Wrestling referees needed again this year

by Meghan Augsburger
Ramstein High School intern

The wrestling referee is one of the most important figures on the mat for both the flow of the matches and safety of the wrestlers. Every year, many forget the importance of the wrestling officials at high school meets. Many criticize their performance and question their intentions.

Those who comment may not fully understand the commitment these referees make or how much they care for the safety and well being of the wrestlers. On any given Saturday during wrestling season, officials give up their time to allow athletes to compete. Conditions aren’t always easy, referee Brian Augsburger said.

“The first time I was out there, it was a long day,” he said. “I left at 4 (a.m.) and got home around 10 (p.m.) that night. I was exhausted but I really enjoy it.”

In general, four venues are in session from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Referees arrive earlier in order to weigh in the wrestlers and get the meet started on time. Once the meet starts, the action is almost non-stop.

Referees trade off with each other and officiate roughly 50 matches per meet. The number of refs available at each meet has a direct bearing on how many matches they officiate. With only seven refs signed up for this season, their workload is likely to increase significantly. This problem can be solved though; the Kaiserslautern Officials Association is looking for interested volunteers who love the sport. In order to become a wrestling referee, those interested are required to attend a KOA sponsored clinic. However, becoming proficient and confident in the sport comes with experience. “It takes a lot of confidence and courage to step on a wrestling mat and officiate, but it is very important for the safety of the wrestlers that you are not afraid to stop the match at any time,” said Jason Ille, a KOA official. Over time, officiating matches becomes less intimidating and more enjoyable. “There’s a lot of interaction with the kids, other referees, and some of the coaches.” Augsburger says. Officials often recognize and chat with wrestlers who have participated in years before. As far as questions on the intentions or bias of the referees, parents and athletes need to realize that many of them have no affiliation with any of the schools. These officials are out there because they love the sport and want to provide the wrestlers a chance to compete. Without them, meets would be officiated by the coaches or not happen at all. Spectators often express the opinion that they can do a better job than the current referees. For those who feel this way, the KOA welcomes you. Michelle Daniels, an official and wrestling commissioner for the organization, stated, “I wasn’t a wrestler but a mouthy mother who decided to put my foot where my mouth was.” If you’d like to attend the clinic and learn more about wrestling season, email Michelle Daniels at Daniels.michelle2@googlemail.com. Any help the KOA can get will benefit the other officials and most importantly, the athletes.

Intermediate Combatives Tournament

Participate or come watch the Intermediate Combatives Tournament at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Miesau Fitness Center. Registration/weigh-in takes place from 8 to 9 a.m. A coaches meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. Intermediate rules apply. Open to active-duty men and women. Trophies will be awarded to first and second place and overall tournament champion. Free for spectators. The Miesau Fitness Center is located in Bldg. 1220. For details, call 493-2087 or 0631-3406-2087.

LLG Christmas run

The Landstuhl running association LLG will sponsor its 24th Christmas run Sunday. The 1,300-meter children’s run will begin at 12:30 p.m., and the 7.6-kilometer main run is scheduled for 1 p.m. The route will be made up of three 2-km loops around the Christmas market in Landstuhl. Starting point will be the Sickingensporthalle (gym) on Kaiserstrasse 128.

The finish line will be at the Christmas market, in front of VR Bank. The children run is for children of any age, from bambini to 15 years old. The main run is for participants older than 15. The fee is €6 for adults and €3 for children. All participants will receive certificates and prizes. For details and to register, visit www.llg-landstuhl.de.

Baumholder’s Jingle Bell Jog

The Jingle Bell Jog takes place Dec. 7 at the Hall of Champions Fitness Center in Baumholder. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. and the jog starts at 9. No registration required. The event is free to all participants. Souvenir T-shirts are available for $5 each.

Winter sports registration

Register your youth for CYS Services winter sports until Monday. Winter sports include: indoor rock climbing for ages 7 to 15; bambino basketball for ages 3 to 4; basketball for ages 5 to 15; cheerleading for ages 5 to 15; and wrestling for ages 5 to 15. For more information and to register your youth, contact Parent Central Services, Bldg. 2898 on Pulaski Barracks, or the One Stop Shop, Bldg. 3810 on Landstuhl Post.

Gymnastics classes

Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s SKIESUnlimited offers gymnastics classes for toddlers and children. For class offerings, times and prices, call Parent Central Services at 493-4156 or 0631-3406-4516.


Pilates classes take place from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Fridays in Bldg. 3720 on Landstuhl. For details, call 486-7172 or 06371-86-7172.

Parent & Me Yoga Classes

Relax and rejuvenate in Parent & Me Yoga being offered by CYS Services SKIESUnlimited. Parent and child yoga classes are offered to parents and the children ages infant to 5 years and ages 5 to 12. To register your youth, contact Parent Central Services, Bldg. 2898 on Pulaski Barracks, or the One Stop Shop, Bldg. 3810 on Landstuhl.

Family Fitness

The Family Fitness class consists of circuit training for the whole family. Parents and children will get an all-over body workout in 60 minutes. Family Fitness incorporates cardio, body bars, obstacle courses and more. This class takes place from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Miesau Physical Fitness Center, Bldg. 1220. For details and prices, call 481-3797 or 06372-842-3797.