Wrestling Referees

Wrestling referees are the most important players on a wrestling mat. an emphasis on sportsmanship and consistency is placed on them by both referees and wrestlers. they control the flow of the match, determine who won or lost that period, as well as call out points for holds applied correctly.

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wrestling referee during a match

Wrestling Referee Definition

A wrestling referee is a member of a wrestling match who has complete control of the match, making sure that the rules and regulations are followed. The referee is the judge and announcer of a wrestling match, with the power to make decisions involving points, penalties, and rules.

A wrestling official’s primary concern is to protect the wrestlers from being hurt by their opponent. This can be accomplished by breaking upholds when they have gone on for too long or refusing to allow wrestlers to continue with an unsafe hold. This is the primary role of a wrestling referee, though it does not overshadow his other duties.

Professional Wrestling Referees

In professional wrestling, referees are often present in bouts, though their role is minimal. They often enforce the count when a wrestler gets knocked down and begin the ten-count until he/she gets back up or leaves the ring.

When a match goes to the time limit then ends without a winner being declared – either through a draw or both wrestlers being disqualified – the referee holds a “coin toss” to see which wrestler wins or whether the match is ruled a draw.

Wrestling referees are also often used as scapegoats by disgruntled wrestlers when things do not go their way. On occasion, one of the participants in a match will attack them for perceived injustices during the match, such as not counting pinfalls or count-outs when it seems obvious that they should have.

High School Wrestling Referees

It is the responsibility of the high school wrestling referee to make sure that a match follows all the rules and regulations as outlined by USA Wrestling and other governing bodies. Along with making sure wrestlers adhere to the rules, a high school wrestling referee can also break up any skirmishes or altercations between wrestlers or their coaches on the mat.

A high school wrestling official must know all of the rules pertaining to wrestling. It is his responsibility to make sure that a match goes by the rules. In addition, the referee must keep an eye on all wrestlers to make sure no one is breaking any rules. He also has the responsibility of calling a match if it is going to exceed the time limit.

Finally, the referee must break up any instances of violence and/or altercations that may occur on the mat.

Female Wrestling Referees

Wrestling referees in women’s wrestling are much more involved in the match than in men’s wrestling. For example, they participate in executing moves such as dropkicks and suplexes. In addition, if the referee deems that a wrestler is in a potentially compromising position during her opponent’s offense, she will initiate a “break” to allow time for the wrestler in peril to escape.

Famous Wrestling Referees

Former WWF referee Rudy Charles has been known to officiate high school and collegiate wrestling matches, even after his tenure in the WWF. In addition, former WCW referee Scott Dickenson also officiates high school matches in his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida.

In addition to being a former WWF/WCW referee, Nick Patrick has also been a college football referee for the Big 12 Conference during the 2005–06 season and since then he officiated with the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Wrestling Referee Terminology

A “pin” where the offensive wrestler holds his opponent’s shoulders against the mat for a prescribed period (usually three seconds). Pinning is used to indicate a fall in amateur wrestling and the validity of such a pin must be judged by the match referee in two-competitor matches.

In a classical Greco-Roman wrestling match, pinning an opponent to the mat is compulsory when the wrestler of the bottom is caught in a “scorpion hold” position.

A “fall”, also known as a pin, is the loss of a match in which an opponent’s shoulders are held to the mat for three seconds (in freestyle) or one second (in collegiate and high school wrestling). A technical fall, or “tech fall”, occurs when a wrestler achieves a 15-point lead over his opponent.

Why Do WWE Refs Wear Earpieces?

WWE referees wear earpieces in matches in order to communicate with WWE officials backstage.

What Do Referees Do in a Wrestling Match?

They enforce the rules, break up pinfalls and submissions, call for disqualifications, count pins, name the winner of the match.

What Is a Referee in Wrestling Called?

A referee is called a “white-shirt.” That’s because referees aren’t allowed to wear jerseys or any other clothes that match either of the wrestlers’ uniforms. This helps him stay neutral in the match.

How Are Wrestling Refs Categorized?

Wrestling referees are categorized by the type of wrestling in which they officiate. The main different types are Greco-Roman, freestyle, collegiate, and high-school. Some referees are competent enough to officiate all styles, but most focus on one area of expertise.

Difference Between Amateur Wrestling Referees & Pro Wrestling Referees

Amateur wrestling referees (in the United States) are trained for their roles by USA Wrestling Officials. Their level of training is slightly lower than that of a professional referee, in that amateur referees are trained in all aspects of officiating while a professional referee only specializes in the wrestling aspect.

What Equipment Wrestling Referees Use?

Unlike pro wrestlers that use a variety of wrestling gear, the referees’ gear is mostly related to their clothing, as they wear shirts that are similar to those worn by wrestlers. Their clothing is as follows:

A black or blue (colors of the referee’s assigned brand) t-shirt, similar to the shirt worn by wrestlers.

Black or blue jogging/sweat pants.

High-top dress shoes.

White athletic socks.

Black leather wrestling boots with grey soles and shoelaces.

Black or blue athletic shorts (optional, but recommended).

A microphone headset and a two-way radio (for communicating with WWE officials backstage).