‘Wrestling is not a casual sport,’ coach says

Maeve Taylor
Contributing Writer

“Wrestling is not what you see on TV”–Latin teacher and former wrestling coach Jeff Smith wrestles social studies teacher and current wrestling coach James Lemay at the Winter Sports Assembly. Photo by Ashli Wagner

When one thinks of wrestling, what may be pictured is the over dramatic, WWE-type scenes, with bodies slamming and loud noises and infamous rivalries.

As James Lemay, head coach of the wrestling team, said, what you see on TV of wrestling is “not real.”

Wrestling, as described by Lemay, “is not a casual sport.”

Wrestling, as described by West Virginia Wrestling and an article from LiveStrong.com, is typically divided into three rounds. From those three rounds, there are basically five ways to score points within the rounds, which are needed to win.

One of the most common ways to score points is with a takedown (two points), which is when control is established from taking one’s opponent from a standing position to the mat. The loose second, which is quite similar and garners the same number of points, is the reversal, is when the wrestler who was originally “taken down” reverses the roles and takes control.

Similarly, worth one point, is the escape, where the person who has been “taken down” escapes back into a standing position. Then there is the “near fall” (two to three points), which is when the wrestler is on his back for less than three seconds (the number of points depends on the time on the mat).

When someone is pinned, the person who pinned his opponent wins the match (a pin is also known as a fall). If no one is pinned during the match, then it is won by accumulation of the above points. If the wrestler who is ahead at the end of the match is ahead by between eight and 14 points, then it is by “superior decision.” If the wrestler is ahead by a margin of 15 points and over, then it is a “technical fall.”

Points can also be gained via penalty points given by the referee for committing fouls, like stalling and having unsportsmanlike conduct. It is typically a warning, and then a one-point penalty, and then either up to a two-point penalty or a disqualification.

These are the more technical elements; a lot of elements have to do with connection.

Lemay said some of the keys to having a good outcome are to be in shape, to have a good stance and  a certain spatial awareness. In Lemay’s words, one of the most key elements is to “know where your body is” because “if you are clumsy and awkward, then it is easier to be put in to clumsy and awkward situations.”

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