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maligned

What if we did this in 2023 to fix our 2019 pre-Olympic qualification issue?

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Much has been said about the disappointment people feel that Downey is manning our 86kg spot when guys like Dieringer or Nickal weren't given a chance once Taylor got injured. It exposes a flaw in our system in a pre-Olympic year where any other nation would fill the spot with their best possible guy to ensure the weight has the best chance to be qualified for the 2020 Olympics. 

Wouldn't a simple solution in 2023 be the addition of this rule:

Because of the importance of qualifying the 6 Olympic weight classes for the 2024 Games, a special contingency will be fulfilled for those weights only. In the event of an injury preventing a 2022 returning medalist from competing at the 2023 Final X, or in the event of an injury causing the 2023 Final X winner to have to give up his position; the Final X runners-up from the one or two adjacent weight classes will be given the chance, if they desire, for a special wrestle-off against the weight class position holder at which the injury occurred.

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Would be more straightforward to just close the loophole that Taylor exploited? Your proposal, @maligned, is thoughtful, of course, but it looks confusing -- although every thing about this Final X experiment is confusing.

Just my opinion: No good reason to favor last year's medalists. This reward provides incentive for absolutely nothing. It's not as if someone's gonna hold back at last year's Worlds just because there's no Final X spot in reach lol... I like the idea of giving Final X spots to the U.S. Open winner and to the Trials winner. This way the reward serves to incentivize something -- i.e., Final X stakes makes for a stacked U.S. Open tourney.

Edited by jon

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1 hour ago, jon said:

Would be more straightforward to just close the loophole that Taylor exploited?

I don't understand what you mean. Taylor was the one hurt. I'm proposing a rule that could compensate for the current issue of someone who's not the best at a given weight automatically being given the spot when other, more capable individuals didn't compete at that weight thinking the #1 guy would be there.

Also, you said the proposal is confusing. Which part is confusing? I meant it to be simple. The #1 guy is hurt either before Final X or after it, so we give the #2's at the surrounding weights the chance to compete against the #2 who won the weight. How could I change it to make it clear?

Finally, you're saying you don't like the long-held system of putting returning medalists directly into a Trials final. That's not going anywhere anytime soon, so I meant to suggest something within the parameters we have.

Edited by maligned

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Those wrestlers chose their weight to attempt to make the team. If they could have competed at 86 and wanted to make the team at 86 they should have competed at 86. Doing things the right way is bigger than any opinions (and that is truly all they are at this point) that so and so wrestler is probably a better medal threat than the guy that made the line up a 86, doing everything he had to do, so let’s add another asterisk round just in case. In my opinion..NO. The athletes made their decisions, the athletes that came out on top came out on top, there are always good breaks and bad breaks involved along the way, those that didn’t come out on top build for next year. 

I’m a fan of the world medalist getting the bye the next year. I think for a world champ it should be unarguable. But I’d rather see that go away then see something like this implemented. Just one man’s opinion, won’t claim to be right. 

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Thank you, @maligned, for this follow-up. I find All Things Final X confusing and so now I think I overspoke when I called your proposal confusing! I like how your proposal handles the post-Final X injury scenario. If USAW were to implement some version of this idea, perhaps they should do it for all weights (not just for Oly weights)?

The 'one or two adjacent weight classes' thing looks tricky -- i.e., what happens if more than one guy wants a shot? In a perfect world, there's no need for a special wrestle-off -- i.e., the Final X guys plausibly the most capable guys for any given weight class. But Downey's case presents a possible exception: Downey's status as one of the Final X guys may well reflect the fact that Taylor's weight class not-quite-so-deep, which happened because guys moved away / stayed away because they expected Taylor to compete.

By rewarding *this* year's winners (i.e., Open + Trials winners) not last year's medalists, USAW strengthens those tourneys and USAW incentivizes guys to compete. This two-prong feeder scheme allows for flexibility, too -- e.g., Dieringer could have gone 86kg for U.S. Open, testing the waters there before perhaps dropping to 79kg for Trials... Seems quite likely last year's medalist wins this year's Open or Trials but by rewarding Open/Trials results the most capable guys this year at least *have a chance* to earn Final X status, which becomes important when injuries occur.

Edited by jon

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9 minutes ago, jon said:

Thank you, @maligned, for this follow-up. I find All Things Final X confusing and so now I think I overspoke when I called your proposal confusing! I like how your proposal handles the post-Final X injury scenario. If USAW were to implement some version of this idea, perhaps they should do it for all weights (not just for Oly weights)?

The 'one or two adjacent weight classes' thing looks tricky -- i.e., what happens if more than one guy wants a shot? In a perfect world, there's no need for a special wrestle-off -- i.e., the Final X guys plausibly the most capable guys for any given weight class. But Downey's case presents a possible exception: Downey's status as one of the Final X guys may well reflect the fact that Taylor's weight class not-quite-so-deep, which happened because guys moved away / stayed away because they expected Taylor to compete.

By rewarding *this* year's winners (i.e., Open + Trials winners) not last year's medalists, USAW strengthens those tourneys and USAW incentivizes guys to compete. This two-prong feeder scheme allows for flexibility, too -- e.g., Dieringer could have gone 86kg for U.S. Open, testing the waters there before perhaps dropping to 79kg for Trials... Seems quite likely last year's medalist wins this year's Open or Trials but by rewarding Open/Trials results at least other contenders *have a chance* to earn the reward.

I like our merit-based system in general and wouldn't want it expanded to this type of injury scenario in any year except the one preceding the Olympics--and then only for Olympic weight classes. And that's for the one reason I mentioned initially: to ensure we have the best available guy competing to qualify the weight for the Olympics. All 34 other instances of qualification in a 4-year cycle should remain the same. But the pre-Olympic worlds is a big, big deal that other nations adapt to accordingly. We have a gap that is revealing itself this year.

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2 hours ago, jon said:

Would be more straightforward to just close the loophole that Taylor exploited? Your proposal, @maligned, is thoughtful, of course, but it looks confusing -- although every thing about this Final X experiment is confusing.

Just my opinion: No good reason to favor last year's medalists. This reward provides incentive for absolutely nothing. It's not as if someone's gonna hold back at last year's Worlds just because there's no Final X spot in reach lol... I like the idea of giving Final X spots to the U.S. Open winner and to the Trials winner. This way the reward serves to incentivize something -- i.e., Final X stakes makes for a stacked U.S. Open tourney.

It incentivizes the guy to continue competing, which is the entire reason the rule was created. 

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I would be in favor of that. Why not put your best team out there? Let’s say you’re coaching a high school team and you have a returning state champ at 160 that gets injured. You also have a returning state champ and returning state medalist that are both at 152 this year. The medalist chose to wrestle off the 152 champ and lost a close one. A kid who was a .500 wrestler chose to wrestle off the 160 champ and got pinned. Would you grant the returning medalist a wrestle off at 160? I know I would. If we would do that for something as in significant as a high school dual, why not do it to help qualify the weight for the Olympics?

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I would be in favor of that. Why not put your best team out there? Let’s say you’re coaching a high school team and you have a returning state champ at 160 that gets injured. You also have a returning state champ and returning state medalist that are both at 152 this year. The medalist chose to wrestle off the 152 champ and lost a close one. A kid who was a .500 wrestler chose to wrestle off the 160 champ and got pinned. Would you grant the returning medalist a wrestle off at 160? I know I would. If we would do that for something as in significant as a high school dual, why not do it to help qualify the weight for the Olympics?

Didn’t that happen in PA? Verkleeren?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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On 9/14/2019 at 5:46 AM, Eagle26 said:

I would be in favor of that. Why not put your best team out there? Let’s say you’re coaching a high school team and you have a returning state champ at 160 that gets injured. You also have a returning state champ and returning state medalist that are both at 152 this year. The medalist chose to wrestle off the 152 champ and lost a close one. A kid who was a .500 wrestler chose to wrestle off the 160 champ and got pinned. Would you grant the returning medalist a wrestle off at 160? I know I would. If we would do that for something as in significant as a high school dual, why not do it to help qualify the weight for the Olympics?

Every other country operates this way.  We need to have something in place where a coach or committee can  step in and make decisions that give opportunity to put our best foot forward.  Im not talking about Downy in particular.  I am glad he made the team and I am rooting for him to succeed.  We can arbitrarily decide who goes to the qualifiers.  Why cant we have a wrestle off when a #1 goes down to injury?

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2 hours ago, lu_alum said:


Didn’t that happen in PA? Verkleeren?


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Not exactly. He was at 145. When he went in too high to return to 145 in time his brother was at 152. I think it was kid's choice not to wrestle him off and try 160.

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1 hour ago, gimpeltf said:

Not exactly. He was at 145. When he went in too high to return to 145 in time his brother was at 152. I think it was kid's choice not to wrestle him off and try 160.

I looked it up after I posted.  His brother was at 152.  Verkleeren wanted to wrestle-off at 160 against a mediocre teammate, but the coach wouldn't allow it.  Verk took the school to court and lost.

https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/hsother/2016/02/26/Judge-s-ruling-goes-against-Belle-Vernon-wrestler-Jarod-Verkleeren-WPIAL/stories/201602260203 

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On 9/14/2019 at 2:23 AM, maligned said:

Much has been said about the disappointment people feel that Downey is manning our 86kg spot when guys like Dieringer or Nickal weren't given a chance once Taylor got injured. It exposes a flaw in our system in a pre-Olympic year where any other nation would fill the spot with their best possible guy to ensure the weight has the best chance to be qualified for the 2020 Olympics. 

Wouldn't a simple solution in 2023 be the addition of this rule:

Because of the importance of qualifying the 6 Olympic weight classes for the 2024 Games, a special contingency will be fulfilled for those weights only. In the event of an injury preventing a 2022 returning medalist from competing at the 2023 Final X, or in the event of an injury causing the 2023 Final X winner to have to give up his position; the Final X runners-up from the one or two adjacent weight classes will be given the chance, if they desire, for a special wrestle-off against the weight class position holder at which the injury occurred.

 

On 9/14/2019 at 4:18 AM, Lurker said:

Those wrestlers chose their weight to attempt to make the team. If they could have competed at 86 and wanted to make the team at 86 they should have competed at 86. Doing things the right way is bigger than any opinions (and that is truly all they are at this point) that so and so wrestler is probably a better medal threat than the guy that made the line up a 86, doing everything he had to do, so let’s add another asterisk round just in case. In my opinion..NO. The athletes made their decisions, the athletes that came out on top came out on top, there are always good breaks and bad breaks involved along the way, those that didn’t come out on top build for next year. 

I’m a fan of the world medalist getting the bye the next year. I think for a world champ it should be unarguable. But I’d rather see that go away then see something like this implemented. Just one man’s opinion, won’t claim to be right. 

Maligned while it's a excellent effort I am of the same opinion as Lurker and I would be vehemently against it. All these various scenarios have all been brought about for one reason because most people on here don't like Downey. If Bo Nickal had wrestled at 86 kilos and Taylor got hurt not one person would even dream of implementing some new scenario. A lot of people keep saying it's we want to make sure we have our best wrestler. What does that mean? Is that a group of guys opinion who is the best wrestler or is that a guy who wins the Olympic trials or world team trials or whatever. We've already proven as both humans and as USA Wrestling that we can't be objective in picking anything because our biases come into play. You want a now try and pick an Olympic representative  because we don't like who won the Olympic trials.  You think somebody might disagree with a "chosen" representative? You're either making it more complicated by adding another level and rewarding somebody who doesn't deserve it or you're going to leave the choice up to somebody to select in which case favorites are going to come into play. I have no love lost for Downy but he won the spot. And he didn't run away from Taylor. Why do we now want to reward somebody who did? And it's true in any weight class. It may not always end up being the best wrestler but it was the best wrestler on that day and I would much rather have that than any other system.

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I am in favor of this in Olympic-only years. For as long as there are fewer weights in the pinnacle of this sport, there should be special conditions in a very unique scenario every fourth year. 

Additionally, it is unique to our sport to have this issue - perhaps only boxing (weight classes) and running/ swimming (800M specialist may ask for a special race-off in the 400M, etc.) Therefore it should be treated with special circumstances and not a hard line in the sand to an extent. I support a top two/four mini-tourney to wrestleoff for an Olympic spot. This may only happen once or twice per olympics anyways, so it should be considered a last-chance option.

The USOC and USAW should be in favor for this model as long as the goals are winning medals (best athlete is the rep), beating China+Russia in the medal count (best country bragging rights), and encouraging ratings + marketing revenue (development purpose of the Olympics) is the name of the game. Don’t forget that all these niche sports over 14 days (wrestling, rugby 7’s, etc.) add up and support the money makers like track, swimming, basketball, and soccer.

 

It is certainly a hypothetical but I would much rather have a Dieringer wrestling than a Downey. If Downey is the best rep then he will win the special mini-tourney a couple weeks after the OTT. I don’t see the harm in a third tourney.

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ConnorsDad: I agree with most of your feelings. Our rep should be chosen on the mat. But a weakness in getting the right guys on the mat against each other in our selection process was exposed. There are solutions out there that still involve determining the rep on merit but could eliminate an injury bait- and- switch situation. I have no problem with Downey. But he's shown domestically and internationally that he's not world-class like Dieringer has proven himself to be or like Nickal seems he could be. I'm saying in a pre-Olympic year, there should be a more comprehensive system that doesn't allow for flukes. Downey didn't "win it on the mat" other than in a vacuum where we blindly ignore the circumstances. 

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6 hours ago, olddirty said:

Every other country operates this way.  We need to have something in place where a coach or committee can  step in and make decisions that give opportunity to put our best foot forward.  Im not talking about Downy in particular.  I am glad he made the team and I am rooting for him to succeed.  We can arbitrarily decide who goes to the qualifiers.  Why cant we have a wrestle off when a #1 goes down to injury?

I totally agree. Too many people make this about Downey and whether they like him or not. I would say the same thing no matter who won the 86 spot after Taylor dropped out. I wish him well and it’s great he got this opportunity. But it would have also been great for Ringer to have this opportunity too. He’s shown he can beat top notch international competition and has beaten everyone domestically except the reigning world champ. What’s the harm in giving the option to wrestle off?

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4 hours ago, lu_alum said:

I looked it up after I posted.  His brother was at 152.  Verkleeren wanted to wrestle-off at 160 against a mediocre teammate, but the coach wouldn't allow it.  Verk took the school to court and lost.

https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/hsother/2016/02/26/Judge-s-ruling-goes-against-Belle-Vernon-wrestler-Jarod-Verkleeren-WPIAL/stories/201602260203 

Yeah I guess it is kinda similar... I even randomly picked the same weights lol. But I think this is different because it was due to weight mistake. Not because the 160 was injured. It was definitely a crappy situation with no good solution. I don’t envy he coach having to make that call. 

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