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#NCAAforFreestyle?

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Having sat through Final X my thoughts:

- Women's wrestling is barely tolerable.  On a par with an average high schooler.

- Greco should be abolished.  Has to be the worst spectator sport in all of sport.  Pushing, shoving contest.

- Freestyle is little more than a takedown contest with an occasional burst of action and then several minute delays questioning calls and rules that no one understands.

- Most spectators were bored to tears having endured a very long day.

 

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On ‎6‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 7:42 PM, JasonBryant said:

More rule changes per year in folkstyle wrestling (NCAA and NFHS) than there are since UWW created the existing ruleset. Shocking, but true. Old FILA had the flavor of the week rules. UWW has tweaked some things in six years, but in large, they were tweaks.

I had thought that. 

There has been a lot of tweaking with Folkstyle.  I have observed instances of former high school wrestlers getting back into wrestling and feeling like the rules are completely different.

I do wonder if this is the effect of so many people who competed under Fila now being in folkstyle leadership positions and for them rule changes seem so natural.  While at the same time UWW probably learned that consistency is needed.  

 

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On 6/10/2019 at 7:39 AM, Dr. Novak said:

.

- Most spectators were bored to tears having endured a very long day.

 

Not in NJ. The 6 PM session of Final X Rutgers was a big success as far as I could see. The crowd was very into the matches in general (you can hear their engagement in the footage) and everyone I spoke to said they were looking forward to future events. The Zain/Yianni series stole the show but the crowd was not bored in the majority of other matches either. 

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On 6/7/2019 at 12:43 PM, Jim L said:

The 1904 Olympics were somewhat of a farce with very few nations making it to St. Louis.  In fact, the main reason the US won every medal in FS was because every single wrestler competing was from the US

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrestling_at_the_1904_Summer_Olympics

In 1904 (and other early years), it wasn't freestyle. (Wikipedia and most modern publications are wrong; go look in an old book from that era.)  It was catch-as-catch can under the rules of the Amateur Athletic Union.  Not sure if the NCAA used the same rules (I have a 1915 AAU rulebook, and the weight classes as the same as the NCAA.)

I'm not sure what year freestyle began, but the AAU started using it in 1922. The International Amateur Wrestling Federation (today, UWW) was founded in 1920.  Looks like they probably merged catch-as-catch and greco to form freestyle.  Though, maybe it was the AAU that did that (not sure).

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On 6/7/2019 at 3:53 PM, Pinnum said:

You know, when I wrote that, I was sure someone would bring this up. 

There are some key differences.  Basketball was invented by Naismith (an American) and then spread to the rest of the world.  Sure, the game has experienced some changes over the years it isn't a significant deviation from the original game.

Wrestling has been identified in every culture throughout history with many different original inventors who all invented wrestling independently with their own rules.  There are many different influences that go into it and this is what makes it a political struggle with Freestyle as there is a fight over what Freestyle should be between the factions.  

The University of Kansas was playing college basketball in 1898 which was nearly 40 years before FIBA was formed to add the sport to the modern Olympics.  Wrestling was in the ancient Olympics.

The Freestyle and Folkstyle model in the United States could be like the NBA/NCAA/FIBA comparison, in that the Americans involved with the sport are largely are not concerned with the international rules or the governing body and only participate in those rules because it is necessary to win Gold Medals.

While I believe that the differences in the multiple bodies controlling their own rules would be a structural challenge, it would be one that could be managed.  The real issue is disenfranchisement.

The biggest stakeholders in the United States wrestling community are not at the top of the pyramid.  All too often we get caught up in focusing at the top of the sport and we lose focus at the grass root level.  The key stakeholders in really those that first introduce people to the sport of wrestling and overwhelmingly this is done by people volunteering their time to coach their kids or by people who do it has a hobby.  The largest influence into the large participation numbers stems from people who don't actually follow international wrestling but rather wrestled 20 years ago and simply got back into it because their kids were involved.  Most high school coaches don't even follow international wrestling.  We always like to pretend that the high school coaches that we all know are representative of high school coaches in general but they are not.  Most high school coaches are only focused on their individual athletes.  They have too little time to spend following the sport since they work fulltime jobs outside of the sport and focusing on their team takes up so much of their free time already. 

This is the real roadblock.  The cost of education would be significant.  You would see a further divide between the best youth and high school programs and those that aren't as well established.  A former high school wrestler can take to being a youth or high school coach and communicate the sport well enough to make a team competitive in folkstyle but if they don't have any experience in freestyle they are going to be even further behind and frankly will likely be intimidated that they don't know enough about the new version of the sport.

One of the thing that has helped coaches to get involved in the sport, in my experience, has been their ignorance to how little they don't know.  Most people in wrestling don't really know how little they know about wrestling.  And that is a good thing because it gets them involved with the sport.

I have often said that no matter what changes we make to the sport we will always have national champions.  We will never lack national champions.  But we can change the number of people competing for those championships, coaching athletes for those championships, officiating those championships, and sitting in the stands at those championships.  And while we all like to think those numbers will only go up, we need to be cognizant to the fact that changes can result in a contraction where we lose those key stakeholders.

Pinnum nailed this spot on!  I have been heavily involved in all 3 aspects of the sport, but many have not and will not ever be heavily involved in all 3.  I have tried to write down many times what he has expressed here and I have never been able to get all of my thoughts down, but like I said he nailed it.  Great job and I don't feel I need to elaborate any farther.  I hope we never lose and of the 3 styles, but I think if we do go away from Folk, that we will lose tons of competitors and fans.  

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On 6/9/2019 at 5:45 PM, spladle said:

The step out rule isn't wrestling, it is sumo.  It is an unearned point based on passivity and not offense.  It has no place in any style with the sole exception of sumo.

I think this is too harsh, for two reasons.  First, it's not really sumo.  In some instances, it can be, but usually the guy who gets a step out point has established a level of control over the mat and/or is getting close to a takedown. 

Second, the step out rule is designed, I assume, not only for the effect of the one point for the step out, but, more so, for the incentives it creates toward more action in the middle of the mat and the higher scoring moves, the lack of which I do think is a lingering problem in college wrestling, as it was in freestyle before the rule changes.    

I agree that college shouldn't switch to freestyle, there have been good arguments above on that.  But adding a one point step out seems like an interesting approach and I think would likely help spur more action in matches.  If the refs were more aggressive and consistent in calling stalling and/or enforcing the going off the mat rules, that might get the job done, but I don't feel they've done so.  Even at NCAAs, when they were told to do so, it felt like they started out with one standard and then pulled back a little every session, for instance, such that the stalling call on McKenna seemed out of place.  I'd rather have a step out, which is an objective rule.  

For those who don't favor going to freestyle (and really for everyone, since I think that's not realistic), I guess the question is whether any reform (step out in this case) would yield more action as a positive either without changing the basic character of the sport, or in outweighing that negative for a net benefit.  I lean yes.

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8 minutes ago, drag it said:

 

Second, the step out rule is designed, I assume, not only for the effect of the one point for the step out, but, more so, for the incentives it creates toward more action in the middle of the mat and the higher scoring moves, the lack of which I do think is a lingering problem in college wrestling, as it was in freestyle before the rule changes.    

 

i agree the step out could be a nice little 'stall' stopper. but fleeing the mat already exists... and isn't called... so maybe the step out is the answer.

I do however, LOVE the one body part in the cylinder aspect of folkstyle at this time.

 

but back to your 'quote'. 'the stepout incentivices action in the middle'

I would like to see some data on this. I wonder if UWW has any stats on shots and TD based on pre/post stepout.

or if USAwrestling has any stats on this.

Has it had it's intended effect? That would be interesting to learn.

 

jason bryant... any ideas?

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4 minutes ago, Dr. Novak said:

Not sure how he became an authority?  Did he ever wrestle?

what does wrestling have to do with statistics on wrestling?

I never played baseball, but i can keep a scorebook.

just to humor you, he might have an idea if they use data to push rule changes etc... 

in this case specifically.

Edited by GockeS

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When/if the NCAAs adopt FS in preference to folk you'll see a loss of at least 50% of the wrestling fans. I won't be bothered to watch anymore. Why would I? The thing I was best at was mat wrestling,  that's my favorite thing to watch.

FS is half a sport.

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On 6/4/2019 at 2:29 PM, silverback said:

First- it doesn't need to be brought up again.  Secondly- like I've said before, we already have freestyle.  If you love it so much spend your time watching it and not trying to change folkstyle into it.

 

Bingo. You don't see folk guys criticizing Greco saying "hey, you guys should change your sport so it's what we're doing". The FS guys are pretty full of themselves. I consider Greco a truer form of wrestling than FS, and folk yet truer than Greco.

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42 minutes ago, TobusRex said:

How? Because guys with less extensive skillsets can flourish in FS?

Because it’s a ton more action, not just trying to hold on trying to gain a riding time point. Also someone is always winning which means no holding on for the last minute trying to get to OT

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58 minutes ago, Ogalthorpe Haywood said:

Because it’s a ton more action, not just trying to hold on trying to gain a riding time point. Also someone is always winning which means no holding on for the last minute trying to get to OT

No kidding. Got to get that all important "last takedown", which is one of the stupidest rules I've seen in any sport. Well, since the ballgrab at least (another FS invention).

I don't know what "action" you are referring to. Did you see the Olympics in 2016? SO DULL. Work for a takedown...then stall it out. It's why wrestling was nearly canceled at the Olympics: FS has become so goddamn dull. TV ratings for Olympic wrestling were subterranean. I could barely stand to watch it, and I say that with the authority of a guy who loves wrestling and participated in it until the age of 27.  Yeah, I get those are the best wrestlers in the world, and yeah, I bet a lot of those guys would be monsters in folk...but I don't see how in ANY way there is more action in FS than folk. Those studs just work for the first point and stall it out, if at all possible. At least that's been my observation, generally. There are exceptions to every rule, though.

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When/if the NCAAs adopt FS in preference to folk you'll see a loss of at least 50% of the wrestling fans. I won't be bothered to watch anymore. Why would I? The thing I was best at was mat wrestling,  that's my favorite thing to watch.
FS is half a sport.

Only if they get rid of college teams. The team aspect and school element drives college sports. Wrestling fans will still go watch their guys wrestle for their colors. Fans watch Iowa and Penn State. There’s no fan identification with Sunkist or Titan Mercury.

The sky would not be falling. That being said, I like D1 being folkstyle.

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1 hour ago, Ogalthorpe Haywood said:

Because it’s a ton more action, not just trying to hold on trying to gain a riding time point. Also someone is always winning which means no holding on for the last minute trying to get to OT

i do kind of like the no ties thing

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50 minutes ago, JasonBryant said:


Only if they get rid of college teams. The team aspect and school element drives college sports. Wrestling fans will still go watch their guys wrestle for their colors. Fans watch Iowa and Penn State. There’s no fan identification with Sunkist or Titan Mercury.

The sky would not be falling. That being said, I like D1 being folkstyle.

This is correct and EXACTLY why I HATE the attendance at the NCAA Tournament used as an argument against a National Duals true championship. 

First off, a significant amount that go are family. Another majority are the dedicated TEAM fans. Another are the former guys that go to see everyone they haven’t since last year.   Making that an individual only tournament MAY only hurt the 2nd one and I don’t see it doing that much. Other than 2 or 3 teams fans they aren’t there really for their overall team finish.  They are there to watch great wrestling and cheer on those repping their team.   

The overall team aspect is NOT what drives that tournament’s attendance. Seeing a kid AA for the 1st time, make the finals or even win it all is truly what 90%+ are wanting to see. 

It just sucks we can’t have both!

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i agree msu. 

If we could make the national duals actually seem like a national title... more people would go.

when it was held for a few years in nebraska i went every year. it was awesome... but drew maybe 5,000 a session?

this was just DI, but still...

 

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Note [mention=23663]msu158[/mention], I point to the team aspect, not the team score. They are different things. We wouldn’t have created an amazing tournament culture if there were a collection of independent wrestlers representing their local YMCA. the NCAA tournament was born on college campuses- it’s a uniquely collegiate thing. The style has no impact on that. It’s become a tradition and an event. I don’t believe fans from The Citadel go with the goal of saying “Man, I really hope we can outdistance American for 25th”

 

But I’ve beaten that drum before - if the only thing that changed was the style, nothing else, we would still have sellout crowds. That being said, I like folkstyle.

 

 

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10 hours ago, TobusRex said:

No kidding. Got to get that all important "last takedown", which is one of the stupidest rules I've seen in any sport. Well, since the ballgrab at least (another FS invention).

I don't know what "action" you are referring to. Did you see the Olympics in 2016? SO DULL. Work for a takedown...then stall it out. It's why wrestling was nearly canceled at the Olympics: FS has become so goddamn dull. TV ratings for Olympic wrestling were subterranean. I could barely stand to watch it, and I say that with the authority of a guy who loves wrestling and participated in it until the age of 27.  Yeah, I get those are the best wrestlers in the world, and yeah, I bet a lot of those guys would be monsters in folk...but I don't see how in ANY way there is more action in FS than folk. Those studs just work for the first point and stall it out, if at all possible. At least that's been my observation, generally. There are exceptions to every rule, though.

I’ll give you one example Yianni, his folk style matches are 4-1 with usually one scramble. Freestyle he’s scrambling in and out of every position. The only sports that do well ratings wise are the marquee ones anyway. 

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