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wnywrestling

More on crowning a dual meet champion...

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Pretend for a moment that there are only 8 college wrestling teams in the country. How would the schedule look? Well, the 8 teams would likely round robin each other throughout the season, and the team with the best record would be the dual meet champion. They might even round robin twice (Home and Away). Then, at the end of the season there would be a championship tournament where the individual champions are determined, as well as a tournament team champion.

 

Now let's say there are 16 teams in the country. You might split the teams into two pools of 8. The pools would round robin, and then there would be crossover duals to determine the overall place finishes (1st through 16th). This is nothing novel, many interscholastic leagues have been doing this for years. Again, at the end of the season, there would be a championship tournament as before.

 

This same concept could be expanded to 32 teams, except that there would be four pools of 8 and then a "final four" crossover dual. There might even be consolation finals fours for those teams who didn't win their pools (to determine 5th place and below). And if there were 64 teams, there would be 8 pools of 8 and an "elite eight" cross over dual. Of course, there would still be a championship tournament as before.

 

I think, if this basic concept were actually put into place, dual meet attendance would reach all-time highs, especially for the most meaningful meets. Conference dual meets and beyond would become extremely important. It's easy to understand and each team's goal would be simple: place as high as possible in your pool/conference and make it to the "big show."

 

Now let's say that they want to decide an "overall" team champion based on the combined results of the dual meet season and the championship tournament. One simple way would be to add up the place finishes from both the dual meet season, and the lowest sum would win. For instance, if you took 1st in the dual meet season, but 5th in the championship tournament, your sum would be 6. If you took 2nd in the dual meet season, but 1st in the tournament, your sum would be 3. In this case, 3 beats 6 in the overall team standings. But what if there's a tie? For instance, if one team took 1st dual meets and 2nd in the tournament, and another took 2nd in dual meets and 1st in the tournament. Both add to 3. I would award the overall championship to the team that won their head-to-head dual.

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A problem with this approach, BTW, is when the best teams are in the same pool. For example, what if the team that wins the national tournament finished 2nd in their pool and didn't qualify for the dual meet finals? Thus their overall placement would be unfairly low. We would want to avoid such a scenario somehow, perhaps by awarding wildcards into the dual meet finals.

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