Being a High School Wrestling Referee Comes With Plenty of Responsibility
Chattanooga-(WDEF) It’s not easy being a high school ref in any sport, but it seems especially demanding for wrestling referees.
They’re in charge of just about everything, and they have to get extremely close to the action.
It takes a lot of focus and responsibility to be a high school wrestling referee because there’s so much you’re in charge of.
Said ref Jake Sewell:”Control, scoring, back points, pins, safety. It’s a ton, and it’s not black and white. There’s a lot of gray area.”
Said ref JeffRufolo:”I have wrestled since I was five-years-old and all the way through college, but the first time I had a whistle in my mouth, it was a different perspective.”
Said Sewell:”I’ve learned now to keep the score in my head because we have young high school kids keeping the score.”
Rufolo says it would be hard for someone who has never wrestled before to become a referee.
Said Rufolo:”If you’ve watched enough baseball, you know what a ball and strike is. Football is kind of the same way, but wrestling is kind of a unique sport. It would be very difficult if you have never wrestled to go out there and referee a match.”
You can’t be shy as a ref.
Many times, you’ve got to be face-to-face with the wrestlers just to make the proper calls.
Said Sewell:”Catch pins. See pins. Penalties. You’ve got to be right on top of the action.”
Said Rufolo:”We have a referee that we liike to kid because sometimes he’s in the middle of the two guys.”
Perhaps the most unique aspect of being a high school referee is the relationship with coaches.
Said Rufolo:”The coaches. We all know each other and out of season, we’re always trying to help each other. Other coaches are giving clinics and I’ve shown up at different high schools to try to help them out.”
Said Sewell:”And it’s really crazy. I think out of all sports, wrestling we are so in with coaches. We talk with coaches afterwards. It’s like a big fraternity I guess.”