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Cutting weight... should we finally stop this practice?

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1 hour ago, Mike Parrish said:

You guys keep saying matside weighins are a logistical nightmare, but I don't see it.

I've coached for 40 years and have done my share of big tournaments.

I see it as part of the beginning of the match.
Both wrestlers and their coaches show up at the table to check in.

Ref says, "OK,  you're red, step on the scale. OK. OK, You're blue, step on the scale. OK" and off we got to wrestle.
Missing weight would be like showing up without your shoes.
Come ready to wrestle or forfeit that match...


Can someone explain the 'logistical nightmare' scenario?

So, in the case of the Michigan High School Individual Tournament, you have 20 mats.  You are going to have 20 different scales mat side?  All calibrated? All digital? How often would they be checked?  Recalibrated? Only the one ref at each mat is responsible?  What happens if someone is over by a tenth or less?  How do you handle disputes?  What happens if the kid walks right over to the next mat and he weighs right on, even though he was .1 over on the other mat?  Because, make no mistake, with 20 scales, you are going to have discrepancies.  I have seen difference between 3 scales side by side.  Let alone 20.  

How many scales on top of that will be available to wrestlers to check their weight before each match?  Where will you put these?  Because, make no mistake, you are hopeful that this will remove dangerous weight cutting, but it definitely will have kids worried about their weight the ENTIRE tournament.  Even if you are managing your weight properly, you could have a quick match that doesn't burn much of anything and then drink a gatorade and eat a meal.  Before, you wouldn't even worry about what this would do, but now...

Edited by MSU158

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1 hour ago, MSU158 said:

Even if you are managing your weight properly, you could have a quick match that doesn't burn much of anything and then drink a gatorade and eat a meal.  Before, you wouldn't even worry about what this would do, but now...

Adjust!  Bulk up and move up a weight, get better technically, downsize resting weight...  Imagine if the wrestler could eat a meal, drink a Gatorade, and still compete against an opponent that weighs the same at match time.  

Edited by jross

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1 hour ago, MSU158 said:

So, in the case of the Michigan High School Individual Tournament, you have 20 mats.  You are going to have 20 different scales mat side?  All calibrated? All digital? How often would they be checked?  Recalibrated? Only the one ref at each mat is responsible?  What happens if someone is over by a tenth or less?  How do you handle disputes?  What happens if the kid walks right over to the next mat and he weighs right on, even though he was .1 over on the other mat?  Because, make no mistake, with 20 scales, you are going to have discrepancies.  I have seen difference between 3 scales side by side.  Let alone 20.  

How many scales on top of that will be available to wrestlers to check their weight before each match?  Where will you put these?  Because, make no mistake, you are hopeful that this will remove dangerous weight cutting, but it definitely will have kids worried about their weight the ENTIRE tournament.  Even if you are managing your weight properly, you could have a quick match that doesn't burn much of anything and then drink a gatorade and eat a meal.  Before, you wouldn't even worry about what this would do, but now...

And you just added some time between each first round bout. What if there are byes? Does one guy get more time? 

And what happens if a kid has an issue on the scale in public?

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23 minutes ago, jross said:

Adjust!  Bulk up and move up a weight, get better technically, downsize resting weight...  Imagine if the wrestler could eat a meal, drink a Gatorade, and still compete against an opponent that weighs the same at match time.  

So weigh in 2 to 3 pounds UNDER your weight class so you can realistically eat and drink during the tournament?  That is your answer?  Really?  If you don't see how difficult it would be for every kid to monitor their weight the ENTIRE tournament on top of drinking or eating anything between matches, there is no point for us to debate this further.

Honestly, to me, this fix seems a lot like the Minority Report.  You are trying to create a fix,  essentially eliminating it before it could happen, without acknowledging the myriad of issues the fix itself could cause.

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52 minutes ago, MSU158 said:

So weigh in 2 to 3 pounds UNDER your weight class so you can realistically eat and drink during the tournament?  That is your answer?  Really?  If you don't see how difficult it would be for every kid to monitor their weight the ENTIRE tournament on top of drinking or eating anything between matches, there is no point for us to debate this further.

Honestly, to me, this fix seems a lot like the Minority Report.  You are trying to create a fix,  essentially eliminating it before it could happen, without acknowledging the myriad of issues the fix itself could cause.

I feel like it deliberately ignores how much a kids weight can fluctuate throughout the day. And that it actually places a similar stress on wrestler mentally to be on weight 

 

Edit: the scenarios you listed in the other post are why I think it would get rolled back after one year even if it was adopted 

Edited by jp157

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1 hour ago, MSU158 said:

So weigh in 2 to 3 pounds UNDER your weight class so you can realistically eat and drink during the tournament?  That is your answer?  Really?  If you don't see how difficult it would be for every kid to monitor their weight the ENTIRE tournament on top of drinking or eating anything between matches, there is no point for us to debate this further.

Honestly, to me, this fix seems a lot like the Minority Report.  You are trying to create a fix,  essentially eliminating it before it could happen, without acknowledging the myriad of issues the fix itself could cause.

Okay...someone has to say it...may as well be me...just like the Covid shutdowns and policies??  Hey Oh!!!

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1 hour ago, gimpeltf said:

And you just added some time between each first round bout. What if there are byes? Does one guy get more time? 

And what happens if a kid has an issue on the scale in public?

There are already variances in time between matches and minimum time.    If the kid misses weight one time in public, he is less likely to make that mistake again.

 

1 hour ago, MSU158 said:

So weigh in 2 to 3 pounds UNDER your weight class so you can realistically eat and drink during the tournament?  That is your answer?  Really?  If you don't see how difficult it would be for every kid to monitor their weight the ENTIRE tournament on top of drinking or eating anything between matches, there is no point for us to debate this further.

Honestly, to me, this fix seems a lot like the Minority Report.  You are trying to create a fix,  essentially eliminating it before it could happen, without acknowledging the myriad of issues the fix itself could cause.

A good wrestler does not lose their match because they weigh 3lbs less than their competitor at match time.  

 

36 minutes ago, jp157 said:

I feel like it deliberately ignores how much a kids weight can fluctuate throughout the day. And that it actually places a similar stress on wrestler mentally to be on weight 

Edit: the scenarios you listed in the other post are why I think it would get rolled back after one year even if it was adopted 

Simple concept.  Wrestlers should compete at or under their weight class in each match.  Allowing over-weight wrestlers to compete at a lower weight class is the root of the problem.

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4 minutes ago, jross said:

There are already variances in time between matches and minimum time.    If the kid misses weight one time in public, he is less likely to make that mistake again.

 

A good wrestler does not lose their match because they weigh 3lbs less than their competitor at match time.  

 

Simple concept.  Wrestlers should compete at or under their weight class in each match.  Allowing over-weight wrestlers to compete at a lower weight class is the root of the problem.

A wrestler should never be above their weight class when wrestling...and by allowing that to happen, it is the root cause of extreme weight cutting?  Come one man...seriously...SMH!!!  Ugh...

I think we should also control what our kids eat and drink and how much they consume of each.  They shall not ever deviate from the diet prescribed to them.  And maintaining an exact weight at all times with zero fluctuation is mandatory, or thow shall not wrestle. 

With this line of thinking wouldn't it just be easier and better for the KIDS to just say hey, what ever weight you weigh, you are going to wrestle one weight class above...there problem fixed...thanks jross...and actually if you would have just said that, it may have been a little more palatable then what you wrote...good God man...

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6 hours ago, dman115 said:

+100

Weird how some take this stance as "controversial"??  

The issue of bad weight cutting is a large complex problem, but at the same time isn't, changing the culture is where real change will happen...start with parents and coaches.  Get our star athletes to campaign against bad weight cutting.  Get our premier collage coaches to campaign against bad weight cutting.  Start at the youth level and teach the kids and parents to not do bad weight cutting.  Start doing some of these things, I can guarantee we see true change...and maybe wouldn't have to go to the logistical nightmare of having mat side weigh-ins.

Who makes culture?  The people in power?  What is the easiest way to change culture?  Change the people in power.  

Changing culture quickly through education is a fantasy. 

Case Study

People know the risks of being obese and the USA has an obesity problem.  Nobody wants to be obese and society places shame on the obese.  Most obese citizens have education on healthy eating.  Given nobody wants to be obese and they know what healthy eating is, why is there an obesity problem? 

There was a study at a movie theatre where two groups of people were given free movie tickets and free popcorn with endless refills.  The popcorn was several days old and tasted nasty.  Group 1 was given an XL bowl.  Group 2 was given a small bowl.  Which group do you think ate more of this terrible popcorn?  Group 1 ate 30% more. 

Who has the biggest control over nutrition in the family home?  It is the person that buys the groceries, prepares the food, and important - the size of the plate that the food is served on.  A family that eats off of a 9-inch plate will consume fewer calories than the family that eats off the standard 11/12-inch plate.  Change the plate size at home and you will reduce obesity.  Changing the environment is the 'easy' button to influence vital behaviors that deliver the desired result.

Change the environment

Mat side weigh-in is not perfect, however, it is the practical solution to next-level positive outcomes.  Mat side weigh-in skips the need to educate and motivate the wrestler, parent, coach, and peer.  It delivers behavior change within 1 year, and the education/motivation will make it even better.

Edited by jross

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2 minutes ago, jross said:

Who makes culture?  The people in power?  What is the easiest way to change culture?  Change the people in power.  

Changing culture through education is a fantasy. 

Case Study: 

People know the risks of being obese and the USA has an obesity problem.  Nobody wants to be obese and society places shame on the obese.  Most obese citizens have education on healthy eating.  Given nobody wants to be obese and they know what healthy eating is, why is there an obesity problem? 

There was a study at a movie theatre where two groups of people were given free movie tickets and free popcorn with endless refills.  The popcorn was several days old and tasted nasty.  Group 1 was given an XL bowl.  Group 2 was given a small bowl.  Which group do you think ate more of this terrible popcorn?  Group 1 ate 30% more. 

Who has the biggest control over nutrition in the family home?  It is the person that buys the groceries, prepares the food, and important - the size of the plate that the food is served on.  A family that eats off of a 9-inch plate will consume fewer calories than the family that eats off the standard 11/12-inch plate.  Change the plate size at home and you will reduce obesity.  Changing the environment is the 'easy' button to influence vital behaviors that deliver the desired result.

Mat side weigh-in is not perfect, however, it is the practical solution to next-level positive outcomes.  Mat side weigh-in skips the need to educate and motivate the wrestler, parent, coach, and peer.  It delivers behavior change within 1 year, and the education/motivation will make it even better.

Who are the people in power....the coaches and the parents!!  You proved it by your "case study".  Who changes the size of the plates?  Who makes the dinners?  Who buys the groceries?  THE PARENTS!  Then you turn around and literally said we should skip the need to educate and motivate the very PEOPLE that control the overall situation...how can you think is feasible, yet even plausible?  Should we all just be mindless drones that "the people in power" will tell us to eat certain foods on certain size plates??

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15 minutes ago, dman115 said:

A wrestler should never be above their weight class when wrestling...and by allowing that to happen, it is the root cause of extreme weight cutting?  Come one man...seriously...SMH!!!  Ugh...

I think we should also control what our kids eat and drink and how much they consume of each.  They shall not ever deviate from the diet prescribed to them.  And maintaining an exact weight at all times with zero fluctuation is mandatory, or thow shall not wrestle. 

With this line of thinking wouldn't it just be easier and better for the KIDS to just say hey, what ever weight you weigh, you are going to wrestle one weight class above...there problem fixed...thanks jross...and actually if you would have just said that, it may have been a little more palatable then what you wrote...good God man...

Close.  Take the top end of the daily weight fluctuation, and wrestle within that weight class.  Nobody is going to stop a wrestler from choosing to wrestle at a lighter weight, but they will need to accept the consequences of their weight mismanagement.  If they miss weight, it is a forfeit.  

On the extreme end of a personal experience, my last match in a tournament final was against a kid that had 12+ hours to gain 15 pounds.  It's bush-league.

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4 minutes ago, jross said:

Close.  Take the top end of the daily weight fluctuation, and wrestle within that weight class.  Nobody is going to stop a wrestler from choosing to wrestle at a lighter weight, but they will need to accept the consequences of their weight mismanagement.  If they miss weight, it is a forfeit.  

On the extreme end of a personal experience, my last match in a tournament final was against a kid that had 12+ hours to gain 15 pounds.  It's bush-league.

So.....Are you on this crusade because you don't like people knowing how to take advantage of a ruleset, or to truly protect some kids that end up with adverse affects due to extreme weight cutting?

Because, to me, if the kid could make it through a tournament to the finals and be 15 lbs over the weight class by that time(I was pretty close to that myself, several times) I would hold nothing against him.

Again, as long as you have weight classes there will ALWAYS be issues with health relative to weight management.  There is no perfect fix.  I say this openly admitting I get where your head is at.  I get why you think mat side weigh-ins could truly help fight against some of the dangerous methods.  However, overall, I just see it creating an entirely different set of problems for a sport that doesn't need any more...

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5 minutes ago, dman115 said:

Who are the people in power....the coaches and the parents!!  You proved it by your "case study".  Who changes the size of the plates?  Who makes the dinners?  Who buys the groceries?  THE PARENTS!  Then you turn around and literally said we should skip the need to educate and motivate the very PEOPLE that control the overall situation...how can you think is feasible, yet even plausible?  Should we all just be mindless drones that "the people in power" will tell us to eat certain foods on certain size plates??

The point.  The easiest solution to deliver results is to change the environment to make it easy for people to optimally behave.

  • If the goal of a family is to be healthier, the easiest solution for the people in charge is to serve food on a smaller plate.
    • The people in charge do not need to educate or motivate the kid, they just ensure the house has 9-inch plates rather than 12-inch plates.  
  • If the goal is healthier weight management, the easiest solution is for the people in charge to require mat-side weigh-ins.


The hardest part of my day job is to influence results, by driving change, across hundreds of employees that do not report to me.  The book "Influencer" is a gamechanger for influencing desired results.  This blog has a decent summary of the core concepts.

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Just now, jross said:

The point.  The easiest solution to deliver results is to change the environment to make it easy for people to optimally behave.

  • If the goal of a family is to be healthier, the easiest solution for the people in charge is to serve food on a smaller plate.
    • The people in charge do not need to educate or motivate the kid, they just ensure the house has 9-inch plates rather than 12-inch plates.  
  • If the goal is healthier weight management, the easiest solution is for the people in charge to require mat-side weigh-ins.


The hardest part of my day job is to influence results, by driving change, across hundreds of employees that do not report to me.  The book "Influencer" is a gamechanger for influencing desired results.  This blog has a decent summary of the core concepts.

Yet again, this is looking at things with a scientific method, without actually calculating the human element.  I have seen TONS of people go back for seconds and thirds REGARDLESS of the size of the plate.  On the flipside, you will have people leaving stuff on the plate because they don't want to "overeat".  By giving them an even smaller portion, you actually further help this subset that malnourishes themselves to begin with.

All these "controls" do, is change the parameters.  It will never be a fully controlled environment.  As long as we are allowed free will, you educate and then give them the choice.  This is how you manage weight correctly.  This is what can happen if you don't.  I will not support that latter and will strongly encourage the former.  After that, it is up to the wrestler...

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Just now, MSU158 said:

So.....Are you on this crusade because you don't like people knowing how to take advantage of a ruleset, or to truly protect some kids that end up with adverse affects due to extreme weight cutting?

Because, to me, if the kid could make it through a tournament to the finals and be 15 lbs over the weight class by that time(I was pretty close to that myself, several times) I would hold nothing against him.

Again, as long as you have weight classes there will ALWAYS be issues with health relative to weight management.  There is no perfect fix.  I say this openly admitting I get where your head is at.  I get why you think mat side weigh-ins could truly help fight against some of the dangerous methods.  However, overall, I just see it creating an entirely different set of problems for a sport that doesn't need any more...

Another experience.  I visited the hospital due to extreme weight loss as a direct result of pressure to compete at a lower weight.  Pressure to win.  Pressure to compete at a lower weight because another wrestler on the team would not make the cut.  I was better at multiple weights.  Also, I have experienced heat stroke and spent two days in bed in recovery.  

I did the trash bags, sweats, saunas, and starvation approach.  I'm from Kansas.  This latest incident in Kansas is horrible and not surprising due to wrestling culture.  Watch college matches and you can see the suffering of some of the elite wrestlers off the scales.  Watch senior men's wrestling and look at the lethargy off the scale.  It is no wonder the USA sometimes sends a national rep that underperforms against elite competition in their first international tourney match.

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2 minutes ago, MSU158 said:

Yet again, this is looking at things with a scientific method, without actually calculating the human element.  I have seen TONS of people go back for seconds and thirds REGARDLESS of the size of the plate.  On the flipside, you will have people leaving stuff on the plate because they don't want to "overeat".  By giving them an even smaller portion, you actually further help this subset that malnourishes themselves to begin with.

All these "controls" do, is change the parameters.  It will never be a fully controlled environment.  As long as we are allowed free will, you educate and then give them the choice.  This is how you manage weight correctly.  This is what can happen if you don't.  I will not support that latter and will strongly encourage the former.  After that, it is up to the wrestler...

Changing the environment will increase the percentage of desired results.  Scientific studies prove it.  I've had personal experience at work, coaching sports, and in my family.  There are always exceptions, agreed, however, the articulated approach provides better results than education alone.  It isn't even close.

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1 minute ago, jross said:

Another experience.  I visited the hospital due to extreme weight loss as a direct result of pressure to compete at a lower weight.  Pressure to win.  Pressure to compete at a lower weight because another wrestler on the team would not make the cut.  I was better at multiple weights.  Also, I have experienced heat stroke and spent two days in bed in recovery.  

I did the trash bags, sweats, saunas, and starvation approach.  I'm from Kansas.  This latest incident in Kansas is horrible and not surprising due to wrestling culture.  Watch college matches and you can see the suffering of some of the elite wrestlers off the scales.  Watch senior men's wrestling and look at the lethargy off the scale.  It is no wonder the USA sometimes sends a national rep that underperforms against elite competition in their first international tourney match.

I respect and appreciate your perspective.  You are obviously passionate about this topic and have the experience to understand both sides.  I just don't see it nearly as black and white as you do.

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7 minutes ago, jross said:

Changing the environment will increase the percentage of desired results.  Scientific studies prove it.  I've had personal experience at work, coaching sports, and in my family.  There are always exceptions, agreed, however, the articulated approach provides better results than education alone.  It isn't even close.

As I was hoping you would see, I am not a big fan of too much "controlled" change of the environment.  I am a big proponent of free will and education.  Here are the benefits.  Here are the consequences.  Be smart and reap the benefits.  Be not so smart, risk the consequences...

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6 hours ago, Mike Parrish said:

You guys keep saying matside weighins are a logistical nightmare, but I don't see it.

I've coached for 40 years and have done my share of big tournaments.

I see it as part of the beginning of the match.
Both wrestlers and their coaches show up at the table to check in.

Ref says, "OK,  you're red, step on the scale. OK. OK, You're blue, step on the scale. OK" and off we got to wrestle.
Missing weight would be like showing up without your shoes.
Come ready to wrestle or forfeit that match...


Can someone explain the 'logistical nightmare' scenario?

I don’t think it’s a “logistical nightmare,” but I do think some people are understating the additional time that will be required, particularly for large single day tournaments.  At best, we’re probably looking at about 20 seconds per match (could probably reduce it if there were 2 scales per mat).  Don’t some tournaments have like 450+ matches?  That’d be an extra 2 and a half hours.

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Again, I’m actually not opposed to matside weigh ins. Eh, better put, I don’t hate it like I hate other ideas. 

Though weight classes would have to be bumped up as well..

My main skepticism comes from the actual ability to get it passed as a rule then kept longer than a year. Something I think is being underestimated.

The one idea I think is a flat out hand wave and would result only in negative consequences is the insurance thing

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4 hours ago, jross said:

There are already variances in time between matches and minimum time.    If the kid misses weight one time in public, he is less likely to make that mistake again.

You missed both points. So maybe I wasn't clear enough.  The kid with the bye might have hours longer than the kids in the pigtails. 

When I said an issue at the scale I meant something a tad more serious than missing weight.

I was far more opposed to these ideas around twenty five years ago as another issue would likely have ended the sport on the spot with a crowd watching. Education has definitely improved the culture since then but it still is something to worry about.

As an aside, I personally think the problems back then might have been as much drug (diet drugs) related as simply losing to much weight. My understanding (no proof) is that the Creatine back then had some other things in it that could cause issues when avoiding water. It was made more for football.

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20 hours ago, gimpeltf said:

And you just added some time between each first round bout. What if there are byes? Does one guy get more time? 

And what happens if a kid has an issue on the scale in public?

Weigh in once per day or every other round? Not sure which would be better. I think a few regular season tournaments with this format and wrestlers/coaches will be able to find a good rhythm with multiple weigh ins. Kids would figure out how to manage or which weight class would be better in the system. Yes, people would complain(there have been plenty on this thread), because that's what people do when you change or threaten to change things. But they almost always figure out how to make it the new normal.  

It can be done in the tunnel or a back room. As matches get called in the hole. Giving each competitor about 10 mins to complete their warm up(assuming they've started, which I don't think anyone would be opposed to). 

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13 minutes ago, TwoPointTakeDown said:

Weigh in once per day or every other round? Not sure which would be better. I think a few regular season tournaments with this format and wrestlers/coaches will be able to find a good rhythm with multiple weigh ins. Kids would figure out how to manage or which weight class would be better in the system. Yes, people would complain(there have been plenty on this thread), because that's what people do when you change or threaten to change things. But they almost always figure out how to make it the new normal.  

It can be done in the tunnel or a back room. As matches get called in the hole. Giving each competitor about 10 mins to complete their warm up(assuming they've started, which I don't think anyone would be opposed to). 

Offhand, this is more reasonable than the usual mat-side suggestions. However, it reminds me of another issue I forgot to mention. You would still need a check-in process at about the same time frame as currently used for weighins. This is particularly true for opens. We can't draw brackets until we know who's there and at what intended weights.

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I think people are getting hung up on the operational minutiae.

The goal is to cut down on rapid cycling/dehydration.

Changing the structure of the competition to remove the incentive to do this is the goal.

 

Just because previous good faith efforts (beginning of season hydration testing) was gamed doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying to make things better.

Edited by Mike Parrish

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2 hours ago, gimpeltf said:

Offhand, this is more reasonable than the usual mat-side suggestions. However, it reminds me of another issue I forgot to mention. You would still need a check-in process at about the same time frame as currently used for weighins. This is particularly true for opens. We can't draw brackets until we know who's there and at what intended weights.

The point of all of this is to mitigate drastic weight cutting. I feel it would smooth out a bit of the chaos that you might be referencing. Not that a ton of athletes blow weight now, I would imagine it would be comparable or less with a newer system. If they do miss weight. Just gotta roll with it. People will figure it out. 

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