrant theory in your folkstyle matches to really never miss that out of bounds call. Plus selfishly, you look a hell of a lot better to coaches when you are right there making a call even if it's a razor close one. 

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below or email them to koatig@yahoo.com

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