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Rick Thompson's view...


WrestlerofthePast
Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 913
http://highschoolsports.lehighvalleylive.com/news/article/-59756431875252285/rick-thompsons-right-lets-scrap-wrestling-dual-meet-tourneys-and-quads/

What are people thoughts on this?!?!!?

I'm torn.....I think his logic makes sense if most varsity teams have FULL TEAMS....Who wants to show up for a Saturday night dual when the result is all ready decided before it starts due to forfeits?!?!?! This formula only works with teams with full lineups.

Kids want the most bang for their buck in my opinion, meaning dual meet tournaments guarantee them at least 5 "matches" in most cases.

Curious to hear other people's opinions.


Mayo08
Joined: Feb 27, 2006
Posts: 1570
This is a subject I've kind of been complaining about to certain people for years. Probably not all of the exact reasons this writer brings up, but certainly a couple.

Edit:

tl;dr... I'm not a big fan. Maybe I'm biased. I'm also not sure someone can directly correlate a decrease in participation with a rise in dual meet tournaments, but having competed in, coached in, and attended as a spectator, plus having officiated in two JV Duals tournaments, I feel like I've seen them from just about every angle someone can look at them... and there are valid points against them, imo.

The way I remember things, 8-10 years ago, dual meet tournaments were basically non-existent. There were a select few (U-E, for example) that were well publicized and had reason to be... but the average tournament you went to was your bracketed, seeded, elimination tournament. There were (and still are) a few round Robin style events you could catch, notably (for our area) the Walt Peterson invitational (Bath)... Awesome competition there, not unlikely to see 2-3 state reps in a bracket, maybe more. Pittsford, Penfield, Warsaw, Wayne, Pal-Mac, Bath (when they had reps/place finishers), South Jefferson (Sec. 3), and numerous other schools.. but I digress.

I seem to, however correctly or incorrectly, remember dual meet tournaments beginning to gain popularity in our area because "kids are guaranteed 5 matches!" Which, in the grand scheme of things, could be 3 ffts and 2 fish, depending on what your name and skill level are. But, either way, that's 10 sectional/state seeding points. In comparison, someone who went 3-0 at an elimination tournament would've gotten 6 points.

So, also as I remember it, to gain a seeding edge, coaches in the "early days" of DMT's were stoked to get that seeding edge. Other coaches were forced to stay competitive in that area by seeking out the maximum number of matches possible... 5/day for every available 2-pt tournament on the schedule.

Certainly some are excited about more mat time, and in some cases, I aaaabsolutely agree with that notion. Mat time is so critical. Getting into live situations, things that are somewhat difficult to replicate in a practice for numerous different reasons I could expound on, but for anyone who's ever really wrestled (or coached) you probably get it... that experience is so, so important to a wrestler's development. And dual meet tournaments, with the promise of 5 matches, offer that as well as seeding points.

I gotta run. To be continued...

So, to continue my thoughts from earlier...

BUT... I feel that someone getting 9-10 matches in a two day tournament as opposed to someone getting 3-4 in an elimination tournament forced other coaches and teams into this follow-the-leader type idea where we have to chase opportunities for seeding points to allow our kids to stay competitive in terms of seeds, as well as being competitive on the mat. (Yes, you have to beat the best to be the best and all those clichés, but make no mistake, seeds can make a huge difference in how the podium shakes out. How the sectional podiums shake out can determine wildcard status and such in the future...). This is especially prevalent when you see teams with 4, 5, 7+ forfeits entering dual meet tournaments they have no chance to be successful in, as a team. But given the field of options today (lack of elimination tournaments) and the necessity to do right by your guys and not short change them on seeding points... what choice do coaches have?

Maybe the seeding system is a little broken (quirky might be a better word), but that's another conversation (I sat in my first coach's meeting/seeding discussion for BBBs last year and was... surprised... at how some seeds were determined, largely due to not being within X points and being able to challenge/jump... even head to head seemed to take a back seat at times to total points. But again, I digress).

While dual meet tournies have their pros, I feel strongly that there are frustrating cons... most of which lead to what I feel is a disservice in the ability as coaches to prepare for the post-season tournaments - Sectionals, Supers, States, etc.

There are undeniable skills that get bypassed in most dual meet tournaments... In no particular order of importance...
1) the ablity to mentally manage your energy from round to round, to manage your rest time and warm up time on a varying match schedule (differences in round times, etc)
2) scouting opponents and analyzing tendencies with your own eyes -- dual meet tournaments, your head is buried on your own team. I asked one of my guys this weekend... "So what's this guy like to do?" after I'd just watched a match of his opponent's. My guy looked back at me and shrugged. It was a guy he had watched, too. Yet I had to try to spoon feed instead if gameplan and build confidence. That specific edition of mental prep seems to be a bit of a lost skill, in my limited experience.
3) the knowledge that, as you win, the matches get tougher! -- Talent condenses. Every match is must win. There aren't any gimmes for the non-elite after the first round. It's a big mentality switch... and the ability to compete at a high level against ever-improving talent as you progress, despite fatigue from previous bouts is crucial in the season's end tournaments, in high school nationals, college, etc.

I could ramble off more, but this is already long enough and borderline ranting...

As a fan watching dual meet tournaments, it's impossible to check where the good matches are. The big names vs other big names. Half the time, they don't even happen. Coaches are put in a situation of "Get a team win" or "prepare my guys" and the lines get blurry.

Heard a fun statistic today... Kyle Dake, as a senior in college, wrestled 40 matches. To use the person who told me the stat's words, "The pinnacle of our sport wrestled 40 matches. We have 7th graders wrestling 50-plus. Do we really need it?" Great question. Wrestling already takes dedication over Thanksgiving break, Christmas break and February break... 6-7 Saturdays (all day), plus extra if you really wanna be decent. Does that sound like something the average kid today wants to commit to? Would we have better offseason participation and commitment if the "regular season" wasn't so long and time consuming? What if guys were still hungry to be on the mat instead of so many being thankful for some time off of it? Just some thoughts, I guess.

I honestly think there should be no more than 3 dual meet tournaments for any team in any given year... 1 qualifying district-type "sectional" tournament... top teams advance to 1 regional tournament... then send the top teams to a U-E type tournament to figure out the best team in the state. To me, a dual meet exists to determine the better team, the more adaptable coach, the deepest roster, etc. What's the purpose behind wrestling the same team, the same team, the same way, 3, 4, 5 times when, at the end of it, the best "team" doesn't represent your section at the state tournament, the best individual champions do?




Anyway... tl;dr... I'm not a big fan. Maybe I'm biased. I'm also not sure someone can directly correlate a decrease in participation with a rise in dual meet tournaments, but having competed in, coached in, and attended as a spectator, plus having officiated in two JV Duals tournaments, I feel like I've seen them from just about every angle someone can look at them... and there are valid points against them, imo. -- I'll also copy/paste this to the top
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matburn
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Joined: Nov 12, 2004
Posts: 3412
Location: WNY
I agree with the article. Generally speaking, the bigger the time commitment, the lower the participation. This goes for anything, not just wrestling.

I would like to see a reduction of long events in general, such as the elimination of 2-day tournaments (except maybe over the holiday break & the post-season) or even reducing the 5-match rule into a 3-match rule. As I read on another forum, "Duals generate excitement. Tournaments generate sore butts." We don't need 14-hour events.

I would also like to see some sort of requirement for combined teams that, in order to receive the reduced classification number, you must show that you are taking steps to build a program (beginning at the youth level) at both schools. Otherwise, we're going to continue to see teams disappear with no hope for a comeback.

I would also like another, more modest uniform option. I think the singlet is a big deterrent and makes the sport look stupid to the general public. Average team sizes began decreasing soon after it was introduced in the early 1970s. A lot of people think this won't help, but at least one state (Wisconsin) is making the change... so we'll see what happens.

There are also too many weight classes.
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Mayo08
Joined: Feb 27, 2006
Posts: 1570
matburn wrote:
I agree with the article. Generally speaking, the bigger the time commitment, the lower the participation. This goes for anything, not just wrestling.

I would like to see a reduction of long events in general, such as the elimination of 2-day tournaments (except maybe over the holiday break & the post-season) or even reducing the 5-match rule into a 3-match rule. As I read on another forum, "Duals generate excitement. Tournaments generate sore butts." We don't need 14-hour events.

I would also like to see some sort of requirement for combined teams that, in order to receive the reduced classification number, you must show that you are taking steps to build a program (beginning at the youth level) at both schools. Otherwise, we're going to continue to see teams disappear with no hope for a comeback.

I would also like another, more modest uniform option. I think the singlet is a big deterrent and makes the sport look stupid to the general public. Average team sizes began decreasing soon after it was introduced in the early 1970s. A lot of people think this won't help, but at least one state (Wisconsin) is making the change... so we'll see what happens.

There are also too many weight classes.


The singlet thing... yeah, some people make it into a problem. It never bothered me, but I get that point, completely. There was a time when two-piece singlets were a thing. Compression shorts, compression shirt. Whatever happened with those? I know they went against the norm, but I'd see them at the youth level, especially. I can't put a rough date on the last time I saw one... were they that unpopular? I've considered fundraising and using some of the money for something of that nature

As per a more modest type thing, I'm not sure what direction you could go in other than compression gear that wouldn't potentially impede either movement/wrestling, or provide less clarity for officials.

I'd love to see administration support teams even just a little bit better. Some schools are incredibly lucky, but that's not everyone. There's always a negative story somewhere. The requirement for a building youth program would be nice, but it would require administration to get into the thick or what are generally outside entities. Which could be a bad thing, realistically, just as simply as it could be positive. Even varsity coaches being able to somehow find the time to get involved would be cool (but also a crazy time commitment and somewhat unrealistic to ask for someone with a job and family). South Seneca is one of the few programs that I know for sure has heavy involvement from their varsity coaches in that every time I've seen SS youth kids at a tournament, I've seen coach Sweet. It's awesome to see the continuity. But I agree with your idea and sentiment.
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BULL80
Joined: Nov 30, 2016
Posts: 3
I never wrestled in high-school it wasn't very popular in FL in the late 90's, I've fallen in love with the sport over the last 7 years watching my son compete in youth and now his first year in high-school. This is just an outsiders perspective it seems to me the real issue is the decline in small business ( specifically manufacturing) in NY and society is the bigger issue. Decline in population means less kids to spread around in to sports and the idea that hard-work is an option in our society now compounds the problem on wrestling. Wrestling is a sport that if you don't work hard for 2 or 3 weeks you lose something. I've never seen a sport where its more crucial to stay on top of training then wrestling. You have coaches making compromises because if they push kids or try to help them they leave the wrestling room and you can't field a team. Wrestling seems to be growing or thriving in areas where its a blue collar culture. I think NYWAY is doing a good job of trying to educate and get young people involved in the sport, it's yet to be seen if it will grow bigger or it will just help sustain the numbers.

I do think singlets is a big issue i was standing outside practice to get my son and you could over hear the kids say how they would never wrestle because they have to wear "tights to wrestle". I think Edinboro just started wearing compression tops and bottoms to some of their matches this year.



matburn
Site Admin
Joined: Nov 12, 2004
Posts: 3412
Location: WNY
In the 1960s, when wrestling was growing like gangbusters, they wore regular shorts. Albeit a bit short by today's standards, but shorts nonetheless. Singlets weren't allowed (though they were common in international competition).

I suspect if coaches had to wear singlets to practice, like the coach from Vision Quest did, we'd have a severe shortage of coaches.
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Raider92
Joined: Nov 15, 2009
Posts: 93
The singlet will possibly be a thing of the past at youth and High School levels soon. There are some logistical issue that need to be dealt with first. There is an article below that discusses those issues. I also posted another article from flowrestling in regards to the uniform change. I read somewhere that Wisconsin was going to allow the change this season, but has decided to wait until 2017-2018 so the NFHS can implement specific rules for the uniform (if I find it I will post it). We can debate the singlet vs compression gear all we want...but in the end if more kids wrestle who cares what they wear.

As far as youth programs and varsity coaches involvement goes that is very difficult. It is a time issue, they only have so many hours in the day they can devote to wrestling. They all have other job, most of them are teachers and have papers and tests to correct along with lesson plans. The only involvement I have ever really asked from them is their support. Their support and help with any gym space issues is enough. We also did a summer camp for our youth kids this year run by our varsity coach. It was great for the kids to get to meet him and for him to get to meet them. But it was in the summer when he had time to do so. The South Seneca coach is involved in his youth program and does attend tournaments, but he has a son who is a youth wrestler so maybe that helps him make the time. It is still a good thing and all the kids benefit from it. But if you do not have young wrestler involved would you still be able to make the time commitment, who knows.

It takes people who love wrestling in the community to get involved and start or takeover a program. I have set our program up similar to our local little league. We have by-laws and a board of directors, we have done this with hope that when our kids age out of youth that the next generation of families can take it over and that that the youth program will continue on for many years like little league has. If you run a youth program I highly encourage you to have no ego and to involve as many people in your program as you can. Encourage parental involvement, let them be stakeholders in the program. If people are apart of it they will encourage their kids to stay with wrestling and they will continue to be involved.


http://www.trackwrestling.com/tw/PortalPost.jsp?postId=121717094


http://www.flowrestling.org/article/40808-multiple-states-considering-shorts-shirt-uniform-change#.WHPxR1MrKUk



backsuplex
Joined: Feb 11, 2005
Posts: 535
Location: Back to the Future
matburn wrote:
In the 1960s, when wrestling was growing like gangbusters, they wore regular shorts. Albeit a bit short by today's standards, but shorts nonetheless. Singlets weren't allowed (though they were common in international competition).

I suspect if coaches had to wear singlets to practice, like the coach from Vision Quest did, we'd have a severe shortage of coaches.


I will have to respectfully disagree. Shorts, I am thinking more like 1930-50's and college in the 60's.

Check out the Penfield team pic from 1963 in the archives. It was a tank top with a button crotch, tights with stirrups, and a pair of shorts that went over tights. I wore similar when wrestling Freshman and JV in the 70's. Couldn't wait to wrestle varsity to have a singlet (even though there was still the tights) My luck they did away with tights after I graduated.
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matburn
Site Admin
Joined: Nov 12, 2004
Posts: 3412
Location: WNY
"... a pair of shorts that went over tights."

Like I said, they wore shorts. I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with. Tights are still allowed today.
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backsuplex
Joined: Feb 11, 2005
Posts: 535
Location: Back to the Future
I thought you were saying just shorts.

That tank top onesie was the most uncomfortable thing to try to compete in.
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