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It absolutely hurts the schools with larger programs. It takes away the opportunity for at least 2 kids from being in the varsity lineup. It takes 2 opportunities away from kids to qualify for states. The argument about battling in the practice room to get good enough to beat the varsity wrestler doesn’t make sense because you’re still taking away an opportunity from a kid who would otherwise be a varsity wrestler. The only logical take away from this is that the new proposed weigh classes is bad for the sport. You don’t grow the sport by reducing the number of kids who can participate. If the programs that have trouble filling a varsity lineup would look at ways to grow THEIR program, then the forfeits wouldn’t be a problem. If those struggling programs grow their programs, the. The sport of wrestling grown.
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Originally posted by Cross body Cross body wrote:

It absolutely hurts the schools with larger programs. It takes away the opportunity for at least 2 kids from being in the varsity lineup. It takes 2 opportunities away from kids to qualify for states. The argument about battling in the practice room to get good enough to beat the varsity wrestler doesn’t make sense because you’re still taking away an opportunity from a kid who would otherwise be a varsity wrestler. The only logical take away from this is that the new proposed weigh classes is bad for the sport. You don’t grow the sport by reducing the number of kids who can participate. If the programs that have trouble filling a varsity lineup would look at ways to grow THEIR program, then the forfeits wouldn’t be a problem. If those struggling programs grow their programs, the. The sport of wrestling grown.


Dead on!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NCAARef Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2019 at 7:40am
Originally posted by Morbit1984 Morbit1984 wrote:

looks like it is going to be 12 and PIAA said regardless what they do nationally PIAA will adopt the 12 classes.. this is a great move

PIAA cannot reduce the number of weights without NHFA approval
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NCAARef Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2019 at 7:45am
Originally posted by MTLeister MTLeister wrote:

Just to be clear regarding all the forfeits...this isn't a PA-only problem, it's a national problem.

I have to check but I think my research showed that over the last few years PA was actually averaging more forfeits in duals than the national average (as I mentioned above, D1 was lower than the state average).  I do want to split up that research by AA vs AAA but when I last did some quick research on that... it didn't seem to matter.  It wasn't like 80% of the forfeits were coming from AA schools.

Basically the PIAA is just going to ask the NFHS (at their next meeting in June/July) to reduce the number of weight classes and if they don't do that then the PIAA will ask to reduce weights in a pilot program.  From what I have read it's pretty likely that the NFHS will be reducing weights.  I could see it being a bigger problem if PA goes its own way on weights.

I've seen some interesting other ideas out there for what to do... including 2 sets of weights, one for duals and one for tournaments.  Anyone like that idea?

Mike, I will be interested to see the number of forfeits as a percentage next year if this goes into effect. My guess is the teams that forfeit 30% or more of the weight classes will continue to do so.  Therefore  or problem not solved, we've just eliminated 2 opportunities for someone to win a state title.

Also, 108 is too high to start and 170 to 190 is too big a jump.  And why go from 220 to 215?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NCAARef Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2019 at 7:48am
Originally posted by Monsoon Monsoon wrote:

If you're really interested in saving wrestling this has to be considered a good thing. The big schools with full rosters will stay that way, this won't hurt them. They may lose some kids that move to another school for a spot but that will help those schools fill their roster. The smaller schools with smaller rosters will have an easier time filling the weight classes which will result in fewer forfeits. Maybe in time it goes back to 14 ( I doubt it) but this looks to be a good move IMO.

Its never a good move to take opportunities to participate away!  Of course the strong teams will continue to do well, but he weaker teams will continue to forfeit no matter how many weight classes you take away.  Its the culture at the failing programs that is the issue, not the number of weight classes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MTLeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2019 at 8:27am
Originally posted by NCAARef NCAARef wrote:

Originally posted by Monsoon Monsoon wrote:

If you're really interested in saving wrestling this has to be considered a good thing. The big schools with full rosters will stay that way, this won't hurt them. They may lose some kids that move to another school for a spot but that will help those schools fill their roster. The smaller schools with smaller rosters will have an easier time filling the weight classes which will result in fewer forfeits. Maybe in time it goes back to 14 ( I doubt it) but this looks to be a good move IMO.

Its never a good move to take opportunities to participate away!  Of course the strong teams will continue to do well, but he weaker teams will continue to forfeit no matter how many weight classes you take away.  Its the culture at the failing programs that is the issue, not the number of weight classes.

I think cbal brought up an interesting point about the possibility of some programs sticking around if weight classes are reduced.  It might not sound like much but if a program is consistently having to forfeit let's say 5 or 6 weights every dual for a couple years... if you remove 2 weights, now they are "only" forfeiting 3-4 weights.  And if they can get a few more kids involved maybe that's down to 1-2 which is a bit more manageable then having to still forfeit 3-4 if you stick with 14 weights.  So while the weaker teams/programs would still end up forfeiting some weights, it's just not as many.  Maybe that allows the program to stick around for the kids who are involved instead of shutting down the program which takes away opportunities from the kids who want to wrestle.

Personally I don't see reducing weights as a huge positive like some people think nor do I see it as some huge negative either (though it is more of a positive in my mind right now).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PintoWin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2019 at 9:11am
I completely disagree last night you posted the history of the weight classes and in 1937 there were 10 classes and in 2019 there are 14 classes and not once did the PIAA reduce the number of weight classes because the sport grew since 1937. When you give in because the weaker programs cant get numbers you are helping No one but you are hurting the stronger programs. How about a business comparison
 
Bethlehem Steel grew like a weed for years once they stopped growing they eventually died so will this sport if the weaker programs dictate the direction. The PIAA needs to get creative and help the weaker schools who struggle with numbers let them combine with a school close by who may also be struggling for numbers until they build their youth programs. Don't penalize the schools that work hard at their program and take opportunities away from the kids who are in those programs
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ancienthatteroldram Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2019 at 9:50am
Ref: "Its never a good move to take opportunities to participate away!"  this is true if there are enough participants to take advantage of the opportunities offered. From all indications we lack participants. We had less opportunities with only 10 weight classes, and yet the sport grew. History might repeat itself. If and when the sport experiences another growth spurt - add weight classes.
Forfeits and failing programs are not from lack of trying, not from lack of motivation , and not from PIAA wimping out and shirking responsibility- no, its a variation off James Carville's infamous phrase ..."its the culture st...d".
 
Bethlehem Steel grew like a weed, in part because they had little competition and they failed in part, because they did not employ newer technology, treated their workforce like dirt, and were run by pampered and incompetent management that could not look past the next quarter earning. The company died, not because it stopped growing, it stopped growing because it refused to change . Continue with 6 or 7 forfeits in dual meets and the message you send is clear.... "we refuse to change and we are a dying sport"(business).
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Monsoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2019 at 10:09am
Originally posted by NCAARef NCAARef wrote:

Originally posted by Monsoon Monsoon wrote:

If you're really interested in saving wrestling this has to be considered a good thing. The big schools with full rosters will stay that way, this won't hurt them. They may lose some kids that move to another school for a spot but that will help those schools fill their roster. The smaller schools with smaller rosters will have an easier time filling the weight classes which will result in fewer forfeits. Maybe in time it goes back to 14 ( I doubt it) but this looks to be a good move IMO.

Its never a good move to take opportunities to participate away!  Of course the strong teams will continue to do well, but he weaker teams will continue to forfeit no matter how many weight classes you take away.  Its the culture at the failing programs that is the issue, not the number of weight classes.
 
 
If we continue going in the direction we're headed we will lose more and more programs. There are many schools that try to field competitive teams but struggle to get kids to come out. Should they just stop trying? The wrestling cultures are vastly different at many schools.  How are we building the sport if we start shutting programs down?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cross body Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2019 at 10:29am
Another aspect that nobody has mentioned is the fact that 110 is too heavy of a weight to start at. After Christmas, 110 becomes 112. In the last several years D1 has had a large number of small 106 pounders. I imagine that is something that many programs have faced statewide. When that weight becomes 112 there will be juniors and seniors cutting down to 112. When those older, bigger kids come down and start hammering the small freshman that weigh 105 what happens to those kids? When they get beat up constantly, they lose interest and quit. That’s a problem that ALL programs may face. Now, I have no problem with kids cutting weight, or with the fact that losing is part of the sport. You’re always going to have kids who cut weight. You’re always going to have kids who are studs, and kids who are not very good. But, in order to grow the sport kids need to have some success. Nobody is even talking about heavyweights. Many schools struggle to fill the upper weights, yet the proposed weights are 190, 215 and 285. They’ve raised the lowest weight, failed to add another weight for the middle weights, and have kept the same number of upper weights. It doesn’t make any sense.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Berwyn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2019 at 10:54am
Less is more 10 weight classes. I actually like the old school 105 115 125 135 145 155 165 175 185 HWT. Easy to understand now we all just need to agree on 1 style of wrestling & 1 classification for PIAA states. Maybe girls wrestling influences these ideas.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PintoWin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2019 at 12:06pm
Old Ram I will assume you were running Bethlehem Steel when it went under per you description above, but you are correct businesses usually suffer or don't grow because they make no changes or more likely the wrong changes to grow their top and or bottom line. My point exactly the PIAA is wimping out (Making the easy / wrong change) and cutting opportunities instead of investing in new technology to help the weaker programs with the main problem being lack of numbers. Cutting weight classes is the easy way out and hurts the sport and the stronger programs. I put some idea's of things they could do to help in earlier post as follows
1. Combine the weaker SD who are struggling to get numbers with a stronger program for a period of 2- 3 years until they get their numbers back up. (Hard to do but not impossible)
 
2. Put a task force together with past coaches / wrestlers / smart guys like you to go out and help programs build there numbers and help the leadership of those programs
 
3. Allow multiple entries per weight class from one School for in season tournaments and post season / more opportunities for kids to wrestle. (Again hard to do but base it on criteria)
 
Saving programs by cutting opportunities is a bad change for the strong and weak programs and in NO way deals with the root problem. Its like putting perfume on a skunk it wont last long until it stinks again.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote castelli3017 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2019 at 12:13pm

Its never a good move to take opportunities to participate away!  Of course the strong teams will continue to do well, but he weaker teams will continue to forfeit no matter how many weight classes you take away.  Its the culture at the failing programs that is the issue, not the number of weight classes.
[/QUOTE]

Well said ref!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MTLeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2019 at 12:22pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dicemen99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2019 at 1:24pm
There are a lot of good takes on this above and I agree that this is not a move that is going to help grow the sport.  But I don't take the view that this is what they are trying to accomplish with the weight changes.  If that's what they are trying to do, it is a mistake.  To be clear, I think these weight class changes (and the ones in the past) are more of trying to match the rule set to the current state of the sport.  Weight class changes are an attempt - however, good or bad - to reflect the current conditions, e.g. weigh-in rules, attitudes towards nutrition, physical makeup of athletes participating, etc.  It is an attempt to try to maximize full participation with the existing pool based on those conditions.  Whether it is a proper analysis of those conditions can be debated.

As I stated in the previous paragraph, if this is seen by the PIAA steering committee as a panacea, it is a serious mistake.  The changes P2W suggested are excellent and these should be the focus of the powers to be.  If successful, I'd expect that to be reflected in the next round of weight class changes.  

Buried in this discussion is the news that the proposal includes a provision allowing multiple entries at the same weight in regular season tournaments of nine or more.  Not as good as what P2W is suggesting, but a step in the right direction.  Also, NJSIAA is considering a proposal that will carve out two tournaments (ETR and the Beast) as exempt from their prohibition on split squad competition dates.  Not quite as impactful, but also indicative of attempts to think of new ways to grow participation (or at least not limit it).

The weight classes get more attention, here and elsewhere, because they have personal implications. The others items - not so much.  But it's the other items - like the things P2W suggested - that are what is important from a broad perspective, rather than from the individual's perspective.  If they are successful, the future weight changes will be received positively for the most part, I suspect.


Edited by dicemen99 - May 24 2019 at 1:29pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote idontknow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2019 at 1:44pm
ncaaref, Cross Body,PintoWin and McTuna40 are spot on. Take a look at CRS this year: With the proposed changes what kid doesn't make the varsity line-up? Waterman, Mendez, Hanson-Ashworth, Ricchini, Kahn? That means one of these college bound student athletes doesn't get the opportunity. Your either growing or dying! By reducing the weights you negatively impact the strong programs. On the other hand do you really think reducing to 10 or 12 weight classes is going to help schools like PJP be competitive? If you think so, I would like to know the basis for your opinion.
But what do I know
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote randallstevens Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2019 at 1:48pm
There is just not many behind us.

Just one old coaches opinion but I see this as one of the two biggest problems...


Ive coached several HS sports for my 20 plus year educational career and I, as many of us are - just getting older and tired.  


When we got hired in the late 1990's, we were the last of the groups of teachers to be hired with the "what else can you do for us?" question and the answer actually may have decided your hiring status.

Since the early/ mid 2000's the hiring process has focused away from this idea.


There really is no one behind us -in most cases- to take our coaching jobs who are in the building(s). A lot of us older coaches talk about this all the time.


Since this era of refocused hiring began, if your school already did not have a coach(es) in place and in the building(s) -you were going to be struggling to find unicorns. 

Your only option was hoping to land one of these unicorns that are in private industry but still want to coach HS sports AND can get there by 3:00 AND have weekends open, free of jobs and other commitments AND hope they are not there just to coach their own kid through HS then leave.

These unicorns must also be willing and able to spend time in the youth, middle school and recruiting process as well because they have zero contact with any kids walking the halls in any school building during the work/school day. 

Why not just ask their assistant coaches - because they are not in the buildings either in most cases as they are in private industry also.


Have a few folks made it work - sure. Most programs, just cant and struggle year after year replacing coach after coach who try but participation retention falls down and down...

How hard would it have been for you to quit knowing that your coach will see you every day in 3rd period? Oh and the assistant is also in the building, so you are gonna have to see him/her everyday as well.

VS. 

How hard is it to quit knowing you will never see that person again because they are not in the school and never will be?



Kids need that "hey whats wrong?" talk to stay in during rough times -especially kids who are trying the sport for the first time. They need that connection that someone in the building can make.

NO ONE can replace a couple of coaches/educators/mentors in the building everyday tapping shoulders of students.

Look at the consistent dominant programs in the area and see when their coaches were hired and if they are in the building(s) before the mid 2000's. 

How about looking at sports in general in our area up to and about that time - its no coincidence.

After being in education this long I can tell you the following:

Kids are still kids. 

They still respond to folks they respect, trust and see on a regular basis. Numbers are down -in part- because not many are left to tap the shoulders in the buildings... Schools just don't -for the most part - hire this way anymore.

Im sure all of you tried a club or activity because someone in the building simply asked you to. 
What if they were never there - what would have changed in your path?


If it gets dropped to 10 or 12 - not sure it will matter. 

Schools that make it a point to foster the entire student experience will have to offer less spots. They will condense power into less spots and may be more dominant is my guess. Matchups become easier for those with the bigger stables, to pick off the opposing teams 2 or 3 decent wrestlers.


One Possible Part of a Comprehensive Solution Plan -

PIAA has to fill this void of coaches in the buildings by at least trying to tap some shoulders - some ideas..



PIAA to push for assemblies in schools throughout kids schooling careers. Send ex- PIAA / or not - famous athletes to help out with the push. 

PIAA to reach out to public youth clubs as well to show what schools offer in their area.

PIAA to team with coaches for roundtables and successful recruiting/training and technique plans for those in the building that may want to coach but know little about the sport.

just a few...





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cbal24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2019 at 1:51pm
The one thing in the whole mix is that you can't get kids to participate without the desire.  Quite frankly, I don't see this generation of kids being driven enough to want to participate in a demanding sport.  I read somewhere that the number of kids playing football is also decreasing nationally.
 
 
I read an article that the fastest growing sports in America is eSports.  Kids are getting scholarships to play video games.  This will ultimately be the demise of true athletic competition if encouraged by society.  Can you imagine an Olympic event for video games?  I hope I don't live to see it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MTLeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 30 2019 at 6:06pm
Was going over some more of the info I had researched over the last few weeks...

Over the last 10 seasons (2009-10 to 2018-19), the number of wrestlers participating in the post-season in just District 1 has dropped from 880 in 09-10 to 734 this past season.  That 146 fewer wrestlers in the post-season with 14 weight classes...so on average about 10 fewer wrestlers per weight class.

We don't have full post-season brackets across PA for all 10 of those years, but we for the last 7 seasons.

In the post-season of 2013, there were 5,290 wrestlers in the post-season across both classes in PA.  In 2019, there were 4,832.   That's a difference of 458.  For comparison sake, D1 had 829 in 2013 for a drop of 95 in those 7 years.  Only D7 had a bigger drop (going from 838 to 739, loss of 99).

If you break those numbers down by AA vs AAA... AA went from 2,317 to 2,153 (difference of 164) while AAA went from 2,973 to 2,679 (difference of 294).  The number of AA schools went from 227 to 229 (increase of 2) and the AAA schools went from 261 to 250 (decrease of 11).

With those numbers, the average number of wrestlers per team in AA during those 7 seasons went from 10.21 to 9.40.  In AAA it was 11.39 to 10.72.

I want to see if I can quickly figure out how many teams had a full 14 wrestlers in the post-season, but I would suspect it's not many.

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Mike, I think you’re comparing apples and oranges. One of the main reasons they’re citing for eliminating weight classes is due to the number of forfeits during dual meets. I don’t think it’s accurate to look at post season participation to determine whether or not the PIAA should get rid of 2 weight classes. (And change the lowest weight class) There are many reasons why a kid would choose not to participate in the post season. Maybe the coach convinced them to stick it out for the team. Maybe the kid wanted to try to help the team. Maybe the kid got his butt kicked all season long and decided not to do post season. (None of these reason I agree with) I do agree the numbers overall are decreasing, but to assume the numbers will increase by getting rid of 2 weight classes is asinine. By getting rid of 2 weight classes means D1 will have 8-10 fewer kids qualify for states, depending on our allocation. If you look at the state, as a whole, it’s easy to see the number of kids who participate in the post season will also drop.
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