DeWine’s Ohio COVID Rule: High School Wrestlers Can Wrestle - But Can’t Shake Hands

P. Gardner Goldsmith | December 11, 2020
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In the midst of scratching their heads over Governor Mike DeWine’s (R) Dec. 7 extension of his bizarre, unconstitutional “curfew” to guard against a virus that, evidently, becomes more deadly after 10 pm and before 5 am, Ohio residents might have missed the bizarre “high school sports” edict issued on Dec. 4…

That’s the command that high school wrestlers are “permitted” to wrestle, but before and after the match, participants are... 

...forbidden from shaking hands.

WLWT5 reports:

Among the new rules is student-athletes are permitted to wrestle, but must refrain from handshakes before and after the match.

Thank goodness. Or is it, “thank government?” After all, who knows where those HANDS might have been? Heck, they might have been attached to wrestlers who were breathing, sweating, and drooling on each other in their struggle for dominance on the mat. So… er… Yeah.

Then there’s the added genius of this rule:

Wrestlers are also required to wear facial coverings off the mat when not actively competing or warming up.

Because, as anyone knows, when the wrestlers aren’t wrapped up with competitors like human pretzels, they might encounter the breath of another human being.

And there’s this:

All those on the team bench also need to observe social distancing of 6 feet.



Sure, when wrestling with a maskless opponent, competitors DO break the sorcery of the magic six-foot barrier and exchange a lot of fluids -- they do BREATHE all over their opponents -- but. Um… It LOOKS good and quite fascistically uniform if a reporter takes a photo of the team on the bench and they’re all spaced apart like masked soldiers on review.

Don’t bother thinking about the fact that some team members use the locker room, or break the magic six-foot barrier when they practice. Rules are rules, no matter how arbitrary and conflicting -- no matter how nonsensical, oppressive, and downright crazy they may be. And we all know that it’s authoritarian rules that are important.

Same goes for the refs, who spend most of their time in close proximity to the combatants, crawling on their hands and knees, trying to watch for fouls and keep the competition honest:

Another big change comes from officiating. To conclude the end of match procedure, the official may point to the winning wrestler while raising his or her own arm (with open hand) having the requisite wristband color (red/green) of the winning wrestler.

Some speculate that DeWine’s Ohio school bureaucracy will order refs to stand eighty feet away, using binoculars and semaphore to watch and officiate, but, as of this writing, the “officials” in Ohio haven’t issued a wonderful “press release” to that effect.

But... If it just makes one person safer -- just one -- it’s all worth it, despite the fact that the people deciding if it’s “worth it” aren’t the ones participating.

And to really make things safe, perhaps the “deciders” ruling over the Ohio high school wrestling world could order all the kids to wear giant Sumo Suits, or get into plastic bubbles the way the rock band Flaming Lips did for audience members a couple months ago.

It’s very important in today’s America that no individual ever be allowed to make his or her own risk assessment and that all decisions be collectivized and homogenized. In fact, let’s just be done with that idea of individuality and individual responsibility altogether. We can change “INdependence Day” to “Dependence Day”, have a central authority take our cash to, in turn, tell us how to live, and never bother thinking about the logical dead-end that achieves.

It’s pretzel logic, but, as we can see in Ohio, logic is just as twisted and bound-up as the wrestlers in the ring.

And logic and principle are being pinned to the proverbial mat by centralized, authoritarian edicts.


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