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rstrong

Replace NCAA folkstyle with freestyle - Is it time?

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Not sure I follow the logic here.  The top man is rewarded 2 points for a takedown, and then rewarded again for hanging in a spiral ride or dropping to a leg 10 times, never trying to turn the bottom wrestler?  Because that is what’s happening, and it’s worse than ever.  I think not allowing an escape it reward enough, do away with riding time, and maybe the top wrestler will figure its worth take some risk for a turn, as a rideout may be unlikely.  In the era Pat describes involves the top man actually trying to score.  That era doesn’t exist anymore.   You can’t go home again. That’s just life. 

 

Mat wresting is a colossal bore because the name of the game is hanging on, dropping to a leg, and eyeing the clock for riding time.   I personally appreciate mat wrestling as it is, but I can’t get ex-HS wrestler friends of mine to watch a Big Ten dual without getting distracted when the action goes to the mat. Riding is either a spiral, or parallel, with few attempts to turn.

 

As for the push out, I’ve come around the idea.  Every weekend for the next 3 months I’ll watch kids at 9 and 10 years old absolutely brawling to stay in bounds and not give up that point.  The idea that the push out makes causes neutral to become “Sumo” in nature only furthered by folks that don’t watch much Freestyle, because that has not been the case.  I was a skeptical as anyone, but sumo-like situations aren’t what the rule is producing.

 

Good neutral wrestling is the most exciting action to watch.  Anything we can do to put more of the emphasis on attacking, creative, explosive neutral wrestling is good for the sport, IMO.

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WRfan1

 

Actually, in my era it was more the bottom man trying to escape.  That era doesn't exist anymore because people in the sport think it's more important to compete than it is to coach...coaching is hard, competing twice a week is much easier.  You see, aside from the fact that we competed just once a week,  we spent a lot of our M-F practices learning how to keep our ankles and wrists free from the top man.  We worked on stand-ups ad nauseam, switches, and constant movement on bottom to create distance between our hips and our opponents that would give us the opportunity to get away, and to make the top man play "catch up."  We worked on freeing our ankles if they did get caught.  We worked on stopping the top man from putting in legs and if he did, we learned how to get out of them.  We practiced countering spirals.  By the way, it's difficult for anyone to "hang on" when you get to your feet or are in constant motion on bottom.....We used to be able to crotch the bottom man's ankle to keep his heel against butt...today it's called "stalling"...back then it was called..."too bad you let it happen and too bad you don't know how to counter it!"  Keep adding on the riding time.

 

We also worked a lot on stopping the bottom man's first move.  And there are at least 9-10 of those that need to be mastered.   Then, if he got to his feet, we had to learn how to get him back to the mat and not just let him go because we didn't have a clue..which is what I see happening today.  It's a science and an art.  Science and art generally aren't easy things.

 

Penalize the guy on top who has mastered the art of control because the bottom man hasn't done his homework or his coach is not  educated enough to convey the principles of escaping. It's a common mentality today; instead of working hard on learning those difficult and labor intensive techniques, change the rules so it's easier for the less successful/inept.  This concept makes my head hurt.

 

I believe we have gotten lazy coaching top/bottom wrestling.  The positions are not boring, it's the coaching.  If we spent more time in the room, M-F, practicing the techniques to escape/ride instead of wrestling 50-60 matches a year, the game would be more exciting.

 

Folkstyle is the foundation of this nation's wrestling.  What's killing folkstyle is the integration of the freestyle mentality.  It's the very reason people, like yourself, complain that top and bottom wrestling is boring.  These guys wrestle freestyle in the off-season and, therefore, stop learning how to do the top and bottom wrestling (if they even understood it to begin with). Of course they like freestyle.  They don't have to learn how to ride and get out!  Let's just wrestle on our feet.  Unfortunately, this lack of wrestling education carries over to collegiate wrestling and then the complaints come.  Of course it's boring, freestyle has influenced it.

 

We need to change to freestyle because we compete once every four years in the Olympics?  How about introducing folkstyle to the rest of the world?  I think they won't like it because it's too hard... they'd have to learn how to escape and ride instead of flattening out on bottom...

 

I was taught that the objective of the game was to get my hand raised.  Since I only pinned two guys in high school and two guys in college, you would have hated to watch me wrestle.  I have a vast collection of ankles on my mantle.

 

The push-out rule?  I wish I had a nickel for all the hours we spent on learning how to chase guy down, without getting "ambushed" as my dad called it.  Learning how to score on the edge of the mat when a guy wants to get out is a science and so is learning how to make your opponent wrestle in the center.  Pushing isn't wrestling...it's....pushing!  Now that's exciting!  That rule alone should pack the gymnasiums.

 

Top and bottom wrestling is not the interest killer in wrestling as you imply.  There are a multitude of issues that make our sport difficult to accept by the masses...The ever changing and difficult to understand "rules", all day/night tournaments, year round wrestling/competition, diminished emphasis on dual meet rivalries, too much wrestling in general..to name a few.  

 

I rarely comment on any forum, but every now and then I see something that inspires me and I believe the movement to eliminate folkstyle in favor of freestyle will definitely be the nail in the coffin for this sport in America.  At least I know I won't be watching. 

Edited by patmilkovich

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Well, we just completely disagree.  No biggie.  I understand  your argument, but I just don't buy it. I regularly see guys give up on attempting to maintain traditional top control in favor hanging in a sprial and bailing down onto a leg early. The ensuing stalemate position yield top 30 seconds of riding time, when all they were  doing was hanging on a leg.  Sorry, but I don't remember near as much of that 30 years ago, and it wasn't because coaches taught more sit outs. That is a very common situation these days and no one will get me to believe that situation was the type of "control" that the rules committee had in mind when riding time was instituted.  And regardless of the why or how mat wrestling is a bore  - for most people it is.  Again, try to get a casual wrestling fan to watch a college dual when the match goes to the mat, and you can count the yawns.

 

Same for pushouts.  College wrestlers too often play the line, and its for one reason - to use the out of bounds line if they get in trouble.  College mats are plenty big, these guys would adjust to the push-out in no time and keep the action in the middle of the mat. I see no down side to this rule. 

 

Since UWW changed the rules a couple years ago, I enjoy Freestyle more than folk for the first time since the late 80's.  For those of us who grew up with Freestyle, its a lot more than something we do to compete once a every four years, and is just as valid a format as Folkstyle. I'd like to see the data showing how a freestyle shift would be the nail in the coffin of wrestling (assuming the nail isn't already in the coffin) I don't think it exists.

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UWW changed due to an existential threat. It's better now with the push out, and no more 2 out of three, or ball grabs, 6pt. techs, etc.

 

NCAA wrestling will eventually be confronted in the same way simply from the glaring contrast between FS and folk. People will see that FS is generally better and folk will get pressured in that direction, probably a hybrid change, not a total switch over.

 

First pressure point could be the adoption of a modified pushout on the feet from backing out without aggressiveness (offensive action). To me this a point and a stall warning- -both! This is really pissing people off because refs won't call it right away. The push out should punish only the defender, especially blatant back outs, but not the aggressive initiator who in this case should be rewarded not punished. I'd bet wrestlers would circle in a lot more just like we now see in FS where it applies it to either wrestler, offensive or defensive.

 

modified PO = third rail = action in middle = less frustrated fans. We worry too much about making sure the right wrestler wins but this applies to both guys who have the option to be aggressive or roll the dice with passivity. Start worrying instead about the future of the sport and what works and what doesn't courtesy of UWW..

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I think something needs to change.  A lot of hard core wrestling fans I know are fed up with how defensive college folkstyle wrestling has become.  People remember guys stalling out of matches and now people wrestling the same way might get warned or give up one point.

 

If it is too boring for many actual wrestling fans that is a problem.

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A takedown should be awarded when a wrestler is actually "taken down" to the mat and controlled, not when one pinky may have touched  the mat.

 

Shouldn't have to go to video to determine a takedown.  This crap needs to end, new fans have a tough enough time understanding the sport.

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Pat Milkovich,

 

Thanks for your additions and you make some really great points.

 

However, I think you answered your own arguments when you said, "If we spent more time in the room, M-F, practicing the techniques to escape/ride instead of wrestling 50-60 matches a year, the game would be more exciting." That is how the sport has progressed whether any of us like it or not. I don't remember when that change took place (I am guessing sometime in the 1990s), but that's where we are as of today. Coaches, parents and athletes have almost all made that change by their actions. Instead of a retrospective on how it used to be, I'd be more interested in reading about what can be done about addressing this situation that some see as a problem within the sport.

 

As for the push out rule, that's in name only. I forget the term that UWW uses, but it's not technically a push out. A few other posters in this thread have already dispelled that misnomer and everyone can see that the overwhelming majority of one point penalties for leaving the mat take place during a takedown attempt, not during a slap fight at the edge of the wrestling area where one guy ducks out just to not have to take a hard collar tie or avoid engagement. These guys have learned the rules and stay engaged near the center of the mat now, which is not always the case with American Folkstyle. 

 

Also, there was one previous poster who stated something to the effect that we shouldn't change things simply for the benefit of six guys every four years (and eight in the three years in between). Exactly, you don't change for those six or eight people. That argument is tired and ignorant. You make changes for the benefit of everyone involved in the sport for the long-term growth of wrestling. The rules don't change the dreams of the competitors. You'll still have kids who don't wrestle after one year; after high school; or after college. What you will find is that you do have more guys participating post-collegiately and when those numbers begin to swell past the 150 mark or so we currently have, then people see evolving growth and depth. When people see growth, then they begin to see opportunity. When they see opportunity, then they begin to want to align with what is going on and financial support (and power) follows.

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What is called potentially dangerous now, wasn't called 30 years ago. It used to be if you could turn over it wasn't potentially dangerous.

Most wrestlers today have no idea of how to get out on bottom. They don't know how to post over an ankle, force a gizoni, execute a pivot sitout, etc. Stan Abel would tell his guys I want you to explode on bottom like a Nike missle being launched, he expected you to score an escape in under 10 seconds.

 

The starting position on top has been changed in recent years, now you can't lineup past the opponent's knees. This makes it harder to get weight on the upper back, near shoulder when the whistle blows. When I see guys on bottom do the tripod stsndup, i wish they'd try that against Wade Schalles who would have slapped on a cradle.

 

The problem with mat wrestling is neither the top or bottom man is taking risks. When a guy starts on his knees and gets broken down flat it isn't a stalemate, the top man is dominating.

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What is called potentially dangerous now, wasn't called 30 years ago. It used to be if you could turn over it wasn't potentially dangerous.

Most wrestlers today have no idea of how to get out on bottom. They don't know how to post over an ankle, force a gizoni, execute a pivot sitout, etc. Stan Abel would tell his guys I want you to explode on bottom like a Nike missle being launched, he expected you to score an escape in under 10 seconds.

 

The starting position on top has been changed in recent years, now you can't lineup past the opponent's knees. This makes it harder to get weight on the upper back, near shoulder when the whistle blows. When I see guys on bottom do the tripod stsndup, i wish they'd try that against Wade Schalles who would have slapped on a cradle.

 

The problem with mat wrestling is neither the top or bottom man is taking risks. When a guy starts on his knees and gets broken down flat it isn't a stalemate, the top man is dominating.

 

 

If he is dominating so much.  He should turn him.  If he doesn't make serious attempts to, he is stalling.  You are correct.  It is not a stalemate.

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Someone should do really candid interviews with the Chris Perry's of the world. (I know there are many guys who like to ride, but he stood out as someone who is pretty proficient with tds as a freestylers but won on the mat in college). Clearly someone like Perry was fine winning via riding even though it meant lots of close matches. Ask him what rule changes would have made him wrestle more offensively.

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Stan Abel asked me last year after Andrew Howe beat Chris Perry, how Perry could win. I replied win on riding time. Had Chris Perry tried to apply his farside headlock on Jeff Callard, jeff would have reversed him quickly with a Gizoni. Jeff would "force" the Gizoni on bottom, snd I don't remember anyone riding him for more than 15 seconds in a match. Smart wrestlers and coaches always figure out how to win under the rules that exist or are applied. A couple of times an OSU wrestler had an OU wrestler flat with legs in and a power half. The referee declared a stalemate, John was livid, i think he was justified, because i think a turn would have occurred in 10-20 seconds.

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Stan Abel asked me last year after Andrew Howe beat Chris Perry, how Perry could win. I replied win on riding time. Had Chris Perry tried to apply his farside headlock on Jeff Callard, jeff would have reversed him quickly with a Gizoni. Jeff would "force" the Gizoni on bottom, snd I don't remember anyone riding him for more than 15 seconds in a match. Smart wrestlers and coaches always figure out how to win under the rules that exist or are applied. A couple of times an OSU wrestler had an OU wrestler flat with legs in and a power half. The referee declared a stalemate, John was livid, i think he was justified, because i think a turn would have occurred in 10-20 seconds.

 

And we saw this happen on the international level with the Russians from 2005 through 2014 with the various rule sets of that decade. The Russians didn't bother with it becoming caught up in the belly aching that was taking place here in the U.S., they just figured out how to keep winning and racked up a grand total of 54 medals (33G, 8B, 13S) in that time. In 2007 alone, the Rooskies won six of the seven weight classes. By contrast, the U.S. managed 18 medals (7G, 1S and 10B) from 2005-2014, while you had guys like Ben Askren say he was quitting because he didn't like the rules.

 

Wrestling is evolving at the demands of the coaches and athletes. This seems to be where the world in general is going, with a bottom up approach in a lot of cases (excluding politics) as opposed to a top down method. At some point, collegiate wrestling in the United States of America is going to have to adopt that same method or we are going to continue to watch programs slide off the table because they're not profitable for the colleges and universities who support them and money talks.

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Tofurky,

The Supreme Court would agree. Money is speech... and a corporation is a person even though it doesn't need a passport; and I've got my wallet up to my ear...dead silence.

Edited by Cooch1

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I think something needs to change.  A lot of hard core wrestling fans I know are fed up with how defensive college folkstyle wrestling has become.  People remember guys stalling out of matches and now people wrestling the same way might get warned or give up one point.

 

If it is too boring for many actual wrestling fans that is a problem.

 

You make a point about "how defensive college wrestling has become."

 

Okay….In FS bottom man flattens out. Flat tummy to the mat… continues for much of the FS match. Exciting ?

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Most wrestlers today have no idea of how to get out on bottom. They don't know how to post over an ankle, force a gizoni, execute a pivot sitout, etc. Stan Abel would tell his guys I want you to explode on bottom like a Nike missle being launched, he expected you to score an escape in under 10 seconds.

 

 

It's hard to believe that it's been almost 12 months since you threw out the classic line, "no one knows how to gizoni anymore!" I really missed that. 

Edited by GranbyTroll

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