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Thread: Thoughts on poss. weight class changes.

  1. #82
    NCAA Champ ccbig's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Minnesota, USA

    Default Re: Thoughts on poss. weight class changes.

    Minnesota had a very vocal group of well respected coaches and parents of wrestlers who spoke out against the weight changes.

    I hope other states get organized and come to the conclusion that elimination of weights will not increase participation.

    Let's all work to grow and promote the sport not try to find ways to limit participation!
    If we don't fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don't really stand for them.

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  2. #83

    Default Re: Thoughts on poss. weight class changes.

    Coach Bull..I am trying to give you some information that you would find hopeful. Yes, the NFHS knows about wrestling. Obviously some state associations are alot more active with wrestling than others. I would hope that in your state association, would be taking input from the coaches.

    You should be hearing alot more information coming out about the weight class issue in the near future.

  3. #84

    Default Re: Thoughts on poss. weight class changes.


    What you're point is based on is a theory. The forfeit numbers are based in fact. I understand your point, but you might have a lot better chance to make sense if you had something like a structured study or poll taken that backed up your belief that decreasing weight classes would not increase participation.

    These are facts:
    *Wrestling has more starters than any other sport offered in high school.
    *Forfeits are a problem nationwide.
    *The average squad size is 24 for high schools. You'd need 28 to justify a JV under our current number of weight classes.

    Lowering weight classes could fail to increase participation and if it targeted and solved the forfeit problem it would be successful. Coaches don't often like discussions like this, but do all the searching you want and find me a marketing plan to increase participation.

    Compared to this sport, there's an overall sense of just stitting back and working with kids who just happen to show up. For every coach across the US that works hard to build numbers, we have two or three that view it as a needless hassle. I read a lot of griping about losing weight classes, but have not read a single suggestion on how to improve the problem. Who'd have thought we'd have the "no excuses" sport doing nothing but whining and groaning about a problem and have no solutions offered.

    I would suggest, unless you have a detailed marketing plan for the sport and your area, the teams around you that are failing to put full teams out on the mat, and how to get our average roster size to 28 or more, you shouldn't be allowed to complain about it. Heck, I agree with dropping weight classes and I actually listed suggestions here on how to increase numbers. Haven't heard anything like that on any of the forums or actual discussions from people who don't want it changed.

    In fact, the best arguememt I've heard so far is that they just don't like it. Well, do something about it then. We get warned as a sport to not do things, but we ignore them or do them until it becomes a rule change. Weigh in rules, bodyfat assessments and forced weight loss, stalling...and you can see it in things like the front head lock...we know it may make the move illegal, but some guys still teach it as a choke. When will we learn?

    The discussion alone should be a sign that something's amiss. What have you done about it for the teams that are going to be the ones that cause the problem? Sure, it's not your job really, but if you want to keep 14 weight classes you may want to make it be your job.

    How bout some ideas?

  4. #85

    Default Re: Thoughts on poss. weight class changes.

    Changing the weight classes in any way won't make everyone happy and won't be a perfect fit for EVERYONE. I'm glad some in depth research is being done on this subject and hope anything that takes place is done to help the sport grow.
    I will smash your face into a car windshield and then take your mother, Dorothy Mantooth, out to a nice seafood dinner and never call her again!

    Tell me about it, this morning, I woke up and I shit a squirrel, but what I can't get is the damn thing is still alive. So now, I've got a shit covered squirrel running around my office and I don't know what to name it.

  5. #86

    Default Re: Thoughts on poss. weight class changes.

    I am completely baffled on how dropping weight classes will increase the numbers. Please enlighten me on how this happens.

  6. #87

    Default Re: Thoughts on poss. weight class changes.

    We are seeing some good increases in national participation numbers and I think we all agree we do not want to do something that would decline the participation numbers.

    The NWCA is working on several different projects currently that will be looking at how to increase participation and retention of wrestlers.

  7. #88

    Default Re: Thoughts on poss. weight class changes.

    It is an uphill battle to increase the numbers and here is my opinion why.

    With the growth a sports in the last 20 years, kids are starting to specialize in one sport. Why? because the parent thiks every Johny, or Sally is the next pro super star. I see it and hear it all the time.

    So what sport will they particapate in? Pro you have football, basketball, and baseball as your three main sports. Parents are to stupid to look at themselves and see that there only 5'10" and not that athletic, but johny will be a basketball player or a linebacker. Sorry, the odds are greatly stacked against you.

    What we need to do, is educate these parents that their kid more than likely will not make it to College in his respective sport. So with that in mind let him play multiple sports and enjoy his high school days as we did 20+ years ago.

    Well that my little rant for the day.

  8. #89

    Default Re: Thoughts on poss. weight class changes.

    Think supply and demand. My experience with kids is that the more you need them, the less they will be likely to stick around. Competition in my opinion, keeps kids attached to teams. I think it's why dominant teams tend to have little trouble keeping kids out for all four years. Just at thought. The slim chance to make varsity doesn't seem to be hindering them on their numbers.

    Our supply and demand is off. Our roster spots are less than twice the size of the average squad size in America. If you follow other sport logic and figure that there should be a freshman, JV and varsity team, we'd be down to eight starting spots. I agree that it's useless to do that, but also respect the difficulty factor wrestling presents and don't think you're hurting a kid by giving him two years to prepare to be on varsity with two seasons on JV.

    By our own numbers, you could universally make the case that we're not capable of fielding JV teams and have it just lobbed off. Sound crazy? Maybe, but to some people in the 70's the sound of 700 lost programs might have sounded crazy too. Our numbers have to add up.

    I think though, that even if it didn't drive up participation which I think it would, it's still a good idea based on quality and age of participant alone. No other sports build plans around small and young people, and there are enough guys under 130 who are 16, 17 and 18 that you're not ruling out smaller athletes if you move 103 to 108 or 110. Varsity should be something that you are experienced to be on.

    Changing weights won't work all by itself. It is going to need other things like hard core marketing and a change in our image to increase numbers. We need an overhaul though. We have the UFC and MMA getting us publicity we've never even tried to duplicate, and if we miss this boat we may be out of luck for good. I love wrestling. I think that it could be as big or bigger than most other sports, but also feel we're battling ourselves more than the issues that are external and keep kids away.

  9. #90

    Default Re: Thoughts on poss. weight class changes.

    Is it the fault of the school that those weights are being forfeited or the fault of the coaches no actively recruiting kids for those open weights? I personally think it is the coaches responsibility to get those weights filled. Sure you'll have an a kid that doesn't need to be in the lineup, but that's a decision to be made at match time.

    The problem I see here is the sheer laziness of a large handful of coaches who simply think the kids will just come to them because they are already there. And its that laziness that has led us to this discussion. Unless you're in an incredibly tiny school, there are kids roaming the halls that could be filling those weights, just waiting for a coach to talk to them.

    My school is small(about 260 kids) and we needed several weights filled after losing several seniors or kids growing. So I went out recruiting and managed to not only fill every hole, but we managed to get 3 deep at 103. All it took was me talking to them and selling our sport to them. Sure they were outmatched at times, but they held their own and won some matches. They worked out all spring and will be back next year, all because I simply asked them. Not difficult.

    However, coaches nowadays are simply too lazy and don't think they need to recruit anymore. As a coach, if you aren't always recruiting kids, then what the hell are you doing in the job in the first place.

    The elimination of the lowest two weights will do nothing but damage our sport even more. We are truly the only sport that is for EVERYONE. However, we want to change it so its more like football and b-ball where size matters more. That's phucked up IMO.

    As coaches, instead of trying to find ways to eliminate weights, we need to be working our butts off to fill those weights every year. Whether its by recruiting kids, helping with the jr high programs or running a youth program, it shouldn't matter. I do all three and it works.

    Another problem I see is that we want to badly for these club kids to be the next Metcalf, that we easily turn those kids off to the sport as they get older because of burn out. We race little Johnny around to every meet imaginable, trying to make them the next National Champion and we forget that these are just kids. So by the time they reach jr high, they are no longer interested. The Jr High years are when a kid decides what sport he wants to do or whether to stick it out. This is why in our program, I emphasize more Jr High wrestling matches, than youth club weekend tournaments.

    I only arrange about 5-6 dates for our kids to wrestle matches at the youth level, but once they reach jr high, they'll get around 40 matches in 2.5 months. We've had less kids quit at the youth level and more kids stick it out in jr high and eventually move onto HS, than in years where we placed more importance on youth matches. Something to consider if you're really wanting to get kids out year after year.

    There is a whole lot of things that we could be doing differently as coaches in order to ensure decent numbers for our teams every year. Just a matter of finding the right solution to the problem. Dropping weight classes wouldn't be an option.
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