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Southern Minnesota Wrestling Officials Association (SMWOA)


SMWOA was started almost 35 years ago when a group of wrestling officials led by Duane Silker split away from the Rochester Officials Association to form their own group of officials with a unique link to high school and college wrestling.  This new association called themselves The Wrestling Officials (TWO).  This group was served by some of the state’s premiere officials like Pat Dunn, Constantine (Gust) Barbas, Darrell Lande, and John Philo to name just a few.  This small group of wrestling talents were mainstays at the Minnesota State Tournament and they were unique in developing young talent to fill in when they moved and they did just that.  In 1983 the group changed again and became the Southern Minnesota Wrestling Officials Association (SMWOA) led by Rick Rud.  The group had grown from an original group of six officials to over twenty at the time. In the Spring of 2015, SMWOA underwent further expansion to include Southwest Minnesota which extended our service area to span the entire Southern Minnesota region from the Wisconsin to the South Dakota border. Today the SMWOA consists of a roster of almost fifty officials and still maintains the original mandate to train younger officials and grow the wrestling officiating talent in Minnesota. SMWOA retains a strong belief in officiating consistency and has created and maintained a strong theory in communicating internally as well as externally among other officials, associations, and coaches throughout the states of MN, IA, and WI.  SMWOA is the head officiating group for The Clash National High School Wrestling Duals that has become the premiere high school championship tournament in the nation.