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bob_meadows_167

Unlimited heavyweight

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^^^Unlimited hwts created some very high spectator interest in college wrestling. You'll never get any kind of a consensus on what the weight classes should be, but 285 pounds isn't that athletically big in these big-time football days. Hwt could at least be 300 pounds. No strong feelings on this, but the unlimited hwt days did stir up a lot of fan interest.

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Unlimited heavyweight would probably spark injury concerns, and rightly so, if you had 220 pound athletes competing against someone who weighed 350. You could make the argument that 285 should be raised, however, you would have to first answer a few questions to justify it, most notably, how many athletes would this impact? In other words, if we raised the limit to say, 300 or 315, how many athletes that weren't going to wrestle at 285 will now wrestle at 315? The number would have to be very small I would think. Athletic guys upwards of 300 pounds looking to play sports in college will almost 100 percent be drawn to football. The other thing is, if the limit was raised to 315, you would have to adjust the other upper weights, because you can't have a weight class of 197+ spanning over 100 pounds. Maybe 184 gets bumped to 190-ish, and 197 up to 215, and then HWT. But this would only be worthwhile if all these changes were welcome, and we don't hear too many complaints about the college weights at least up until 197.

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Maybe many football players would give it a go in their off season and only do not for weight reasons.

 

This is a common hypothesis, but I would actually be surprised if it proved to be true. At the college level, most football athletes would not be allowed to wrestle, and most would not even want to wrestle because it would be a distraction. They are focused only on football. At the high school level, how many high school kids do you know who can't make 285 but are dedicated to football? I think the number is miniscule. There really aren't many high school athletes over 285, and those that are tend to be football freaks that would never dream of jeopardizing a football career to wrestle. And football coaches for athletes that fall into that class would probably strongly discourage wrestling for that very reason. But again, there really aren't many athletes out there in high school that are over 285. I've actually never met a high school athlete over 285 that wasn't obese, and even then I've only known a few that heavy. Occasionally you might get a kid who is 6'7'' and 300 and not fat, but man is it rare, and that kid would have full-time football written all over him.

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I am in favor of unlimited hwt. I saw Chris Taylor wrestle in person several times. I've advocated one provision hwts. would have a maximum body fat of 15%. That would prevent fat hwts. Taylor would have needed to lose probably 100 pounds to get to 15%.

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I've advocated one provision hwts. would have a maximum body fat of 15%. That would prevent fat hwts.
That's a really interesting idea.

 

Problem is it's one thing to have weight classes, but quite another to start dictating body composition levels to participate in sports. Will calipers be present at each weigh in to calculate the composition of the HWTs when they weigh in. This could start to appear as discrimination, although it really wouldn't affect many athletes at the college level. But this could never be adopted in high schools, for example. Imagine telling a kid who is under the weight limit, that nevertheless he's too fat to compete.

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Unlimited heavyweight would probably spark injury concerns, and rightly so, if you had 220 pound athletes competing against someone who weighed 350. You could make the argument that 285 should be raised, however, you would have to first answer a few questions to justify it, most notably, how many athletes would this impact? In other words, if we raised the limit to say, 300 or 315, how many athletes that weren't going to wrestle at 285 will now wrestle at 315? The number would have to be very small I would think. Athletic guys upwards of 300 pounds looking to play sports in college will almost 100 percent be drawn to football. The other thing is, if the limit was raised to 315, you would have to adjust the other upper weights, because you can't have a weight class of 197+ spanning over 100 pounds. Maybe 184 gets bumped to 190-ish, and 197 up to 215, and then HWT. But this would only be worthwhile if all these changes were welcome, and we don't hear too many complaints about the college weights at least up until 197.

 

 

I think this is where in some regards the Club level might have it right by having a 235 weight class, however as a big guy myself, I am thinking lets add a 121 class, then for the next 9 weights (125-197) add 3 pounds to create new classes, and add a 235 to make a 12 class system.

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I think it could become a liability issue when some of these heavies weigh 220 if they were to wrestle a 350 pound guy.

 

Honestly I think it'd make heavy more boring, though I'd love for SOME of the bigger athletes to be able to stay in the sport. I like the light heavy types like Flores, McMullan, Zabriskie, Gwiaz, etc.

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I think it could become a liability issue when some of these heavies weigh 220 if they were to wrestle a 350 pound guy.

 

Honestly I think it'd make heavy more boring, though I'd love for SOME of the bigger athletes to be able to stay in the sport. I like the light heavy types like Flores, McMullan, Zabriskie, Gwiaz, etc.

 

Until there is an outcry to have RBs and WRs not have such a wt disparity with many they are tackled by I don't take the "safety" concern seriously. These are D1 athletes and have the ability to adjust and turn disadvantage into an advantage.

195 lb Jim Hagen faced Chris Taylor 3 times (L 7-2, L 3-0, LBF in NCAA final) as well as many others over 300+.

220 lb Larry Bielenberg had NCAA 1, 2, 3, 5 during unlimited (Jimmy Jackson being the most prominent).

Howard Harris moves up from 190 as a senior and another not huge unl competitor emerges to be his final opponent, Bruce Baumgartner. Wt included Steve Williams, Ron Essink along with other large bodies.

Lou Banach over the final super hwt Tab Thacker (440lbs), Steve Williams etc.

 

I disagree about "boring". There always have been, and always will be, those who will be aggressive, active, and take risk. And those that will not. Weight doesn't dictate attitude although in this case it would cause competitors to use better strategy. The element of an "underdog" is present with a significant weight advantage. Stamina, endurance, become the lighter wrestlers advantage, and grows as the match wears on (assuming the lighter is in fact fitter than the heavier). Several of the most exciting matches I have seen involved a dual on the line and the lighter hwt surviving the first round attack, gaining an even "field" in the second (endurance advantage now canceling size disadvantage), and often defeating the exhausted larger man in the third. The easily understood drama creates interest even among those who aren't wrestling fans.

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I wrestled HWT back in the day and slugged it out with Howard Harris, Bruce Baumgarter, Fred Bohna, Steve Williams etc. I was about 235 lbs and had an easier go against the bigger guys then those my size or a little smaller. I only lost 2 times out of about 20 to a 285 lb plus wrestler, and both of those were due to my own mistakes, not their skill. I think the rare big hwt that wins today is something special because the smaller guys are typically better skilled. I am all for a wide open weight class.

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Finally inserting a 235 lb weight class is a MUCH better suggestion. At least there are enough bona fide athletes to fill that or some other suggested weight class between 197 and 285. In the entire world, there just aren't enough experienced wrestlers weighing in at +300 lbs to expect any consistently worthwhile competitions.

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Watching two obese guys lean on each other for 7 minutes will not generate fan support. It will reduce it. There are very few decent heavyweights who can't make a 285 limit with a bit of weight control. I would also like to see another weight class somewhere between 197 and 285.

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From the high school side of things, 215 was added b/n 189 and HVY (285) in the mid-1990s primarily due to liability.

 

As far as adding a weight class in the present climate (or two as one post suggested), the chance of that happening in today's climate is about zero - roster caps, scholarships, etc.

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I guess you missed the finals 2-3 years ago when the 125 pound championship was 2-1 and the winning point was a locked hands call. The 285 match with the Duke wrestler had a lot more action. Remember when Zach Rey may have been reversed and possibly pinned against American in the finals 2 years ago?

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I agree Rey and Nelson was another great 285 lb match last year. They compete and do moves that the Heavy's over that weight probably could not do. The 115 comparison for agrument sake is they do more are quick and probably shoot more than a 350lb man. Don't gas as easy.

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