West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker
National Wrestling Hall of Famer


Today I am going to review two of wrestling's "leg" maneuvers that have always confused mat enthusiasts for decades. They are the "Figure-4 Body/Head Scissors and the "Straight Body/Head Scissors."

So what's the quandary? Quite simply: When are they legal and when are they not?


Legal Application
The figure-4 scissors is legal around the head in the top (offensive) position and the bottom (defensive) position. Keep in mind, the locking leg must be directly behind the knee. If it is on the calf, it is considered an illegal straight head scissors.

Illegal Application
The figure-4 head scissors is illegal (actually a "technical violation") in the standing (neutral) position. Furthermore, it is illegal when performed around the body (or both legs).

We discussed the dilemma regarding the figure-4 head scissors in a previous "Mat Talk" column this year.


Legal Application
The Straight Body Scissors is legal when applied around the stomach/chest area. However, if the referee believes it is being applied for "punishment" only, he can declare it to be illegal. Personally, I believe the straight body scissors should be changed to an illegal move because such pressure on the chest area could potentially crack a rib.

Illegal Application
The Straight Head Scissors is most definitely illegal, with or without an arm encircled. It must be stopped immediately to avoid any injury the wrestler's neck.

Both types of leg scissors must be watched very closely by the official. As you can see, the referee has his hands full during a match, with 100s of precarious situations that often take place.

In essence, the official's main concern during any wrestling competition is for the health and safety of the wrestlers.

Nobody, I mean nobody, can ever argue this point.

Technical Violations
(Part One)

There are seven technical violations in wrestling. Today we will discuss the first three technical violations. All but one technical violation (Incorrect Starting Position or False Starts) are penalized via the progressive penalty chart in the following manner:

" First Offense: One match point for the opponent
" Second Offense: One match point for the opponent
" Third Offense: Two Match points for the opponent
" Fourth Offense: Disqualification

Let's now take a look at the first three technical violations: Leaving the Mat Proper, Intentionally Going Out-of-bounds, and Grasping of Clothing.

Leaving the Mat Proper
No wrestler may walk off the mat to spit in the waste can, for water, for legal medication, etc. without first receiving permission from the official.

Intentionally Going Out-of-bounds
Neither wrestler may intentionally go out-of-bounds when the match is in progress to avoid wrestling his opponent for any reason. There is one exception; If an opponent has scored near-fall points, the bottom man may scoot out-of-bounds on purpose.

Grasping of Clothing
A contestant may grab nothing but his opponent while wrestling. Should a wrestler grasp his adversary's uniform in an attempt to prevent him from scoring, any points his opponent obtains will be awarded plus the appropriate penalty point(s). Note, if the referee feels that the bottom man can not score due to the top man grabbing his uniform, the referee may stop the match and award the appropriate penalty point(s).

Be reminded, should a wrestler accidently get his fingers or hand caught in his opponent's singlet, no penalty will be indicated and the referee may have to take an official's time out rectify the situation.

Mini-Mat Quiz
Q: Wrestler puts Wrestler B on his back in a high bridge for three seconds. Wrestler B then uses his feet to push both wrestlers out-of-bounds. Is this a technical violation?
A: No. This is not a technical violation because Wrestler A would have earned two points for the near-fall situation.

Good Luck and Best Wishes

I want to take this opportunity to applaud all Ohio-side OVAC wrestlers, who qualified for states in Columbus this weekend. Good luck, best wishes, and come back to the Valley as all-state wrestlers!

Mat Accolades

Congratulations to Geno Ochap and Jason Taylor for being inducted into the Wheeling Park High School Hall of Fame.

Ochap was a 1998 Regional and West Virginia State Champion with 137 career wins for the Patriots. Taylor was Park's first three-time West Virginia State Champion (1993-1994-1995) and Dutton Award winner in 1995. Jason was also an OVAC champ, winning 149 matches at Wheeling Park.

Mat Message
"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."
-- Dolly Parton

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