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LHU125

Injuries and Season Length

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I am sure this topic has come up quite a few times within the past few years, but I think it's more important now that ever to look at the length of the NCAA wrestling season and how it's impacting the wrestlers and the sport. Having gone through the gauntlet myself, the season is ridiculously long and puts a tremendous amount of strain and tax on these athletes.

It seems like every week there's a post about someone ducking, or forfeiting out due to injury. Now the expectations are already high for many of these wrestlers, and criticism comes at them from all sides regarding their health. Many times these injuries have life altering effects on them as well. 

Regardless, I would like to hear some thoughts on where or how the season could be condensed. I'd imagine NCAA rules will change next year to further encourage action. That said something is gunna have to change so that we can all keep watching our favorite wrestlers.    

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Should make it 2 weeks shorter at the end.  That will make it more comparable to the length of the high school seasons, but still just a bit longer than most.  That way it won't conflict with fans wanting to watch both.  It will also avoid head-to-head conflicts vs NCAA basketball.  As it is, our 3 day tournament occurs at the same time as the first 4 days of the NCAA tournament.  Shortening our season by 1 week would still conflict with championship week in most D-I conferences.  Two weeks shorter and we avoid all of those conflicts.

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Seems many are injuries that are already there and just never get healed 100%.

Gross, Parker, Stoll were not 100% when the season started.  I assume many others weren't either.

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In a perfect world without the logistic nightmare of moving everything, wrestling is a one semester sport that starts in January.  

1)  Wrestlers can focus on study during the first semester.

2)  Wrestlers can eat during the holidays.

3)  Shorten the season

4)  Don't conflict with NCAA basketball

5)  Our late season doesn't conflict with high school post season. 

Not that easy I know, but that's my dream scenario. 

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1 hour ago, KCMO2 said:

Should make it 2 weeks shorter at the end.  That will make it more comparable to the length of the high school seasons, but still just a bit longer than most.  That way it won't conflict with fans wanting to watch both.  It will also avoid head-to-head conflicts vs NCAA basketball.  As it is, our 3 day tournament occurs at the same time as the first 4 days of the NCAA tournament.  Shortening our season by 1 week would still conflict with championship week in most D-I conferences.  Two weeks shorter and we avoid all of those conflicts.

Maybe even shorter than that, or start the season after the New Year.  The issue that I see with the 2 weeks shorter is it would conflict with state tournaments and qualifiers.  Many of our fans are involved in these and they are the future of our fan base.  I am sure there will be alot of interest in Pittsburgh among youth wrestlers and coaches and with the two week shorter, they wouldn't be able to attend.

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Wrestlers today have less matches and better support services (nutrition, conditioning, etc.).  If they can’t handle the grind then play basketball.  I bet most wrestlers would agree.

And what do you do with all the great pre-January tournaments?  End Midlans, Scuffle?

Edited by Sstern

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Wrestlers today have less matches and better support services (nutrition, conditioning, etc.).  If they can’t handle the grind then play basketball.  I bet most wrestlers would agree.
And what do you do with all the great pre-January tournaments?  End Midlans, Scuffle?
The more serious injuries require more time to recover than 8 months. Some take years to fully recover if they recover at all.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

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3 hours ago, Gantry said:

In a perfect world without the logistic nightmare of moving everything, wrestling is a one semester sport that starts in January.  

 

I think some coaches are heading this direction unilaterally.

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56 minutes ago, Sstern said:

Wrestlers today have less matches and better support services (nutrition, conditioning, etc.).  If they can’t handle the grind then play basketball.  I bet most wrestlers would agree.

And what do you do with all the great pre-January tournaments?  End Midlans, Scuffle?

B1G schools have less matches potentially. And I agree with services. 

"They can't handle the grind" is absurd on the other hand. Must be a two time-county champ to be that tough. 

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1 hour ago, Sstern said:

.  If they can’t handle the grind then play basketball.  

 

I agree with LHU125, that's just an ridiculous old-school statement from someone who I doubt is speaking from experience.

Edited by KCMO2

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Issues with weight loss continue. Food deprivation hinders all body functions. It always has been just darn STUPID. Many injuries result indirectly from the insanity of losing weight. Another factor is overtraining. These two have nothing to do with the length of the season. 

 

Anyway, most of the elite guys compete all year long. 

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6 hours ago, Katie said:

There is really no point to the regular season anymore. Might as well begin and end in March.

If there is no point to a regular season then why are there so many people on here talking about it?

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3 hours ago, gowrestle said:

Issues with weight loss continue. Food deprivation hinders all body functions. It always has been just darn STUPID. Many injuries result indirectly from the insanity of losing weight. Another factor is overtraining. These two have nothing to do with the length of the season. 

 

Anyway, most of the elite guys compete all year long. 

Seems like both of those factors would be a result of the long season. I agree cutting weight is dumb but it's not going away. In addition, training while monitoring weight is extremely stressful on the body (even for Elite guys.) 

Off season training and in season training are completely different from each other, regardless of if they compete. 

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23 minutes ago, LHU125 said:

Seems like both of those factors would be a result of the long season. I agree cutting weight is dumb but it's not going away. In addition, training while monitoring weight is extremely stressful on the body (even for Elite guys.) 

Off season training and in season training are completely different from each other, regardless of if they compete. 

Sorry I can’t produce it now but I read a study back in the eighties done by a PE PhD candidate that showed that wrestlers who lost excessive weight were more likely to suffer injuries. The critical factor was weight loss, not the length of the season. 

Off season competition, regardless of the training regime, is still wrestling. Point is that almost all the top guys now train year round. 

I think altering the length of the season and moving it to a 1 semester sport would likely have some positive outcomes and also several unexpected results that may be deleterious to the sport. It has been discussed within the NCAA wrestling leadership group but apparently there are too many logistical hurdles that make it difficult to do.  

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8 hours ago, KCMO2 said:

I agree with LHU125, that's just an ridiculous old-school statement from someone who I doubt is speaking from experience.

And you, of course, no not of what you speak.  But I will leave you with a final thought.

I can’t wait for seeding at NCAAs when everyone has 10-15 matches because the argument about the grind is antithetical if your going to stuff more matches into less time.  Cael average almost 40 matches per season.  That  wasn’t in the “old school” days, either.  You will be lucky to get half that in a condensed season, if you’re truly concerned about a wrestler’s health.

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Too many matches, too many weigh ins.  Russians and other wrestling powers do not wrestle/weigh in with the frequency our college kids do.  Solutions?  One tournament a month max beginning in December (wrestle all the opens you want in November); one weigh in per week max.  I know, never happen.

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24 minutes ago, gowrestle said:

Sorry I can’t produce it now but I read a study back in the eighties done by a PE PhD candidate that showed that wrestlers who lost excessive weight were more likely to suffer injuries. The critical factor was weight loss, not the length of the season. 

Off season competition, regardless of the training regime, is still wrestling. Point is that almost all the top guys now train year round. 

I think altering the length of the season and moving it to a 1 semester sport would likely have some positive outcomes and also several unexpected results that may be deleterious to the sport. It has been discussed within the NCAA wrestling leadership group but apparently there are too many logistical hurdles that make it difficult to do.  

I would take a nearly 40 year old study with a grain of salt in today's current wrestling climate. Weight loss is far more controlled and regulated now in addition to being discouraged. 

Regardless, I do understand the logistical hurdles and of course this hypothetical scenario of shortening the season would have unexpected results. 

I do find it interesting they have reduced the maximum number of matches per day versus which has caused A LOT of missed or undetermined matches in order to reduce injury. 

Just makes me think a dynamic change is not as far away as we may think. 

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6 hours ago, gowrestle said:

Issues with weight loss continue. Food deprivation hinders all body functions. It always has been just darn STUPID. Many injuries result indirectly from the insanity of losing weight. Another factor is overtraining. These two have nothing to do with the length of the season. 

 

Anyway, most of the elite guys compete all year long. 

My college wrestling was in the mid/late 70's.

Back then,there were no restrictions on how you lost weight.

A lot of guys practiced in rubber suits,and lived in the sauna and whirlpool.

There were 2 approaches to making weight.

I used to to start cutting calories in September and tried to be within 1-2 lbs of my weigh-in 

weight the day before the match.

The other approach was to try to sweat out what you needed to, starting a day or two before the match.

I can't say this approach led to more injuries.

I can say that a lot of guys who did this tended to fade in the third period.

We started practice  in mid October and went to the NCAA's.

I don't remember a lot of injuries,other then sprains,bumps and bruises.

To me,there are 2 issues which are contributing to the injury problems wrestlers are experiencing today.

First is wrestling 12 months a year.Any sport is tough on your body,if you do it  non stop.

Wrestling is one of the toughest.

Your body needs time to heal,after several months of daily contact.

I've posted before that,when I wrested in college,when the season ended, we were told no wrestling until the next season's practice started.

You were expected to do a Spring sport and lift and run over the summer.

I think that approach is/was a good one.

Second,if you got a serious injury,an outside physician controlled your recovery.

They were very conservative about  letting you back on the mat.

The only time they were a bit more lenient was if you got injured towards the

end of your senior season.

 

Edited by rpbobcat

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