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Folkstyle Influence

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A lot has been said about the influence folkstyle wrestling may or may not have on our freestyle success, but what I think is an under talked about aspect of this is the influence it has on our US freestyle officials. The call at the end of Gilman/Fix was completely blown and I think a big part of it was that that position is a solid takedown in folkstyle, but not in freestyle. That actually wasn't even a particularly difficult call to make. I think the match official got lost in the moment and called 2 early where it wasn't warranted and then they didn't have the confidence to correct their call because they didn't want a Yianni/Zain situation where one wrestler wrestled the rest of the match under the assumption he was ahead and doesn't have a chance to respond when the score is corrected. But the biggest issue is that the incorrect call was made in the first place in a position that shouldn't be difficult to officiate.

Over the years, I've noticed countless examples of folkstyle leaking into the officiating interpretations during freestyle matches where it shouldn't. Though this is fixed now, I remember the merkle/inside leg position called a takedown routinely in the US for a few years. Another position that is called way earlier by US officials is a chest lock situation where they offensive wrestler controls both legs and has his opponent on his butt, but the opponent still has the chest lock. Internationally, officials consistently make the offensive wrestler completely pass the chest lock or expose their opponent to score whereas here we see a takedown interpretation closer to folkstyle where as soon as both legs and hips are controlled the 2 is given. These are just a few examples off the top of my head.

My concern here is that our guys head into the world championships executing holds that score for US officials, but not international ones. If Daton is in a similar scenario at worlds and goes to the position he went to against Gilman, a good position for folkstyle, he isn't going to get that call. 

Does USA wrestling ever bring international officials in to do the trials? It seems to me that it would be best to get the officials who you will see at the event you're picking the team for to officiate the event you use to pick that team.

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100% blown call. I’ve never seen that position called a TD internationally. A very similar non-TD was called a TD on the JB-Imart match shortly thereafter. Imart’s expression said it all: WTF?? In that match it didn’t matter, but it cost Gilman a world team spot. 

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Most bad calls im the heat of the moment are excusable. Refs are human. But how does that not get overturned after video review? In what universe is that a FS TD? I had zero rooting interest in the 57 kg match and was rooting for JB, but a bad call is a bad call. 

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36 minutes ago, gimpeltf said:

Who officiated? A lot of top USA officials don't really cross over that much. If anything are more likely to "leak" in the other direction.

I wasn't implying that they also officiated folkstyle, but they undoubtedly grew up with folkstyle and are around it extensively in some capacity or another. For example, the official in Gilman Fix is a top high school coach in Indiana. Strong folkstyle background and I think he had a momentary lapse when the crowd got excited when fix got to that position (the crowds at our events have a much stronger background in folkstyle rules than freestyle typically) and jumped the gun. Then they were afraid to change it because of the Yianni/Zain blow up.

Regarding Fix/Gilman, I actually think if that situation is officiated correctly, Fix might have found a way to score anyway, but he had no reason to keep working after the takedown was given early and every reason to play it safe considering Gilman had just exposed him in a scramble 30 seconds earlier. The initial blown call created a situation in which one of the wrestlers was going to get screwed, though I think Gilman ended up getting screwed worse than Fix would have.

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The call was confirmed on the mat and upheld on review. The review decision is made by the review official upon watching the video and discussing with the chairman. The judge and mat official are not part of a challenge. What that means is that at least three out of four of our top officials agreed it was a takedown (2 of 3 officials plus replay official) and it could have been all four. They know the rules better than all of us and have a lot more experience applying them.

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1 hour ago, IronChef said:

The call was confirmed on the mat and upheld on review. The review decision is made by the review official upon watching the video and discussing with the chairman. The judge and mat official are not part of a challenge. What that means is that at least three out of four of our top officials agreed it was a takedown (2 of 3 officials plus replay official) and it could have been all four. They know the rules better than all of us and have a lot more experience applying them.

It's crazy -- and expensive-- that you need four guys to ref a wrestling match involving two guys when one guy refs a soccer match (3 if you count linesmen) involving 22 guys and a 120 yard field.

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Don't get me started on the three officials but I will chime in my two cents.  Three officials is one too many.  Granted Freestyle is more subjective on the tilts or who initiated the move but three officials is silly.  Even more silly is the official on the mat doesn't have the authority to call a pin without confirmation from the others.  How stupid is that?  Call the pin if you see it.

 

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