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I’m definitely in favor of doing away with neckties, they have always seemed like a most useless article of clothing!

 

Having to wear a tie was among the reasons why I chose not to pursue a career in consulting.  So I guess some people do choose their jobs (or their sports) based on the uniform.

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Having to wear a tie was among the reasons why I chose not to pursue a career in consulting.  So I guess some people do choose their jobs (or their sports) based on the uniform.

 

That’s a good point! It really does make a difference, and I would think that in a sport like wrestling being comfortable with the uniform is even more important.

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This is a no brainer.  Singlets look ridiculous, everyone outside of the wrestling world thinks so and some of us on the inside are open minded enough to realize this.  Should we go shirtless?  Absolutely not IMO, but board shorts and a short sleeve rash guard type shirt is the obvious answer.  No one would grab the shorts.  They don't do that in MMA and they wouldn't do it in wrestling.  Do people grab your shorts in practice...no.  If they do it in a match, penalize them.  Problem solved.  The only people who argue against a change haven't been around a large group of young middle school-high school aged kids outside of the wrestling world.

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Singlets look ridiculous to people who know nothing about wrestling and frankly don’t want to give wrestling a chance. Blaming the uniform is a lame cope out. And they look a lot less ridiculous than the swimmers in their tiny speedos but that hasn’t made them so insecure they change their uniform.

 

And I’ve seen people grab shorts plenty in practice.

Edited by HuskyHero133

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people make fun of swimmers for their tiny bathing suits all the time. thats like the number one thing anyone ever brings up around swimmers. it was a funny joke in the movie Ted. 

 

plus whats the downside of giving kids an alternative? if theyre not brave enough to wear the singlet they dont deserve to be associated with the sport?

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I don't follow swimming closely, but from the little I watch on tv it looks like the tiny speedo is pretty much gone, and I know the youth swimmers at the local pool are sporting the jam cut or whatever you call it as well. and I know some of those kids / parents probably would have issue with the speedo. 

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Singlets look ridiculous to people who know nothing about wrestling and frankly don’t want to give wrestling a chance. Blaming the uniform is a lame cope out. And they look a lot less ridiculous than the swimmers in their tiny speedos but that hasn’t made them so insecure they change their uniform.

 

And I’ve seen people grab shorts plenty in practice.

 

I know quite a bit about wrestling and I think they look ridiculous.  It's not a lame cop out.  I'd bet, like I mentioned in my last post, you've never been around large groups of middle school and high school kids outside of wrestling.  Swimmers have options and there aren't many overweight kids swimming.  Get a group of 20 middle school kids who don't wrestle and ask their opinion of the singlet.  I guarantee their answers begin with a chuckle.

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Let's also remember swimmers are underwater for the bulk of their time at practice and their preformance in front of a crowd. Helps when your covered by water in the pool and then usually some type of swim jacket outside of it. While their is some bit if uncomfortableness to get over with their "uniform" At the start the fact that water is skewing the view does help participants get used it. It's not like the traditional swimming attire is exactly drawing MS kids in, but the fact the water helps abscure the view probably helps some ease into the comfort level if they decide to at least try it out.

 

Wrestlers on the other hand are slightly more on display for the crowd and are physically touching someone wearing the same uniform. For a MS age kid, as well as many parents, that aspect of the sport isa hard thing to get past. It's hard enough for many kids to get used to such a tough sport to start with, so the uniform just adds a little more to the doubt of if its their thing.

 

I say if a slight modification in the uniform (long length rash guard tucked into close fitting shorts would be my suggestion) would helps just a little with getting past the uneasiness then it's worth exploring. If wwe can find ways to get kids to try wrestling and begin to be comfortable with the sport in the elementary and MS levels then many more would grow to enjoy the sport and be invested enough in it that a transition later in HS to a singlet wouldn't be as much of a deal breaker.

Edited by MadMardigain

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I know quite a bit about wrestling and I think they look ridiculous. It's not a lame cop out. I'd bet, like I mentioned in my last post, you've never been around large groups of middle school and high school kids outside of wrestling. Swimmers have options and there aren't many overweight kids swimming. Get a group of 20 middle school kids who don't wrestle and ask their opinion of the singlet. I guarantee their answers begin with a chuckle.

If your opinion was even close to the majority in the wrestling community the singlet would have been gone years ago.

 

But even after the two piece came around people didn't flock to it... The singlet was still what people chose to wear.

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If your opinion was even close to the majority in the wrestling community the singlet would have been gone years ago.

 

But even after the two piece came around people didn't flock to it... The singlet was still what people chose to wear.

 

What most guys prefer is not the two piece, but the shirtless option. These survey results suggest shirtless options were preferred two to one over a singlet or two piece options. I think that loose fit shorts with a rash guard make a good option for guys who are particularly self-conscious, but the survey suggested that most guys do not prefer that option. The most popular option was actually compression shorts with no shirt, which suggest that I over-estimate the number of guys who are self-conscious about a uniform that is tight in crotch area. 

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I don’t think the point is so much that the singlet is bad and hurting the sport as that there are benefits to offering other options and there is no real reason not to (or at least the benefits might outweigh any minor downsides). One of the benefits is that some guys are averse to the singlet (which I really think is due more to the specific cut of the singlet rather than it’s tightness, since the most preferred uniform option seems to be compression shorts that are just as tight). So it might encourage participation if some other options were available. One of the reasons for suggesting the options is that many existing wrestlers (a majority according to the survey) prefer other uniform options, like compression shorts. Why shouldn’t they be able to wear what they are more comfortable with? I think that shirtless uniforms will also be popular with spectators, in part because it highlights muscular tension and enhances your view of the action.

The point is not to do away with the singlet, either; just to allow other options for guys who prefer them. Just like submission wrestling tournaments usually allow a variety of uniforms and tops are optional. In general, I think this works just fine.

I think grabbing is a valid, but manageable, objection to the option of loose fit shorts. While well made fight shorts like Sprawl don’t really get in the way, they can be grabbed. But this can be addressed by assessing penalties. Some submission wrestling events work this way and it doesn’t seem to be a huge problem. But the loose fit shorts were the most opposed option; I think it needs more analysis to determine if the option is really worthwhile, although personally I tend to think that it should be an option.

While skin-borne disease is definitely a concern with wrestling, the same concern holds for submission grappling and MMA and I don’t think the singlet versus compression shorts really makes much difference. There is plenty of skin to skin contact either way, and avoiding or minimizing contact is not the primary way of preventing transmission. The main things are regularly checking wrestlers for signs of infection, cleaning the mats, and showering before and after matches. If you really wanted to prevent transmission by preventing skin to skin contact, you need to ditch the singlet in favor of a mandatory full-body suit. I really don’t see that happening.

So there are really several reasons for promoting alternate uniform options, and I think the preference of current wrestlers is a big one. There is more to it that just overcoming prospective wrestlers’ aversion to the singlet; that’s really just one of several potential benefits, although I do think it is a valid one.

 

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What most guys prefer is not the two piece, but the shirtless option. These survey results suggest shirtless options were preferred two to one over a singlet or two piece options. I think that loose fit shorts with a rash guard make a good option for guys who are particularly self-conscious, but the survey suggested that most guys do not prefer that option. The most popular option was actually compression shorts with no shirt, which suggest that I over-estimate the number of guys who are self-conscious about a uniform that is tight in crotch area. 

 

 

I REALLY question this survey. If its the same one that's been brought up by a few people lets just say that there are serious questions as to if it means anything.

 

First of all its promoted on a very easily made blog called "shirtless freedom", clearly the whole reason for the site is to push for that. Second, and this is even admitted by the shirtless freedom blog This was not a scientific survey (participants were self-selected, not random, which may bias the results).

 

Come on... i'm not against choices but using that survey as evidence to support changing away from the singlet doesn't hold up.

 

And minimizing skin to skin contact (like with a singlet that only has arms and calf's exposed) is a good way to avoid skin borne infections.  Ringworm, impetigo, staph, etc are spread through skin-to-skin contact exacerbated when the participants are sweaty, and by touching items that came into contact with said sweat without washing.

 

Yes skin checks, showers, and mat cleaning are important but they aren't the only way to minimize the risk.

 

http://www.arrowrockwrestling.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Contagious-Skin-Conditions-.pdf

Edited by HuskyHero133

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I REALLY question this survey. If its the same one that's been brought up by a few people lets just say that there are serious questions as to if it means anything.

 

First of all its promoted on a very easily made blog called "shirtless freedom", clearly the whole reason for the site is to push for that. Second, and this is even admitted by the shirtless freedom blog This was not a scientific survey (participants were self-selected, not random, which may bias the results).

 

Come on... i'm not against choices but using that survey as evidence to support changing away from the singlet doesn't hold up.

 

And minimizing skin to skin contact (like with a singlet that only has arms and calf's exposed) is a good way to avoid skin borne infections.  Ringworm, impetigo, staph, etc are spread through skin-to-skin contact exacerbated when the participants are sweaty, and by touching items that came into contact with said sweat without washing.

 

Yes skin checks, showers, and mat cleaning are important but they aren't the only way to minimize the risk.

 

http://www.arrowrockwrestling.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Contagious-Skin-Conditions-.pdf

 

I definitely agree that is a BIG caveat on the results of that survey and I would really like to see someone do a larger, scientific survey on the subject. That said, it is currently the only survey I have found to address the question and it does seem consistent with my personal experience. At the very least, I think the results of that survey should prompt someone to do a better survey!

 

I still don't believe covering a little more or less skin will make much difference in the transmission rate of skin-borne diseases. There is nothing special about the areas of skin covered by a singlet and not by compression shorts that makes them more likely to carry skin-borne pathogens. There is going to be significant skin to skin contact either way. And if the precise surface area exposed makes that big of a difference, then it should be an equally good argument to go to full body suits and cover absolutely as much skin as possible. But athletes like submission wrestlers and MMA fighters who train and compete bare chested all of the time don’t seem to have some ridiculously increased risk of these things. Neither, for that matter, does it seem to be a major concern for the many wrestlers who train this way in practice. I really don’t think this is a sound reason to oppose the option.

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Some guys have been talking for a while about alternatives to the singlet as a wrestling uniform. The most popular choice seems to be compression shorts with no shirt. Now, we are starting a petition to get this approved as an official uniform option. What do you think about alternative uniform options? Would you wear something like that if you had the choice? What do you wear in training? How do you think it would affect the perception and popularity of the sport?

 

Personally, I would much rather wrestle in compression shorts with no shirt. I don't really have a problem with the singlet, although I know guys that do, but I prefer the compression shorts. To me, they are more comfortable than a singlet, and definitely more comfortable than shorts and a t-shirt I have worn to practice in the past. They are also cheaper and easier to find than singlets. And there is something about going shirtless that just makes you feel stronger and more virile. That's why I like to lift shirtless, too (aside from the cooling, sweat, and comfort issues).

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I bet for competition you could get custom printed shorts with team colors and logos, too, if there was a demand for it. Probably with drawstrings and those grippy bands in the legs, too. They would probably be a lot nicer than just the compression shorts you pick up off the shelf.

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I bet for competition you could get custom printed shorts with team colors and logos, too, if there was a demand for it. Probably with drawstrings and those grippy bands in the legs, too. They would probably be a lot nicer than just the compression shorts you pick up off the shelf.

 

Yea, that is kind of what I picture. Of course, if you make it official, plenty of companies are going to step up to meet the demand.

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For female wrestling, I agree. Compression shorts are the way to go. As for men, I don't need to see them in tight shorts. Ever. Fight shorts are a popular product for a reason (people like the way they look).

 

I know a lot of guys who train in compression shorts. A lot of MMA fighters and submission grapplers still wear the tight shorts, they call them “vale tudo” shorts (although they are also referred to as fight shorts, just like the loose-fit variety). They aren’t any tighter or more revealing in the crotch area than a singlet. I think the petition leaves it open to include an option for loose-fit shorts, too, but specifically requests that shirts/tops should be optional.

https://www.change.org/p/nfhs-allow-compression-shorts-or-trunks-to-be-worn-as-an-official-alternative-to-the-singlet-in-wrestling

Edited by Jmccoll99

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As for going shirtless, according to Mark Palmer's article, Is this the swan song for singlets in college wrestling?, one of the reasons singlets/shirts-that-fasten-at-crotch became a requirement (shirts were once optional) was to prevent your shorts from being pulled-down mid-match.

 

Modesty may have been a factor. More than one “old school” mat star mentioned incidents where, during a match, a wrestler’s genitals were exposed. (In fact, the NCAA rules requiring shirts use the phrase “to prevent unseemly exposure.”)

I assume the rules committee knows of this potential problem (which could even lead to lawsuits or whatever, not to mention the increased risk of skin infections not only from your opponent but the mat itself) and will not consider the shirtless option. That's probably why the NFHSA never approved the rash guard & tights option, and why I suggest a short-sleeved leotard (that looks like a rash guard but can't be untucked) & fight shorts. I think this would bring more kids and fans to the sport.

 

Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.

Edited by wnywrestling

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Singlets are obviously not an issue for those who have been involved with the sport for many years. There is no sense at this point to change college level wrestling uniforms. As of right now, singlets are the most comfortable and effective uniform.

 

I would say compression shorts/fight shorts and shirtless would be a reasonable possibility, however have any of you actually wrestled without a shirt on? When wrestling without a shirt, sweat builds up extremely quickly and mat wrestling becomes very difficult. Compared to MMA, there is much more chest to back contact when wrestling on the mat, therefore it can get really slippery...really quickly. As for freestyle, imagine trying to gut wrench a guy with no singlet.

 

The real problem lies in the younger aged kids. Just as many guys have stated, younger kids who are thinking about joining wrestling are immediately turned off by the mockery that their fellow classmates will unleash when they step on the mat in a singlet. I witnessed this first hand even at the high school level. Although I was successful enough to get by the fun-making I still heard comments like 'I would never wear one of those things.' Why turn off kids before they even start.

 

This is a direct contrast to the current rise of MMA. MMA has become 'cool' to the average kid. Even when I was in high school a few years ago, random kids would come up to me and ask me to help them learn wrestling so they would be better at MMA. There were kids in my school who chose to go to MMA gyms and take jiu-jitsu and wrestling classes there, but they refused to join the wrestling team. The reason? They didn't want to be caught dead in a singlet.

 

Wrestling needs to change its ways if it wishes to piggy back on the explosive growth of MMA. Wrestling needs to become 'cool' just as MMA has joined football and other mainstream sports. Changing wrestling in ways that make it more similar to MMA is vital. After all, wrestling is in itself a martial art, why not market it as such and gain some fans who already follow MMA.

 

Younger athletes need to convert to fight shorts and short sleeve under armor tops. This will allow the stigma associated singlets to go out the window in the youth wrestling world.

 

Wrestling is a bottom up sport. As much as people would like to argue that David Taylor and Kyle Dake make kids want to wrestle, they are wrong. The only people who know these names are people already involved in the wrestling world. The way that kids get introduced to the wrestling world is by local coaches and affiliates of the sport who bring them along to practice one night. Or, it is the high school star's younger brother who invites his friends to come practice where they fall in love with the sport. 

 

We need wrestling at this level to be more appealing to the average kid. By changing singlets to fight shorts and a compression top, kids can feel like they are training to be in the UFC. Which for some wrestling has become the perfect pre-UFC path. i.e. Cormier, Hendricks, Askren (OneFc). Thus, there are a multitude of other changes that could/should be made in youth/high school wrestling to attract more participants, but that is for a different discussion.

 

In all, wrestling needs to attract more participants at the ground level so that we can build a large fan base for those at the higher level. The first step to this is doing away with singlets at youth tournaments and making fight shorts/compression tops a mandatory uniform.

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Based on personal experience, shorts getting pulled down is not an issue if you have good shorts with a drawstring. For that matter, it is almost a non-issue even with well-fitted compression shorts with no drawstring, they just stick to your body too well. I’m sure the materials and so forth have improved over the last few decades. Wrestlers used to wear trunks and such made of materials like wool or cotton, rather than spandex. It’s also notable that some of the governing bodies do allow an option for shorts and a separate rash guard, indicating the issue is not the possibility of shorts getting pulled down. It also doesn’t seem to be an issue for MMA fighters and submission grapplers in very similar situations. I’m not so sure they won’t consider the shirtless option, FILA has already been considering it.

I really think any increase risk of spreading infections would be negligible and a non-issue. MMA fighters and submission grapplers who routinely train and compete shirtless have not found this to be an issue.

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Fight shorts that are well made will not get pulled down.  Different brands have different methods of closure, but many have multiple velcro strips with fold over seams and strings, etc, and are basically bombproof.  The fabric will rip long before the shorts get pulled down, and under those circumstances singlet material would also rip.  

 

Going shirtless would be fine, but will not be an option simply due to the perception of an increase in skin infections.  It might not be an issue, but simply the threat of increased skin infection are enough to take it off the table.  Currently, the most common areas to see skin infections are the face, head, neck, arms, and regions of the chest that are uncovered.  One could make the argument that those are all regions that are uncovered, and if you go shirtless, you will only increase the susceptible areas.  And it would be hard to argue against that, even if it isn't true.  

 

And if we're talking about kids (high school and below), which many in this thread are.....the kids that don't want to wear singlets probably don't want to go shirtless either.  So that leaves the main option which would likely be most popular being fight shorts and a compression top.  Many guys like compression shorts, and if they prefer those they could wear them, but looser fitting fight shorts don't get in the way of wrestling.  Thousands of wrestlers train in those type of shorts, and i've never seen the shorts get in the way of any wrestling moves. 

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I have definitely changed my opinion on this topic over time. If you've already grown up in the sport -- at least in my lifetime -- I once thought that the singlet was tradition and a true wrestler should embrace it. Wrestling builds the kind of confidence that lets you be a B.A. who rocks that uniform. In my elitist view, if you couldn't handle the singlet you didn't belong in the brotherhood. But that's clearly out of touch with the average kid who would be well served by wrestling.

 

So it seems like most people in this thread agree that there needs to be a change. How does it happen? I don't think you can just start making board shorts and compression shirts optional. Nobody wants to be the only kid in the pool wearing a t-shirt and floaties. If change is to happen, it has to be mandatory.

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One coach seems to have taken a strong stance on this:

“As head coach of Western CT Wrestling/Grappling Team and MMA (Aggressive Combat Sports) Hall of Famer, I train and compete in both singlet and compression shorts. I believe all competitors should have the option to wear either garment according to their comfortability level about it. http://www.ummact.net http://www.usatvtalk.com nbruhn@comcast.net (203) 788-0416”
He shared his comments both on the petition 
and on Facebook.

Edited by Jmccoll99

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