#4 Can’t Be Saved by The Bell

Next up, the rules committee should immediately embrace is a rule that states a wrestler cannot be saved by the bell (buzzer) if he’s on his back.

The name of the game is pinning, it’s what everyone wants to see. The take’m down and cut’m loose style of wrestling is okay for a while but it’s not a pin. Granted, knocking someone off their feet is better than two wrestlers standing around staring at each other. But the pin must be king and wrestlers should be rewarded for taking the risks that are necessary to put someone on their back.

So what’s wrong with allowing wrestling to continue after the buzzer until the pin occurs or the bottom man gets off his back? Sounds like fun to me and we already do it, to some degree, in overtime matches. Even though a takedown ends the match, if the defensive man is on his back, the match continues.

Football does something similar as well; can you imagine the uproar that would have occurred several years ago in the Auburn-Alabama Iron Bowl if the game winning 109-yard touchdown run didn’t count? Remember, Alabama’s field goal attempt fell a couple yards short as time expired. Then ten seconds later Chris Davis crossed Alabama’s end zone to win the game. Had that been wrestling, the greatest play in football history wouldn’t have occurred because time had expired before the score.

In basketball, all shots count that leaves the players hand before the buzzer. So what’s wrong with letting wrestling continue if it means that spectators get to cheer just a little longer? I have no idea why anyone would feel it’s the right thing to do, to take that excitement away from our fans?

In boxing, an athlete who’s been knocked down, in any round, can’t be saved by the bell. Wrestling should follow that lead; it just makes sense if we believe that excited spectators are a good thing.

I know 3-time NCAA Champion Mark Churella would vote for it. His son lost in the NCAA finals to Johnny Hendricks from Oklahoma State in 2006. But at the end of the first period Churella had locked up a cradle and pinned Hendricks. Unfortunately for Michigan fans, the pin didn’t count because it was determined it occurred .03 seconds after time had elapsed. Not being able to be saved by the buzzer is a rule whose time has come.

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