This week I found myself at another wrestling tournament. ‘Tis the season!
I stood behind the table help waiting for my daughter to wrestle. During the match before my daughter’s, the referee had to stop the match several times to fix the clock. A young boy was running the computer so I look over his shoulder to see what was going on and I realized he hadn’t been given any training on how to run the system properly. When my kids were smaller, I was a USA certified para, which means I was trained on how to run the trackwrestling system really well. I lean over and show the young man a more effective way to stop and start the clock without using the mouse. It’s just the down arrow button, but being able to keep your finger on it the entire time ensures that the time will always stop and start with the whistle of the ref. Trust me, in pressure cooker matches, the clock means almost as much as the points.
As he is finishing out the match, I realize he also is not properly recording the events that are taking place, he is just marking out many points were scored. This could become a huge problem if a coach starts to complain about a call, but I waited until the match finished to show him how to do this and why it was important. The girl that was supposed to wrestle my daughter hadn’t showed up yet, so I knelt beside him and broke down the process more thoroughly so he would be more self assured on what to do.
The referee came over and barked at me, telling me to stop being a distraction while he is trying to run the mat. I look at the ref like he had lost his mind.
“You don’t have a match going on right now, and I’m just helping this kid better understand what he needs to do. You just stopped the previous match several times because of table problems. Don’t you want it to run smoother?”
The man bristle like a fool, because he was still waiting for the other wrestler to show up for the next match to start. “I still don’t want to see you here during the match.”
I smiled and shook my head. “I wasn’t planning on it. That’s my daughter wrestling, I’m here to watch her. I just don’t like to see people floundering when a little bit of instruction can fix the problem.”
He grumbled back to the center of the mat rather than thank me. And true to my word, I stepped away from the table once the other girl showed up and surprise, surprise my daughter’s match wasn’t put on hold a bunch of times. But even then, as I helped my daughter gather her things, that grumpy ref couldn’t say thank you.