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Wrestling => Wrestlingref - Officiating => Topic started by: RYou on December 22, 2018, 10:27:55 AM

Title: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: RYou 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.

Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: New2TheGameNYRef 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.
 

           
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: RYou 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. 
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: New2TheGameNYRef 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.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: Ray Brinzer on December 26, 2018, 09:27:46 AM
The general form of this problem:
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: RYou 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.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: New2TheGameNYRef 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.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: Ray Brinzer 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.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: ctc on December 26, 2018, 04:36:22 PM
Fair, unbiased article.
http://intermatwrestle.com/articles/21008
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: New2TheGameNYRef 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.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: RYou 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.

Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: RYou 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....
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: New2TheGameNYRef 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?
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: RYou 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.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: New2TheGameNYRef on January 01, 2019, 01:17:36 PM
Thanks RYou.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: New2TheGameNYRef on January 02, 2019, 12:59:42 PM
This is one of the main reasons why it's instrumental for each Wrestling Official Association to be consistent. It seems like he snuck through the cracks and finally got called out on it. I, myself, have been guilty to let a kid wrestle without a haircover whose hair did not technically meet the rule (hair a quarter inch too long). I tell the kid and the coach, by the next match, he's going to need a trim or a legal haircover. I don't lose sleep over that decision. I'm still trying to figure out how a coach, trainer, team, and anyone else there, including the ref allowed this to happen in front of everyone. Such a travesty. I just wish we had the full story. Be interesting to see how this plays out....
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: RYou on January 02, 2019, 03:29:19 PM
Yeah the more I hear, the more I question the coach.  What this a case where he didn't act because of fear of it looking like a racial issue and let others do his talking.?  Why didn't this coach assure the correct headgear was available for the kid, either buying it or advising the kid where to buy it.?

Those watching the after bout video want to believe it was the ref instigating his low attitude walking off the mat because his forced the trim, when it was the kid kicking himself down for knowingly not getting the correct headgear and losing his dreads because of his own lax attitude.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: New2TheGameNYRef on January 02, 2019, 03:35:39 PM
This would be a COMPLETELY different story if the ref didn't have that "blemish" on his record. I feel for the guy to a certain degree.

Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: ctc on January 06, 2019, 09:35:04 AM
Doesn't appear to be any ruling yet.  I think they are letting it cool down first.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: RYou on January 24, 2019, 04:27:11 PM
Referee Maloney teetering on the brink.

http://highschoolsports.nj.com/news/article/-6813696449000523731/dreadlock-refs-technical-mastery-stained-by-long-history-of-racial-conflict/

Given the current attitude in NJ government, Maloney is highly likely to get banned from refereeing anywhere in NJ.  Not for this incident alone, but his body of criticism.  Individually, not much, it's the volume.

Highly respected on the mat, but boy has he create his share of enemies.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: New2TheGameNYRef on January 24, 2019, 08:11:53 PM
Doesn't look good for him at all......
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: ctc on February 09, 2019, 03:53:24 PM
I don't think they will do anything to him.  Most of the accusations seem petty other than his drunken use of the "n" word and that is history.  I can see him retiring as he must be nearing 70.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: RYou on February 09, 2019, 07:17:05 PM
I don't think they will do anything to him.  Most of the accusations seem petty other than his drunken use of the "n" word and that is history.  I can see him retiring as he must be nearing 70.

62
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: New2TheGameNYRef on March 07, 2019, 09:22:03 PM
Updates?
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: RYou on March 07, 2019, 11:36:03 PM
Nope, HS season is over. Maloney hasn't reffed NJ since December.  The state essentially completed its interviews back in January.  Outcome is essentially moot since the school admin throughout the south of the state have blackballed him.  I doubt any will be convinced to let him in the gym next season, outside a state report that backs him up.  I think there is too much other baggage the will hinder his return..  It will trickle over to the junior freestyle season too.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: New2TheGameNYRef on March 21, 2019, 06:44:45 AM
The plot thickens....will be interesting...

https://deadspin.com/high-school-wrestling-ref-who-forced-teen-to-cut-his-dr-1833439515
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: RYou on March 21, 2019, 08:20:32 AM
As required by NJ law he has filed a notice of intent to sue a whole host of public entities for defamation.  NJ doesn't offer the sovereign immunity, or even a tort cap, from liability that other states maintain to protect public entities.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: New2TheGameNYRef on March 21, 2019, 11:12:09 AM
I think he has a pretty good case...will be interesting to see how much he gets.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: RYou on March 21, 2019, 05:07:11 PM
Trying for nominal retirement checks.  Each of the entities have different insurers so he targeting multiple pockets.His best shot may well be the news org and reporter that broke the story calling it racist. He'll never work a match in south jersey again.  He can't force the school districts and tournament directors to hire him through a court action, so he's toast, and the rep will follow him if he tries for work in South PA or Delaware.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: RYou on September 18, 2019, 09:19:35 PM
Maloney was handed a two-year suspension.  He was blackballed anyway, the suspension just makes it official.

The NJ Department of Civil Rights also issued new training materials titled “Guidance on Race Discrimination Based on Hairstyle,” which specifically stipulates that any policy that bans, limits or restricts hairstyles “inextricably intertwined with or closely associated with race,” such as twists or locs may violate New Jersey law.

All sports officials in NJ must also attend a bias training session.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: New2TheGameNYRef on September 19, 2019, 10:27:46 PM
WoWoWoW. Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: RYou on September 21, 2019, 06:07:41 AM
Essentially, the NJ DoCR labeled national rule as discriminatory
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: red viking on October 21, 2019, 03:04:24 PM
Looks like cornrolls are now legal per NFHS.
Title: Re: Length of Hair Violation
Post by: RYou on October 21, 2019, 04:35:31 PM
Looks like cornrolls are now legal per NFHS.

It wasn't the cornrolls the NJ ref cited, it was the length of hair rule below the collar and the fact the wrestler did not have the required hair net to don.

When his hair was cut, it was just the back of the neck below the collar.  The rolls on top were not touched.