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umpjim Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:30am

I'm not a wrestling official. Is there any basis for requiring a haircut:

Altor Mon Dec 24, 2018 03:29pm

I'm curious about this too.

I think the referee must be using NFHS rule 4-2-1 for justification:

During competition all wrestlers shall be clean shaven, with sideburns trimmed no lower than earlobe level and hair trimmed and well groomed. The hair, in its natural state, shall not extend below the top of an ordinary shirt collar in the back; and on the sides, the hair shall not extend below earlobe level; in the front, the hair shall not extend below the eyebrows. (Photos 2 and 3) A neatly trimmed mustache that does not extend below the line of the lower lip shall be permissible. If an individual has hair longer than allowed by rule, it may be braided or rolled if it is contained in a cover so that the hair rule is satisfied. (Photo 4) The legal hair cover shall be attached to the ear guards. A bandanna is not considered a legal hair cover. The legal hair cover must be of a solid material and be nonabrasive. The wrestler opting to wear a legal hair cover must wear it to the weigh-in procedure and be checked for grooming with it on. The legal hair cover must be removed prior to the wrestler stepping on the scale to be weighed. If a referee is not present at weigh-ins, the hair cover must be checked by the meet referee upon arrival at the site.

if an individual has facial hair it must be covered with a face mask. All legal hair covers and face masks will be considered as special equipment. If an individual's hair is as abrasive as an unshaved face, the individual shall be required to shave the head as smooth as a face is required, or wear a legal hair cover.
The opinion piece I read said he had a hair cover on and that was deemed unacceptable by the referee, which led to the haircut.

chapmaja Thu Dec 27, 2018 09:59am

The way I read that rule and based on what I have read about this, and seen as TV coverage, I think both sides of this made mistakes.

The athlete may not have approached the referee upon the referee's arrival to the site about the hair cover as required in the rules.

I can say in other sports I do which "require" approval when an official arrives on site, this is something easily addressed at some point prior to competition, so very little fault lies with this.

The absolutely majority of the fault appears to fall with the referee on this.

1) His ruling on the use of the hair cover. At no point in the rule that was posted below, does the word "natural state." I am not someone who is into dreadlocks, but my understanding is that they are a type of braid. Braided hair is specifically mentioned in the rule as being permitted if it is tucked under the hair cover, which this wrestler was required to do.

2) He was apparently late to the match, which caused him to miss the weigh in, which from reports I've seen he was supposed to be at. His proper arrival would have allowed this to be addressed prior to the match starting.

3) This was apparently not the first time he had an issue like this.

I can't speak to New Jersey, but I hope my state association would suspend this official pending an investigation into this incident not only for the protection of other student athletes, but also for the protection of the official himself. I know as an officials assigner, if I had to assign an official who was involved in a situation like this, that official would not be working any events I assign in the future unless a full investigation was completed and he was cleared of wrongdoing. Even then I would have a hard time assigning that official in the future due to the public perception of this official.

rriffle822 Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:56am

From what I read, the official was correct in his ruling.

The wrestler was wrestling with an "illegal" head covering. A few years ago the rule was change that required the head covering to have a means to attach to the headgear. The wrestler was given the option to fix the issue. he could get a legal head covering, he could cut his hair or he could forfeit. The rules require the official to start injury time and the wrestler has 90 seconds to fix the issue.

Even after these years wrestlers still come to the meet with illegal head covering. As officials we try to fix this before the match, but even when we get there before the match, we don't catch everything.

I know that if a wrestler came onto my mat with an illegal head covering, I may not catch it unless the cap comes on during the match. At that point, the wrestler would have 90 seconds to get a legal covering, cut his hair or forfeit the match. It doesn't matter if he was allowed to wrestle earlier in the day or the previous week with that particular head covering.

BTW Chapmaja, read the rule again, natural state is mentioned in the rule.

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