Situation: In a recent multiple dual event, the match ended with a fall for wrestler A. After the mat official raised the hand of the winning wrestler, the off-mat official immediately approached the mat referee and informed him that the headlock that was used for the pinning combination was illegal. Apparently he said that an arm was not encircled. Both wrestlers and coaches had remained in the mat area. The mat official then reversed his call and continued the match. The wrestler that had earned the original fall eventually lost the match. Is it appropriate to change a call based on the observations of an off-mat official? Understand that this was not an assistant referee, but an official that had nothing to do with the match.
Answer: No, this is not a acceptable procedure. A number of years ago “off-mat” officials could be used in this capacity, but that has been replaced with the assistant referee (when used). In a perfect world, we would always like to get the call right, but it would very difficult to allow off-mat officials to get involved in this capacity. Where would we draw the line. The off-mat official could bring to the attention of the mat official any unsportsmanlike conduct that he might observe as it relates to coaches and non participating contestants. All referee's have jurisdiction at all times when it comes to enforcing sportsmanship. This rule is intended to identify unsportsmanlike conduct when not observed by the referee on the mat. (see page 69 & 70 of the Case Book)