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State Classification Numbers

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Interesting to look at the states that often find themselves in the discussion for the best high school wrestling states. (We don't need to debate which states are the best)

 

Look at the differences in the number of participants per state title awarded.

 

State - Wrestlers - Champions - Wrestlers per Champion

California - 27,462 - 14 - 1,962

New Jersey - 10,276 - 14 - 734

Indiana - 7,512 - 14 - 537

New York - 13,668 - 30 - 456

Illinois - 16,022 - 42 - 381

Pennsylvania - 9,760 - 28 - 349

Ohio - 11,430 - 42 - 272

Minnesota - 8,236 - 42 - 196

Michigan - 10,179 - 56 - 182

Iowa - 6,773 - 42 - 161

Oklahoma - 3,609 - 56 - 64

 

 

I would say California could afford some more divisions without hurting the prestige of the award.

Edited by Pinnum

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Sticks said:

 

It is very difficult to place in a state as large as California. It is even more difficult to get everybody to agree on the best system. In states that have multiple division, they do not not have a state champion (because a is singular). They have a large school champion and a small school champion, but not a state champion. California had over 38 million people. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Indiana, Missouri, and Oklahoma have less than 33 million people. Combined those states have 22 division champions.

 

That means 4 of those finalist would not even have qualified for the California State tourney. My son was a state qualifier last year and split the field. He was recruited just on the fact that he qualified for the California tourney. That is a college coach that was doing the math. After beating a small school champ from Nevada after his junior year, my son asked if maybe we could move to Nevada for his senior year.  He was offered a partial wrestling scholarship.

 

If a kid wants to wrestle at the next level he needs to market himself, and be willing to move out of state. He can't blame the single division tourney.  I know when I talk about my son and I mention that he is a state qualifier it doesn't mean much to anybody else, but he and I both know what a big deal it is. He worked year around and wrestled almost 200 matches in the off season over his last two years. He would have liked to have made it to the second day, but when he was eliminated from the tourney he knew he gave it everything he had.  That was a priceless lesson he learned from wrestling.

Edited by Grappler69

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I don't believe that the amount of qualifiers for a current year should be based on performance during the prior year. I was so glad when the NCAA did away with their version of that.

 

I see complaints about how a low bar is set for being a state champ in NY nowadays. I have to chuckle. When I looked closely at NY (about 10-11 years ago), my read was that too low a bar was being set for becoming a state qualifier, and that was when it was one class, and only sectional champs qualified. 

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Lkwd, for some of the upstate sections (Section X, I'm talking to you), the standard of wrestling is terrible. In Division II (where most of the Section X schools reside), at 99 pounds, there wasn't a state qualifier from the section. Come on, none of those schools could find a seventh-grader that could make weight at 99 pounds? Further, in Division I, other than the 285-pounder from Massena, Nolan Terrance, who (special congratulations is in order), won the state title, the entire section scored a combined two points. Yes, that's a record of 6-28, for the non-mathematically gifted, with four of those six matches won by the same wrestler. Division II had a wrestler at 138 who lost his first match, then won four straight before dropping his consolation final to place fourth. Other than him, they won one match, scoring one point, for a combined record of 5-28.

 

Personally, I'd like to see a system sort of like what the Division I collegians have be done by every state in the country, except without at-large bids (at that level, I doubt there's more than a handful of coaches who could pick those at-large bids objectively). Unfortunately, getting accurate record-keeping at that high level is enough of a challenge, getting the required accuracy of data from high schools is probably darned-near impossible.

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Yep. I also should have clarified that the low qualifying bar was for certain sections.

 

Another thing I remember was the disparity in the number of schools in each section. That also played a part. It was not an equal playing field and my conclusion, from the outside looking in, was that the two Long Island sections were getting screwed.

 

Pushback I got back then:

 

1. It made section 11 finals a great show and some fans thought that shouldn't change.

2. If  state qualification wasn't the immediate reward for a sectional champ, then some of the smaller sections would have programs lose interest. I do remember the coach who argued that.

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Lkwd, I don't think my suggestion and the immediate reward being a state tournament entry (with a larger bracket) were mutually exclusive. Going to 32-man brackets (granted, I'd suggest one of them, not two) would leave, what, 19 open slots (the eleven numbered sections, plus the PSAL and CHSAA)?

 

That said, I think the first point holds no merit. Are they really arguing that Section XI (Suffolk County, or roughly the eastern half of Long Island, for those wondering) should get FEWER entries?

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"Are they really arguing that Section XI (Suffolk County, or roughly the eastern half of Long Island, for those wondering) should get FEWER entries?"

 

That was back then. Some NY fans didn't want to see any changes. They loved the show. A bunch of excellent wrestlers battling for ONE spot.  I couldn't believe that they wouldn't want more than one qualifier from such wrestling rich areas.

 

My suggestion was the Ohio model. Equal sized areas (measured by number of schools) feeding equal-sized regions feeding state with of course more than one qualifier at each stage. There were objections, of which the "geographical" ones were difficult for an outsider to assess. I think California has (similar?) geographic issues leading to unequal-sized qualifiers.

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