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Coach_J

Cultural Difference...

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This interview gives a very vivid illustration:

http://www.flowrestling.org/video/968411-yianni-d-causes-international-trouble-at-journeymen-freestyle-classic

 

I remember hosting a Russian team in 1991 and there was a greco leg foul not initially called by the US refs.  The Russians went ballistic, and through their translator the words "robbery," "cheating," etc. were flying.  I told the translator very firmly, "Our refs don't know greco, but they will be very fair."  The call was discussed and correctly went the Russian's way.  I told the translator to tell the Russian coach that in future cases, walk with the translator to the head table and the correct call will be made.  No more incidents the rest of the tour.  In my experience, they are VERY quick to cry injustice at a controversial call.  In my experiences overseas, we half expected BS calls and didn't sweat it when it happened.

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Haha, i'm actually in the entirety of this video talking to a group of coaches and officials in the background. This was in my hometown, and it was one of the goofiest things I've ever seen at a wrestling tournament.  Yanni, who was all class the whole time, and the Russian from a weight lower agreed to exhibition and it was squirrel from the very beginning. Yanni converted a beautiful crisp shot for a takedown and then the Russian hit a modified peterson from bottom, which caused a wild scramble ending in a front flip.  I'll let ya'll decide the scoring when you see the video, but I had it 5-4 with Yanni trailing, while i was mat-side.  It was all really quick, and i felt for the ref, who didn't have a table or a chair on the mat with him.

 

So the kid gets up and is obviously confused about the score, but it looked like he wanted to wrestle still, and the head coach starts yelling and basically pulls the kid off the mat, as Yanni described.  It was pretty apparent to everyone in the gym that everyone involved (besides maybe the ref, who was not helping the situation) wanted the match to keep going, even if the score had to be reset to 0-0 and do the whole thing over from scratch. They even brought over three of the best refs in the country to help officiate from then on out, but at this point, I think the Russian coaches realized that Yanni was both much bigger, and quite a bit better than their kid and they weren't having any more of it. The funny part was, you can't take your ball and go home when you're in a foreign country without a drivers license, and your only ride is the guy running the tournament which you just made a huge scene at because you were acting like a petulant child.  So they just walked like twenty feet away from the match and kind of waited with their arms crossed and pouty faces on.  I'm glad nothing got aggressive though, and the rest of the tournament was top-notch, with very good reffing and matchups throughout.

 

NCAA side note: one of the refs who I was talking to here, said that he was on the mat during the Garrett - Hall match at MSG, and Hall did in fact have the bottom half of his body greased down like on of Cletus' prize pigs.  Their coaches also exchanged some words at the time about a previous incident from wrestling history which one of the coaches was implicated in.  Great story.

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