Author Topic: Length of Hair Violation  (Read 786 times)

Offline RYou

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Length of Hair Violation
« on: December 22, 2018, 10:27:55 AM »
Linked below....

The Ref involved is in this controversy is in the NJ Wrestling Hall of Fame and a top ref that officiates the NJ State finals.  He's been around the block and knows the rules.

He gave a wrestler the option to cut his hair / dreads, or forfeit.  Presumably a hair net or cap was not available.  Not all of the details are in, presumably the hair length exceeded the allowable length.  One question that hasn't been answered is if the ref advised the wrestler during the locker room inspection, and was ignored or first advised at mat side.  I suspect it was matside.  The wrestler opened the season elsewhere wrestling several days prior without incident, and was allowed on the mat without a hair net.  That doesn't mean the prior ref's didn't miss the violation, if there was one. The video doesn't give a clear indication if there was a hair length violation.

https://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/sports/local/highschool/buena-wrestler-forced-to-cut-dreadlocks-to-compete-state-division/article_354993c0-4114-56f2-b46a-6bb5896916fd.html

A lot are making a racial accusations out of this and NJ is investigating as a civil rights violation; however, they are likely ignorant of wrestling rules on hair length that do not exist for other HS sports.  Maybe, maybe not, or is this just enforcement of a rule violation?

I'm posting as  FYI since no one likes being the target of controversial headlines.  Personally, the issue should have not arose mat side, having been addressed in the locker room.


Offline New2TheGameNYRef

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Re: Length of Hair Violation
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2018, 06:06:17 PM »
There is A LOT to this story that I think is missing.

First red flag,

"According to Frankel’s Tweet, the impromptu haircut was ordered by referee Alan Maloney, who would not allow Johnson to compete with a cover over his hair."

               a) Why? Was his hair cover not legally attached to the head gear?

               b) No one else on the team had another head gear attached with a hair cover?

               c) I don't care how big of a match this is....why cut your hair for a wrestling match [unless the dreads meant nothing to the wrestler]....90 seconds isn't a long time to cut all those dreadlocks.

As a ref, I would do everything within my power to prevent this....like the OP mentioned, a proper full skin check/special equipment check prior to the beginning of the match. Always ask to see mouth guards, hair covers, and knee pads. Yes, sometimes, this kind of stuff can sneak by us, so I get it. When it came to the match. I am wondering if it happened before the match or during the match. It seemed like it would have to come prior to the start of the match.

I don't fully blame the ref, but these coaches must have known. Rules are rules. How do you not have backups of singlets, head gears with attached hair covers. Know your team, know your wrestlers. Kids will be kids.

I wish we got the full story, but I feel like I am left with more questions than I had before reading the story.
 

           

Offline RYou

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Re: Length of Hair Violation
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2018, 02:40:41 PM »
We're getting more facts but continue to expect more.  Consider this information to be unofficial on the basis the incident is being investigated by the NJ Office of civil Rights.  Here in NJ the wrestling officials are independent contractors, paid per diem.  If there was a civil rights violation, it will be on shoulders of the ref, Maloney, not the school.

For the record, the ref was late arriving and missed weigh ins.  Not a big issue as the coaches weigh in the wrestlers and the rules do not require the ref to observe.  However, due to his being late, the skin inspection appeared rushed to some in the room. No mention was made of Johnson's dreadlocks by the ref during the inspection.

Johnson had donned legit head gear with hair net before the bout.  The ref told him it was still too long and to cut his hair or forfeit.  Johnson said he would tuck it up under the hair net.  The ref told him it would not be "normal", and restated the cut or forfeit order.  As the trainer cut his hair, the ref continued to instruct her to cut it shorter.

Coach and wrestler knew the rules, were prepared for and met the requirements.

The ref has been suspended indefinitely by the NJ HS sports administration.. The high school has banned the ref from officiating futures matches at the school, even if the suspension is removed. 

Offline New2TheGameNYRef

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Re: Length of Hair Violation
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2018, 10:46:50 PM »
Seems like this ref was picking for boogers based on this unofficial information. Hair can touch the ground as long as it is neatly covered by a legal hair cover attached to the headgear. I've seen some wrestlers of all ethnicities wrestle with very long hair, no problem. State caliber ref.....something is not adding up right.

Offline Ray Brinzer

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Re: Length of Hair Violation
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2018, 09:27:46 AM »
The general form of this problem:
« Last Edit: December 26, 2018, 09:34:25 AM by Ray Brinzer »

Offline RYou

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Re: Length of Hair Violation
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2018, 02:03:29 PM »
Seems like this ref was picking for boogers based on this unofficial information. Hair can touch the ground as long as it is neatly covered by a legal hair cover attached to the headgear. I've seen some wrestlers of all ethnicities wrestle with very long hair, no problem. State caliber ref.....something is not adding up right.

There was head gear and hair net, but no absolute confirmation of head gear with hair net.  If so, there was a coaching lapse. Betcha there are coaches across the country scrambling to purchase one piece head gear.  I'm not so sure there is any benefit to one piece over separate
pieces, other than when separate the head gear may be more apt to slide around disrupting flow of the bout for readjustments.

Offline New2TheGameNYRef

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Re: Length of Hair Violation
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2018, 02:54:39 PM »
If this was me.....and I was "rushed" during the skin checks.....I'd have said....the hair cover needs to be legally attached. I'm going to let it slide this one and only match but from here on out, if I see you, you're going to need to a legal headgear with a hair cover attached.

Offline Ray Brinzer

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Re: Length of Hair Violation
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2018, 04:21:49 PM »
If this was me.....and I was "rushed" during the skin checks.....I'd have said....the hair cover needs to be legally attached. I'm going to let it slide this one and only match but from here on out, if I see you, you're going to need to a legal headgear with a hair cover attached.

Maybe privately, after the match.  You generally don't want to call attention to the fact that you're glossing over rules.  When in doubt, shut up.

Offline ctc

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Re: Length of Hair Violation
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2018, 04:36:22 PM »
Several are on "ignore".   I won't argue with the ignorant and disrespectful..
 "People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive" ~ Blaise Pascal

Offline New2TheGameNYRef

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Re: Length of Hair Violation
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2018, 07:04:34 PM »
Great read.

Seems like this should been prevented prior to the match. Not the kind of spotlight we want for our sport or profession. A very unfortunate incident.

Offline RYou

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Re: Length of Hair Violation
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2018, 10:20:02 PM »
Word is out from officials at the Robin Leff Tournament, December 15, that both coach and wrestler were warned the hair net he had was no longer acceptable but they let him compete because it was opening day of the season. You can eliminate ignorance of the rule as an excuse.


Offline RYou

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Re: Length of Hair Violation
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2018, 08:44:20 AM »
Interviews with Buena wrestling teammates....

http://highschoolsports.nj.com/news/article/-3341302530425508370/dreadlock-cutting-decision-defended-at-tourney-as-buena-returns-to-wrestling/

Also, note the family attorney states they do not intend to sue....

Offline New2TheGameNYRef

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Re: Length of Hair Violation
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2018, 10:33:34 PM »
The full story still hasn't been released. I've read the stories, Burroughs perspective, other people perspective and opinions, but we have failed to hear from the referee. I'd like to know his side of the story. I can only assume his lawyer is advising him to stay quiet, but would like to hear the other side of the coin. I want to know what happened in the locker room, what happened at mat side? What was discussed between coaches and ref? What is the wrestler's side of the story?

Offline RYou

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Re: Length of Hair Violation
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2019, 09:04:27 AM »
The full story still hasn't been released. I've read the stories, Burroughs perspective, other people perspective and opinions, but we have failed to hear from the referee. I'd like to know his side of the story. I can only assume his lawyer is advising him to stay quiet, but would like to hear the other side of the coin. I want to know what happened in the locker room, what happened at mat side? What was discussed between coaches and ref? What is the wrestler's side of the story?

The ref, wrestler and the coach have been gagged by their attorneys, subject to the state civil rights investigation which is unfortunate because it would resolve the entire issue without need for an investigation.

You may have read it, but another ref has come out and stated publicly that he met with the Buena team 2 weeks prior to the season opener and he advised Johnson and one other on the team that they need to cut their hair or wear the hairnet attached to the head gear.

The wrestlers attorney has stated that he was required to shave chin hair at the inspection but not to trim hair off the nape.  In the video you can clearly see the dreads were weaved front to back with long ends down the nape of neck and not in a location readily visible from the front.

We don't know how quickly the state will investigate and issue a finding, but it is the state so don't expect a decision by next week.  It'll be interesting to see just how broadly the state interviews people in the know outside of the wrestler, the coach and the ref.

Offline New2TheGameNYRef

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Re: Length of Hair Violation
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2019, 01:17:36 PM »
Thanks RYou.