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So Jr. WhiteCoat is back to wrestling.

During one match, he is winning 11-0 and the kid he is wrestling flings his head back and hits Jr. WhiteCoat in the mouth. He gets a little cut on the corner of his lip and his lip started bleeding.
Referee stopped the match. It took about 45 seconds to get the bleeding to stop. During that time, there was a medical time-out. If the medical time out lasts more than 2 minutes, then the wrestler is disqualified.
Started wrestling again. Then the referee notices blood on the back of the other kid’s uniform. No further bleeding from Jr. WhiteCoat’s mouth, just a couple of spots of blood that the referee hadn’t noticed before. He stops the match again for a medical time-out. Trainer has to come over and use soap to wipe the kid’s uniform. Another 50 seconds.

Referee tells coach that if Jr. WhiteCoat has any more bleeding, that he will be disqualified.

Coach gets upset, turns to me and Mrs. WhiteCoat on the sidelines and yells “this ref is a friggin STROKE!”
Mrs. WhiteCoat gets excited and yells out “What?!?! He’s having a stroke?!?!”
Coach rolls his eyes and yells back over his shoulder “yeah, we should be so lucky.”

[cue half of crowd on south side of gym cracking up]


  1. Yeah I’ll pass on the sport that has other people bleeding on me and a major risk of getting herpes gladiatorum.

  2. I started wrestling when I was 7 and continued all the way through high school. I have several cousins and a brother-in-law who were all State Champions. Its a great sport. If anyone ever starts talking about how great martial arts are for kids, just nod knowingly and say “I know, my son wrestles”

    When I was in high school though, I had a nose bleed problem. I had a mild unknown allergy and we heated with wood. This caused the lining of my nose to dry out and crack. I could get a nose bleed just warming up for a match. I spent most of my high school career with a mask on my headgear and still had a nose bleed every match.

    It was kind of gross, but it was prior to the AIDS scare, so we didn’t have all the new rules about blood and medical timeouts. I probably would have been disqualified about half the time these days.

  3. For what it’s worth, referee misapplied the rule. Current national high school rules state that “blood time,” which is the time it takes to stop bleeding of a contestant, is 5 minutes cumulative during the match but does not include clean-up time if the blood has already stopped. Since there was no additional bleeding by Jr. Whitecoat, the second stoppage was clean up time and it shouldn’t have been called blood time.

    As a NCAA All American many moons ago and a long time coach and referee, I understand the blood concerns and the rules that have been enacted to try to combat the problem. I haven’t heard of any wrestler contracting a blood borne illness from an opponent. The bigger issue now days is skin infections, particularly with the ever nastier MRSA and similar infections. Skin infections happen rather frequently and are the subject of many regulations.


  4. my son used just about all of his “blood time” a couple of weeks ago. Assistant coach was rummaging through his bag for his fix. The fix was a cotton ‘bullet’ with Preparation H on it. No more nose bleed for the rest of the match. Which he won!

    The coach mentioned eating more green peppers – but further reading about that shows kale has way more vitamin K than anything else. Is there any benefit for pumping my kid full of kale before a match?

    • The cotton bullets, commonly referred to as “nose tampons” are used by almost everyone. Squirting a little visine on it works really well to stop blood flow as well.


  5. We’re talking pre-high school wrestling. Occasionally, it seems like some of these refs make up the rules as they go along, although overall I think they do a good job.

    I haven’t seen a case of wrestler’s herpes in 5+ years. Not that it doesn’t happen, but I’m not to concerned about it. All meets have mandatory skin and nail checks before wrestling begins, so don’t see to many skin infections. WC Jr gets washed down after a meet and cleans off between matches with an antibacterial wipe to the face and hands.

    The nasal packing stops the bleeding due to pressure on the inner nasal septum. Visine or NeoSynephrine may help to constrict the blood vessels, but some powders (QR Wound Seal as one example) actually cause the blood to clot and seal over the bleeding vessel. Getting some sterile Q-Tips and a couple of packets of that stuff works well for most bleeding. Having some 2×2 gauze pads to make the tampons and a minute of steady pressure will stop most of the rest.

    As for the green peppers/kale – they aren’t going to have an appreciable effect on blood clotting unless someone is on Coumadin or has a clotting disorder. Although peppers/kale are healthy and the bleeding thing could be a way to get your kid to eat his veggies ;-)

  6. So hang on–one wrestler punches another in the face, and the one who GOT PUNCHED is the one who LOSES?

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