... on Wrestling's Flagrant Misconduct
In the past, if a wrestler committed a flagrant misconduct, he would immediately be disqualified from a dual meet and tournament, and two team-points would be deducted from his squad. Moreover, in a tournament, he would not be given any placement points if he earned them. In recent years the rule has gotten even tougher. Consider the following.
A contestant who is disqualified for a flagrant misconduct not only losses two team-points for his squad in a dual meet or tournament (including placement points), but his team is also not entitled to any points earned previously by him in either event.
WOW! No team points can be earned (before or after the offense is committed) during a dual meet or tournament by the wrestler who totally loses his cool. What does this mean to coaches? Well, they have to spend much more time emphasizing sportsmanship.
Quite frankly, I don't believe it's such a bad idea. When I think of some of the crude remarks and unbecoming behavior I and other officials have had to witness, I can understand the ruling. And personally, I feel the problem has a lot to do with the unbecoming actions of the pro athletes who young athletes observe (and idolize) on TV--on a daily basis. Sometimes, parents and a few coaches don't help the situation, either.
So, maybe we can conclude that, at least, in wrestling, we are attempting to eliminate poor sportsmanship that has, on occasion, even led to physical abuse of an official. Many times in the heat of competition it is difficult to "keep your month shut" and maintain your composure -- but it can be done! Believe me, it's the sign of a "classy" wrestling program, which reflects on the coach, the team, the school, and the parents.
Updated September 23, 1997