Although it appears that British wrestling is in the doldrums that is far from the case. Our wrestlers don’t often appear on the international rostrum as the opposition from East European and far Eastern wrestlers is massive, wrestling ,in many cases being their national sport .
There are around forty five wrestling clubs in GB ranging from Kensington in London to Manchester YM and the famous “Snake Pit” of Wigan run by Roy and Andrea Wood ,with clubs in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales All these offer training from the absolute novice level to those with championship potential. National Championships at Junior level often have entries in the hundreds and take two full days to complete . One criticism of amateur wrestling is that it is difficult to understand the rules .I will agree with this.
As wrestling is a potentially lethal sport very strict discipline must be applied both to the conduct of the wrestlers and the methods employed.
Understanding the complex rules is aided by the running score being exhibited throughout bout .Each point gained is shown and in a short time you will observe reasons why. In many tournament programmes a copy of the rules is included to help the newcomer get an insight into proceedings.
Officials undergo training courses and grading under international guidelines.
Courses are held regularly for hopeful officials, the grades ranging from qualification to act at club matches up to international level. The senior British referee is Dave Sudron from Stockton who holds the highest grade of “Exceptionale” and is qualified to officiate at all levels anywhere in the world.
I hope that I haven’t made matters even more baffling but I assure you that once you have learned the rudiments the sport has the same excitement as the one that we all love.