Personally, I think the concept of a forced national duals tournament is not necessarily a good thing for wrestling. Currently, we have the best teams seeking to wrestle each other throughout the season. Think about some of the great duals we have seen this year. Think about the great duals still to come this year. It has been awesome. What happens when teams are forced to wrestle in one duals tournament that counts above any team event during the season? This makes regular season duals virtually meaningless. What happens to regular season duals attendance? I certainly wouldnâ€™t anticipate it increasing. Coaches are going to protect their wrestlers and sit them much more to be sure and have their strongest team for this one event. Again, this is going to decrease fan support and attendance. The season will come down to basically two dates. That does not appeal to me. I canâ€™t see how this would appeal to any fan of the sport.
There is a lot of discussion about how to make wrestling more appealing to a greater fan base. It is my opinion, you do this by creating great rivalries and then compete in oneâ€™s home venue or in the rivalâ€™s venue. Does anyone really think the atmosphere would be as charged inside of a neutral arena for a PSU vs. IU dual than at CHA or Rec Hall? What happens when the top teams in a given conference wrestle each other during the season when they know they may have to wrestle them again later in the season in a dual that actually counts? Hell, we might not even see the matchups we want if those teams in the National Duals are on opposite sides of the bracket. Quite frankly, I want to see the regular season duals count. Otherwise, we get a watered down version of collegiate wrestling that appeals to virtually no one.
It has been interesting how team dual tournaments have seemed to wane over the years. Besides the National Duals Tournament, the Virginia Duals come to mind. It used to be a premier team event. Not so much anymore. Why? I feel it is because we are seeing more and more of the great matchups throughout the regular season and attendance for these dual matchups are on the rise.
If the NWCA wants to have a meaningful well attended National Duals Tournament, figure out a way to make the regular season duals relevant. Make the broadcasts of these great rivalry duals available to more viewers. Come up with some new inventive, intelligent and exciting ideas for team and fan support. Donâ€™t force feed a bad plan down everyoneâ€™s throat because you canâ€™t get them to participate otherwise. Of course, this is just my opinion so take it fwiw. Cheers.