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After RBY hit his head against the table while running DeSanto off the mat, my first thought was why was the scorers table that close. I have seen many venues where the table is dangerously close to the wrestling. The probability for injury has gotten higher after the rule change regarding the out of bounds. 

I am sure safety experts would indicate more space is needed. If RBY was seriously hurt, would the NCAA be held liable in a civil lawsuit?

 

 

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the 5-foot rule probably has not changed over time, while the rules regarding allowing action to continue out of bounds have changed dramatically.  action on adjacent mats always presents the possibility of intrusion, while score tables and other items (scoreclock towers) are usually far too close.  not only does it present a danger to the athletes, but these days, that equipment can be pretty expensive to replace.  lastly, the closer to the mat that the score table is placed, the more restricted the view of any bleacher fans sitting behind that table.  although not aesthetically pleasing, the placement off a scoretable slightly off-center would maximize the distance from the circle. while greater spacing is always preferred, sometimes the venue does not allow much room (as was stated in a prior post about hockey rink dimensions).  if maintaining OOB rules, perhaps it is time to look at shrinking the circle a little...at least such that a person of average height who still has a foot in bounds can't be hitting their head on a table.

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I posted about this in a couple of other topics. We had a view that really brought the hazard into focus. I just tried to attach a picture but it was rejected as too large.  

The picture would have shown that, if there is a five foot gap between edge of circle and table, I don't think it's an inch more than that.

The RBY-DeSanto collision has been discussed. There was another, I think the Lehigh 174 pounder, that looked like it might have been even harder, and led to a pretty lengthy delay as well.  (The former was on our left, the latter on our right.)

One or two of these a day are inevitable with this setup.  And it doesn't look to me as if they put any padding on the exposed table edges (compare to wrestling room walls).

This has got to be more dangerous than not wearing headgear. Table collisions could cause many serious head and other injuries whereas I think most people view headgear as mainly a cauliflower ear preventer (that as a practical matter doesn't affect much since most guys practice without it). 

One reason for this setup is probably to allow some room on the side for people to walk to their mats.  Not sure the lane needs to be as wide as it is, though, and I hope the reason for the width is not to accommodate the TV interviews. 

Regardless though they need to find a way to change the current setup.  Too risky for the student athletes. 

As far as lawsuits, that depends on the tort rules of the state whose law is found to apply (probably the venue of the tournament) and all of the particular facts about who knew what and when and why decisions were made. Sorry for the non-answer on that.

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The rulebook use to ~"recommend"~   Ten Feet. It was unclear if it meant 10 feet from the circle or 10 feet from the mat edge.

In any case. In Pittsburgh all the collapsible seats on one side, 7 rows, were closed. On the other side, all 7 rows were open. If instead, 5 were closed on each side, we could have had 3-3.5 feet of extra room for safety(I would add a 2’ by 21’ safety mat between the tables and for the end mats) between mat and table.

I don’t know the certain number of guys who hit tables, but it was at least 3(Kutler and Jakobsen of Lehigh were both hurt this way). Sooner or later someone is going to suffer a catastrophic injury. (a “lifetime concussion” or permanent loss of some usage of an arm or leg, or of vision or hearing). Besides hurting the kid it will cost a school, conference, or whatever a lot of money, and it will be a real black eye for the sport.

I don’t know that we can do this everywhere. All the NFL rinks are 85’ wide, there needs to be at least 8 (total of both sides) of collapsible seats, 10 certainly better.

At PPG Paints this would have cost us about 240 seats each of the first four sessions.

Obviously, this should not be a problem next year.

 And the tables should be cushioned. When I ran a youth tournament, we just used pipe insulation. Think the NCAA should be able to do better. Maybe even put the scoretable and chairs on a sliding platform,

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39 minutes ago, RichB said:

The rulebook use to ~"recommend"~   Ten Feet. It was unclear if it meant 10 feet from the circle or 10 feet from the mat edge.

In any case. In Pittsburgh all the collapsible seats on one side, 7 rows, were closed. On the other side, all 7 rows were open. If instead, 5 were closed on each side, we could have had 3-3.5 feet of extra room for safety(I would add a 2’ by 21’ safety mat between the tables and for the end mats) between mat and table.

I don’t know the certain number of guys who hit tables, but it was at least 3(Kutler and Jakobsen of Lehigh were both hurt this way). Sooner or later someone is going to suffer a catastrophic injury. (a “lifetime concussion” or permanent loss of some usage of an arm or leg, or of vision or hearing). Besides hurting the kid it will cost a school, conference, or whatever a lot of money, and it will be a real black eye for the sport.

I don’t know that we can do this everywhere. All the NFL rinks are 85’ wide, there needs to be at least 8 (total of both sides) of collapsible seats, 10 certainly better.

At PPG Paints this would have cost us about 240 seats each of the first four sessions.

Obviously, this should not be a problem next year.

 And the tables should be cushioned. When I ran a youth tournament, we just used pipe insulation. Think the NCAA should be able to do better. Maybe even put the scoretable and chairs on a sliding platform,

This is really helpful information and of course I totally agree with your conclusions. 

The Kutler one looked really scary, I was watching a different mat but my eye was drawn to it when it happened.

Ten feet from the circle would be more like it.

I mentioned above that it's very bothersome that this multi billion dollar non-profit doesn't even pad the tables, and your explanation that you found a way to do it running a simple youth tournament shows how thoughtless their (non-) approach is.  

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16 minutes ago, 1032004 said:

Looks like the current rule book “recommends” 8 feet from the circle: http://www.nationalwrestlingmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/WR19.pdf

If we’re talking about the NCAA Championships, I think the NCAA need a pretty good lawyer to not be held liable.

They apparently have never heard of Luke Hampton.

Looking again at the picture I had from the side of the arena (which I really wish I could upload but it keeps getting rejected as too large), I really don't think the distance between edge of circle and scorer's table is more than four feet.  It ain't anywhere near eight feet.

Thanks for posting the link.  You had to be amused/annoyed at the irony of the second page of the book being a full page concussion awareness ad entitled "If you think you or your teammate has had a concussion" and directing athletes to the CDC web page on concussions.   

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Pretty sure all the mats used at nationals are 42' square with a 32'  circle. So 5 ft between circle and mat. I guess I didn't look at the current book. Has anyone???

As a Lehigh fan I would recommend our 52 ft ,at with a 42 foot circle be resurfaced to 36-37' circle. But I see this everywhere. I guess a lot places put the head table at basketball games only one foot from inbounds

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4 minutes ago, RichB said:

Pretty sure all the mats used at nationals are 42' square with a 32'  circle. So 5 ft between circle and mat. I guess I didn't look at the current book. Has anyone???

As a Lehigh fan I would recommend our 52 ft ,at with a 42 foot circle be resurfaced to 36-37' circle. But I see this everywhere. I guess a lot places put the head table at basketball games only one foot from inbounds

I was thinking about the basketball comparison. This seems a lot worse.

I think that most of the action in a basketball game that would carry a player out of bounds takes place away from the midcourt tables. 

And that action is a lot different. Wrestling is one guy literally trying to throw or plant another guy. A basketball player usually goes out of bounds on his own without an opponent trying to slam him to the ground, and 100% voluntarily. 

It's the spectators in basketball who may be more at risk, but that's a different issue.

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When my HS was opened in ~1954 it was a nice sized gymn for a small school, with a full 50x94 foot court, but only 3 feet from inbounds to the seats. Then, when a new gymn was built in 1988, it was 8.5 feet court to seats. I assumed that was the new standard, but now I clearly see 5 even as little as 3 feet is still the standard. Maybe 8 years of underwriting insurance distorts my thinking, but no, I think whoever does that in HS, even collegem is just foolish, Oh well I am waiting for critical bleeding when a backboard shatters

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unfortunately i'm sure most fans would love to see this out of bounds rule extend to all levels.

But these are all reasons why it's probably not possible. Most elementary school mats are TINY, no way they have that much room outside the circle. Makes it real difficult for this rule to be enacted at all levels.

my $.02

 

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14 hours ago, de4856 said:

Well I think that the NCAA should take another look at this rule, I would like to see a greater area of protection for the wrestlers. 

Just as long as the NCAA doesn't recommend an octagon or other enclosure, ha ha.

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19 hours ago, RichB said:

Pretty sure all the mats used at nationals are 42' square with a 32'  circle. So 5 ft between circle and mat. I guess I didn't look at the current book. Has anyone???

As a Lehigh fan I would recommend our 52 ft ,at with a 42 foot circle be resurfaced to 36-37' circle. But I see this everywhere. I guess a lot places put the head table at basketball games only one foot from inbounds

this is the case with mat size, you can buy the leftovers from Resilite on their site.

Art. 1. Mat Specifications. Mats shall have a competition circle between 32 and
42 feet in diameter. There shall be a matted area with a minimum width of
five feet that extends entirely around the competition circle.

Section 3. Mat Setup
Art. 1. Mat Setup. No obstruction such as tables, bleachers, competitor seating
or walls shall be placed closer than 5 feet from the edge of the competition
circle. It is recommended, whenever possible, that all obstructions be placed
not closer than 8 feet from the edge of the competition circle. When two
mats are side-by-side, there shall be at least 5 feet of matted area between the
two competition circles.

The reason for the 42' mats seems to be limitations of host venues.  not very many have the space to fit much larger mats, or extend the safe zone.  The mats in PPG barely had room to walk behind the tables during Sessions one and two.

Edited by smcfee

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2 hours ago, DuckFor2 said:

unfortunately i'm sure most fans would love to see this out of bounds rule extend to all levels.

But these are all reasons why it's probably not possible. Most elementary school mats are TINY, no way they have that much room outside the circle. Makes it real difficult for this rule to be enacted at all levels.

my $.02

 

 

Actually I think NFHS rules now state team benches and scorer's tables must be 10 feet from the edge of the mat (not just the circle).  I believe this was a direct result of the Luke Hampton incident I referenced earlier.   At one point it did include the phrase "where facilities permit" but not sure if it still does, so I'm sure a lot of places don't follow it.  I do know that some refs have refused to ref at places they felt did not meet the guidelines though.

 

Edit: whoops thought you were referring to the part about obstructions, but see you're referring to the wrestling along the boundary line

Edited by 1032004

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Having tables too close to mats can result in any of the following:

A. catastrophic lifetime injuries

B Career ending injuries

C season ending injuries, or in the case of NCAA it would mean wrestler cannot practice for 5-10 weeks or more.

D Match ending injuries (usually taking the wrestler out for between and a month).

E Hampering injuries (usually costing wrestler  point or more during the match, and possibly in subsequent events in the tournament)

F Definite Scoring opportunity --- Ref probably prevents injury 

G Possible scoring opportunity.-- Ref probably prevents injury

Don't think A or B has happened at NCAA. But I would GUESS over say the last 15 years

C has happened 4 to 8 times 

D 10-20 times

E 25-50 times

G+H total 200 times.

 I would suspect every additional foot from the table would decrease adverse events by maybe 30%. So, at 6 feet G&H would drop to 140 incidents, at 7 feet 98 incidents in at 8 feet 68.incidents(a 2/3 reduction). Obviously my number is just a guess, but I think it is reasonable.

The cost would likely be 160-240 seats, maybe $50,000 each tournament (in 2019 dollars). About 1% of total seats. Is the NCAA willing to accept this price. It would be surprising if a table could could cause injuries quite as devastating as Luke Hampton, but it might prevent a paraplegic injury. What could that cost the NCAA? 1,2,5 $million? - 

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28 minutes ago, Dr. Novak said:

Someone is obsessed with this topic.  If Rich B. had his way mats would be no larger than postage stamps.

100% incorrect. Don't think we need the the former 62' circle that Iowa had, but I would like to see circles of 36-38 feet diameter. Can you tell me how to get 8 in a hockey rink, with 8 feet of protection. Maybe you can convince the NHL/AHL/NCAA  to go to International/Olympic size, 30 by 60 meters. (98.5 by 197 feet). We might be able to go to six mats with 40 to 42 foot circles if we Set them up like the PIAA. I don't have a problem with the first three sessions being 5+ hours. I never miss anything. Did you stay for the end of that 12 period Consolation 285 match? Or were you among the 17,000 folks who had left.  10,000 fans left the arena at 8:00 PM Thursday night when Consi 16 #1 began. Are they going to show for 5 hours Thursday Morning, 4 hours Thursday evening, 4 hours Friday AM.

I don't like to see wrestlers treated like Race Horses at Santa Anita. Maybe you think wrestler safety is less important than who the 5th best guy not win the  Hodge is, I don't. 

This subject is still on page 1. It looks like we are on 4 pages of what Suriano's dad wore or some nonsense.

Edited by RichB

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3 hours ago, Dr. Novak said:

Someone is obsessed with this topic.  If Rich B. had his way mats would be no larger than postage stamps.

He's getting well into the details, but that's because his basic point -- that wrestler safety is paramount and that this is an obvious and unacceptable hazard -- is very important.  Watching from a seat on the end, it was the first thing I noticed when I sat down.

My comments above were about the hazard, but I didn't attempt to really think about solutions, which Rich has made the effort to do.

In thinking about solutions, my thoughts are

First, if the table is going to be next to the mat, there should be padding.

Second, they should do everything possible to increase distance from circle edge to mat edge to at least 8 feet.  

Whether or not increasing distance is possible, I wonder if a couple of other changes are possible.  Starting with,

Could they use a smaller table?  I think they have six people behind the table.  Question whether that many are necessary. 

If any of those people are there for replay, let's kill two birds with one stone, replay should be done independently away from the mat anyway, as discussed in many other topics.

I'll defer to people more knowledgeable than me about the functions of the table workers, but if any of it can be done without or done elsewhere, use smaller tables.

One other possible change, and hear me out.  Can the table be moved from the middle of the mat, where it is closest to the circle, to a corner of the mat, where it is (much) further from the action (due to as one commenter focused on above, the wrestling surface being one shape (circle) and the mat another (square).

Could the table be moved to next to the corner of the mat where the coaches' chairs currently are.  Then could you move the coaches' chairs to the other side of the mat (in the middle of the arena)?  

Not sure if this causes more problems than it solves, though I'm not immediately thinking that is so.

If not this answer, then someone in control should be tasked with finding a better one.  The two collisions I noticed were pretty scary.  And they weren't flukes, but instead are inevitable with this setup.  

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