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  1. I like the idea of coaches being able to adjust their strategy during the dual meet. I think it makes those type of matches more exciting. If you want to decrease the forfeits you see at the varsity level, you need to increase the wrestling opportunities in the sport for more athletes to participate when they are younger. Build the pipeline of future wrestlers. Create different skill levels so wrestlers have a chance to compete. Allow teams to enter multiple wrestlers at a tournament. Why should a team that has two kids in a weight class and no kids at another weight class be forced to keep that wrestler home. In Illinois, they are restricted to how many tournaments a team can wrestle in. Why not let a team that has fewer wrestlers go to more tournaments and less dual meets. I mean who is going to want to schedule a dual meet when one team only have five wrestlers. Maybe do a match restriction instead of how many duals and tournaments a wrestler can participate in (I know this rule varies by state). My son is going into high school and is looking at what sports to play. One sport he is looking at has 7 different skill levels for him to play at. He is not a top player but enjoys the sport at the appropriate level. He would not be competitive at the highest level for his age group. Doing this will increase numbers more so than allowing kids to wear a two piece uniform....
  2. Here are the photos I shot at the World Team Trials. Made it to the Jr Finals Friday night. There are Challenge Tournament and Best of 3 Series too. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffpape/albums
  3. I have to agree with those that say this will not increase numbers. The numbers have been fairly consistent. Even USA wrestling announces record numbers in many years and participation increased by like 12 wrestlers that particular year (okay that is an extreme but it's pretty accurate in certain years). To me even the number of wrestlers in the USA is in question. I always wanted to figure out how many wrestlers actually stayed with wrestling the entire year. I can remember in high school, we started out with a ton of Freshman wrestlers every year and after even a few weeks the numbers dropped significantly. Are the high school numbers just anyone that ever stepped into a wrestling room that particular high school season? And how many of those Freshman wrestlers finish the year out. If we were interested in growing wrestling, figure out how to run a tournament so the fans and parents and wrestlers don't need to be there for 8 to 10 hours. That will help grow the sport more than changing uniforms. Although, hopefully I am wrong and there is a huge increase in wrestlers next year.
  4. One thing that was mentioned above that I think is worth highlighting is figuring out what kind of legal organization you are going to be. Go through the proper steps and make sure you set up a legal organization that protects you as a club leader and a coach and also your members. And also so you can take advantage of any tax breaks. Now a days you have to have a Social Security number or a EIN to open up a checking account. No way would I put it under my own Social Security number... One piece of advice I always gave my accounting clients is it is cheaper to pay an attorney to set it up properly the first time.
  5. Here are some photos I shot at the Trials - I have went through the Finals photos. The prelim's will be posted likely later this week... http://illinoiswrestling.com/2016/amateur-wrestling-photos/2016-olympic-team-trials-day-1-finals/ http://illinoiswrestling.com/2016/amateur-wrestling-photos/2016-olympic-team-trials-day-2-finals/
  6. It is tough question that we struggle with. I think a lot of what is happening is based on what the market will bear. The last few years I have seen a lot of the market switch to singlets made overseas. I think it's a trend that will continue as fundraising becomes more difficult for teams and budgets get smaller and smaller. I think in theory everyone would prefer to buy American made products, but if it costs 30% more it becomes more difficult. We had one major supplier ask us if "American Made" mattered. I said yes if the price is right. Are we off base with our thinking?
  7. I suspect the problem at NU is the costs to attend the school. Not many kids are going to have the resources to attend NU and pay their own way. Another issue which has not been mentioned...is how difficult it likely is to stay eligible at Northwestern. I am sure the athletes get resources like study tables and tutors...but even still... I was essentially a walk on at Illinois - it's not easy being even on the practice squad and managing school work at a Big Ten school. I had to drop down to the minimum full time status my first semester at Illinois. I can't imagine what it's like now a days at Illinois and even Northwestern. Also, I went to grad school at NU - it was intense at the grad school level. I suspect it is just as competitive at the Undergrad level too. What needs to happen is coaches (high school and junior high coaches) that want to see more college wrestling need to help put butts in seats...pack these arenas...help these programs build their budget and their fan bases...instead of just talking on the Internet...
  8. I had a supplier approach me with a kid still in college in the Title of a DVD. I was really surprised because I figured this supplier had already looked into the NCAA issues and the kid had good knowledge of what was allowed and what wasn't. I pushed back and said are you sure on this one. I don't want to get this kid in trouble. He then came back to me and said, don't sell that video. So people really don't understand the rules. It might be that some of the major camps know what they are doing (or are the most conservative), but how I see the NCAA Champs, All Americans listed are just as Counselors. But these one off camps that are run by wrestling clubs often times have the College wrestlers in the head lines. I think those camps are putting those kids at risk if someone really wanted to make trouble...at least based on my understanding of the rules...
  9. From what I understand there are two votes? Or would there only be one vote if wrestling is not removed as a core sport? E.g. are we locked into the total number of sports in the Olympics? I believe it's around 28. So by removing wrestling it would make it 27 - this allows another sport to come in to bring the total to 28. Or could wrestling not be removed to stay at 28 sports and then increase the total sports to 29 (by adding Squash or Baseball/Softball).
  10. I am working on an article for my blog...and it got me thinking. Should we make friends with the countries that want Squash in the Olympics? I believe there is a vote from all the countries on whether to remove wrestling as a core sport? So if they don't remove it as a core sport then it would only make sense to vote for Baseball and Squash. Or is it if they don't remove wrestling as a core sport, then there would be no vote on Squash, Baseball or wrestling to be added back as a non-core sport. Thoughts? -Jeff Pape WrestlingGear.Com
  11. Speaking from an advertiser's perspective, it would be tough to justify the money to sponsor a webcast (or magazine ad or forum etc). Unfortunately, wrestlers don't speak with their wallets...when we look at an ROI it almost never works...and we have tried several major websites, all the major magazines and several major forums... This part JB is spot on...not that anyone should be surprised... -Jeff WrestlingGear.Com
  12. I don't have a pair of CS II's to compare them to. Unfortunately, in the 90's I gave my Teal/Pink shoes to a kid on a team I coached...every time I go on ebay and see they are selling for hundred's of dollars I get a little more upset...but back to your question. Based on how they look and my memory and interviews with adidas staff, I think they are pretty close. One thing they did do was add a lace guard mechanism. That is one thing I think they did wrong when they brought the CS II's out - I told them I think it cost us sales because parents refused to buy them for their kids because the kids (and really more the parents) were going to have to worry about taping them. When you figure CS II's and before are selling for anywhere from $300 to $400 a pair, at just under $65 (at least at my site)...it's hard to not love the CS IV. At this point, I hope adidas will make a couple more colors of them the next few years. With that said, you never know... Personally, if you have to have them in a certain color combination - I would buy them sooner than later. There will likely be some sizes in certain colors they will be sold out of during the season. Same advice for Asics wrestling shoes as well. Some of their limited edition Asics shoes will be sold out this year (if history repeats itself). Hope that helps...if not let me know what I can answer... Jeff Pape WrestlingGear.Com
  13. Why not make it a wrestling coaches priority to butts in the seats at any event...that is the problem with wrestling...not a lot of fans out there...most are related to a wrestler at the event...most events are when there are other wrestling events already going on at a different level. E.g. Saturday and Sunday when many colleges are wrestling...many youth clubs and high school clubs are wrestling too... -Jeff Pape WrestlingGear.Com
  14. I think it's a combination of several things... 1) Trying to control costs - prices of everything goes up. In order to keep price increases limited I have to believe some cheaper stuff is being done - see that with everything. Can't say for sure that is happening with wrestling shoes. Seems to be happening with most things in general. 2) What I think it's mostly the reason is people want light weight shoes. It's like my friend said about pricing a printing job - you can have any two - price, speed, or quality. Pick two. That sort of what is happening with these light weight shoes. They are almost competition only shoes and are not built for the daily grind of a practice. Think of them as track shoes. Many track athletes have competition only shoes that are light weight. 3) Kids are wrestling more than they ever did. When I wrestled in the late 80's. You'd be lucky to have 35 matches in a season. Now it's not uncommon to have 55 or more. Add that to "optional" captains practices that happen before and after school. Add "private club" practices that never happened. Kids are tough on their shoes. Add to that in the off season, some kids are getting a 100 matches. Shoes will breakdown... We have several collegiate programs that we are pretty tight with...one school budgets almost 3 pairs of shoes on average per athlete. That's a new pair of shoes every 6 weeks or so. They said some wrestlers went through 5 or 6 pairs others went through only 2 or 3 pairs. -Jeff Pape WrestlingGear.Com
  15. My concern is there are no NCAA sponsored sports that don't have a professional league or are not in the Olympics...
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