Hall of Fame – 1991
Jim Ayers has been a wrestling official for 17 years and is that kind of gentleman that doesn’t back into any situation. Having no wrestling experience in high school or college he walked right into it his first year of teaching in 1967 when he first became interested. He coached little kids and high school wrestling for about seven years. As with many people, he became an avid follower of the sport. However, as he sat in the coach’s corner time after time he decided he could do a better job of officiating than what he was coming up against and besides, as a referee, “you have the best seat in the house.” With that in mind he stepped onto the mat and has been there ever since.
He has been a regular at the Nebraska State Meet the past 15 years. He has noticed some changes in the years he has been officiating. There seems to be less stalling by competitors than some years ago. Wrestlers are more aggressive in their approach to the sport. He feels fortunate to have officiated several matches that have involved outstanding competitors but claims the referee is usually not aware of who the individuals are until he sees the television cameras and reporters ringing the mat.
The most difficult calls to make, he feels, are for stalling and possibly the out-of-bounds call. He admits to hearing the crowd noise, especially if it is an educated crowd. They will see the move initiated and will be aware, before it is completed, of the points that should be awarded.