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Is Wrestling Doomed?

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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.

 

The idea of JV duals seems silly, when most varsity squads have full lineups, let alone a JV lineup. Even in tri or quad meets, a lot of times my JV kids don't have a match. At tournaments they always have matches. No comparison in the level of involvement.

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Round robin sucks. Spectators like quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals

Sumo is all round robins, and it draws pretty dang well. it also uses simple a simple promotion/relegation system. I would love to see international wrestling adopt more practices from sumo. 

 

but knock out brackets are good too. it works pretty well for tennis.

 

I wish someone would bring back the pool system for a big event. it had both, a round robin phase and then a knock out phase. 

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People argue what's the most accurate way to determine a team champ: duals or tournaments. Well, the most accurate way to determine an individual champ is round robin.  Everybody wrestles everybody, no seeding necessary.  The problem is it takes too long & is boring.  So the solution what FILA used to do is the black mark brackets (round robin but you're out if you lose two).  I'm not sure why they did away with that... but it probably had something to do with taking too long and being boring (when compared to quarters/semis/finals).

 

I'll have to check out sumo, but I doubt it's exciting as the format used by the NCAA championships.  Variety is nice, but if we're talking about growing the sport, I think round robin is one of the problems. Not to mention that all those extra matches cause more injuries.

 

EDIT: But the biggest problem is the sport's reputation, which is tight, dorky outfits & extreme weight-cutting.  Two solvable problems.

Edited by wnywrestling

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Back in my day in PA, virtually all HS rosters had over 30 kids. JH had to wrestle on different nights because the JV match prior to the varsity match was usually an entire dual within itself.

 

Since then...because of heavier use of gyms from other sports, laziness of AD's and of course cost savings, JH now wrestles before HS.

 

This and the use of what JV wrestlers you have as bait so coaches can over juggle their varsity lineups to win and get that all mighty higher winning % for district dual seeding has killed JV wrestling.

 

Who is going to stick out the sport when you never get to wrestle?

 

Now, 9 times out of 10, a coach will juggle a good wrestler from another good wrestler to win the dual.

 

Who is going to come to a match where there isn't one good matchup?

 

The death of print media hasn't helped either. Hard to wrestle if there is no one talking about it.

 

Tournaments for the most part have improved. As a kid I remember showing up to some random tournament at 8 am and didn't leave until 11pm. Most tournaments have a cutoff and many are going to staggered starts.

 

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Back in my day in PA, virtually all HS rosters had over 30 kids. JH had to wrestle on different nights because the JV match prior to the varsity match was usually an entire dual within itself.

 

Since then...because of heavier use of gyms from other sports, laziness of AD's and of course cost savings, JH now wrestles before HS.

 

This and the use of what JV wrestlers you have as bait so coaches can over juggle their varsity lineups to win and get that all mighty higher winning % for district dual seeding has killed JV wrestling.

 

Who is going to stick out the sport when you never get to wrestle?

 

Now, 9 times out of 10, a coach will juggle a good wrestler from another good wrestler to win the dual.

 

Who is going to come to a match where there isn't one good matchup?

 

The death of print media hasn't helped either. Hard to wrestle if there is no one talking about it.

 

Tournaments for the most part have improved. As a kid I remember showing up to some random tournament at 8 am and didn't leave until 11pm. Most tournaments have a cutoff and many are going to staggered starts.

 

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

I assume this is extremely small town PA.  JH was never associated in any way with HS competition where I came from.  

What do you mean by 'bait'?  That a coach will sit a wrestler, but still field a full team?

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EDIT: But the biggest problem is the sport's reputation, which is tight, dorky outfits & extreme weight-cutting.  Two solvable problems.

 

I've always felt like the singlets thing is overblown.  Singlets might be an excuse people give when they don't want to wrestle and people press them for a reason, but I'd be amazed if more than a small fraction of kids actually care.

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Back in my day in PA, virtually all HS rosters had over 30 kids. JH had to wrestle on different nights because the JV match prior to the varsity match was usually an entire dual within itself.

 

Since then...because of heavier use of gyms from other sports, laziness of AD's and of course cost savings, JH now wrestles before HS.

 

This and the use of what JV wrestlers you have as bait so coaches can over juggle their varsity lineups to win and get that all mighty higher winning % for district dual seeding has killed JV wrestling.

 

Who is going to stick out the sport when you never get to wrestle?

 

Now, 9 times out of 10, a coach will juggle a good wrestler from another good wrestler to win the dual.

 

Who is going to come to a match where there isn't one good matchup?

 

The death of print media hasn't helped either. Hard to wrestle if there is no one talking about it.

 

Tournaments for the most part have improved. As a kid I remember showing up to some random tournament at 8 am and didn't leave until 11pm. Most tournaments have a cutoff and many are going to staggered starts.

 

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

From The late 1960s (when Jr Hi teams began) thru the early 80's, here in the Harrisburg area Jr Hi duals were traditionally either 4:00 Pm on a Schoolday or Saturday Morning. But when the Mid Penn Conference began they came up with a very good method. of running duals. typically on a school night, they wood set up 2 mats. Jr Hi would begin on one mat at 6:00 PM, At 6:30 The JVs would begin on the other mat. "extra" JrHi would be before 6 on both mats, if there were actually "extra" JV bouts they would be 6:00-6:30 on the JV mat.---- Then of course one mat, centered, for Varsity. Bigger crowds fo everyone.

 

These days, many smaller schools now can only arrange 2-4 JV Bouts and they just do them before the varsity, so only one mat (Jr Hi Prelim) Occasionally, 2 mats will be used with an Elementary preliminary at the same time as the JrHi.

 

 

 

PLASMODIUM - We are talking some big schools here. Central Dauphin, Lower Dauphin, Cedar Cliff, Mechanicsburg, and some Giant Schools (having a 9-10 building and an 11-12 building, Cumberland Valley, Carlisle, Chambersburg. Many of these schools are actually fed by 2 Middle Schools. (I don't know of any true 7-8-9 Junior High schools in this area)  

Edited by RichB

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I assume this is extremely small town PA.  JH was never associated in any way with HS competition where I came from.  

What do you mean by 'bait'?  That a coach will sit a wrestler, but still field a full team?

 

I come from, live in, and coach in central PA - not a small town. we do our JH duals before varsity whenever possible. We set up 2 mats and JV and JH wrestle simultaneously. Then breakdown a mat for the varsity match. The JH kids love it.

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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.

 

 

As someone who has been involved with the sport for roughly 30 years, I can't stand these sorts of kids tournaments. Honestly, it was a major reason why my oldest stopped wrestling and I was happy to not have to attend another one ever again.

 

These giant mega tournaments are just cash cows for a lot of programs. Having 1,000 kids in a tournament at $20 a head (not including parents and fans paying to get in and eat) can be great for a club, but not for the families involved.

 

One thing my son's old kids club started doing was going to dual meets where each kid would end up wrestling twice at a minimum. We were done in less than two hours and everyone was happy. Where you sacrifice money, you gain in parent/kid happiness that it is not their entire days spent so their kids can wrestle a total of eight minutes.

 

One other local club would invite three to four other clubs into their room for an informal round robin tournament, not weigh kids in, but use an honor system and everyone was done in less than three hours. The best part is that parents couldn't be in the room because they needed space for kids to compete, so it significantly cut down on the craziness and the kids could focus on wrestling and then getting on with their lives.

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One other local club would invite three to four other clubs into their room for an informal round robin tournament, not weigh kids in, but use an honor system and everyone was done in less than three hours. The best part is that parents couldn't be in the room because they needed space for kids to compete, so it significantly cut down on the craziness and the kids could focus on wrestling and then getting on with their lives.

Our league does something similar. Glorified scrimmages where coaches set up matches Friday night - each kid gets 3-4 matches Saturday morning and everyone is out of there between 12 and 1.

 

 

GuyuteThePig

HTP

 

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i sometimes wonder if i live in the same wrestling world as many of you.

 

Of the problems listed here there is a ton of

1) things i don't see/hear

2) conjecture

3) flat out contradictions

 Well, you are bros with the best of the best.  follow them on twitter, talk to them about chew, etc...  Flo engages the fanatic.  the numbers don't lie

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