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patmilkovich

Decrease in FALLS and increase in OT's since 70's...why?

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Ron Snee, PhD, and I plotted the number of Falls and OT's (Championship bracket) from 1975 to present, and the results are striking. It seems 1985 is the demarcation when OT's and FALLS diverge.  Interesting to note '79 had the most falls with 84 and the least number of falls was in '76 with 49.The average falls per year from '75-'84 was 62.6. and 12.6 OT's for the same period. Regarding OT's, the most pre-'85 were in '74 and '75 with 19 and the fewest was 5 in '83.  The average falls per year from '85-'94 was 37.2. and 18.1 OT's for the same period.  Post '85 the most falls occurred in '06 with 62 and the least was 22 in '94. OT high was 32 in '99 and '13, and the low was 12 in '87. I will be interested to see the FALLS/OT numbers after this NCAA.  If the emphasis is on "working for a fall," then clearly something is definitely wrong. What has changed and why have falls decreased significantly and OT's seem to have increased proportionally. I have my analysis but I'm interested in hearing other perspectives. pmilk

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One possibility is that it wasn't until the sixties there was much in the way of youth wrestling (my perspective is the Lehigh valley and new Jersey) so that there was a lot of diversity in skill levels going on. Clubs started hitting in the eighties. You started seeing more takedowns and defense taught and less about pinning since it was getting harder and harder to easily take advantage of people.

 

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1.The obvious answer is that there’s more parity now. Every D1 job is highly sought after and has a great coach. High school wrestlers are showing up better prepared. To check this, plot the average point differential in a match by year as well. 

2. When was the tech fall introduced? This could be another factor in the decrease in falls. How does the plot look if it’s falls + tech falls? 

 

3. How have overtime rules changed over the years? This could be a factor where wrestlers are now more comfortable to go to overtime than in the past. 
 

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38 minutes ago, Lunaticfringe said:

Simple answer is less teams so if you make a varsity lineup you are 1/70 or so athletes compared to 1/200 or whatever the program number was.

This shouldn’t matter because the qualifiers should represent the 32 best athletes in the country. Although the recent change in how NCAA bids are allocated (by merit rather than conference allocations) may account for part of this data. 

Edited by Billyhoyle

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On top of what was already said regarding parody / number of teams...looks like the total match time was reduced from 8 minutes to 7 minutes in 1982.

1982 The bout time periods changed from 2-3-3 to 3-2-2

http://www.wrestlingstats.com/ncaa/pdf/NCAA%20Bout%20Scoring.pdf

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20 minutes ago, Billyhoyle said:

1.The obvious answer is that there’s more parity now. Every D1 job is highly sought after and has a great coach. High school wrestlers are showing up better prepared. To check this, plot the average point differential in a match by year as well. 

2. When was the tech fall introduced? This could be another factor in the decrease in falls. How does the plot look if it’s falls + tech falls? 

 

3. How have overtime rules changed over the years? This could be a factor where wrestlers are now more comfortable to go to overtime than in the past. 
 

It is a good idea to look for rule set changes when looking at intertemporal data.

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1 hour ago, Lunaticfringe said:

Simple answer is less teams so if you make a varsity lineup you are 1/70 or so athletes compared to 1/200 or whatever the program number was.

Exactly. The guys who were getting pinned are now subs, in D2 or D3 or not wrestling at all.

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24 minutes ago, Billyhoyle said:

This shouldn’t matter because the qualifiers should represent the 32 best athletes in the country. Although the recent change in how NCAA bids are allocated (by merit rather than conference allocations) may account for part of this data. 

Are you assuming that the data is for the tournament only. I assumed it was for the entire season. 

But even if it's for the tournament only, there is more parity, which means fewer pins.

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A lot of Catch & Release rather than pinning.

Way too many refs let Stall Riding linger instead of calling the stalling on the top wrestler when not working to move up for a pin.

Hold on and eat time seems to happen way too often. Needs to be called against these wrestlers.

Where is Dan Gable to push for pins?

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Back in the day you didn't have to worry about your opponent embarrassing you after he stuck you.  How many times did Dan Gable help his opponent up off the mat after the pin?  Yeah, thought so.  Today's wrestlers are more motivated to save face.  

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I think the answer to both questions comes not from data analysis, but from the eye test, and a little thought.

I think many more kids, especially in high level matchups are wrestling to not lose, rather than to win.

It also may have something to do with the simple spread of knowledge, techniques, and training compared to yesteryear.  Not as many mis-matches.  I think this is happening in many areas other than wrestling.

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21 minutes ago, NJDan said:

Are you assuming that the data is for the tournament only. I assumed it was for the entire season. 

But even if it's for the tournament only, there is more parity, which means fewer pins.

He says Championship bracket, so I assume it is tourney only. It makes sense as gathering data for even one entire season would be a monumental task.

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Back in the day wrestlers were LESS likely to be called for stalling for not working for a pin. 

I believe that Folkstyle wrestling had it's origins rooted in control so good riders were applauded not disparaged.  Grab an ankle, pinch and ankle, shoot the legs, whatever.  Getting out from the bottom and mat wrestling was worked on - preventive (hide the ankle, explosive stand up), as well as reactive (collapse and sit into tight waist) instead of crying to a ref to call stalling.   If you couldn't escape that was your problem.

Anyhow, I'm not really onboard with an explanation that says refs are not as aggressive in calling stalling on the top as they used to be.

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5 minutes ago, Wrestleknownothing said:

He says Championship bracket, so I assume it is tourney only. It makes sense as gathering data for even one entire season would be a monumental task.

Thanks.  I missed the Championship bracket qualifier.  So now I'm going with the catch and release thing.  Less time mat wrestling, more time on your feet.

Edited by swoopdown

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Like I said. Parity, less places for competition to go to, and moneyball wrestling. 
 

Also, I’ve heard one coach argue that a lot of the better kids start focusing on winning their matches 3-1 or 5-0 because that’s the least risk way to get their W and keep dad from bitching at them.. trying new stuff or taking chances with leads gets a lot of them yelled at. By time they’re older it’s habit. They either run kids over right away or get their low risk 4-2/4-0 win and get out.
 

Now of course, I’m positive someone will say they’ve never seen such things. Or talk about people like Fixes dad or whatnot. That’s fine. I’m well aware of why saying that will trigger some
 

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2 minutes ago, jp157 said:

Like I said. Parity, less places for competition to go to, and moneyball wrestling. 
 

Also, I’ve heard one coach argue that a lot of the better kids start focusing on winning their matches 3-1 or 5-0 because that’s the least risk way to get their W and keep dad from bitching at them.. trying new stuff or taking chances with leads gets a lot of them yelled at. By time they’re older it’s habit. They either run kids over right away or get their low risk 4-2/4-0 win and get out.
 

Now of course, I’m positive someone will say they’ve never seen such things. Or talk about people like Fixes dad or whatnot. That’s fine. I’m well aware of why saying that will trigger some
 

Interesting take on the wrestling dads. Ben Askren has talked about this phenomena some, too. And Miron Kharchilava has talked about not wrestling competitions too young, I believe.

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Kids train year round now. Fewer multi sport athletes. The you tube has so much and then camps and tournaments against better kids all contribute to having more wrestlers that know how to defend and also more highly trained kids that can play the takedown game. 

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