Wrestling Officiating Milestone
Wiedmeyer officiating at the Missouri State Championships.
Photo by Parker Eshelman, courtesy Columbia
After helping his students mentally wrestle
with the concepts of clinical pathology at the University
of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Chuck Wiedmeyer
replaces his coat and tie with a stripped shirt and whistle,
and heads to the mat to help with a more physical form of
Recently, he achieved a milestone in his
Dr. Wiedmeyer, assistant professor of veterinary
clinical pathology, was recently selected, from nearly 300
registered officials, to officiate at the Superbowl of state
wrestling, the state tournament. Of the 32 officials chosen,
he was the only one from Columbia.
It was the highlight of his wrestling career.
The event is sponsored by the Missouri State High School Athletics
Association (MSHSAA), and was held in February.
Dr. Wiedmeyer earned his DVM and PhD from
the University of Illinois-Champaign and has been teaching
clinical pathology at MU for more than five years.
He earned his wrestling experience starting
in his freshman year in high school. "I was way behind
my teammates because most of them started much younger,"
he said. "Because I started late, I was a mediocre wrestler
at best. Still, I had a good time and enjoyed the competition."
To stay involved with the sport, Dr. Wiedmeyer
obtained his license to officiate in Illinois in 1985 shortly
after leaving high school. "I have officiated ever since,
21 years, in fact," he said.
Typically, he officiates six to eight tournaments
a year and several dual meets. That equals hundreds of matches
To be selected to the officiate at the state tournament, the
official must have experience, good ratings by coaches, recommendations
by other officials, and good evaluations by state evaluators.
Another plus is experience in officiating in other parts of
the state. "If you stay in your area, you’re not
noticed enough," Dr. Wiedmeyer said. "I've traveled
to St. Louis, Kansas City, Branson, Springfield, Hannibal,
and many points in between."
Dr. Wiedmeyer said that while it is easy
to get become an official; it is difficult to be an official.
"To become an official all one needs
is knowledge of wrestling, pass an open book MSHSAA exam,
and attend a rules meeting," he said. "If you are
in your first three years of officiating, you must attend
a mechanics meeting to work on your signaling mechanics, mat
positioning, and how to conduct a match."
You also need a little savvy. "As
one novice official commented to me recently, there are many
unwritten rules," Dr. Wiedmeyer said. "A new rule
book is published every year, but to be an official you have
to use judgment, anticipate situations, have a great command
of the rules, use good mechanics, and most of all have thick
skin. I have been called every name in the book and even physically
threatened. All in a day's work, I guess."
Is it rewarding? "Yes, it's very fun, even though sometimes
I have to take a lot of verbal abuse from fans, it still has
its rewards," he said. "It does pay, but not a great
deal. Call it a hobby."
It is also physically demanding--a great
way to maintain fitness.
"Also, I have learned things
from officiating that apply to my academic life," he
said. "Things like fairness, following rules, patience,
being able to accept criticism, confidence, authority, and
Future plans? "I'll keep doing this until I can't,"
he said. "I have officiated wrestling for kid's clubs,
junior high schools, high schools, and, recently, college.
As long as there is wrestling, I'll be officiating."
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