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russelscout

Modern Era of Wrestling

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This is a completely frivolous topic, but I am curious what some of you guys think.

 

When did our modern era of wrestling start? The days of Oklahoma A & M are long gone. Cornell college is d3 now. Is it the start of the Gable Era? In 1975 when Iowa won their first title with Gable, the championships were held in a gym with a capacity of 6500. The event has been growing ever since.

 

Or is it a more recent change with more wrestlers vying for 4 titles and an increase in college ready freshman. You could say this began happening in the 90's imo, but it was capped off with Cael going undefeated. Would you call this the modern era?

 

Technique has drastically changed and you don't have to be an expert to see defense has changed folkstyle wrestling. Is the increase in scrambling technique how you would define the start of where we are now?

 

Just curious what your thoughts are about the turning points in our sport. Is there one defining moment that you see as relevent or is it just a slow evolution to where we are now?

Edited by russelscout

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Gable’s real impact has been year round wrestling and a greater commitment to fitness. While it’s not likely a causal relationship, coinciding with Gable’s impact has been the reduction of college wrestling teams. Nevertheless, the modern era started when Dan Gable took over the reigns of the Iowa program.

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One dividing line to me would be somewhere in the 70s for college. At least around here (Lehigh Valley) youth wrestling took hold in the 60s. Easton started a little earlier with St Anthony's and when Thad Turner took over at Phillipsburg he instituted a league of rec programs. This was a follow up to Pitt, PSU and Lehigh doing clinics for the local HS teams late 40s into the 50s. I know that before that many college kids started in college.

In NJ, we started seeing an influx of teaching clubs similar to dojos in the 80s/90s which likely caused some of the improvements you noted. 

It will be interesting to see what the Flo influence will continue to bring to the table.

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Its an interesting topic, and begs for some definition.

 

Certainly the rise of scramble positions is one of the technical hallmarks.  I didn't keep up with the sport much in the 80s and 90s, and was very surprised when I was getting back up to speed in the late 90s.  I've wondered ever since what the genesis of these scramble positions was, and the only theory that I've come up with is that its a logical outgrowth of the low-single popularity started by John Smith.  Smith makes the point that the aim of the low single is to stop the sprawl (since your foot is caught at the ankle and the attacker's head is leveraging your knee.) 

 

So if you're attacked and can't sprawl, you either concede the td, or you go over the top and grab whatever's there to work with.  Once that became necessary more often, ingenuity began to operate and people came up with different techniques.  

 

In addition to the rise in scramble positions, the proliferation of cheap back points has had a big impact, imo.  I doubt that there is one ref in 20 that calls the 45 degree criteria for near fall points, let alone counts to five correctly.   The additional point for the longer near fall is having an impact too, although its too soon to identify it. 

 

The increase in communications and internet video has helped increase the competence of younger wrestlers, and the decline in D1 programs has raised the bar for which hs wrestlers are able to join a roster. 

 

Not sure what other phenomena are hallmarks of the modern era, but those are some that I see.  

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You make a lot of sense to me.  Funk was sometimes referred to as unorthodox style back in the 70's.  I remember Cael's sophomore year I hadn't gone to the big dance for several years, and I really wanted to see this phenom named Sanders.  It had changed significantly by then.  I thought the biggest change came when stalling was backed off by the officials.  That's when things started having the time to play out.  jmo

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One dividing line to me would be somewhere in the 70s for college. At least around here (Lehigh Valley) youth wrestling took hold in the 60s. Easton started a little earlier with St Anthony's and when Thad Turner took over at Phillipsburg he instituted a league of rec programs. This was a follow up to Pitt, PSU and Lehigh doing clinics for the local HS teams late 40s into the 50s. I know that before that many college kids started in college.

In NJ, we started seeing an influx of teaching clubs similar to dojos in the 80s/90s which likely caused some of the improvements you noted.

It will be interesting to see what the Flo influence will continue to bring to the table.

Brilliant Gimp!

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For me the divide occurs when Milon of Croton (student of the philosopher Pythagoras), six times Olympic champion (from 540 to 516 B.C.), ten times winner of the Isthmic Games, nine times winner of the Nemean Games and the Spanish Grand Prix, and five time winner of the Pythic Game tried to splinter a tree with his own hands, got his fingers stuck in the split tree-trunk and was devoured by a Nittany lion.

 

https://unitedworldwrestling.org/organisation/history-wrestling

 

But I'm older than many on this forum.

Edited by swoopdown

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I think the "modern era" would be when we went to four-year eligibility, meaning 1968 and beyond. Gable straddles that line, winning in 69 but ineligible as a freshman in 67.

 

We measure current success, in some part, to being four-time All-Americans. So when I'm looking "modern era" I'm looking at 68 and beyond. There's the early years of the NCAA leading up to WWII, the one year freshmen were eligible in 1947 and then the post-WWII era leading up to freshman eligibility in 1968.

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I think the "modern era" would be when we went to four-year eligibility, meaning 1968 and beyond. Gable straddles that line, winning in 69 but ineligible as a freshman in 67.

 

We measure current success, in some part, to being four-time All-Americans. So when I'm looking "modern era" I'm looking at 68 and beyond. There's the early years of the NCAA leading up to WWII, the one year freshmen were eligible in 1947 and then the post-WWII era leading up to freshman eligibility in 1968.

 

I like the reasoning behind this.

 

If I have something to add that hasn't been mentioned or considerred if something tied to title IX and the reduction of teams or the number of scholarships could be used as a criteria.

 

In baseball the definition of eras has a lot of criteria depending on the discussions being had or comparisons made so perhaps so should wrestling.

 

In baseball consider dead balls, number of teams, integration, number of games, divisional alignments, playoff changes, DH, mound height, juiced balls, juiced players, shifts, roster sizes, launch angle, roster composition, bullpen evolution, ball park construction and design, train vs air travel, and probably a dozen things that aren't on the tip of my toungue.

 

In international wrestling you have the constant of the Olympics, but the rules have evolved, countries have came and gone, weight classes have decreased, women emerged, AAU gave way to USA, scoring changes, the WTT became Final X, the mark system, shot clocks, ball grabs, and ten more criteria I am not thinking of.

 

In college wrestling you have weight classes changing, number of teams increasing and decreasing, 3-4-5-6 years of potential eligibility, all division vs single division national championships, scholarship/roster sizes, postseason qualification process, evolving conference affiliations, win criteria and and match scoring, evolution of technique, numbers of coaches, television coverage and conference networks, definitions of amateurism, HWC, growth and development of the RTC programs, the athletic department arms race, the kessel affect, a lot of the stuff already discussed here, and certainly some that has not.

 

Using JB's logic, I would assert that if 1928 to 1968 were the classical era, perhaps the modern era evolved or ran from the late 60's or early 70's to the millenium give or take, and that we are now in the midst of the post modern era of wrestling considering all of the changes that occurred over the last 90 years to our sport.

Edited by KSchlosser

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Freshman were eligible in the Dick Hutton era.  I know they did away with it for several years, but I guess the first thing we need to do is determine what defines an era.   I'm thinking we're about to start another one.  An era where our freestyle and folkstyle have began to feed each other to greater heights.  I believe 68 was about the time they stopped letting you ride with the heel on the butt for as long as you could keep a man there.  That and other rule changes started the catch and release era.  I would think OSU and Iowa should probably both have their own era.  The current dynasty is only a year or two away from possibly being another era.  

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Freshman were eligible in the Dick Hutton era. I know they did away with it for several years, but I guess the first thing we need to do is determine what defines an era. I'm thinking we're about to start another one. An era where our freestyle and folkstyle have began to feed each other to greater heights. I believe 68 was about the time they stopped letting you ride with the heel on the butt for as long as you could keep a man there. That and other rule changes started the catch and release era. I would think OSU and Iowa should probably both have their own era. The current dynasty is only a year or two away from possibly being another era.

1947 was the start of the Dick Hutton era, which is why I pointed that out. 1947 was the ONLY year freshmen were eligible by the NCAA until 1968.

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1947 was the start of the Dick Hutton era, which is why I pointed that out. 1947 was the ONLY year freshmen were eligible by the NCAA until 1968.

 

How many freshman qualified that year? How did they do?

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1947 was the start of the Dick Hutton era, which is why I pointed that out. 1947 was the ONLY year freshmen were eligible by the NCAA until 1968.

 

Thanks, I really did not know it was just one year.  May I ask if you have a guideline for what qualifies as an era?  

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what year was the change to 9.9? 

 

The Compliance manual shows revisions in '91, '92 and '93. I know it was in there somewhere. They made a sweeping 10% drop to all sports. Wrestling went from 11.0 to 9.9. It was also around the same time they reduced coaches- in wrestling to roughly where it is now. I say roughly because one of the paid was initially a restricted earnings coach. They wanted to limit to a full time head, a restricted earnings and a volunteer but that was crazy.

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Title IX didn’t affect sports that generated revenue or garnered national media coverage. Because wrestling provided neither, it got killed. But not sure what this federal legislation has to do with the modern era of wrestling.

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You make a lot of sense to me.  Funk was sometimes referred to as unorthodox style back in the 70's.  I remember Cael's sophomore year I hadn't gone to the big dance for several years, and I really wanted to see this phenom named Sanders.  It had changed significantly by then.  I thought the biggest change came when stalling was backed off by the officials.  That's when things started having the time to play out.  jmo

 

Yeah, I don't know when they started referring to it as "funk". It was just "unorthodox" back in the late 70's-early 80's in Oklahoma.

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