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Tofurky

Singlet vs. grappling two piece

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The problem with your argument is that you're taking the perspective of the current wrestler or a kid that's already willing and open to trying the sport. Try the kid who does not wrestle, knows nothing about the sport, and is a bit apprehensive about it.

 

I currently coach middle school soccer and middle school track in addition to being our high schools head coach. During the fall and spring I am constantly trying to promote the sport of wrestling to my soccer and track teams. The BIGGEST issue amongst the non-wrestlers is the uniform. These same kids will wear underarmour shirts but the fact that a singlet is a one piece that resembles a woman's one piece bathing suit is what really bothers a lot of them. Furthermore, the young 12-13 year old girls make comments on how singlets are "silly" looking. If you think that it's not an issue, I am telling you YOU ARE WRONG.

 

Again kids would much rather wear a two piece uniform consisting of an underarmour Tshirt and underarmour shorts. When I first took over our middle school program back in 2006 I showed kids at school a brute catalogue with the two piece uniforms. 100% of them thought the uniform designs were "cool" and they would have much rather worn them and the singlets.

 

Current wrestlers like singlets. Personally I like singlets. However it really is a barrier for non-wrestlers to get over and is a source of mockery that I see my wrestlers get. Keep in mind that I've coached at 4 different schools and the responses I've had at all 4 schools are the same.

 

When asking the opinion of singlets and trying to promote the sport, try asking non-wrestlers. Those are the kids we're trying to get to come out and who's opinion should matter whether or not its an issue.

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And just a bit of background regarding my program, I come from a school where basketball is king. When I first took over the middle school wrestling program we had 8 wrestlers total. No youth feeder and had not won a dual meet in over 3 years. After 1 season we had 35 brand new wrestlers on the team. After 2 seasons we had 65 wrestlers come out of the team. Shortly there after I was promoted to the high school head coach position and we won the school first District Championship in wrestling in over 35 years. All of this was done without a youth feeder program and ZERO wrestling culture. The biggest barrier I've had to getting kids to wrestle is the singlet.

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Kids don't like singlets for the same reason most American men don't wear Speedos to the beach. Not only do they feel silly, they're too tight. It's like walking around in your underwear. Compression shorts are nearly as bad. People snicker. (Girls snicker.) Just because kids aren't verbal about being uncomfortable in a singlet doesn't mean they're not. Other wrestlers will call you a pu$$y just for saying something.

 

I'm not saying get rid of singlets, I'm saying provide other options and let the wrestlers decide. Track & field does this. Some wear singlets, some wear shorts. It's up to the team/athelete. I don't know too many high school track teams that choose to run in singlets, but you do see them at the big international meets.

 

Personally, I'd prefer fight shorts with a liner. Sorta like swimming trunks have, but the liner being more like compression shorts.

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When in jr. High we couldn't wait to get out of the three piece (tights, top that buttoned in the crotch, and trunks, similar to ISU in the Gable era) and into singlets. It was surprising how much hotter you got in comparison. Our state at that time allowed us to use the non conforming freestyle singlets (think '72 Olympics style) and most preferred them to the conforming singlets for heat disapation reasons.

 

Our uniform has evolved. Tops were not allowed at one time, then three pieces, singlets with varying leg length and side cut, and the infamous doublet. We do allow an undershirt under the singlet in some circumstances.

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The doublet was NEVER. A viable option because it was NEVER legal for use by the National Federation of High School sports. I can tell you with 100% certainty that if they were legal, my team would be using them now. The only place they were used were by a few NCAA teams and individuals in offseason tournaments, clearly NOT a large enough market for any manufacturer to invest resources to which is why you don't see them being used today. Now at the same time, walk into any wrestling room during practices. You will see kids wearing compression tshirt/shorts combo all the time. It's time for the doublet to be legalized by the NFHS

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The doublet was NEVER. A viable option because it was NEVER legal for use by the National Federation of High School sports. I can tell you with 100% certainty that if they were legal, my team would be using them now. The only place they were used were by a few NCAA teams and individuals in offseason tournaments, clearly NOT a large enough market for any manufacturer to invest resources to which is why you don't see them being used today. Now at the same time, walk into any wrestling room during practices. You will see kids wearing compression tshirt/shorts combo all the time. It's time for the doublet to be legalized by the NFHS

Just use it then. What real enforcement authority does NFHS have? There are several states using non conforming weight classes. My state allowed freestyle singlets for about a decade before deciding to force all schools to purchase the much more expensive conforming uniform.

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Clearly you either do not coach at the high school level in actual varsity matches.

 

I am from PA and prior to each match each coach must "declare" that all equipment being used is in accordance to NFHS regulations. Furthermore if found NOT wearing approved equipment (ie shoes without secured laces, head gear with tape, etc) the offending wrestler is then charged with their first injury time and given 90 seconds to correct the illegal equipment as well as charged with a penalty point. If the issue is not corrected the wrestler is then disqualified. Yes I have seen wrestlers disqualified for not having the proper mouth piece while having orthodontics.

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Clearly you either do not coach at the high school level in actual varsity matches.

 

I am from PA and prior to each match each coach must "declare" that all equipment being used is in accordance to NFHS regulations. Furthermore if found NOT wearing approved equipment (ie shoes without secured laces, head gear with tape, etc) the offending wrestler is then charged with their first injury time and given 90 seconds to correct the illegal equipment as well as charged with a penalty point. If the issue is not corrected the wrestler is then disqualified. Yes I have seen wrestlers disqualified for not having the proper mouth piece while having orthodontics.

Clearly only coaching HS for closing in on four decades doesn't qualify ;) . Reffed for a decade, too :twisted: .

 

That authority is from the state, which has chosen to enforce the NFHS rules. My comment was somewhat in jest but held the kennel of truth which is some states feel strongly enough to allow (or require) variance from particular rules, i.e. weight class inequity, allowable uniforms for a time in my state, probably others. If its such a concern see if you're state will work for change or allow for in state exception. If its important enough you shouldn't have trouble finding support. Frankly there always have been shy kids. Some who could care less about the uniform but fear the spotlight and wrestle timidly in competition while being a mat room beast. How you suggest we alleviate that concern of kids joining an individual sport? I suggest it's a matter of creating the confidence to get over it, not avoid it.

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If your post was in jest then the tone of it got lost as it is difficult to convey sarcasm and tone through written word.

 

Anyways, it's of my opinion that we should remove as many barriers to entry when grading this sport as possible. If a two piece uniform would alleviate the apprehension on wearing a singlet then what would the harm be in using them? There are a number of kids who I've coached who grew to like singlets but prior to that really hated them. Our sport needs to continue to evolve in order to remain relevant with the non wrestling community because whether we like it or not, their opinion of our sport has a huge impact on its future.

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Like I have said many times before: Wrestlers will use the stupid machismo attitude to shoot themselves in the foot every time. "You kids dont like our gay looking leotards? Then fine, go play basketball you big puss."

 

I coach at a HS with no MS wrestling. The first time these kids ever even see wrestling is when they get to HS. They are pissed and confused as to why they have to wear a women's gymnastics leotard to competitions. Some even quit exclusively because they are little fat kids that dont want to wear a 1 piece womens swimsuit in front of 700 of their friends.

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What people continually fail to recognize is that although the tightness is an issue for some, the primary issue is the CUT & SHAPE of the singlet. It's a laughing stock to those outside the sport.

 

Exactly! The fact that its a one piece is what people think is silly. I honestly think if the uniform was a more revealing pair of compression shorts only there would be less criticism!

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Yep, it's not just the tightness, it's the ridiculous look. Somehow Under Armour has become cool, but it's just as tight as a singlet. Obviously young kids (especially out of shape ones) would still be apprehensive about wearing skin tight Under Armour style shirts, but it would be way better than a singlet. I guarantee you that if you put NFL players in singlets instead of Under Armour in commercials, people would laugh at them too. Blame the movies or whatever, but singlets are silly looking and have become associated with being "gay", and for a lot of kids that's a problem. I remember back in high school, when we would have team photos, the entire team would wear singlets for the photo in the gym. All of the other winter sports teams that were having their team photo done at the same time would just point and laugh at us. I didn't care, but many kids were very upset by this. Finally we just started doing the team photo in warmups, which solved that problem, but something's not right if you can't even wear your team uniform without being laughed at. Nobody was standing around laughing at the basketball team while they were taking their photo.

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Wow.. check out a high school during the spring sports season. Check out a high school fitness center during the winter sports season. Its NOT the tightness its the cut. Non-wrestler male athletes will be wearing compression gear without anything on top. Heck most of the football players walk around the fitness center/weight room wearing just compression tshirts and compression shorts which looks exactly like the two piece wrestling uniform. Its not the tightness that bothers kids its the design and cut.

 

I coach Soccer and Track in addition to Wrestling. Many of my guys will wear compression gear especially the track guys. Now there are certain styles guys CAN wear and CANT wear. For example... a guy can wear compression shorts and that's no big deal, but if he wears full blown compression leggings its considered "gay" or weird even though you're more covered with the full leggings! So its really not a matter of how much is covered up and not covered up.. its the style of the cut.

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Yeah you're right, most guys don't wear under armour shirts unless they have clothes over top of them. Get out much?

That's a top. Unless you' have a gut, most of us don't care about wearing a tight shirt. I'm talking about the bottom. Do you wear Speedo? Most people don't want to wear something that tight, let alone wrestle around with someone in one. Especially junior high school kids.

 

Face it, we'll never get everyone to agree. That's why there should be options. In the MMA, some guys wear fight shorts, others wear spandex. It's a matter or preference. Right now, there's just one option and, for a lot of people, it sucks.

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I think this is sooo far off from what the problem is with kids and wrestling. I do believe that over weight kids tend to not want to wear singlets but the biggest thing that MOTHERS tell me the reason their sons don't want to wrestle is because the kids don't like the "touching" or close contact that wrestling is. I imagine especially from the bottom position.

 

I also believe one of the bigger problems is with the moms themselves. Most of them spent high school and college chasing the football and basketball players so they have a pre-conceived bias against wrestlers. It is hurting the growth of our sport to focus on the wrong problems.

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I also believe one of the bigger problems is with the moms themselves. Most of them spent high school and college chasing the football and basketball players so they have a pre-conceived bias against wrestlers. It is hurting the growth of our sport to focus on the wrong problems.

 

 

warhawk, I have never heard this before. Could you elaborate?

Thanks!

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