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Author Topic: Filling WI Weight Classes: The Data  (Read 3621 times)
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Handles II
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« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2016, 01:44:28 PM »

Weights were shuffled around several times in the past, kids just adjusted, wrestled off, or whatever.
As for which weights, I think it was Doc last year that said we need to look into some type of bell curve based off of the wrestlers we have. It might be the best way to go rather than going by a certain number of pounds to separate them.

But for right now, I think we need to learn more....Shall I continue collecting this data at least for a few more weeks?
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« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2016, 01:57:54 PM »

The great programs embrace the team mentality and I truly believe that we are losing that and that it is the single reason why we are losing wrestlers.

Kids want to be part of a team and the team aspect offers many things.

1) A wrestler may lose his match in dual and team wins so he is still a winner.  Takes the sting out of it for those marginal wrestlers that may go .500.
2) A wrestler can help the team by trying not to get pinned or give up less bonus points.
3) Even guys that don't wrestle that night feel like winners if they win.

My son has played football, basketball, wrestled some, and baseball each year.  He is a freshman this year and is having his first dual experiences.  He never cared much for wrestling so it was a surprise when he chose to wrestle this year.  He is enjoying it way more than he thought he would.  He came back from the Dells duals this past weekend and this is what he said and this is coming from a teenage boy that says nothing.  "Dad, wrestling is the only true team sport that feels like a family" and he described how everyone cheers on one wrestler in each dual and spends time together. If wrestling was purely an individual sport he would not enjoy half as much.

When I wrestled it was all about the team score.  If you won by 7 coach was not happy and if you lost by 8 coach was not happy.  We also had duals in junior high with weight classes.

You want improvement we create one middle school season for the entire state and you bring back teams and duals.  Then you can also have exhibition matches.  Just cannot have "too many" weight classes.  I have spoken with many middle school coaches that want to do these dual events but they have so many weight classes even at middle school level that schools cannot begin to fill them all.  Nothing wrong with a kid wrestling an exhibition match and dreaming of someday wrestling in the actual dual.
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« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2016, 02:04:11 PM »

I would be open to the idea of cutting weight classes, but I think there is more than simply percentage of wrestlers at each class.  How about the quality of the wrestling at the various weight classes.  While I will acknowledge that there are some tremendous wrestlers at the heavier weights, I also believe that there are a much larger percentage of kids who are new to the sport.  This is not the case at the lower weights where some of the best wrestlers in the State have competed.  Thielke, Dierenger, Koontz, ect

This is just a blanket statement.  For every great light wrestler there are others that have no business being varsity.  There are also plenty of great wrestlers that come through in the upper weights and many great freshman 160lbers that wrestled for 5+ years lose in wrestloffs to seniors that have only wrestled 2-3 years because of the physical strength and maturity.  There is a reason why there are no 4 timers that have started off at higher weights.  I think Cibula from L-C was the highest in weight.

I honestly hate that size matters so much in sports so I feel for the little guy.  I coach football and baseball and the bigger guys have huge advantages like they do in every sport.  My point is that sometimes you just have to put the sport itself ahead of any individuals or make a compromise between what we do with duals and with individual tournaments. They can be different.  But yes we would have to get rid of 1/2 lb or 1.5% rule.
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« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2016, 02:09:39 PM »

Weights were shuffled around several times in the past, kids just adjusted, wrestled off, or whatever.
As for which weights, I think it was Doc last year that said we need to look into some type of bell curve based off of the wrestlers we have. It might be the best way to go rather than going by a certain number of pounds to separate them.

But for right now, I think we need to learn more....Shall I continue collecting this data at least for a few more weeks?


I think any data is good. If we don't have data to look at, all we have is opinions.
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« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2016, 02:27:46 PM »

Handles and Ghetto,
I agree we need data, but we need all the data.
Enrollment numbers vs wrestling numbers.
How many schools with a growth of there student body are struggling to fill there team's and if so is it just wrestling?
How many schools with a decline in student body are struggling to fill teams.

Doc,
I am glad your son likes the duals, I wish we started them younger on dual tournaments. I truly feel not having a state dual elementary and Jr high event hurts our sport. We need strong middle school conference duals and state duals. I agree 100% the team concept would get more kids out and keep more kids out. This would be the main focus of my efforts before I would consider cutting weight classes.  But we don't have a team concept in this state and its a ME-ME sport which is why we are struggling.
Give it a 5 year plan to grow the sport through the team concept, if that doesn't increase the numbers then lets cut.
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« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2016, 02:27:46 PM »

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nutman
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« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2016, 02:36:21 PM »

Great Data.

OK, some of us were around when 98 pounds was the bottom weight class.  We had great participation at that time in wrestling.  Most small schools were able to fill a roster.  Many small schools had enough for an almost JV Team.    We seem to be pointing out the numbers dropping off at the high school level.  We talk about uniforms, weight classes and all kinds of issues. Opportunities have certainly changed since that time.  The issues are complex.  I would like to comment on a couple of things.  The sports where bigger, faster, and stronger matter have a totally different objective.  Wrestling is the one sport that allows kids to compete and contribute to a part of something bigger as we try to even the variables.   We shouldn’t be comparing it to those sports.  We can compare wrestling to boxing or other sports where weight determines class.    The 95 pound kid cannot compete in a lot of sports, so saying what is wrong with waiting a couple of years is unacceptable.    In addition, we can tweak numbers and shape the sport with rules and make minor changes.  Think about it, there is more to it than all of these issues.

Let's look at a typical weekend youth tournament.  Where is the greatest participation?  At kindergarten through second grade, right.  We all know that.  Then it drops a little at 3-4th and a little more at 5th and 6th and even more in 7th and 8th.  I believe a major problem is that our young athletes (or parents) are not participating any more just to participate.  They  want to compete and win.  We also live a society where adults are busy and self-consumed.  When you combine all of that...in order to be successful in wrestling at the youth level there is a huge time investment (that people don't have) and money investment (that is required for a bunch of perceived needs other than just wrestling).  There are exceptions to this in a few communities that have a large support system in their youth clubs.  There was a thread with dozens of posts about how the youth state tournament predicts success at the state level.  Many people have figured out that IN GENERAL early success leads to later success.  (yes, we know the great athletes who are the exception to the rule that's why we know their names)   In addition to all of these issues, parents fortunate enough to be involved in a great community-based program will be required to volunteer a ton of time.  Whereas in the other programs, the kids get dropped off at 5 and picked up at 7.  No concessions, no moving mats, no score keeping, etc.  For those not involved in the community programs, it requires  getting the kids to the clubs 4 nights a week and traveling all over the country on the weekends.   Regardless, in our sport, success requires a major commitment.  ...and you know what...there is nothing wrong with any of that!  The reason our sport is having less participation is because few can handle it.  Our kids will be the leaders and the people that others will be able to count on.  They know what it's like to put it on the line.  They will know how it is to overcome adversity.   

In conclusion (because my break is over), it is not just a high school issue.  It is an overall attitude that it's all or nothing.   It's an attitude that if the kid wins on a weekend, it's a great couple of days at home.  If a kid loses, it's a terrible couple of days.  Kids stick with wrestling for several reasons.  There are major reasons they stick with it…either they like to compete, success, social, or it’s a tradition in their family. Even some weather the storm until they hit puberty.  Some do not weather the storm because they found success too early with puberty.  Regardless, let's face it, the sport is not always fun.  It requires a commitment and identity. I don't care what the talent level is- Once you’re a wrestler and somebody asks "Were you a wrestler?"  You answer Yes (even if you played another sport).  I think we have two issues that sometimes get merged on our forum.  One is how do we increase participation?  The other is how do we become more nationally competitive?  When we focus on increasing participation, we need to focus on inspiring kids to want to compete and the social aspect of being a part of a group.   I don’t have the answers to all of these issues, but I know I will do a couple of things to help the issue.  I will continue to do my best to provide my young athlete experiences that allow him to be as competitive as he can possibly be.  I hope he can hold his ground until he gets a boost from puberty.  I know when we travel 4 hours to a tournament he likes to take his friends as it is a lot more fun, so we fill up the car with other kids.  I will tell goofy stories and suffer through terrible modern music.   I will stop on the way home and have the group eat some terrible fast food.  Then hopefully in about 5 years my kid still loves wrestling as well as the 5 other goofy little kids in the car.    I might not have a great design for a uniform or a magic rule that will attract more wrestlers, but I know there is a good chance I have done my best to keep 6 of the kids that will contribute to 14 weight classes.
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« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2016, 02:41:05 PM »


I know we like to compare wrestling to other team sports but its not even close to a team sport. I coached varsity football this year and we did well and we did so off of a do it for your brother mentality. Wrestling is the biggest ME-ME sport there is and deep down we all know that, so expecting 105-119 pound stud freshman to stick around the sport for two years is a plan of a child.

SMH...exactly the problem. Too bad you look at it that way. Hard to get good without good teammates pushing you daily. Hard to win duals without making sacrifices for your "brothers". Parents and kids sell out to the elite clubs further putting the divide into their local teams. They foster the ME-ME thought process. I'm not saying to not utilize the elite clubs, but you need to be a part of the team you are growing with and expecting to compete with down the line. Doc is right on...and our team has several kids who like the Dual meet experience much more. It's more exciting for more people. Sell the team aspect of the sport and your numbers will rise; recruiting will be easier. Why would a new freshman join a sport that he isn't likely to get beat up in? Much more appealing to be a part of a great team isn't it?
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« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2016, 02:59:04 PM »

Funny how no one answered Ben's question....I think it is provoking in the fact that wrestling teams should be packed with "little" guys.  To me this should not be about cutting in any sort of way but about promotion and making wrestling appealling to the youth based on today's society.
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« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2016, 03:18:18 PM »

Great post Nutman.

I think the sport needs to focus on itself and worry less about the specific individuals or even success.  No matter what nobody is saying that a kid no matter the size will not get the opportunity to wrestle.  I think our sport is often centered and focused on the most talented and those that love the sport the most and put in the most work.  Nothing changes for them under any system.  But the sport needs more kids that start in middle school or even high school if it wants to succeed with 14 weight classes but at the same time many of these kids are not ready for the varsity action that 14 classes brings.

Some are focused on our state getting better nationally and we need a system for those elite wrestlers but I think most coaches are not worried about that at all during the high school season and are just playing a numbers game.

We keep forgetting about the coaches.  It is getting tougher to find coaches especially ones that are also teachers.  They are not having fun when they have to fight so hard just to have a full roster.  The majority of coaches want fewer weight classes.  Some want to just label them as lazy and not putting in the time.  Many are condescending to D1 coaches that cannot fill a roster.  But the truth is they are trying and there is nobody standing behind them ready to do the job even better? 

We talk about a reduction of wrestlers over past 10-20 years.  I can only imagine how many fewer paid high school coaches we have compared to the past.  Coaching staffs have gotten much smaller as wrestlers have decreased and budgets have been squeezed.
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« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2016, 03:41:28 PM »

lower weights could be great way to promote wrestling with girls.

little guys are generally more timid and not as apt to want to participate in the sport.(the exceptions are already most likely wrestling) Lighter weight kids do participate in track.


average weight of kids is higher today than 10 years ago.

we need better promotion to be his group of kids

It's all about promotion and how you approach the sport it takes effort and collaboration between teams and groups to make wrestling great again.
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« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2016, 03:41:28 PM »

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TeamJ
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« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2016, 04:44:00 PM »

Please don't cut the lighter weights.  It has been done twice in the last 20 years--used to be 98#, then 103#, now talking about 110#-115#, c'mon! I refuse to accept that we have been such a lazy, video gaming,  processed food society that most schools can't find a scrappy little kid in middle or high school and develop him.  I can go to my son's 6th grade class and find you 3-4 boys out of 30 that I almost guarantee you will not be over 105# in 3-4 years.  recruit them!  Talk to the kid, the parents, whatever.

Again-go to youth state and watch the oldest age group 80#, 85#, 90# 7-8th graders.  Tell them that they have to wait a year or 2 beyond their peers until the "grow-up".  Look at the VACW duals--filled with 7th/8th grade 72#-90# studs.  I agree, plenty of 125/133# college kids start out as 100# freshman/sophomore.  So, we tell them to toil as a 100# JV waiting for him to reach 115# after all the stupid allowances?  That will help WI state relative at the state level.  I believe the lightest Fargo weight is under 100#, right?

Point is there are plenty of "small kids" experienced or not to fill a roster. 

Fine, if we just accept that somehow limiting opportunity because certain teams can't fill a roster will promote a better outcome, then spread out the weights over a larger grouping.  Meaning 12 weights from 103 thru hwt offers the opportunity for more kids versus 12 weights from 110#thru hwt. 

Finally-No offense, but ask a casual fan what is more exciting to watch lightweights or heavyweights.
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« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2016, 05:30:58 PM »

Singlets.
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« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2016, 05:47:56 PM »

I agree TeamJ. No offense to the bigger guys but the lightweights make the admission worth every penny.if the lower waits get taken out I think we lose more than we gain.
Dual meets at the middle school age is a great idea for the sport as well. I have seen a few schools do this with having the middle school dual prior to a varsity dual on the same night. Individual scores where kept but no team score. What it did for those kids was amazing. You could tell they felt part of something. Only one match going and knowing everyone was yelling just for them. The varsity seemed to feed off of what was going on as well and turned in to some of the greatest duals I have watched.
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« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2016, 06:01:36 PM »


Again-go to youth state and watch the oldest age group 80#, 85#, 90# 7-8th graders.  Tell them that they have to wait a year or 2 beyond their peers until the "grow-up".  Look at the VACW duals--filled with 7th/8th grade 72#-90# studs.  I agree, plenty of 125/133# college kids start out as 100# freshman/sophomore.  So, we tell them to toil as a 100# JV waiting for him to reach 115# after all the stupid allowances? 

I agree watching the lightweights is more entertaining but this argument makes no sense.  I can say go look at all the kids at youth state that weigh 115 lbs and heavier and most absolutely have to sit and toil on JV because they cannot beat an upperclassmen.

Again no matter whether they are varsity or not for duals they are going to end up wrestling the same kids whether it is on JV or exhibition match.  But outside of duals we should absolutely have a 106lb weight class for individual tournaments and state tournament series.  Heck we could more than 14 weight classes for that if you want because that is an "individual" tournament.

I would like to help the truly little guys by taking away the growth allowance and make all wrestlers wrestle 75% of their matches at the weight they want to compete at in state tournament.  That prevents all these 120 lbers from cutting down to 106.
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« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2016, 06:01:36 PM »

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« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2016, 09:44:37 PM »

Doc-
I am fine with toiling away on JV due to an upperclassman being better then you, especially at comprable weights.  My problem is with being stuck on JV due to an elimination of a lighter weight bracket, resulting in an even larger weight discrepancy.  Point is hard to win with 5-15# difference, very hard at 15-25#.

Love your idea on 75% of match at the weight for state.  simple solution.

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