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  1. I agree with this statement, especially if we define "talented" wrestlers as long-term wrestlers, i.e., wrestlers that have wrestled for more than five years. As BobDole noted, the heaviest weight classes tend to emphasize strength, while the lightest weight classes emphasize technique. For example, a strong heavyweight beginner can go much further than a strong lightweight beginner; lightweights have to put in serious time to acquire the technique needed to be competitive at 106, regardless of strength. BobDole, just because the smaller guys might be young, don't underestimate the time that winning lightweights have already invested in wrestling prior to high school, thereby earning their "credentials."
  2. Maybe this discussion is getting pedantic and redundant - I thought Pennsylvania was the subject of the thread. There are 106-lb studs in all of the wrestling states, e.g., Pennsylvania, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, California, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, etc. Likewise, there are strong wrestling schools and weak wrestling schools in each of those states. I'm glad you had a spot on your HS wrestling team. Now imagine the kid that IS a top 20 athlete in the entire country/world, but doesn't letter at their strong wrestling HS because their state is no longer willing to recognize their national/international weight class. Will everybody in that kid's HS know that they are, pound-for-pound, one of the best of the best? I doubt it, and I imagine that kid won't even bother to participate in HS wrestling after their weight class gets cut. "We need 106lbs just as much as we need 182, 195 and 220, because wrestling is a sport that size is not a limiting factor and with hard work and dedication you can have success." I agree 100%.
  3. I don't know about that - we'll have to agree to disagree. Show me a 106lb Pennsylvania state champ that wasn't a stud, or that didn't face tough competition. I'll go out on a limb here, and say that IMO the lighter weight classes are far more technical and have much less deviation in skill level than the heavier weight classes. Otherwise, I can appreciate what you are saying. The lightweights are different from the heavies because some kids grow through the lighter weight classes as they progress in age, e.g., a 106lb freshman that is ultimately a 132lb senior. To be fair, those freshmen play a major role in justifying the lighter weight classes; we need places/classes for freshmen, too... especially if we want to see the sport grow.
  4. It's not about the 105lbs kid being afforded "success," it's about the 105 lb kid competing against other kids of the same weight - that's how/why wrestling works. You ask, "What about the freshman that weighs 120lbs or 150lbs...or 200lbs?" That freshman will compete against other wrestlers of the same weight. Nobody's telling the 120lbs freshman he has to wrestle up in weight. He will, however, likely have to wrestle off against a 120-lb senior who's been a stud since he was one of the 100-lb freshman. If the 120lb freshman doesn't get a varsity spot, he will still get to wrestle other JV wrestlers of the same weight. You also ask, "Why do the little guys get afforded a varsity spot and the big guys don't?" As far as I'm aware, nobody is talking about getting rid of the big guys' varsity spots, or JV spots for that matter. In my area, those little guy varlity spots are very hotly contested, including wrestle offs, changing schools, and holdbacks. In other words, I'm not seeing any free lunches for the little guys. Moreover, there are also freshman at 88lbs, 94lbs, 100lbs, etc., as evidenced by cadet nationals. These kids exist, are working hard and participating in the sport, and should not have their weight classes eliminated, or bumped up.
  5. Who are you to define what is "acceptable"? Perhaps you've missed my point. If the sport continues to raise the bottom weight classes, wrestling families with small children will leave; hence, reduced retention. Some of these smaller wrestlers might be the people that convinced their bigger friends to join the wrestling team. Likewise, their parents might be the coaches, biggest contributors, most dependable volunteers, etc. IME the smaller wrestlers are generally more athletic and technical than their larger counterparts; as I mentioned in another post, the smaller wrestlers tend to come from families where the mothers/sisters have gymnastic and/or cheer backgrounds. 106 is already too high. USAW Cadet and Juniors, as well as UWW, have much lower bottom weight classes where highly competitive wrestlers (including my son) compete at the regional/national/world level.
  6. I guess that's an accurate statement, but still not a good idea - just take a look at the figure I uploaded above. If reducing forfeits is your number one priority, then eliminate ALL of the outlier weight classes and just stick with the "Average Person" range; that way you won't have ANY small or big guys/gals introducing forfeits into the sport. I hope that sounds ridiculous to everyone, and can't stress enough that eliminating outlier weight classes to help grow this sport amounts to cutting off one's nose to spite their own face. I apologise for my sarcasm, but could you even imagine what would happen to the sport if you eliminated the lightweights and the heavies? Even some of them? In other words, think about how much some of the amazing lightweights and heavies, as well as their families and supporters, have brought to this sport.
  7. Why would 106 jump to 118? That would be a body weight jump of 11%.Not only would it be unfair for wrestlers to compete with other wrestlers having a such a high difference in body weight, I would bet that we would see significant numbers of injuries and have trouble maintaining insurance. The difference in weight classes is based on percentage of body weight, not a specific number of pounds. For example, the number of pounds difference between the weight classes increases as the weight classes increase. Under the 12-class system, the lower outlier body weights were separated by a difference of about 6% and the upper outliers were separated by about 7%. The middle of the bell curve (e.g., "Most People") were separated by about 5%. Under the 10-class system, the percentage differences in body weight stayed about the same between the weight classes, until you get to the heavies; it's the upper outlier of the bell curve that saw the increasing percentages. So... increasing increments might mean going with an increment of 7% between each weight class, but does not necessitate raising the bottom weight class. And how do the 2 lowest weight classes account for "reduced entries in tournaments"? That doesn't make any sense - you're looking at it backwards If you have any entries in the lowest 2 weight classes, then eliminating the lowest 2 weight classes would eliminate those entries (not increase the entries). It's like saying only X people can use product X, only Y people can use product Y, and we don't sell as many product X as we do product Y; total sales will not go up if you discontinue product X. I mentioned it in another thread, but this type of thinking will kill girls' wrestling before it even gets off the ground. Just like the lightweight brackets, creating girls brackets at tournaments increases numbers, even if the brackets aren't full.
  8. I agree that there should be reasonable proportionality, but BobDole is mixing improving proportionality with changing a bottom cutoff weight. I don't have any issues with changing the proportionality of the weight classes, but I'm fully against increasing the bottom cutoff weight. Obviously, the sizes/weights of similarly-aged wrestlers will always follow a bell curve (i.e., a normal distribution). The majority of the wrestlers (e.g., "Most People" in the uploaded figure) fall in the middle 70% of the bell curve; 30% of the wrestlers (e.g., "Some People") fall in the upper 15% and lower 15% outliers. Traditionally, wrestling is a sport that accommodates for outlier athletes, making it a particularly good sport for small guys/gals; it makes no sense to cut them out now just because they don't fall in the "Average Person" range. With that said, there will never be as many wrestlers in the outlier brackets as there are in the middle of the bell curve. In BobDole's example, if an outlier weight class has 9 wrestlers in a 16 man bracket, then as far as I'm concerned, that's 9 reasons not to eliminate that bottom weight class. Cutting "Some People" off on the bottom end will not grow this sport, especially when those "Some People" are particularly drawn to wrestling.
  9. Exactly. Why does it matter so much that 106 and 113 were the most forfeited? Forfeits mean wrestlers were there (i.e., participating), which was my point. You're talking about turning a group of wrestlers away to "increas[e] participation." So something like, "you had a weight class, but now you don't. Suck it up kid, life's not fair." My kid is actually really good (and small), and we find him plenty of good matches against other kids who are the same age and weight. Maybe his workout room is an anomaly, but on any given day we have a lot of lightweights on the mats. If I'm following your logic, it sounds like these kids shouldn't have the luxury of wrestling other kids that are the same size? They should all wrestle up in the future? To be clear, eliminating their weight class will in no way encourage participation - it will only alienate an existing group of wrestlers. If what you're saying to these long-term wrestlers is "fine then, go find another sport," how is that growing this sport?
  10. I agree with wnywrestling - byes happen based on the size of the bracket. For example, 16 wrestlers in a 16 man bracket means 0 byes, but 17 wrestlers in a 32-man bracket necessitates many byes. Nevertheless, I feel like your "hard data" shows that there are a significant number of lightweight wrestlers like my son, e.g., each one of those numbers represents an actual human wrestler. What are they supposed to do, just repeat 8th grade and hope they get bigger? Maybe quit the sport because their weight class isn't in the middle of the bell curve? It seems really unfair for the "majority" to take away all of the hard work these kids (my son included) have put into the sport. What's the message we're trying to send, "sorry guys, y'all are just too small and athletic for the sport of wrestling - maybe all the lightweights should just take up gymnastics."
  11. My son wrestles 88 Cadet (16U). My son wrestled 88 at the USAW Cadet Duals last week in Spokane, as well as a number of other really talented cadets; Cadet (16U) weight classes include 88, 94, and 100 pounds. It's not like these kids chose to be small or cut more weight than any of the other wrestlers, they just have small parents. In my experience, most of the wrestlers that compete against my son have mothers and/or sisters who are cheerleaders/gymnasts; likewise, my wife was a talented gymnast and cheerleader. Why make particularly talented, athletic, and hard-working wrestlers (e.g., like my son) miss out on opportunities to represent their schools/states because they are small? Cutting out the bottom weight classes encourages holdbacks. I also saw some comments in this thread downing holdbacks, but what would you expect to happen when you cut the lower weight classes out of the lineup? Are the affected smaller wrestlers supposed to no longer take their sport seriously? In regards to keeping the lower grades out of the lower HS weight classes, just limit HS to 4 years. The popularity/numbers argument would kill girls' wrestling altogether. It's only tangentially related, but it strikes me as odd that the sport is so eager to open the door for an extreme minority of gals to the wrestling room, while simultaneously ousting a longstanding group of smaller guys that have been here since day one. I created an account just to throw my 2 cents in on this thread. Thank you for taking the time to read and consider my thoughts. Please keep in mind that my comments are only meant to remind everyone that lightweight wrestlers are severely impacted by elimination of lower weight classes. Turning a longstanding group of wrestlers away is not promoting the sport.
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