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gowrestle

Is Wrestling Doomed?

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No magic to growing or maintaining high school numbers- build middle school and youth programs. In some areas of the country the demographics are going to make it difficult. I'm not sure what the breakdown of your figures is or where you got them but I suspect there was a drop in total enrollment for high school students is some traditional wrestling areas and all sports not just wrestling are affected.

 

Obviously if you want to get kids wrestling , you have to sell the parents and not the ones on this board , they are already sold. Poorly run kids tournaments can KILL a potential wrestling family in it's tracks. I have seen many examples of parents and grandparents waiting hours for a tournament to start and between matches to watch their beginner kid get pinned in 20 seconds. A tournament that could be run in a couple hours takes all day and parents say I'm not doing this any more.  I've been out of youth wrestling for a while so this point may be moot, if there are any single elimination tournaments still going on that needs to stop forever. I made it a point never to put my kids in one even when they were favored to win it. I'd like to see weight classes relaxed , Madison weight type thing and kids wrestle 3-5 matches at every tournament, even if they lose them all. Some type of round robin or triple elimination should be looked at. Hard ass tournament directors who ax a 10 year old for missing weight can take their share of the blame for declining numbers. ( I am not talking about some national or even state championship event where standards need to be maintained ) if you have strict weight classes , bump the kid to the next one without penalty. It's not that hard to redraw a bracket with today's programs. Most start out with byes making it a no brainer. Bottom line- if you hook the kids in 4-8th grade the high school numbers will take care of itself, but you have to first consider the parents on the fence and make it as painless as possible to get them started.

 

I think that Tournaments every weekend that last the whole day is a big turn-off for the average wrestling parent.  I've simply heard it!  Being at a place 6-8 hrs seeing your kid wrestle maybe 6-9 minutes isn't a very appealing Saturday.  Great sport, but we have to be more organized. 

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I think that Tournaments every weekend that last the whole day is a big turn-off for the average wrestling parent.  I've simply heard it!  Being at a place 6-8 hrs seeing your kid wrestle maybe 6-9 minutes isn't a very appealing Saturday.  Great sport, but we have to be more organized. 

If this were truly the case organizations and events like RMN, Roller Productions, Super 32, NHSCA Nationals, Flo-Nationals, etc. would not exist. The market is there and very strong but it is changing. To deny both of these things is disingenuous. 

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If this were truly the case organizations and events like RMN, Roller Productions, Super 32, NHSCA Nationals, Flo-Nationals, etc. would not exist. The market is there and very strong but it is changing. To deny both of these things is disingenuous.

He said average parent. These are the top kids that go to these events.

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If this were truly the case organizations and events like RMN, Roller Productions, Super 32, NHSCA Nationals, Flo-Nationals, etc. would not exist. The market is there and very strong but it is changing. To deny both of these things is disingenuous.

He said average parent. These are the top kids that go to these events.

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There are a few very simple thigs that can be done to fix wrestling at a HS level:

 

1. ban all weight cutting, not even a pound. if someone is found to have cut weight, end their season, fire coaches who enable it. 

2. change singlet to a more flattering less revealing uniform. Flo's uniforms are perfect or close enough IMO

3. put a cap on tournament runtime, say 6 hours. That's more than enough. Smaller tournaments, less waiting, more wrestling

4. allow 3 tournaments per season not including post season. only one 2 day tournament per season as well. 

5. limit HS practice time (including lifts) to 120 minutes. Too often it is 3 hours long... 

6. mandate 2 off days per week. 

 

I think this has some merit.  I would change it a little though.

 

1.  Whatever your weight, you can cut to the next weight below, no more.  No more regarding fat content or anything else.  You weigh in first day of practice and that is your weight.  You can cut to the next weight class below.

2.  Meh. 

3.  Tourneys are long and boring for the spectator and for the wrestler.  Not sure how you hold down the time unless you hold down the amount of participants.

4.  Our school does a tourney every weekend.  I think that is too much.  2 per month max - 2 Nov, 2 Dec, 2 Jan.   That's enough. 

5.  2 hours is good.  I think our HS does 2.5 hours.  That makes for a long day.

6.  Sat and Sun usually.  Coaches should  be able to tone down practice to allow for peaking or recovery.  Generally a good idea but I think smart coaches can handle this aspect.

 

mspart

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Continued investment in marketing and grassroots programs at the youth level is probably the best path to growth.  

 

A lot of the "solutions" suggested in this thread aren't solutions at all.  Wrestling is always going to be hard. You can't eliminate weight cutting from the sport.  Tournaments are necessary and fine in their current format (in most places).  

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I think this has some merit.  I would change it a little though.

 

1.  Whatever your weight, you can cut to the next weight below, no more.  No more regarding fat content or anything else.  You weigh in first day of practice and that is your weight.  You can cut to the next weight class below.

 

 

Then they'll cut weight before the first practice. You can't legislate cutting weight. One kid will find a loophole and then everyone will do it. 

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Those brackets always seem to be full of state placewinners or higher. Or is that what you mean when you say average?

Depends upon the tournament. Some are more talent laden than others but one year at VB well over 1/2 of the kids in my son's bracket were not state placers and that bracket pushed 120 kids. Similar situation at Reno, The Freakshow, Rocky Mountain Nationals, etc. Not all of those events had 120 man brackets but several were plenty big.

 

Super 32 was a nut-buster and probably the toughest single bracket he was ever in.  

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Why does the NWCA send out articles that are supposed to encourage discussion, such as the one sent out today about dual meets yet have the comment button disabled?

 

I question the assertion in the article by Moyer that promoting dual meets will increase roster expansion in wrestling. The reality is that duals allow for less participation than tournaments.  A large number of tournaments in Missouri allow for multiple entries per weight. As a result, tournaments offer much more inclusion and greater opportunity for participation.

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I think this has some merit.  I would change it a little though.

 

1.  Whatever your weight, you can cut to the next weight below, no more.  No more regarding fat content or anything else.  You weigh in first day of practice and that is your weight.  You can cut to the next weight class below.

2.  Meh. 

3.  Tourneys are long and boring for the spectator and for the wrestler.  Not sure how you hold down the time unless you hold down the amount of participants.

4.  Our school does a tourney every weekend.  I think that is too much.  2 per month max - 2 Nov, 2 Dec, 2 Jan.   That's enough. 

5.  2 hours is good.  I think our HS does 2.5 hours.  That makes for a long day.

6.  Sat and Sun usually.  Coaches should  be able to tone down practice to allow for peaking or recovery.  Generally a good idea but I think smart coaches can handle this aspect.

 

mspart

 

 

1.  I don't think your solution will work as kids will just cut hard for the first weigh in as they do now for certifications. There will always be a way around this and the dedicated will cut no matter what. but by making it illegal with heavy penalties, all but the truly dedicated will stop, those who are truly dedicated will cut less weight out of fear of being caught, it would be very hard to hide the fact you are sucking 20 pounds. 

 

2. from personal experience a lot of kids I tried to recruit mentioned the singlet as a point of contention, many even made fun of it, you can imagine the politically incorrect insults levied. Even some kids making this suggestion made those on the cusp question joining. I think the singlet is a self-inflicted wound we do not need. Not to mention the fact that a lot of wrestlers don't even like wearing them. For those who are self-conscious or shy about their body, this is a hard aspect to overcome. Personally, I didn't join a team until 7th grade because before hand I was too self-conscious about the singlet

 

3. the tournament issue is a little more abstract. I suggested 6 hours but anywhere from 4-8 I think is acceptable. I remember waking up before 5 am and getting home at 10 pm, sometimes later. Of course, i was dedicated, so it didn't bother me as much, but all of my teammates found it miserable. Many even would try and come up with excuses to get out of going. At the time I thought of them as mentally weak, but I now realize that was foolish. Most were doing wrestling as s second sport or just to get in shape, or because they only kind of liked it. They didn't have the same passion for it as me. Had I played another sport like baseball or lacrosse just for fun and the tournaments had been as long as wrestling ones, I would have quit immediately. No Hs kid or parent should be forced to do this. Of course, those kids going to nationals don't have an issue with this, but the kids who are just going to some small hs tournament shouldn't be there from sunrise to sunset and later. 

 

4.  1 - 2x a month is fine. More emphasis on dual meets. fans like them much better, sports are about the fans too.

 

5.  2.5 is way too long. I think ideally 90 minutes is good, sometimes going 2 hours. Wrestling is hard most kids don;t want to go live for over an hour and then do conditioning. Hs sports are about having fun before they are about winning and getting a college scholarship

 

6. I stand by two days off. Six days a week is a lot when you have things like homework, SAT prep, clubs, family responsibilities, part-time jobs, and maintaining a social life. 

 

For those that think my suggestions are all about making wrestling easier when it should be about toughness and hard work, I hear you. But I think you should reevaluate whether the goal is to produce national champs or about growing the sport to include all kinds of kids and creating a fun, positive environment for 13-18-year-old kids to learn and grow, and making lasting friendships. 

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How many states allow there schools to enter more than 1 kid per weight in in-season individual tournament?

 

Pennsylvania does not, and it his horrible for small squads. Picture this, a squad with 14 guys.3 guys certified and very easily able to make 106(could make 100), 3 guys certified at 220, 1 at 285. You can at most field 12 guys, and that is with one of the little guys drinking 2 quarts of water before weigh in so he can weigh in at 113.    Not a completely rare situation. (very similar to my HS situation this year)

 

It sucks that they cannot enter 2 guys at 106, 220, 285. If they do (say out of state it counts a six competitions, not three, out of max 22. If you only enter 14 kids in an individual tournament, it should not matter if 2 are in the same weight.

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How many states allow there schools to enter more than 1 kid per weight in in-season individual tournament?

 

 

I do not know how many do but there are several. Usually 1 is the scoring wrestler.

 

There is also a growing trend for pool-based tournaments with extra (JV) wrestlers filling in the pools. I've kind of gotten to like these since every kid gets 4-5 matches, 3 in the pool and 1 or 2 for individual placement.

 

In many ways better for kids and parents. Not as much time missed at work or school.  

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I question the assertion in the article by Moyer that promoting dual meets will increase roster expansion in wrestling. The reality is that duals allow for less participation than tournaments.  A large number of tournaments in Missouri allow for multiple entries per weight. As a result, tournaments offer much more inclusion and greater opportunity for participation.

 

None of the states where I have been involved in wrestling do the high schools permit more than one athlete from the same school at a weight.

 

My involvement in high school wrestling has been largely with small school programs but every program I have been a part of the duals have allowed for more opportunities to compete.  Some places they have JV duals before a varsity dual while others just have exhibition matches when they can pair up backups from the two teams but either way, it gets more people involved.

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To make tournaments smaller & shorter, I think there should be a 3-match-per-day limit.  Nobody needs to wrestle 5 matches per day.

 

I think kids enjoy 2-day events, but nobody enjoys being in a gym for 12-straight hours.

 

But I don't know how much that will help participation.  It seems like the issue starts at the modified level.

Edited by wnywrestling

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To make tournaments smaller & shorter, I think there should be a 3-match-per-day limit.  Nobody needs to wrestle 5 matches per day.

 

Or even worse, have to forfeit a scheduled 6th bout.  Why have tournaments designed in a method that results in no match in the final placement? 

 

If an athlete has a loss, they were challenged.  Wrestlebacks don't need to be nearly as long as they are.  No point in full wrestlebacks.  I wouldn't have a problem with two match minimums with no wrestlebacks.

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Virginia and West Virginia do allow 2 per weight tournaments. About 10-13 years ago Middletown pa entered a Va tournament with a few backups, and were horrified to find that it cost them 3 comps, and meant  a couple of dual forfeits and no fpost season duals..

 

Tournaments can be set up so that semi losers go for 3rd, Quarter finalists for 5th. others for 9. Saves some time and matches. But yeah, the kids like away, overnight meets, staying in hotels.

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Or even worse, have to forfeit a scheduled 6th bout.  Why have tournaments designed in a method that results in no match in the final placement? 

 

If an athlete has a loss, they were challenged.  Wrestlebacks don't need to be nearly as long as they are.  No point in full wrestlebacks.  I wouldn't have a problem with two match minimums with no wrestlebacks.

 

How do you have a 2 match minimum without wrestlebacks?

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