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Folkstyle Rule Change Proposal: Step Out/Shot Clock Combo

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If you’re a fan of conditioning being a factor in a wrestling match you should be in favor of the step out rule. Once you start focusing on just how much time is spent going out of bounds and resetting it becomes obvious there is a lot of wasted time and chance for recovery. 

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A step out in folkstyle would create an issue with escapes near the boundary but i believe that is easily solved. You just do not award a step out point until action returns to the center. This would be a much easier call for the ref than what they are currently expected to do with regards to out of bounds, which requires far more complicated judgement calls that regularly results in controversy. The rule that was implemented was so flawed and inadequate that most refs ignored by the end of the year and going out of bounds was regularly judged to be no stalls on either wrestler. It was like the rule was never written. 

So lets think about what happens if there is an escape toward the boundary in folkstyle.

  • wrestler escapes and immediately goes out of bounds. center restart, no step out point awarded.
  • wrestler escapes and wrestling resumes near the boundary. collar ties minimal action. quick stalemate call, center restart.
  • wrestler escapes and wrestling resumes near the boundary. action, scramble, and they go out of bounds. still no step out point awarded and a center restart.
  • wrestler escapes and wrestling resumes near the boundary, then back to the center, then action takes them out of bounds. Award a step out point, then center restart.

Please let me know if I am missing a plausible scenario but that I believe would cover everything. And those are all very easy, objective calls to make. Its a vast improvement over the current rule, which is not a good one. 

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I'm in favor of a step-out and criteria for folk style. But I think the last point (as opposed to the first point) should gain the advantage in criteria. In any close match, there will always be someone protecting a lead. But if a guy is up 2 with 30 seconds left and gets taken down, I feel like the person who earned that takedown is more deserving of the win. Plus, I think it will be far easier for the audience to keep track of "last score wins" rather than "first score wins" (even if there are underlines on the scoreboard).

How would criteria resolve a 0-0 match?

I've thought about this. I personally don't like shot clocks to force scoring. I'd like to see an experiment with something like this: if no points are scored in the 2nd and 3rd period, the person with choice that period is penalized and the other person is given a point. Chose top and ride him out but no points are scored in the period? Penalty to the top man, point to the bottom man. Choose bottom and don't escape? Penalty to the bottom man, point to the top man. Choose bottom and get penalized for stalling on bottom? No penalty because a point was scored in the period. Choose neutral and no points are scored? Penalty to the person who chose neutral, point to the other wrestler.

 

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4 hours ago, Jaroslav Hasek said:

A step out in folkstyle would create an issue with escapes near the boundary but i believe that is easily solved. You just do not award a step out point until action returns to the center. This would be a much easier call for the ref than what they are currently expected to do with regards to out of bounds, which requires far more complicated judgement calls that regularly results in controversy. The rule that was implemented was so flawed and inadequate that most refs ignored by the end of the year and going out of bounds was regularly judged to be no stalls on either wrestler. It was like the rule was never written. 

 

Isn’t the boundary stalling rule basically fleeing the mat it’s just a stall warning instead of a penalty?  I think fleeing the mat is a good rule for HS but also not called enough (so when it is it is almost always argued),

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1 hour ago, fiveontwo said:

i think it all can be solved by just having the refs call stalling when they should be and/or just call it more often.  i dont like incentivizing "sumo-ing"

 

It have been shown for many years that refs cant or wont call stalling frequently enough to force action.  Most of the time it is a very difficult call to judge who is stalling enough to warrant a call and there is so much subjectivity in the call.  The more bias and judgment is taken away from the ref the fairer the rules will be.  Personally I like the stepout rule.  There are a lot more clean TD in the Freestyle I watch and a lot of the almost TDs that I see in folk (defended by going out of bounds) turn into 1 point scores in Free.

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Sumo has far more to worry about becoming more like folkstyle than folkstyle does with becoming more like sumo. sumo kicks ass is what i'm saying.

and whatever fears anyone has about sumo, just watch some of the untold freestyle and greco matches for free on youtube. if a step out would turn folkstyle into sumo then it would've turned freestyle and greco into sumo a long time ago. that it hasn't means everyone that may harbor this worry can now breathe easier.

36 minutes ago, Jim L said:

It have been shown for many years that refs cant or wont call stalling frequently enough to force action.  

also very much this. if refs calling stalling more often would solve the problem of going out of bounds then it would have ceased being a problem long ago. 

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The freestyle step out became good when takedowns became 2 points. I really don’t think folkstyle needs a change. The product is good. The stalling rules are imperfect but usually work. Go watch a match from before (or a high school match) if you need a refresher. 

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1 hour ago, IronChef said:

The freestyle step out became good when takedowns became 2 points. I really don’t think folkstyle needs a change. The product is good. The stalling rules are imperfect but usually work. Go watch a match from before (or a high school match) if you need a refresher. 

the folkstyle product is very good. I watch high school and college matches every day and enjoy them very much. but the product could still be BETTER and there's no reason for it not to be!

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On 7/26/2020 at 8:02 PM, 1032004 said:

Kinda mentioned this in a different thread but figured I’d start a new one...

I don’t really watch a ton of freestyle but in watching last night’s matches, I like how the shot clock forces guys to not wait until the last 20 seconds of a period to shoot.  However, I don’t like that it often seems aritrary as to who it’s called on.

I know people have also been calling for a stepout rule in folkstyle (and there have been many complaints about the revised out of bounds automatic stalling calls).  So what if instead of a point for a stepout, it puts the other guy on the shot clock?  I feel like that would ease the concern of matches just “turning into sumo,” but would also encourage more action (both to not step out and then when on the shot clock if you do), and wouldn’t be as drastic of a change as adding a shot clock for “regular” stalling.

I feel like the most difficult part would probably be another clock for the ref/table to need to monitor.

Thoughts?

Don't need a shot clock to stop passivity/stalling. Just need a ref that will call it when it happens. 

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7 hours ago, Jaroslav Hasek said:

Sumo has far more to worry about becoming more like folkstyle than folkstyle does with becoming more like sumo. sumo kicks ass is what i'm saying.

and whatever fears anyone has about sumo, just watch some of the untold freestyle and greco matches for free on youtube. if a step out would turn folkstyle into sumo then it would've turned freestyle and greco into sumo a long time ago. that it hasn't means everyone that may harbor this worry can now breathe easier.

also very much this. if refs calling stalling more often would solve the problem of going out of bounds then it would have ceased being a problem long ago. 

Sumo :D Fat guys in diapers rasslin' for our amusement :D 

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On 8/5/2020 at 10:02 AM, Jaroslav Hasek said:

A step out in folkstyle would create an issue with escapes near the boundary but i believe that is easily solved. You just do not award a step out point until action returns to the center. This would be a much easier call for the ref than what they are currently expected to do with regards to out of bounds, which requires far more complicated judgement calls that regularly results in controversy. The rule that was implemented was so flawed and inadequate that most refs ignored by the end of the year and going out of bounds was regularly judged to be no stalls on either wrestler. It was like the rule was never written. 

So lets think about what happens if there is an escape toward the boundary in folkstyle.

  • wrestler escapes and immediately goes out of bounds. center restart, no step out point awarded.
  • wrestler escapes and wrestling resumes near the boundary. collar ties minimal action. quick stalemate call, center restart.
  • wrestler escapes and wrestling resumes near the boundary. action, scramble, and they go out of bounds. still no step out point awarded and a center restart.
  • wrestler escapes and wrestling resumes near the boundary, then back to the center, then action takes them out of bounds. Award a step out point, then center restart.

Please let me know if I am missing a plausible scenario but that I believe would cover everything. And those are all very easy, objective calls to make. Its a vast improvement over the current rule, which is not a good one. 

I don't necessarily disagree.  I an not, however, as optimistic about a quick stalemate on the edge after an escape not deteriorating the product.

Also, the threshold of when the athletes have achieved "center" to bring the step out back in play will need firmer definition than provided in example four.

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1 hour ago, JHRoseWrestling said:

I don't necessarily disagree.  I an not, however, as optimistic about a quick stalemate on the edge after an escape not deteriorating the product.

Also, the threshold of when the athletes have achieved "center" to bring the step out back in play will need firmer definition than provided in example four.

Sure, it won't be perfect, but compare the obligation of determining if action has returned to the center with the obligation of determining who initiated an attack and if the defender made a concerted effort to stay in bounds. The former is far simpler than the latter, yes? We're comparing options, and to me, the status quo is clearly inferior. 

Imagining the worst case scenario when a step out penalty is fine, but what we really need to do is compare what we reasonably expect to happen a majority of the time with a step out penalty (very easy to do thanks to freestyle and greco) versus what happens the most often with the current rule set. To me it's quite obvious that a step out penalty will improve folkstyle wrestling. 

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How about on top position we start a count (like we do if you are holding on to the leg) if a wrestler is just straddling or remaining parallel? Make them hop sides or turn opponent. 

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On 7/26/2020 at 8:02 PM, 1032004 said:

Kinda mentioned this in a different thread but figured I’d start a new one...

I don’t really watch a ton of freestyle but in watching last night’s matches, I like how the shot clock forces guys to not wait until the last 20 seconds of a period to shoot.  However, I don’t like that it often seems aritrary as to who it’s called on.

I know people have also been calling for a stepout rule in folkstyle (and there have been many complaints about the revised out of bounds automatic stalling calls).  So what if instead of a point for a stepout, it puts the other guy on the shot clock?  I feel like that would ease the concern of matches just “turning into sumo,” but would also encourage more action (both to not step out and then when on the shot clock if you do), and wouldn’t be as drastic of a change as adding a shot clock for “regular” stalling.

I feel like the most difficult part would probably be another clock for the ref/table to need to monitor.

Thoughts?

Meh, I think what we have is good enough. We just need referees to hammer guys for stalling, and the refs are notoriously unreliable in that regard. If a guy continually retreats and takes no shots, warning. After that points will be awarded. If the guy doing the pushing never shoots, well that's just another form of stalling too, isn't it? Warn him too. Next warning: points. Simple. if the referees did their job there'd be no problem.

I wouldn't be opposed in principle to a "shot clock" if it was judiciously/scrupulously observed, but it does change the dynamics of the sport somewhat. There's a place for picking your shots on the mat, setting guys up for moves, with a "shot clock" it could just turn into a bunch of poor half-shots by both guys (both trying to avoid dinging the clock).

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