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Thread: Bonus Points and Stall Calls

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  1. #1

    Default Bonus Points and Stall Calls

    I've been thinking about ways that international wrestling can encourage its athletes to score more points (especially in greco). It's my understanding that international wrestling used to have pretty aggressive stalling penalties, which worked pretty well but gave too much power to officials. I wonder if rewarding teams for scoring lots of points, like they do in the NCAA's, might work. From the limited folkstyle wrestling I've watched, I feel like the bonus point system does a great job in encouraging superior wrestlers to light up inferior ones, but has limited value in encouraging two stars to wrestle each other aggressively.

    Thoughts? Do bonus point incenitves make wrestling more exciting? While we're at it, do stalling calls make wrestling (in the standing position) more exciting?

  2. #2
    NCAA Champ BlueBloodLion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bonus Points and Stall Calls

    Strictly my opinion as a college first and international second fan:

    Bonus points are great when there is a true team competition, but I don't really see that in international competition. In fact the team scoring always seems sort of after the fact and unofficial - so it seems there isn't really much interest.

    I think it might help if pools came back, but as it stands, there seems no advantage in beating a guy by 5 as opposed to beating him by 1 (or a tie when you scored last). If total points played a role in moving on in pool rounds, then maybe there is some motivation?

    As for stalling, I hate it. I'd love to see stall warnings/points back in the sport, however as you point out, this is a sport that has some issues with (perceived at least) not so impartial referees. How it gets reintroduced would be tricky. I do think the rule adaptation where the guy who scores last in a tie wins helps with this.

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    Default Re: Bonus Points and Stall Calls

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueBloodLion View Post
    Strictly my opinion as a college first and international second fan:

    Bonus points are great when there is a true team competition, but I don't really see that in international competition. In fact the team scoring always seems sort of after the fact and unofficial - so it seems there isn't really much interest.

    I think it might help if pools came back, but as it stands, there seems no advantage in beating a guy by 5 as opposed to beating him by 1 (or a tie when you scored last). If total points played a role in moving on in pool rounds, then maybe there is some motivation?

    As for stalling, I hate it. I'd love to see stall warnings/points back in the sport, however as you point out, this is a sport that has some issues with (perceived at least) not so impartial referees. How it gets reintroduced would be tricky. I do think the rule adaptation where the guy who scores last in a tie wins helps with this.
    My perspective is from high school folkstyle, and I pretty much agree with BlueBloodLion. I feel that bonus points only encourage more action at the end of the match when one wrestler is close to a major decision (8 point differential) or a tech fall (15 point differential). At that point, it's usually a let-em-up-take-em-down strategy, or try even harder for back points. I agree regarding stalling, but I disagree with the last point scored tiebreaker. I don't think it's fair to reward a desperate do-or-die effort at the end of a match more than early and/or more consistent aggressiveness. i understand that this is to keep someone from sitting on an early lead and wrestling defensively, but that's what stalling calls are for.
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    World Champ ODH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bonus Points and Stall Calls

    My opinion is that stalling calls are very difficult to make work against high level wrestlers. At HS level they seem to work fine, but as you get into the elite levels of college many matches are very defensive and it is often hard to see who is really the worse offender in stalling.
    No one wants referees to decide a close match at an important championship with a stalling call that is very subjective.

    Personally I like the 2 of 3 periods ruls that is in international wrestling. It stops someone from scoring once and sitting on a lead. It also allows the wrestler who is behind to take chances to try and catch up, becasue the score gets "erased" at the end of the period.

    International rules kind of do have a bonus points system for rewarding a wrestler with the lead to stay agressive by allowing a period to end once there is a six point lead.

    I also like the pushout rule becasue it does keep the action continuous and elimnates the crawling out of bounds defense and playing the edge that plagues college wrestling. A more aggresive defenintion of fleeing the mat would help in college wrestling. Maybe the defending wrestler has the obligation to keep the action in bounds... I know it would be hard to implement

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    Default Re: Bonus Points and Stall Calls

    Quote Originally Posted by ODH View Post
    My opinion is that stalling calls are very difficult to make work against high level wrestlers. At HS level they seem to work fine, but as you get into the elite levels of college many matches are very defensive and it is often hard to see who is really the worse offender in stalling.
    No one wants referees to decide a close match at an important championship with a stalling call that is very subjective.

    Personally I like the 2 of 3 periods ruls that is in international wrestling. It stops someone from scoring once and sitting on a lead. It also allows the wrestler who is behind to take chances to try and catch up, becasue the score gets "erased" at the end of the period.

    International rules kind of do have a bonus points system for rewarding a wrestler with the lead to stay agressive by allowing a period to end once there is a six point lead.

    I also like the pushout rule becasue it does keep the action continuous and elimnates the crawling out of bounds defense and playing the edge that plagues college wrestling. A more aggresive defenintion of fleeing the mat would help in college wrestling. Maybe the defending wrestler has the obligation to keep the action in bounds... I know it would be hard to implement

    With all due respect, in my opinion, that's one of the worst rules they could have added to freestyle, and would ruin folkstyle. Guys get in on singles. What makes wrestling so exciting are the scrambles when a guy is in on a shot and fending it off. If a guy flees the mat, fine, but there is a difference between fleeing and going out of bounds in order to defend against being taken down.

    One of the most exciting things you can watch is a guy pull another guy in bounds and then finish a shot. If you go with the pushout, you lose most of the edge wrestling. And with the more liberal takedown calls in college where 2 is given when there is hardly control. Like when a guy is in on a shot and he reaches up to simply puts his hand on his leg on the edge. Still, it's consistent and it results in a lot more scrambling as opposed to what would happen if a guy was just pushed out of bounds when you got near the out of bounds line.

    I think international rules have been a big part of the downfall of wrestling on that level and I'd really rather not adopt their rules.
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    World Champ ODH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bonus Points and Stall Calls

    Quote Originally Posted by arm-spin View Post
    ... It's my understanding that international wrestling used to have pretty aggressive stalling penalties, which worked pretty well but gave too much power to officials...
    I never thought the stalling calls worked that well in international wrestling. It often seems that in a defensive match the ref would penalize one wrestler somewhat randomly and then once the match stayed defensive, he would give the other wrestler a penalty as a makeup call. Of course, I am not a high level ref and might have missed things that those refs could see, but that was my perspective from the limited number of matches I got to see with those rules.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Bonus Points and Stall Calls

    Thanks for the thoughtful responses guys, keep them coming!

    I liked wrestling under the best-of-3 system, and there are definitely some benefits to it. The biggest problem with the current system IMO is that it's pretty complicated/confusing. If there current system could be simplified (less tie breakers would be a good start) I would support i. The new head of FILA seems to think that simplifying the rules is important, and I tend to agree.

    In terms of 0-0 ties... everyone hates the clinch, as do I... IMO the only "real" way to settle a tied score is with sudden death overtime. If that is not an option due to time constraints, what works better? IMO the par terre (greco) clinch > freestyle clinch > the freestyle clinch with magic butt points, as it is currently being called > referees decisions.

    I don't really know how it works, but in folkstyle there are tie breakers too. How well do those work? Are they superior to a first point wins unlimited overtime?

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    World Champ ODH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bonus Points and Stall Calls

    I think the folkstyle OT rules work really well. It has been a big improvement over the years. Even if it leads to some agonizing heavyweight matches.
    Unfortunately there is not a Freestyle position similar to referee's position where one wrestler (bottom) has the perceived advantage and will usually score, but a wrestler with superior top skills can also hold them down as well.
    I have felt for a long time that Freestyle should let tie periods stay tied and then only have to use a tiebreaker if after three periods the score is 0-0-3 or 1-1-1. Then maybe start with two minute OT with no advantage and only after tha moved to some sorts of leg clinch, but make the takedown score be real and then keep the OT the whole two minutes so that it is not such an advantage to start with the leg.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Bonus Points and Stall Calls

    Ranger, how much high-level international freestyle do you watch? Cheezy points where a wrestler walks an opponent out of bounds with a single leg do happen, but not all that often. I'd wager that at least as many scrambles and big throws are created by guys fighting on the edge as are lost with guys going out of bounds prematurely. The pushout is not a perfect rule, but the alterantives are either a) aggressive fleeing the mat calls (old rules freestyle) where you give the referees power over every out of bounds situation, or b) what seems to happen in folkstyle a lot, where guys crawl out of bounds while pretending (badly) that they are trying to wrestle.

    Unless they add a cage around the mat there won't be a perfect out of bounds rule IMO, but I prefer the pushout over the others that have been tried.

    ODH: works for me, though I wonder what the unintended consequences will be. An obvious one is the posibility of a wrestler winning the first period, and then doing absolutely nothing to tie the next two 0-0 and thus win the match.

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