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tirapell

Push-out rule in folkstyle?

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As BigApple can tell you freestyle has always evolved through rule alterations, often felt to be made to offset perceived advantages countries were gaining or losing. Changes were somewhat gradual...until 2004.

If you don't think the changes of 2004 were changes WAY beyond anything that had happened before...I don't think there is anything to say, except I hope you are so young you have no actual memory of when FS was wrestling. Change from cumulative scoring to winning tennis sets. Eliminate passivity. You can win a round although behind. You can score by forcing the other out. Single elimination, finalist pull back in. 15 min between match minimum, wt class completed in 1 day. Introduction of random chance in giving huge advantage of leg cinch to one of the two evenly matched contestants in tie breaker.

To me the biggest changes during the prior 4 decades was the introduction of the tech superiority(fall), the significant reduction of match duration, and reducing the number of wt classes.

 

In general, the sport's fundamentals haven't changed. A takedown is still 1, a turn is still 2, feet to back is still 3, etc. It's not as though the rules have added strikes or submissions.

 

Almost eliminating passivity and adding pushouts were interlinked rules. Passivity calls had become a problem because of the widespread belief that refs were corrupt. I've already pointed out why the pushout does not bother me (and why I think it is an excellent rule).

 

The leg clinch is a serious problem. Since there will be a new set of rules changes after the Olympics, I've spent a lot of time on the international board laying out just what a problem it is. The impression I get from Stan Dziedzic is that there is no support for getting rid of it anytime soon.

 

Otherwise, the changes you've mentioned are basically cosmetic/irrelevant (tennis sets, winning on criteria, lack of full wrestlebacks).

 

Match time reduction matters a lot, but matches have been around 5-6 minutes for decades. Weight classes being completed in 1 day goes a long way toward adding conditioning (or at least recovery abilities) into the skill set that wrestlers need. It doesn't change the fundamentals of the sport.

 

I can't recall when they got rid of the black mark system, but that obviously would have been a very important change. Again, I think it was a move in the right direction, but I'm sure that it has reduced action, just like changing the interpretation of passivity has reduced action.

 

I added a couple more to the list.

"Otherwise, the changes you've mentioned are basically cosmetic/irrelevant (tennis sets, winning on criteria, lack of full wrestlebacks)."

Cosmetic: tennis sets, only have to wrestle a minimum of 4 min. (excluding falls)? Lose 2 rounds and no chance to win the third big (if cumulative) or score the dramatic Rohn like fall?

Cosmetic: I can lead 8-6 and lose the round?

Cosmetic: I can defend the cinch(not get scored on) and unlike all the rest of the time wrestling I am rewarded with more than just surviving a dangerous situation?

Cosmetic: Wrestleback format, ok, kind of, if we were only interested in crowning the champ and had no interest in lower places. Why wrestle back at all?

 

Fundamentals: stepping on a line now equals a TD, a correct hold/lift, or an exposure?

Push outs: OB is now an offensive scoring strategy instead of defensive? Big improvement (sarcasm).

Passivity: No concern about dropping and defending if anywhere near the edge (to avoid push out point), effectively greatly reducing the area where actual wrestling will happen?

Fundamentals: Rolling dice, err, ball draw to decide (90% of the time?) winners of athletic competition so tight neither has scored in the first 2 min?

 

I want none of this in folk style. Not collectively, or any individual part.

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Freestyle Changes Since 1952

I’ll try to give the changes I can remember in chronological order. I coached under Tommy Evans for a year, and used to fly with him for 2 more years. Danny Hodge was 2nd in the 1956 Olympics, I’ve talked to him about his two trips to the Olympics in 1952 and 1956, Port Roberston was the 1960 Olympic freestyle coach. Len Kauffman was 4th in the world in 1966, we wrestled together in the Army in 1968-1969, Wayne Wells 1972 gold medalist, Bobby Douglas and Lee Roy Smith are two coaches I’ve known fairly well.

 

1952 - No match scoring was done. If you didn’t pin the opponent the referee decided the winner. Tommy Evans took down the defending Olympic champion from Sweden 7 times. The referee gave the win to the Swede.

 

1956 - Match scoring is added. Danny Hodge said he hit his head out of bounds completely off the mat, and a fall was called. This was his first match in the round robin. Next match was against the Russian. Matches were still 15 minutes, and you didn’t go flat in par terre, you tried to defend your base. Danny hooked up the 3/4 nelson. I’m told fans sitting in the stands said you could hear the vertebrae pop as he pulled the Russian’s head underneath for the pin. Russians got the 3/4 nelson declared an inhumane hold, and it has been illegal since then.

 

Somewhere between 1956 and 1968 the matches were shortened to tw0 5 minute periods.

 

In 1968 they went from 8 weight classes to 10 weight classes, and to three 3-minute periods.

 

1968-1984 I don’t think there were any memorable changes

 

1988 is when I think they went to two 3-minute periods. Sometime in there they went to one 5 minute period, then back to the two 3 minute periods. The technical superiority was put in around this time. First it was a 15 point lead, then to a 10-point lead.

 

I went to the 1993 world championships, it was the first time I ever saw a fleeing the hold call. The Cuban was dinged twice in the last 30 seconds against Terry Brands in the finals to send it into overtime.

 

Somewhere in the 90s they did away with the bad mark system, and went to a combination pool and bracket, which I still think is an absolutely stupid way to do things. Seed the wrestlers!

 

When I first saw freestyle you could dive to the edge of the mat, get your forehead down out of bounds, no takedown, although you could be flat on your belly and opponent on top. Compared to that the "pushout rule" is a good thing.

 

We’ve gone from repeated passivity calls to no passivity calls. We had escapes in 1993, then the referees screwed Melvin Douglas by not applying the rule correctly. Fortunately his opponent failed the drug test so Melvin eventually got the gold. His championship match should have gone to overtime.

 

This two minutes per period and winning them instead of the total score is garbage.

We now have two bronze medals and no bronze medal match. Len Kauffman ties on 10 criteria after the Bronze medal match with an Iranian. He loses on the 11th and final criteria he weighs more at the end of the match.

 

I’m someone who has learned most of my wrestling from great pinners. Stan Abel taught me my neutral position skills as far as leg attacks go. From 1968 through 1996 was the golden age for international freestyle in my opinion. Since, then the conditioning factor has been taken out. Par terre is just about eliminated. So now we have takedown contests.

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I added a couple more to the list.

"Otherwise, the changes you've mentioned are basically cosmetic/irrelevant (tennis sets, winning on criteria, lack of full wrestlebacks)."

Cosmetic: tennis sets, only have to wrestle a minimum of 4 min. (excluding falls)? Lose 2 rounds and no chance to win the third big (if cumulative) or score the dramatic Rohn like fall?

Cosmetic: I can lead 8-6 and lose the round?

Cosmetic: I can defend the cinch(not get scored on) and unlike all the rest of the time wrestling I am rewarded with more than just surviving a dangerous situation?

Cosmetic: Wrestleback format, ok, kind of, if we were only interested in crowning the champ and had no interest in lower places. Why wrestle back at all?

 

Fundamentals: stepping on a line now equals a TD, a correct hold/lift, or an exposure?

Push outs: OB is now an offensive scoring strategy instead of defensive? Big improvement (sarcasm).

Passivity: No concern about dropping and defending if anywhere near the edge (to avoid push out point), effectively greatly reducing the area where actual wrestling will happen?

Fundamentals: Rolling dice, err, ball draw to decide (90% of the time?) winners of athletic competition so tight neither has scored in the first 2 min?

 

I want none of this in folk style. Not collectively, or any individual part.

 

 

To me, wrestling is a limited fight: the competitors have to demonstrate their dominance without the use of finishing moves (strikes, submissions, eye gouges, groin attacks, etc.). As long as the wrestlers are aware of the rules (even if they're silly rules like tennis sets with criteria victories), and the wrestlers determine the outcome, the fundamentals of the sport are in tact.

 

In my opinion, the clinch violates the fundamentals of the sport, because the winner of the ball draw is given an arbitrary hold of advantage -- in other words, the control over the outcome is taken out of the hands of the wrestlers.

 

Freestyle and folkstyle have evolved in separate directions. As BigApple points out, freestyle is basically a takedown game now, but freestyle takedowns emphasize back exposure, not control. So the transition from folkstyle to freestyle is difficult, even though both styles emphasize working on your feet. Mat work is even more different, for a variety of reasons, but most importantly because freestyle emphasizes exposure, not control.

 

In other words, there have been a lot of changes to the rules, but I don't think the new rules have endangered the fundamentals of either sport (except for the clinch). And I don't see the pushout as threatening. I guess because I don't see anything fundamental about the opponent being a scoring surface.

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We can share anecdotal examples of good and bad results from the pushout all day long. They don't prove either sides argument.

 

One of my favorite changes was only needing to have one supporting point in bounds to secure a takedown. That led to fantastic wrestling near the edge. The pushout would decrease the mat size dramatically, which would lead to less good wrestling, not more.

 

I'm willing to bet that the highest percentage score at these Olympics was a shot from the outside to a pushout. Every time I see a mind blowing set-up that results in a pushout I think everyone involved was robbed of fantastic wrestling...which was just about to start!

 

Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, who has wrestled at a high level can tell you the biggest obstacle to scoring is not stalling, but a guy who won't remain in the wrestling area (aka using the out-of-bounds area to prevent scores).

 

That's an awfully bold statement. I think the biggest obstacle to scoring at the top level is the quality of the defense. You act like fleeing the mat is a major problem. It doesn't happen so much that we need to make such a drastic change to wrestling.

 

Pushing a guy out of bounds is not worthy of being rewarded with points.

 

The technique involved in finishing a takedown is one of the most admirable aspects of our sport. Getting to a guys leg is one thing, finishing is another all together.

 

Implementing the pushout greatly dilutes one of the most technical, artistic, and creative aspects of wrestling; finishing a takedown.

 

Finishing a shot on top level wrestler takes a lifetime of mastery. Where's the technique is shoving a guy out of bounds? Where is the brilliance? Does that take a lifetime of mastery?

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Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, who has wrestled at a high level can tell you the biggest obstacle to scoring is not stalling, but a guy who won't remain in the wrestling area (aka using the out-of-bounds area to prevent scores).

 

That's an awfully bold statement. I think the biggest obstacle to scoring at the top level is the quality of the defense. You act like fleeing the mat is a major problem. It doesn't happen so much that we need to make such a drastic change to wrestling.

 

 

I feel pretty comfortable with my assessment. If it were off-base, I'm sure guys like BigApple would point it out, considering they've been around the highest levels of wrestling since the dawn of time.

 

And you're right, the biggest obstacle to scoring at the Olympic level (which is the defacto highest level in the land) is the quality of the defense, because they can't go off the mat. In college, a wrestler can level the playing field against a superior opponent by staying near the edge and forcing the referee to call penalties and thus, be the bad guy.

 

Obviously you disagree with the push-out rule, but I'll issue you the same challenge I issued Zebra. Get on a mat, have your opponent stand on the edge with no penalties to be called, and see how successful you are at scoring takedowns. Don't forget to report back.

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I hate the push out rule in any style PERIOD. I love folkstyle and could care less if it resembles freestyle in any way. There are plenty of options for wrestlers if they want to concentrate on a international style with out butchering the style of folkstyle wrestling.

 

 

Amen.

 

[highlight=#e1ebf2]Obviously you disagree with the push-out rule, but I'll issue you the same challenge I issued Zebra. Get on a mat, have your opponent stand on the edge with no penalties to be called, and see how successful you are at scoring takedowns. Don't forget to report back.[/highlight]

 

I don't just disagree with the pushout rule, I loath it with every ounce of my being.

 

 

I don't claim to be the authority on what high level wrestlers think...but I disagree that all high level wrestlers hold your disdain for playing the edge. Ironically, the only time I really noticed it as a reoccurring problem was when competing against Illinois ;) No offense, I'm actually a big fan of several Illinois wrestlers, yourself and your brother included.

 

Anyway, we have rules in place to combat the wrestler who is trying to avoid action. Regardless of how well they are or are not called, so I don't think your scenario is fair. You cannot pretend that our current rules do not exist to prove your point. Let me provide you with a better challenge.

 

Put your back to the line, and face a much lower skilled opponent. See how successful you are at not giving up a point. Now give him your leg, and see how well your vastly superior defense comes in to play with the pushout rule. Will the better wrestler prevail? Don't forget to report back.

 

Like I said, no creativeness, no skill, no brilliance, no artistry, no reason for reward.

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I hate the push out rule in any style PERIOD. I love folkstyle and could care less if it resembles freestyle in any way. There are plenty of options for wrestlers if they want to concentrate on a international style with out butchering the style of folkstyle wrestling.

 

 

Amen.

 

[highlight=#ffffff]Obviously you disagree with the push-out rule, but I'll issue you the same challenge I issued Zebra. Get on a mat, have your opponent stand on the edge with no penalties to be called, and see how successful you are at scoring takedowns. Don't forget to report back.[/highlight]

 

I don't disagree with the pushout rule, I loath the pushout rule with every fiber of my being.

 

 

I don't claim to be the authority on what high level wrestlers think...but I disagree that all high level wrestlers hold your disdain for playing the edge. Ironically, the only time I really noticed it as a reoccurring problem was when competing against Illinois ;) No offense, I'm actually a big fan of several Illinois wrestlers, yourself and your brother included.

 

Anyway, we have rules in place to combat the wrestler who is trying to avoid action. Regardless of how well they are or are not called, so I don't think your scenario is fair. You cannot pretend that our current rules don't exist to prove your point. So let me provide you a better scenario.

 

Put your back to the line, and face a much lower skilled opponent. See how successful you are at not giving up a point. Now give him your leg, and see how well your vastly superior defense comes in to play with the pushout rule. Will the better wrestler prevail? Don't forget to report back.

 

Like I said, no creativeness, no skill, no brilliance, no artistry, no reason for reward.

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I hate the push out rule in any style PERIOD. I love folkstyle and could care less if it resembles freestyle in any way. There are plenty of options for wrestlers if they want to concentrate on a international style with out butchering the style of folkstyle wrestling.

 

 

Amen.

 

[highlight=#e1ebf2]Obviously you disagree with the push-out rule, but I'll issue you the same challenge I issued Zebra. Get on a mat, have your opponent stand on the edge with no penalties to be called, and see how successful you are at scoring takedowns. Don't forget to report back.[/highlight]

 

I don't just disagree with the pushout rule, I loath it with every ounce of my being.

 

 

I don't claim to be the authority on what high level wrestlers think...but I disagree that all high level wrestlers hold your disdain for playing the edge. Ironically, the only time I really noticed it as a reoccurring problem was when competing against Illinois ;) No offense, I'm actually a big fan of several Illinois wrestlers, yourself and your brother included.

 

Anyway, we have rules in place to combat the wrestler who is trying to avoid action. Regardless of how well they are or are not called, so I don't think your scenario is fair. You cannot pretend that our current rules do not exist to prove your point. Let me provide you with a better challenge.

 

Put your back to the line, and face a much lower skilled opponent. See how successful you are at not giving up a point. Now give him your leg, and see how well your vastly superior defense comes in to play with the pushout rule. Will the better wrestler prevail? Don't forget to report back.

 

Like I said, no creativeness, no skill, no brilliance, no artistry, no reason for reward.

 

The irony here is that I hated the push-out rule as much as anyone when it was introduced.

 

We do have rules in place. They were so effective that we actually extended the out-of-bounds area to allow for more out-of-bounds wrestling. We're the only combat sport I know of that encourages action to take place out of the competition area. IMO, we're tackling the problem from the wrong angle -- larger mats, more liberal out-of-bounds, and call penalties. Larger mats are logistically impossible at tournaments and if penalties were the answer, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

 

I've already done your challenge. I'm not super successful, but more than you'd think. The problem with your "challenge" is exactly the point of thinking about adding the push-out rule. The whole idea is NOT to wrestle the edge, not to wrestle the edge effectively. If you do choose to wrestle the edge, you allow a "lower skilled opponent" the opportunity to score without taking you down. Think about it, if you're more skilled, you'd stay in the center to avoid that scenario. Conversely, if you are the lower skilled wrestler, you wrestle the edge to make it harder for the higher skilled opponent to score (assuming current rules), because it introduces an additional element into him having to control you and finish the attack. Guess what? That's what we have now. It's called folkstyle wrestling.

 

Just because you love something, does not mean it cannot be improved upon. Anything not changing is actually falling behind, in my opinion. Not that it should be a push-out rule, but it's extremely short-sighted to not analyze and look for potential improvements. How do you think the out-of-bounds rule came into play, because people said "I love folkstyle" and therefore everything is perfect? I think you know what I'm saying.

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What I saw in the Olympics was good single and double legs, and some really good whizzers. Coleman Scott's counter offense in the clinch needs to be worked on by the US wrestlers. OSU has spent a lot of time in this position.

 

I saw a good limp arm to finish countering a whizzer. What I haven't seen much of in freestyle or folkstyle is a backheel trip double post as a single leg or double leg finish which was a staple under Port Robertson, Tommy Evans, and Stan Abel. I still teach it and it works. The whizzer is quite a weapon in freestyle at taking guys out bounds off their shot for 3 points. Saw Eric Larkin hit Chris Bono each period with it one year at Sunkist.

 

Unless you are trying to stay in bounds, I don't consider it aggressive wrestling. Randy Lewis says the reason why you don't see many throws anymore in college, is guys can backup without being called for stalling. With the pushout rule, I am sure we'd see a lot more throws from the edge of the mat towards the center of the mat. Guys who didn't want to give up the 1 point would have to fight back into their opponent, which is exactly what a thrower wants you to do.

 

Internationally, it doesn't make any difference if you go out of bounds or give up the takedown without back exposure, it is 1 point either way. If we did a pushout worth 1 point in college, but a takedown is worth 2 points, what are we going to see happen. I'd be interested.

 

I had a preseason folkstyle tournament probably 20 years ago in Scottsdale. In order to not violate the AIA rules, it couldn't be exactly the same as the high school rules. So I eliminated the tech fall. It was interesting to watch kids tilting away, but not trying to pin their opponent. What I discovered was a lot of them no longer knew how to pin, they knew how to tilt, but didn't know how to get a pin hold tight and finish.

 

I could be wrong, but I think we'd have a more exciting product on the mat in folkstyle with the pushout rule. The reason is stalling is VERY RARELY CALLED anymore even in college.

 

Half of wrestling in college is learning that anybody can get in on a leg, it is finishing that separates who is going to be good. I'll still let a high school kid get in on a single leg, bet he won't finish it 90% of the time, and I'm 66. With the pushout rule, I'd be posting your head to the mat with a 1/4 nelson, or taking you out of bounds and making it look like you did it. Those who've been in a college room, know how good the veterans are at wrestling off the wall in practice. Skills will be learned when needed, to keep from going out of bounds.

 

Years ago when the rideout was put in, I told a friend of mine who'd been a Olympic alternate that we would see riding skills come back into college. I know exactly when that trend started. I had worked with the late Steve Blackford at ASU, who became as good a dominant wrestler on the mat as there had been in awhile. He was wrestling Joe Heskett in the 1/4s, the match went to overtime. Blackford won the toss (only one period then) and chose top. People thought you should automatically take bottom. Steve road out Heskett to win the match. Now with the repeated rideout periods, riding skills have come back in a big way.

 

Wrestlers will always adapt. They will figure out the best way to win under whatever rules they are competing under, or style they are wrestling in. I still think it is worth a try.

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With the pushout rule, I am sure we'd see a lot more throws from the edge of the mat towards the center of the mat. Guys who didn't want to give up the 1 point would have to fight back into their opponent, which is exactly what a thrower wants you to do.

 

It would also work the other way, with a lot of offensive moves (and throws) coming from the guy being pushed out. This is why in international wrestling, you don't see many guys furiously pushing into their opponent near the edge, because a lot of bad things can happen if you blindly charge forward into a guy. Varner had a nice takedown on the edge of the mat in the Olympic finals because his Ukrainian opponent was trying to bulldoze him out of bounds. The guy basically fell over.

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You are two of the posters on this board I respect the most. If all discussions were like this, I think we would have a much more active message board. I would surely participate more.

 

I guess I might be in the minority here, but I do like folkstyle the way it is. Asking for change does not always give you something better. I do not like stalling calls and I am okay with the way it is called right now.

 

BigApple is right, and wrestlers would adapt. I think the pushout would eliminate any sort of finish with a leg in the air. Shoot a single, pick it up, and run him out of bounds. No more trips, no more battles from that position, no more Baazigar finishes.

 

I guess I disagree with you, Tirapelle, that more liberal out-of-bounds is the problem. I think it is a wonderful solution. There has to be a boundary, we cannot have an endless mat. But we have given wrestlers the largest possible area we can. I like that.

 

Wrestling action will naturally drift, sometimes towards the out of bounds line, sometimes deliberately but most times not. It's the nature of having an out of bounds line. I'm not upset about it, and I don't think it is an area we need to "fix". I'm okay with disagreeing about it too.

 

I want a scoring system that allows the best wrestler to win. Not the best sumo wrestler, the best folkstyle wrestler. Any point given under our current rules has to be earned, and it takes, like I said before, a lifetime of mastery to earn that point against a skilled opponent (save for stalling, but that is a different discussion). The pushout waters down the sport in that regard.

 

I suppose we have both made our points. Thanks for the conversation.

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I concede that we would probably see more throws. But we saw more throws when wrestlers were forced to keep their heads up as well. We did not have a pushout back then. I'd be okay going back to that. I love matches from that era.

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I suppose we have both made our points. Thanks for the conversation.

 

 

And points well made. Thanks for the alternate viewpoint.

 

However, I feel like I should call you a name or do a 'sig bet' just to end this in true message board style ;)

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What I haven't seen much of in freestyle or folkstyle is a backheel trip double post as a single leg or double leg finish which was a staple under Port Robertson, Tommy Evans, and Stan Abel.

 

 

Could you describe this please?

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If you are driving forward with a single leg or double leg, and the opponent sprawls you don't stop. You step a foot behind his ankle, then throw both hands straight foward. If you hooked the ankle and drive through him as you throw your hands forward you won't need to hold onto his legs. Because, you've hooked and ankle and driven him forward, he'll fall on his rear end. Many times on a single leg the opponent will throw in a whizzer, simply limp arm him, you were his means of support, he'll fall down onto his chest.

 

Port Robertson developed this to enable the OU wrestlers to take down OSU wrestlers who played the edge of the mat, and there was no stalling penalty in those days. According to my last conversation with Myron Roderick, Art Griffith believed in strictly counter wrestling, he didn't want his guys shooting. Myron said he preferred to dictate the action more, and changed the OSU approach in the neutral position.

 

In folkstyle attempting a throw towards the out of bounds won't score you any points. I've always been very good with the lateral drop, and most of my upperweight wrestlers became pretty good with it. I told them push the opponent towards the out if bounds line then, throw him back to the center. You will only get the opportunity to throw a good wrestler once in a match, so make it count.

 

The one big difference in folkstyle would be 1 point for a pushout, but 2 points for a takedown, will give the offensive wrestler the initiative to work for the inbounds takedown. Why, because there is riding time in college folkstyle, and the referee won't be standing up the bottom wrestler in 15 seconds. That guy will be down until he can score an escape or reversal, or the period ends. So i don't think you would see a diminishing of the skills in finishing takedowns. Since stalling is rarely called consistently, the pushout will keep wrestlers from playing the edge of the mat when they have a stalling call to give late in the 3rd period.

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If you are driving forward with a single leg or double leg, and the opponent sprawls you don't stop. You step a foot behind his ankle, then throw both hands straight foward. If you hooked the ankle and drive through him as you throw your hands forward you won't need to hold onto his legs. Because, you've hooked and ankle and driven him forward, he'll fall on his rear end.

 

Your head has to be on the same side as the ankle you backheel with, right?

 

I'm guessing that once you've backheeled the opponent, whichever wrestler explodes forward with their hips first will force the other to fall backwards, because both guys are unbalanced.

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The back heel trip is still a good move, but I've seen more than a few kids screw themselves by stepping forwards too much to force the trip, and get driven backwards with hip pressure right onto their butt and sometimes to their backs. Especially from a double. Finishing a single is safer that way and you can end up in a navy ride, but at the international level the guys are just so good at defending singles that you can get out of position if your timing isn't perfect.

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Apple, imo, one of the biggest difference between being good at one level, and being able to take down the best, is putting multiple shots together and/or driving through/committing to a shot.

 

in large part, i think that's what you're describing.

 

one needs to look no farther than when jake herbert and coleman scott were success on leg attacks last weekend: shot upon shot.

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On the single leg, your head is inside. Be careful on the inside arm on how you post. You'll see many wrestlers reach for the far knee, this is a major mistake. I know I was wrestling in the Ark Valley League tournament against the guy who'd been 2nd in state the year before. I did an outside leg standup, he hooked my ankle and reached for the far knee. I underhooked him, reached around his head and threw him on his back. Had him pinned as the whistle blew. 3rd period he dropped on my ankle and wrapped both arms around it as tightly as possible. No stalling in those days, I lost on riding time. So you just throw your inside arm straight forward keeping your elbow in, and take your heel to your butt as your drive forward.

 

On the double leg, Port Robertson wanted your head on the opposite side of the trip leg. Stan Abel said he found out that it didn't matter for him, he just kept driving forward until he got the trip. I talked to him after the Olympics, he said he really enjoyed watching Jordan Burroughs, because that was the way he wrestled in college. Stan said his one regret was he didn't try out for the 1960 Olympic team, his college coach Port Robertson was the Olympic coach, and the trials were in Norman. Stan's wife was pregnant and he was tired from cutting to 130. In hindsight he said he wished he'd petitioned into the trials, asked Port to get him a sponsor. He had wrestled enough freestyle in the room, that guys couldn't turn him with a gutwrench. He beat the starter for the US Larry Lauchle in the NCAA finals.

 

International freestyle didn't become nationally important until 1972 when Dan Gable became the story. He might not have felt that way if he had beaten Larry Ownings. Prior to that time Port Robertson probably pushed freestyle more than any head college coach. The 1952 Olympic team had Billy Borders, Tommy Evans, and Danny Hodge on it. The 1956 team had Tommy Evans, Dick Delgado, and Danny Hodge on it. Strangely when he coached in 1960, I think Dale Lewis at hwt. might have been an alternate.

 

The higher up you go, the better the defense goes, and finishing a takedown attempt is of paramount importance, because you won't get many opportunities. Tommy Evans hung a heavy punching bag over the wrestling mat and hit 500 shots a day on it getting ready for the 1952 Olympics after his junior year. He had a constant bruise on his shoulder, but had a great double leg. Tommy said the best takedown in the world is a double leg, if you have a good one.

 

There is always the "law of unintended consequences" whenever a rule or law is changed. People will think they have it figured out, and someone really smart will figure out a loophole and exploit it. I've always been someone who preached to my wrestlers have a Plan A, if that doesn't work to to plan B, if that doesn't work go to Plan C. I was never one to bang my head against the wall.

 

I wrestled in the Army with only 3 years of high school wrestling. Now my high school coach wrestled for Ed Gallagher so I was taught pretty good fundamentals. Len Kauffman who'd already been 4th in the world came out for the team. I asked him didn't he want to coach since he was a lot more qualified than me. he said no he only wanted to wrestle, so I said I guess I'll go up a weight class and carry your bag to the meet.

 

First time we worked out he gave me his leg ala Rick Sanders, Is hot in and the next thing I know i"m pinned with a 1/4 nelson. Get up do the same thing again, pinned again. I said I know your good, but you arent't that good show me what your doing. So I'd try something else, each time with similar results. After about a month I shot on his ankle and picked it up, got the takedown, and stopped. He asked me why I stopped, I said I was in shock, I'd never got that far before. Wrestle everyday with a guy that good, and don't back up from him, you'll get beat everyday, but you gete better in a hurry. He was the OW of the AAU that year and beat Chuck Jean and Jason Smith. Without that experience I'd have never coached in college.

 

This is the type of debate/discussion I enjoy. The main reason I would want to see a pushout rule, is I hate seeing guys trying to get off the mat, instead of fighting back into their opponent. Secondly, as Bobby Douglas says it will help us transistion internationally.

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Tirapell, I just read this interesting piece from Bobby Douglas who had written it right after the 2011 ncaas. It advocates a push out and I think his second idea about a point for exposure has merit as well.

 

http://www.thewrestlinggreats.com/meet- ... ider-This/

 

That is a great find. I think he summarizes a lot of what we are saying. Although he's talking purely from a transitional standpoint (to the International styles) and I actually think it would help folkstyle, even if freestyle weren't in the equation.

 

The one-point exposure is interesting. I'd like to hear more on how Bobby thought that would be implemented. And would it require "control", which is the key difference between folkstyle and freestyle wrestling. Freestyle requires no control and therefore, any type of exposure point can work because you don't have to determine who is in control.

 

For example, if a wrestler is in on a shot and the other wrestler exposes, is that a point? Or is it another way to get a near-fall once you are in control (ie from the top positiion)?

 

I don't want to get too far from the original topic, but if I were creating a plan for wrestling to thrive over the next 25 years, I think we need to simplify rules, choose objectivity over subjectivity, and reward action through our scoring system.

 

Things that come to mind:

1. Push-out - forces more wrestling through positions rather than avoidance and shortens bouts

2. Near Fall - needs to be reworked to reward control and possibly exposure (as Bobby mentions above)

3. Shorter pins - the most exciting aspect in wrestling is the fall, it should be no longer than 1 second at any level to get a fall. I'd almost like to see it be a 1/2 second in college. It would eliminate a lot of scrambling today that results in stalemates and thus, prevents scoring. And on that note, if you think that our rules are the only reason we have good scrambling, watch some of the scrambles from the Russian Nationals where they can't expose at all. Amazing.

4. Eliminate riding time - if we want to reward control, do it through Near Fall (see #2 above)

5. Emphasis on dual meets - team and duration is king for spectators

 

If you actually made ALL FIVE of these changes, folkstyle wreslting would still be very similar to what it is today. There are probably more things to consider. Stalling would need a long, hard look because as it is today, it's almost unusable. I'd prefer to eliminate it altogether with the right rules in place behind it and again simplify, but I don't have a plan off the top of my head on that one.

 

The 25-year plan would be to keep the best of wrestling, while subtly eliminating the worst, but maintaining the integrity and purpose of the sport. I know there are lots that will say don't change it, but look how much folkstyle has changed since the 1970's -- period lengths, choice, illegal holds, techniques, stalemates, scrambling, near-fall, riding, etc. Things change and like I said, if you're not looking for ways to improve, you're falling behind.

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When I think of wrestling, at a basic level, I think of two little kids wrestling. They know that the goal is to pin the other guy to the ground but outside of that they have no problem rolling over their back to try to gain advantage. For this reason, and my support of folkstyle, I don't like the exposure point. There is nothing worse than seeing an exposure point in freestyle when the athlete was never at risk.

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