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sandwrestling

How to boost the adult divisions?

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I'm curious on what the states and local tournaments are doing to boost their participation numbers in the adult divisions. It's something I feel that we can improve, and we just might be able to help each other out by tossing around ideas that are working, and find out what hasn't been working.

 

One concept that I just found out about... just so we can get the "idea ball" rolling...

 

The North American Beach Wrestling Championships are offering active rescue and police officers the chance to wrestle for free this summer. If anyone wants to find out more about that, they have a facebook page dedicated to the event, which is going on the weekend of June 11th in Virginia Beach.

 

https://www.facebook.com/The-North-American-Beach-Wrestling-Championships-257395911107849/

 

Any other suggestions?

 

Edited SideNote (after reading the first few comments), I am referring to ALL styles of wrestling, not any particular style, despite the link that helped inspire this post was brought forth from my constant search for the Beach Wrestling style.

Edited by sandwrestling

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I was hoping to get a constructive discussion going, and not going to abandon that hope. Honestly, I'm not sure why local tournaments would throw away the opportunity to raise more money from their tournament by not offering an adult division, not to mention the benefit of keeping the experienced wrestlers active by giving them more opportunities. It also allows the kids to learn from the older wrestlers, and many of those who remain active could very well help with coaching at their local club, even if it's a part-time volunteer.

 

I know some tournaments who try to offer the adult division have low numbers, some even as low as just a handful of athletes (or even sometimes just one). Another idea is to go ahead and place that wrestler with the older high school kids (junior division). The tournament could also not count the matches for the juniors against the adult in the final tournament standings, it would just be exhibition bouts.

 

Any more suggestions? I have a lot of them, and can boost this post for quite some time. But I'm really interested in hearing from others.

Edited by sandwrestling

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I was hoping to get a constructive discussion going, and not going to abandon that hope. Honestly, I'm not sure why local tournaments would throw away the opportunity to raise more money from their tournament by not offering an adult division, not to mention the benefit of keeping the experienced wrestlers active by giving them more opportunities. It also allows the kids to learn from the older wrestlers, and many of those who remain active could very well help with coaching at their local club, even if it's a part-time volunteer.

 

I know some tournaments who try to offer the adult division have low numbers, some even as low as just a handful of athletes (or even sometimes just one). Another idea is to go ahead and place that wrestler with the older high school kids (junior division). The tournament could also not count the matches for the juniors against the adult in the final tournament standings, it would just be exhibition bouts.

 

Any more suggestions? I have a lot of them, and can boost this post for quite some time. But I'm really interested in hearing from others.

Totally agree.

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I think for women a bikini style of uniform would be very helpful in increasing the popularity of the sport of sand wrestling. Women's beach volleyball is a great example of a sport that has become huge due to this. I'm sure many would tune in and watch women's sand wrestling with a uniform change. The current uniform for women's sand wrestling simply does not get the job done. In many ways it is a similar problem to the singlet in men's FS and GR wrestling. 

 

For men I think they should get big names from FS to compete in sand wrestling. Take some of the big matches from the world championships and put them on sand. Who wouldn't love to see how Rahimi vs Khinchegashvili would go if the terrain were switched to sand? Could Snyder steal beat Gadisov if they are wrestling on sand? This would increase the popularity in my opinion. 

Edited by Shiraz123

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Okay, I'm not talking about Sand Wrestling or Grappling. I'm talking about boosting the numbers of the adult division in ALL styles of wrestling. Including those 2 styles, but also scholastic, freestyle and Greco. I brought up that link because that particular contest was doing something different by offering Police Officers the chance to wrestle without paying the registration fee (I do believe the hosts of that contests is willing to pay the registration costs, but it isn't my contests, so I don't want to speak on their behalf).

 

 

It is a wrestling forum so you can't find suggestion if you talk about beach or a non Olympic style.

If I were talking about only those 2 styles (Beach and Grappling), this would be the appropriate forum, as this is the International forum, and those 2 styles are still a part of the "Top 4" International styles. Love a lot of you're post WrestlingSuperior, and maybe I'm just reading you wrong. If we can't talk about an International style (not to mention the major ones), where else would I talk about those styles?

 

 

I think for women a bikini style of uniform would be very helpful in increasing the popularity of the sport of sand wrestling. Women's beach volleyball is a great example of a sport that has become huge due to this. I'm sure many would tune in and watch women's sand wrestling with a uniform change. The current uniform for women's sand wrestling simply does not get the job done. In many ways it is a similar problem to the singlet in men's FS and GR wrestling. 

 

For men I think they should get big names from FS to compete in sand wrestling. Take some of the big matches from the world championships and put them on sand. Who wouldn't love to see how Rahimi vs Khinchegashvili would go if the terrain were switched to sand? Could Snyder steal beat Gadisov if they are wrestling on sand? This would increase the popularity in my opinion. 

Yes, I would agree that women in bikini's wrestling on the sand will boost viewership numbers, if presented the opportunity to be televised. I hate to agree with it though, as it diminishes the hard work that the women put into our sport, but acknowledge that the highest viewed youtube videos when searching for sand wrestling (or beach wrestling) are the ones that really aren't featuring our sport, but featuring girls rolling around in the sand. (Heck, those videos can often dwarf any style of our great sport) The same could be said about the guys divisions though too; many women are willing to tune in to see them (hence movies like Magic Mike and Shades of Grey are successful), and in today's society it's becoming more acceptable to be out if your homosexual (and by all means, I don't want this to turn into a discussion about LGBT issues, for or against). While getting those 'big name' to compete in the Sand style, this style is unique with its own set of rules, and strategy involved. It's kind of the same as suggesting that a 'big name' freestyle Olympian should jump to Greco so that style can boost the numbers too. Not a bad idea, but really the top international wrestlers might be better suited if they focus in on their style and not worry about diversifying the styles. Probably doesn't seem as attractive to them either, that Olympians from other nations have competed at the Beach Worlds, and suffered a loss (or two) to non-Olympians in year's past. The style needs to develop its own stars.

 

But since I wasn't very clear, I wasn't merely meaning Beach/Sand Wrestling. How can we boost the numbers for adult wrestlers? That means ALL styles. It seems that a lot of states either don't offer adult divisions, or very few of them. And when they do (at least for the first time), not many experienced wrestlers come out and it discourages that club or state association from trying again. IMO, that's hurting our sport in terms of participation numbers, even at the youth level.

 

Hope the clarification helps spark a conversation towards what I was trying to get us to chat about, and share ideas and such. :D

Edited by sandwrestling

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One of the major impediments is not the tournaments, but the opportunities to practice.  There are few if any gyms for adult wrestling.  That may be on the rise due to mma, but there still aren't many.  If you aren't coaching high school/college there really isn't much opportunity to wrestle.  

 

Personally something that has kept me away is not having practiced.  Who wants to show up at a tournament to wrestle and completely gas in the 1st period since they haven't wrestled since the tournament last year? 

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If I were talking about only those 2 styles (Beach and Grappling), this would be the appropriate forum, as this is the International forum, and those 2 styles are still a part of the "Top 4" International styles. Love a lot of you're post WrestlingSuperior, and maybe I'm just reading you wrong. If we can't talk about an International style (not to mention the major ones), where else would I talk about those styles?

 

I was being ironic :-)

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One of the major impediments is not the tournaments, but the opportunities to practice.  There are few if any gyms for adult wrestling.  That may be on the rise due to mma, but there still aren't many.  If you aren't coaching high school/college there really isn't much opportunity to wrestle.  

 

Personally something that has kept me away is not having practiced.  Who wants to show up at a tournament to wrestle and completely gas in the 1st period since they haven't wrestled since the tournament last year? 

I will totally agree with that. I've had problem in the past with this very issue, and thank you bringing it up because it's one that has slipped my mind. I tried to have an adult wrestling club for awhile in Virginia, and sometimes had as little as one other person show up and other times a dozen and a half. It was tough to keep interest, cause there were only a few tournaments we were able to go to without driving further than 3 hours. For some areas, it might not be a big issue for local adult wrestlers t spar with the local high school team, but a lot of other areas it is. I lived in Georgia for awhile too, and wasn't even allowed to practice with the college teams unless I was an enrolled student (side question, is that a rule about collegiate teams as a whole, or a school-by-school case?) More opportunities to practice would certainly open the door for more adults to wrestle at the tournaments. I've been bummed out to show up to a local club and there aren't other adults to wrestle with, and the one or two coaches that are there don't really want to spar with you because you might show them up in front of their youth wrestlers. I understand that concern, it can upset the heard, even if I would have let them throw me around, just let me get some mat time in.

 

Great point though Crablegs. It's tough to get the numbers by just getting the local tournaments to give the adults a chance without them also having a chance to prepare for those contests. Another area that I hope we can work on as a wrestling community.

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One of the major impediments is not the tournaments, but the opportunities to practice. There are few if any gyms for adult wrestling. That may be on the rise due to mma, but there still aren't many. If you aren't coaching high school/college there really isn't much opportunity to wrestle.

 

Personally something that has kept me away is not having practiced. Who wants to show up at a tournament to wrestle and completely gas in the 1st period since they haven't wrestled since the tournament last year?

I'm agree with you.

 

USA Wrestling and UWW could support the creation of new adult programs...

In Europe the situation is different because the 90% of wrestling clubs aren't school teams so you have a program with junior and adult classes.

 

The uniform is a big problem. Over two years of words and you can't see a new Olympic wrestling uniform. The singlet is unpopular. A modified singlet with an upper body compression t-shirts and integrate shorts is possible.

 

I'm agree about the change of beach wrestling uniform in woman's division. NoGi Grappling / Pankration uniforms is simply perfect.

 

PS

 

The Italian "Sardinia Beach Wrestling" is an example. It is organised after an international Olympic wrestling tournament and you can see a lot of freestyle/greco athletes wrestling under a different ruleset.

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I've seen quite a number of videos about the Sardinia International, always happy to see it when Canadians place. But only because Lutte Canada won't sanction the beach style, ad excited that there are Canadian wrestlers are willing to travel to these international events even without their governing body's backing of the style. I'm going to look at those again, never paid attention to their uniforms. Might be one reason the American women don't come out for the style in large numbers, the idea they must wear bikinis. But I've never heard of a contest that didn't allow for them to wear other types of swimwear that wasn't bikini's or the one-piece.

 

Interesting concept about the Europeans. I've known that their sports teams aren't school associated, but hadn't thought fully how that effects wrestling. Another double-edged sword that we face. Taking it out our schools might increase the opportunities for adults, but could have the reverse effect for the kids. While not all states have this view, but when mentioned I mentioned that I wrestled while living in Georgia, the typical response was, "Isn't that just for kids?" So it would still be a hurdle in number of areas if sport teams were disassociated from the schools. That might never happen anyways, but I wouldn't say it's impossible with the growing trend of 'pay-to-play' sports at the school level, the growing view that sports are a drain on the school's resources, and the growth of sports clubs (all sports, not just wrestling). Even then, a lot of adults who were athletes had their glory days in high school (again, all sports), so that isn't going to be a popular view for quite sometime, if it ever will.

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Another idea, is to maybe allow the adult divisions to also count towards team points in tournaments, when team points are awarded. I know this doesn't happen at most tournament to begin with, but there have been some. One example I can recall is the now-defunct Michigan charter of AAU wrestling. They had split their season in half during the winter/early spring, with the first half dedicated to scholastic and the second half dedicated to freestyle. The last tournament of each 'half-season' was their version of the State Championship. They offered an adult division in each weekly tournament (which is another thing to bring up, consistency) and the two high school divisions, which didn't start until around noon to allow some of the younger divisions to finish before adding the older divisions.

 

But I don't think they counted the older division towards the team total. Encouraging the inclusion of the older divisions could possibly help attract more adult and high school wrestlers, as the parents, coaches, and siblings (and others) could be encouraged to participate to help those teams. It would also encourage more wrestling clubs to be more welcoming for adult athletes too. Including a Veterans division (for 30 and older, or 35 and older) and counting team points might help too, and allow Veterans to 'double enter' and count their points for the team total in both of the age divisions, to really encourage the coaches and parents to step back on the mat.

 

Of course, this is on the state associations, as they would be the one's with the State Championships. If it works and encourages more experienced wrestlers to join the clubs, it could very well encourage more tournaments to see a bigger incentive to include adult divisions. Not against adding a separate women's division too, or even a "wrestling mom's" division (same age requirement as the Veterans), but see how adding the adult men divisions first and not implement these things too fast.

 

I still just think we are shooting ourselves in the foot by not offering adult divisions in far too many geographical areas. Keep the experienced wrestlers wrestling, which in turn can lead to more opportunities for kids to learn. It might increase the interest of the kids too, as they won't see this sport as ending when they are done with high school, which does discourage too many kids as they near the end of their high school experience. Not to mention closing the door for adults that want to try it for the first time, etc, etc, etc...I could go all day on just listing the benefits of adding an adult division.

 

I will never understand why there aren't more opportunities, when the male athlete aren't biologically in their prime years until they are in the 28-32 y/o range, barring any serious injuries. That alone hurts the image of our sport.

Edited by sandwrestling

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I think for women a bikini style of uniform would be very helpful in increasing the popularity of the sport of sand wrestling. Women's beach volleyball is a great example of a sport that has become huge due to this. 

 

Hell.

 

No.

 

Bikini Volleyball is wanking material for men, and even the women IN the sport know this.

Frankly, we do not need any more pornofication of womens sports.

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Offer a small prize money award to guys who place.  Anyone ranked in the top 10 are void of the prize money.  Also, offer prizes to anyone who enters adult such as a bag, singlet, etc.  Something more than a shirt.

 

Why wrestling doesnt do this is beyond me.  This is common in BJJ, and adult brackets are much larger than anything wrestling has.  Think about it:  8 weights charging $50 a guy.  Offer $100 to the finalists and money back to 3rd.  Must have 6 guys for money.  Now, get a sponsor or just flat out buy something like a bag to all competitors.  You can cover that cost with entry from 3 guys.  Now you have minimum 6 competitors per weight and are making money when you could have made none.  In addition, all of these guys are probably coaching and bringing their wrestlers for more money.

 

This is the system many BJJ tournaments use and it flat out works.  Yes, it takes more time and planning which is something that wrestling coaches never want to do, but the effort promotes the sport and facilitates participation.

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Guest ShannonSofield

 

This is the system many BJJ tournaments use and it flat out works.  Yes, it takes more time and planning which is something that wrestling coaches never want to do, but the effort promotes the sport and facilitates participation.

 

To be fair, the belt divisions are what drive the large numbers in BJJ tournaments.

 

 

-2X IBJJF Pan Am Ch

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