Q - In tournaments with multiple mats, how far should officials allow contestants to encroach upon an adjacent wrestling area (outside the 28 foot circle) in a NF situation?
A - All mat configurations vary in different tournaments, and even within the same tournament. I'm very hesitant to make a steadfast rule that would apply in all situations. We have lived with wrestling outside the 28 foot circle regarding take downs and reversals for many years. During this time, I know officials have used common sense and good judgment when it comes to safety. If wrestlers leave their wrestling area and infringe upon another, it should be understood that wrestling be stopped. In all tournaments, prior to the onset of the event, I would encourage the lead official and his crew to inspect the wrestling area of every mat. During and after the inspection, and prior to meeting with the coaches, they will discuss this issue and them come to a consensus regarding this topic as it pertains to that event. If they cannot come to a consensus, then he should make a ruling. Coaches should then be informed of the decision. Consistently applying your decision, and properly informing coaches should make for a good day.