WEST VIRGINIA MAT THOUGHTS
by Dr. Bill Welker
National Wrestling Hall of Famer
and Ricky Welker
"MIDDLE SCHOOL OR CLUB WRESTLING?"
By Ricky Welker
Over the past couple of seasons it has been difficult for me to watch middle school wrestlers decide on club rather than wrestling for their middle school teams. I remember being excited to get to the middle school and wrestling on a bona fide team with wrestle-offs, a varsity team and JV team, the whole nine yards. But things have changed and I can understand sometimes why it happens.
First, I am in no way advising wrestlers to not wrestle for their respective schools. I am still against it but let me say that I kind of understand why it is so attractive. I have been thinking about this for quite some time and have come up with a few reasons "club wrestling" makes sense.
To begin with most middle school coaches do not have the opportunity to set up their own schedule. Yeah, sure they may have a couple of weigh-ins left after they are forced to wrestle schools that do not have enough kids or that are just not real strong programs. Then you may be able to throw in a couple tournaments here and there. The schedules are usually made by athletic directors who have little or no knowledge of the sport or how the weigh-in system works. So with a weak schedule kids are going to go to club teams.
Now I am not knocking the athletic directors in any way, but if the coaches were allowed to make their own schedules, then they would have the opportunity to schedule some solid events that would allow the kids to grow on the mats. This leads me to my next point.
Coaches need to be committed to what they are getting paid to do. I know that there are coaches out there that are coaching because the school couldn't find a wrestling coach. They are doing it so the school has a team, and I commend them for that. But let's be honest. There are a lot of coaches out there that are getting paid and they aren't doing much more than babysitting. We as coaches need to make sure we do everything on our power to prepare these wrestlers for high school. Ultimately that is the only time it matters as far as I am concerned.
So if the coach in the school is not going out and getting the best schedule he can then what do you think is going to happen? You guessed it; another kid to the club scene.
Now understand of this; open tournaments do not have to play by the same rules that schools have to play by. There is no National Federation or WVSSAC or OHSAA to deal with. They can do whatever they want. In essence, there is absolutely no governing body to hold these tournament directors accountable for anything. They can give as much weight as they want, modify period lengths, overtime procedures. Furthermore, there is no system for a coach or participant to get thrown out. It's like the wild west.
I have refereed a tournaments where I kicked a coach out and then the very next day there he was at the tournament again. Such is not the case with school events.
As I have already stated I do not agree with kids skipping middle school for club; it still irritates the heck out of me. However, the middle school coaches need to make sure that they are getting the job done. The coaches are the key to preparing the kids for high school competition.
Parents, you need to look at your middle school program and give them a fair assessment. Ask yourself are the coaches experienced, is the schedule competitive, and are they committed? Other things to look at: do the coaches push academics, is there a strong booster program, how are the feeder programs, etc.? Give the schools a chance. I assure you, that given the opportunity, they will not let you down.
Team Scoring and Tiebreakers in Dual Meets
The chart for team and match scoring at dual meets is as follows:
3 points: Decision (1-7 point spread)
4 points: Major Decision (8-14 point spread)
5 points: Technical Fall (15 or more point spread)
6 points: Fall, Forfeit, default, or disqualification
Remember, this is team scoring for dual meets, not tournaments. We will discuss tournament team scoring next week.
In dual meet competition, if the team score concludes in a draw or tie, the winning team would be determined by the following criteria:
1) The team that has received the fewest points for flagrant misconduct or unsportsmanlike conduct shall be declared the winner.
2) The team whose opposing wrestlers or team personnel have been penalized the greater number of team point deductions for unsportsmanlike conduct, flagrant misconduct, and coaching misconduct shall be declared the winner.
3) The team whose opposing wrestlers were penalized the greater number of match points for unsportsmanlike conduct during a match shall be declared the winner.
4) The team that has won the greater number of matches (including forfeits) shall be declared the winner.
5) The team that has accumulated the greatest number of points from falls, defaults, forfeits, or disqualifications shall be declared the winner.
6) The team that has earned the greater number of points from technical falls shall be declared the winner.
7) The team that has earned the greater number of points from major decisions shall be declared the winner.
8) The team having the greater number of total match points of first points scored shall be declared the winner.
9) The team securing the greater number of near-fall points will be declared the winner.
10) The team securing the greater number of takedown points will be declared the winner.
11) The team having the greater number of reversals will be declared the winner.
12) The team having the greater number of escapes will be declared the winner.
13) The team whose opponent has been penalized more often for stalling will be declared the winner.
14) The team whose opponent has been warned more often for stalling shall be declared the winner.
15) The team whose opponent has the greater number of penalty points for all other infractions shall be declared the winner.
16) If none of the above resolves the tie, a flip of the referee's disk will determine the winner.
Upon determining the winning team, a single team point will be added to the winning team's score.
Q: Wrestler A won his match 17-2. How many points would he score for his team and what type of win would this be?
A: He would score 5 points for his team with a technical fall.
"Bureaucracy is the art of making the possible impossible."
-- Javier Pascual Salcedo
(Dr. Bill Welker can be reached via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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