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Should college add an 11th weight class

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Well written and researched article by Mark Palmer on the subject:

 

http://matbossapp.hs-sites.com/blog/weight-class-debate-should-college-wrestling-add-11th-weight-class

 

Regardless of your opinion, a good read... I'm personally in the camp of a slight weight shift and making 197 closer to 207 or 210 and increasing the upper weights a few pounds.  Simplest to implement and wouldn't have a drastic shift on how college wrestling operates. 

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Well written and researched article by Mark Palmer on the subject:

 

http://matbossapp.hs-sites.com/blog/weight-class-debate-should-college-wrestling-add-11th-weight-class

 

Regardless of your opinion, a good read... I'm personally in the camp of a slight weight shift and making 197 closer to 207 or 210 and increasing the upper weights a few pounds.  Simplest to implement and wouldn't have a drastic shift on how college wrestling operates. 

One minor factual error in Mark's story concerns the 191 weight class at NCAAs.

He suggested that 191 was only contested at NCAAs. That's not correct.

I'm not sure of the exact time frame or geographical boundaries (which were probably a bit amorphous) but roughly in the 60s the weights from 123 to 177 and Hwt were contested everywhere, including the NCAAs.

115 was contested in the 'West' and 191 in the 'East' and then both at NCAAs. Lehigh had at least one wrestler that wrestled no duals at 115 but placed at NCAAs. He (Rich Warnke) was there at the same time as 3x champ Mike Caruso and wrestled duals at 123 as they would bump Caruso, Peritore and Stuart up to get Warnke in the lineup.

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Zebra,

 

I wholeheartedly disagree.  Anything that can be viewed as an added negative by the Administration is not good for a fringe sport like Wrestling.  Adding an 11th starter  would simply be viewed as additional cost by a majority of Athletic Departments, even if you provided information showing it wasn't.........This sport is hanging by a string at multiple schools around the country.  Any decision should be carefully weighed on whether or not it could cause that string to snap.

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I assure you 1 more weight class is not going to affect an AD's decision. If they are going to cut wrestling they'll do it regardless of the number of kids on the roster.

I disagree, completely.

 

Northwestern alone already deals with an insanely low wrestling roster cap needed to keep the school compliant with Title IX.

 

What is the added expense of traveling one more athlete for every event that a team is only accustomed to traveling starters? I can assure you that it would be a big impact to the budgets of schools like the non-P5 schools in the Pac-12 and former WWC which have to do a lot of flying.

 

Most administrators do not want to cut wrestling but when faced with realities it can be hard to argue that keeping the sport is possible. We need to be conscious to the fact that wrestling policies can have a very real impact into the viability of programs. If you're only concerned with top-20 programs, it is likely that few will be impacted too much but if you see value in the teams outside of the top-20 then you should be concerned.

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I could just see it now.  A DI program gets cut and the reasoning would be as follows:  "It is with a heavy heart that we had to drop our wrestling program.  We were doing everything we could to keep the program alive, but a new rule was implemented adding an additional starter and the added cost was simply too much to overcome.  If the program can become self sustaining and raise 10 billion dollars in endowments we may reinstate the program until we find a way to steal the money like Notre Dame did............"

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Lowering the bottom weight is not a good idea. 125 is already difficult enough for some teams to fill.

 

Sliding every weight up a little bit wouldn't be terrible, though even bumping 197 up to 205 would be a good idea.

 

Here's a set of possible weights that bumps everything up a bit and has the same percentage increase from weight class to weight class (prior to 285)

127, 135, 143, 152, 161, 171, 182, 193, 205, 285

 

Another option would be utilizing the certification data collected for every team and making adjustments so that the same number of wrestlers (roughly) are in each weight class. The current weights have been in effect since 1970 (save for the 7 pound addition to each weight in 1999) and may not accurately reflect the population anymore.

Edited by IronChef

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I also think adding a weight class with roster, money and scholarship issues isn't the best solution.  Ideal world yes, but too much change...

 

Are there any folks who doesn't think 197 should be higher?  Straight bump to 207 would be fine by me.  Or going 157/167/177/187/207 also works, simple and makes things a little consistent.  Slight weight tweak in any form is long overdue and can be implemented quickly and easily.  We need a weight closer to the HS and international weights, lets get it done already. 

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Wow you guys are all doom and gloom. Did anybody say anything about increasing scholarships? Did anybody say anything about increasing roster size? Those are the things which matter to an AD not the number of starters. 

 

Will it be an adjustment? Sure, but any decent DI staff will be completely transitioned within a couple of years. DIII and NAIA schools will not have an issue with a change to 11 starters for various reasons. I will give you that it will initially difficult for DII which are oftentimes limited in funding.  

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Zebra,

 

Our "doom and gloom" is well earned.  You have much more faith in College Administration than I do.  They will see the change as "ADDING".  In no way will they see that as anything but additional cost.  How would you explain it as a fiscal benefit?  Simply put, if it isn't a benefit it is a cost.  The COST is really the only time most Admins give Wrestling more than a passing glance.......

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Sorry but the increase in cost of by adding a single wrestling starter is the equivalent to variations in background noise of cosmic radiation in comparison to a complete athletic budget. If it in any way is cited by an AD as a reason to cut wrestling they were going to cut it anyway. 

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Assuming that the roster caps are not changed, and the Increase is number of weights will result in:

 

-Higher bill rates for officials working duals.

-More athletes needed to fill out brackets at tournaments to reach the current bracket sizes to give athletes the number of matches coaches will want their athletes to get in order to justify trips. This will result in the need for larger facilities, more teams participating, and more travel as you need to pull from a larger geographic area.

-Longer duals, resulting in the potential for not an efficient use of TV slots. Likely to see more dependence on internet streaming for video broadcast.

-Since the number of athletes needed to make up a starting lineup has expanded but the number of potential athletes has remained static, there will be more forfeits.

-As more starting spots become available at each school, high level athletes will be able to cluster (even more so) at the top programs.

-Increased number of All-American opportunities, with the current scoring system, will diminish the competitiveness (at Nationals) for smaller schools that earn one or two All-Americans.

-FCOA has already expanded the scholarship limits for programs using the alternative scholarship definition, allowing them to cover the traditional scholarship offers for all 11 weight classes.

-Increased traveling parties will result in more expenses for schools.

-NCAA's infrastructure (and expense) limitations at the NCAAs will result in smaller brackets in order to accommodate the 330 athletes, which will result in less representation by less funded programs.

 

 

And I am sure there are many other impacts...

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"The straw that broke the camels back!".

 

This sport has been teetering(at the DI level anyways) for some time now.  Any change would need to be rigorously assessed prior to implementation.  You would need to put together a proposal that would show, without a doubt, that cost would be negligible and the benefits would not only help Wrestling but the whole Athletic Department...............In another words, this isn't a rule change.  This is a fundamental TEAM change.  It may be inconsequential to you, but you are a wrestling supporter.  Your argument of "they would cut it anyway" isn't something I would want to test.  Do the rewards actually outweigh the risks?

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Pinnum made a bunch of excellent points, there is way more change with an 11th class than changing the weights of the 10 we have. 

 

Again, I ask again - does any one out there NOT want to see the 9th weight class be higher than 197?  It just seems like such a simple change and I feel like there would be little opposition to it, nor cause any wholesale changes. 

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Actually yes I do. You see I understand that pollution and "Global Warming" have nothing to do with each other. Unfortunately too many people conflate unrelated things and imply causality where none actually exists. 

 

Same situation different subject. 

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All irrelevant and immaterial. If the system is truly so fragile that this insignificant change will cause it to fail then it is already failing and there is nothing which can be done to stop it.

Nothing that can be done to stop it?

 

I disagree with that statement.

 

But I think the biggest problem we have has been focusing on the top programs. It doesn't matter what changes you make, you will always have a National Champion. The question is how many teams will there be around the country. I don't care about making policies that might not be supported by Iowa, Penn State, or Oklahoma State fans because they are the least likely to pay the ultimate price for a policy change.

 

There are a lot of policies that have been made over the years that wrestling fans love. But many of these policies have resulted in a negative impact to lesser funded programs. The impact to those programs is what most interests me as they are the ones most at risk. No matter what policies we make, we will likely not lose out on seeing guys like Dake, Taylor, Derringer, Snyder and others compete. We will likely still have Tom Ryan and Cael Sanderson mentoring athletes. But the sport could be greatly impacted, and I would argue, for the worse. It is important to sure up the core of D1 wrestling programs and important to realize that nearly every wrestling program in the country is funded by taxing the non-wrestlers on campus which is increasingly becoming a concern for many school administrators, tuition paying parents and politicians eager to energize a voting base.

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Lowering the bottom weight is not a good idea. 125 is already difficult enough for some teams to fill.

 

Sliding every weight up a little bit wouldn't be terrible, though even bumping 197 up to 205 would be a good idea.

 

Here's a set of possible weights that bumps everything up a bit and has the same percentage increase from weight class to weight class (prior to 285)

127, 135, 143, 152, 161, 171, 182, 193, 205, 285

 

Another option would be utilizing the certification data collected for every team and making adjustments so that the same number of wrestlers (roughly) are in each weight class. The current weights have been in effect since 1970 (save for the 7 pound addition to each weight in 1999) and may not accurately reflect the population anymore.

 

I don't think you could use the certification data to show the population for adjusting weight classes in college the way you could in high school.  In college, the athletes are recruited to be there, not there just because of voluntarily joining a team.  And coaches will recruit according to there needs and will not recruit evenly throughout the true population.  If I have a stud returning sophomore, I'm probably not recruiting much else in that weight class for a year or two except a backup.  If I have an immediate need somewhere else, I might recruit multiple kids there to get one that works out.  I think that would throw off the "population".

 

It's possible that it could even out in aggregate but I don't really think that would be a good way to do it.

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My point Pinnum is simple. If a system is so truly unstable that a change within the long-term statistical variation will cause it to collapse it is already at that state. 

 

I do not believe wrestling is at that point which is why I'm 100% certain that simply adding an 11th starter without making any roster or scholarship changes will have no impact on the sport beyond very few obvious things all of which are insignificant cost increases and completely irrelevant.  

Edited by Zebra

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Pinnum made a bunch of excellent points, there is way more change with an 11th class than changing the weights of the 10 we have. 

 

Again, I ask again - does any one out there NOT want to see the 9th weight class be higher than 197?  It just seems like such a simple change and I feel like there would be little opposition to it, nor cause any wholesale changes.

This is a good question and frankly, I don't know the answer. I find it curious that we only have one weight over 200 lbs when there is probably a significant percentage of college age males over 200 lbs. But at the same time we seem to struggle to fill 197 and 184 more so than 125 at many tournaments. It could be that many of the larger males that would be athletes in college are concentrated in sports like baseball, basketball, and football.

 

There seems to be a big debate between those that want to change the weight classes focused around two schools of thought:

 

1. The weight classes should be evenly distributed by weight so that each size male has an opportunity to compete.

2. Weight classes should be spaced in a manner that results with an equal number of participants in each weight class.

 

There is some merit to each of these schools of thought. When we use to have the unbalanced number of athletes going to nationals, we seemed to more in line with idea #2 and since we have moved to balanced brackets of 33 athletes we have moved more to #1.

 

We all know there is a bell shaped curve with male distribution. There are often the most kids going out for college wrestling between 149-165. While a lot of people argue that these weights should closer together to allow for more opportunities for kids in that weight range to get a chance to start, there are people that are adamant that wrestling needs to focus more on the outer limits to ensure the few kids that are 117 lbs have a chance to be competitive or that the athletic 210 lbs kids doesn't have to wrestle 285.

 

Somewhere in the middle there is probably a good compromise...

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