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Nushy

Illegal Maneuver Question

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This is my first time on this forum, so please forgive me if I make any mistakes. I have a question about NFHS guidelines. 

In Florida High School Wrestling: Scenario: opponent 1 is face down on the mat with opponent 2 on top. Opponent 2 drives a very hard crossface across opponent 1’s open mouth completely covering it for more than 6 seconds. As an official you are standing directly in front of both opponents. Do you stop the match due to the fact that opponent 1’s mouth is completely covered? From what I have read according to NFHS rules, any maneuver that completely covers the mouth, nose, throat or neck that could restrict breathing is illegal. Would you allow this to go on for over 6 seconds? 
 

Is it illegal to completely cover the mouth during a crossface in high school wrestling? Can’t seem to get a straight answer from the FHSAA. Thanks for any input. 

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3 hours ago, Nushy said:

Thank you for your response AHamilton. My wording was incorrect. This is the rule as it is written by the NFHS.  My interpretation would be if the mouth is covered it’s illegal. 3B78879C-76DC-47BB-9536-4F3E1792E631.thumb.jpeg.00ec851e034ff7c98ad213be9ad8002c.jpeg

The key is restricting breathing or circulation.  1)I don't see how a cross face can completely cover a wide open mouth.  2) you are still able to breath through your nose and the parts of your open mouth.  3) doesn't restrict circulation at all.  My opinion, what you described may be more of a potentially dangerous situation than an illegal situation, and the ref should signal potentially dangerous, talk to the offensive wrestler that he needs to adjust, and if nothing changes blow it dead for potentially dangerous.  But kind of hard to tell without actually seeing it.

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On 12/30/2019 at 12:38 PM, Nushy said:

Thank you for your response AHamilton. My wording was incorrect. This is the rule as it is written by the NFHS.  My interpretation would be if the mouth is covered it’s illegal. 3B78879C-76DC-47BB-9536-4F3E1792E631.thumb.jpeg.00ec851e034ff7c98ad213be9ad8002c.jpeg

So it happened to your wrestler?

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Yes. Wrestler drove a hard crossface into my son’s open mouth for about 7 seconds. The ref stopped the match and called biting because there were teeth marks on the kid’s arm. Both the opposing team’s coach and the wrestler himself said they didn’t feel like it was an intentional bite, just the fact that his mouth was open during the crossface and the kids arm was literally in his mouth. The FHSAA has suspended my son for 8 points, roughly 25 matches. The executive director of the FHSAA and his assistant won’t reverse the referee’s call, even with a letter from the opposing coach saying it wasn’t an intentional bite. We have to go in front of a sectional appeals committee which will take weeks, his suspension will be completed by then. Just wondering why the ref isn’t being held responsible for not calling a potentially dangerous hold in the first place. Apparently, the FHSAA And their officials answers to no one. We even submitted video and pictures of the boy’s arm that show no teeth marks and they are still saying it was unsportsmanlike conduct. Very frustrating. 

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So it’s going from a restricting breathing  move to sour grapes for a poor bitting call?   I don’t see the logic in trying to say opposing wrestler should be the one penalized because his cross face hit your kid open mouth.  Doesn’t sound like he was intentionally trying to restrict your kids breathing any more than you claim your kid was trying to actually bit him.  Your motivation is better spent asking what should warrant an intentional bitting call and/or if it should warrant such a harsh punishment by the FLA.   No need to approach it as another kid should be penalized just because a call that went against your kid.  

Edited by MadMardigain

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@MadMardigain We did ask them why they are penalizing for a biting call when it wasn’t intentional and the result of an open mouth crossface. The FHSAA doesn’t care. They won’t go against an official’s call. I didn’t say the opposing wrestler should be penalized, I said the ref should be held responsible for allowing an illegal maneuver or potentially dangerous maneuver to go on for 7 seconds then call biting. I am grateful to the opposing wrestler for coming forward to say that he didn’t think he was bitten intentionally or maliciously. Please read my post again. In no way am I saying that this is the other wrestler’s fault. 

Edited by Nushy

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Per NFHS rules:

“Referees should pay close attention to a cross-face applied to the area of the mouth, especially when the mouth is open. If teeth marks are present after the cross-face is applied to the mouth, the referee should only call biting if he/she believes the wrestler actually bit down on his/her opponent.“

If a person actually bites down there will be bruising and broken skin. I find it crazy that referee’s aren’t required to document a call such as biting with photos when it can knock a kid off the mat for 6 weeks. “Actually bit down” is intent. So is it a bite, or is it teeth marks? 

 

Edited by Nushy

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5 hours ago, Nushy said:

Per NFHS rules:

“Referees should pay close attention to a cross-face applied to the area of the mouth, especially when the mouth is open. If teeth marks are present after the cross-face is applied to the mouth, the referee should only call biting if he/she believes the wrestler actually bit down on his/her opponent.“

If a person actually bites down there will be bruising and broken skin. I find it crazy that referee’s aren’t required to document a call such as biting with photos when it can knock a kid off the mat for 6 weeks. “Actually bit down” is intent. So is it a bite, or is it teeth marks? 

 

I don't believe that's from the NFHS rulebook but from a State supplement. A Google search brought up very similar wording with NY, WV and Oregon and possibly others. So I believe it's a common interpretation. They all include some variation of the following.

If the referee did not see the alleged bite, he/she should look for the presence of marks from both the upper and lower teeth. Incidental contact with an opponent's open mouth can result in what appears to be a bite; however, the presence of both upper and lower teeth marks is more likely to be the result of an intentional bite than from incidental contact with the teeth.

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unfortunately, one major flaw with the NFHS rule book and case book is that items that were previously identified as "points of emphasis" are not expounded upon in subsequent editions.  in this case, the 2015-16 NFHS points of emphasis does in fact make the particular biting description shown above...but in the more recent printed editions, I do not see such a detailed explanation. it would be beneficial to everyone if prior items that were worthy of a POE were at least included in future editions, either in the rule book or the case book.  as such, there are many officials who still believe that FM/DQ biting MUST be called if upper and lower marks are present, even following a hard crossface to the mouth area.  while the presence of both upper and lower should be a qualifier when found on any other body part, a forearm involved in a crossface should be interpreted according to the NFHS point of 2015-16 emphasis.

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1 hour ago, davenowa said:

unfortunately, one major flaw with the NFHS rule book and case book is that items that were previously identified as "points of emphasis" are not expounded upon in subsequent editions.  in this case, the 2015-16 NFHS points of emphasis does in fact make the particular biting description shown above...but in the more recent printed editions, I do not see such a detailed explanation. it would be beneficial to everyone if prior items that were worthy of a POE were at least included in future editions, either in the rule book or the case book.  as such, there are many officials who still believe that FM/DQ biting MUST be called if upper and lower marks are present, even following a hard crossface to the mouth area.  while the presence of both upper and lower should be a qualifier when found on any other body part, a forearm involved in a crossface should be interpreted according to the NFHS point of 2015-16 emphasis.

That would explain why it was in so many state supplements.

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On 1/2/2020 at 9:40 PM, MadMardigain said:

So it’s going from a restricting breathing  move to sour grapes for a poor bitting call?   I don’t see the logic in trying to say opposing wrestler should be the one penalized because his cross face hit your kid open mouth.  Doesn’t sound like he was intentionally trying to restrict your kids breathing any more than you claim your kid was trying to actually bit him.  Your motivation is better spent asking what should warrant an intentional bitting call and/or if it should warrant such a harsh punishment by the FLA.   No need to approach it as another kid should be penalized just because a call that went against your kid.  

This.

Am I reading correctly that he is suspended up to 25 matches?  That’s insanely harsh.  OP you should sue like the kid in WI, and I’m actually kinda serious.  

I’ve seen that situation called biting before, but you don’t always know if it’s intentional, so it can be a subjective call.  It’s not the ref’s fault for calling what he thought was biting, but if the other kid then said he didn’t think he was bitten, that should be worth something in terms of reducing the punishment for future matches (and I’m sure the ref has little if any input on the punishment).

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On 1/2/2020 at 11:22 PM, Nushy said:

Per NFHS rules:

“Referees should pay close attention to a cross-face applied to the area of the mouth, especially when the mouth is open. If teeth marks are present after the cross-face is applied to the mouth, the referee should only call biting if he/she believes the wrestler actually bit down on his/her opponent.“

If a person actually bites down there will be bruising and broken skin. I find it crazy that referee’s aren’t required to document a call such as biting with photos when it can knock a kid off the mat for 6 weeks. “Actually bit down” is intent. So is it a bite, or is it teeth marks? 

Also from the Points of Emphasis that was omitted in the post above:

If the referee did not see the alleged bite, he/she should look for the presence of marks from both the upper and lower teeth. Incidental contact with an opponent's open mouth can result in what appears to be a bite; however, the presence of both upper and lower teeth marks is more likely to be the result of an intentional bite than from incidental contact with the teeth.

 

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On 1/3/2020 at 8:39 AM, davenowa said:

unfortunately, one major flaw with the NFHS rule book and case book is that items that were previously identified as "points of emphasis" are not expounded upon in subsequent editions.

I agree. I would like to see these POE continue as entries in the rulebook if still applicable.  At one time wasn't there a POE on the body scissors being used to inflict pain?

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20 minutes ago, Nushy said:

What’s even more frustrating... I contacted the NHFS to ask them for clarification of the rules and they replied that they “don’t interpret rules for parents.” Seriously? 

Do you know how many parents are out there?

Either buy a case book or talk to a local official.

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2 hours ago, Nushy said:

What’s even more frustrating... I contacted the NHFS to ask them for clarification of the rules and they replied that they “don’t interpret rules for parents.” Seriously? 

That’s a different way of saying we aren’t going to say something based on your description that may insinuate that we are overruling the judgement of a licensed referee who was physically at the meet.  Unless something blatantly outrageous has occurred you won’t ever see a sports governing body step into a situation that an official has already ruled on. 

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3 hours ago, Nushy said:

What’s even more frustrating... I contacted the NHFS to ask them for clarification of the rules and they replied that they “don’t interpret rules for parents.” Seriously? 

You’re going about this the wrong way.  You should be arguing against the severity of the punishment, not trying to change a call in the past.

And even if you do want to argue the call which will likely go nowhere, argue that it wasn’t a bite, not that it was an illegal crossface.

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We have presented everything possible and have asked them to reduce the suspension based on witness accounts and the opposing wrestler saying he didn’t think he was bitten. But as I set out to prove with my original post, I got my answer...an athletic association will never rule against their officials. We are going in front of a sectional appeals committee to have the infraction removed from his record, but by the time we are granted a hearing his suspension will have been served. If the sectional appeals committee overrules the official what are they going to say? Sorry? We can’t get that time or lost opportunity back. Their appeals system is seriously flawed and needs to change. They govern themselves with no checks and balances until it’s too late. Due process? Nope! Something needs to change. 

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3 hours ago, Nushy said:

We have presented everything possible and have asked them to reduce the suspension based on witness accounts and the opposing wrestler saying he didn’t think he was bitten. But as I set out to prove with my original post, I got my answer...an athletic association will never rule against their officials. We are going in front of a sectional appeals committee to have the infraction removed from his record, but by the time we are granted a hearing his suspension will have been served. If the sectional appeals committee overrules the official what are they going to say? Sorry? We can’t get that time or lost opportunity back. Their appeals system is seriously flawed and needs to change. They govern themselves with no checks and balances until it’s too late. Due process? Nope! Something needs to change. 

This does sound kinda similar to the Wisconsin situation, which the kid's family won by arguing against the appeals process, not the actual call.   If you feel that strongly about it, sue.  But if you do, don't name the referee.   He doesn't make the punishments and it sounds like he didn't really do anything wrong here.

Edited by 1032004

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20 hours ago, Nushy said:

We have presented everything possible and have asked them to reduce the suspension based on witness accounts and the opposing wrestler saying he didn’t think he was bitten. But as I set out to prove with my original post, I got my answer...an athletic association will never rule against their officials. We are going in front of a sectional appeals committee to have the infraction removed from his record, but by the time we are granted a hearing his suspension will have been served. If the sectional appeals committee overrules the official what are they going to say? Sorry? We can’t get that time or lost opportunity back. Their appeals system is seriously flawed and needs to change. They govern themselves with no checks and balances until it’s too late. Due process? Nope! Something needs to change. 

Not at all true.  Just last year the FHSAA went against a referee's, and their own, decision on one of our student athletes (not wrestling) at the sectional appeals.  I hate to say it but this really does sound like sour grapes.  Alot of misinformation in your posting.  First it was what should be an illegal technique, that was held for six seconds.  And there was no mention of a bite or suspension what so ever.  Then when posters informed you it wasn't illegal, at first you didn't agree with the interpretation.  Finally after more posters agree the maneuver is not illegal, you move on to the biting, lengthen from six seconds to seven, and holding a ref accountable for an illegal maneuver.....that's not illegal.  Additionally 8 points does not equal 25 matches.  It's one point for one dual meet, two points for multiple matches.  (weigh in points).  Even at maximum matches per weigh in, you're still short of 25.

In no situation is the Executive director or his assistant going to overturn a referee's call.  He has absolutely no position to do so.  The Executive Director also cannot overturn a disciplinary action (suspension or ruling of eligibility).  That is for the appeals committee.  There are processes and procedures in place.  They are in place for a reason. Imagine if every parent who didn't like a referee's judgement called the ED expecting immediate action, or an appeal right away.  (By the way one of those procedures is that appeals MUST come from the school's FHSAA representative.  Not from Parents). It's just not possible.  

When is your appeal hearing?  They have those hearings every month, within the first two weeks of each month.

Edited by Lurker

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I appreciate your response, and yes I’m aware of the situation where the FHSAA overruled a referee’s call- the attorney who represented that athlete is also representing my son. The sectional appeals committee apologized to the athlete who was found not guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct. Does that get back lost time? Lost opportunity? No. 

The executive director absolutely has the authority to view a petition before it reaches sectional appeals as stated in the by-laws AND preponderance of the evidence must be the deciding factor. 


He missed 5 matches the day the DQ was called which doesn’t count as a point, 8 matches at the next 2-day dual tournament 2 points,  1 match for a dual meet (1point), 8 matches at a 2-day dual (2 points), 1 match for a dual this evening (1 point) and at least 6 matches for a dual tournament this weekend (2points). If I’m not mistaken that is over 25 missed matches. 

The way that sectional appeals works- we would have to have requested a hearing by December 13th to be heard in January. The incident occurred December 14th so that puts his hearing out until February unless the school agrees to pay for an emergency appeal - if you can get one. 

The reason I went further than my initial question was because someone asked. My initial question was vague because I knew everyone would want to weigh in with their opinion. 

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