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Takedown Machine152

Refs, Formats, and misc. Concerns

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I, unfortunately, have not been able to attend many events around the state this year due to some personal engagements, but I was able to watch the State duals last weekend at Henry Clay. First, I was impressed by the level of competition in most weight-classes and, in general, the parity between many of the schools. I'm proud to say that not only has the talent spread from its typical epicenters, but our talent has also increased as a whole. For the first time since I have been involved with wrestling in Kentucky I can say that we could possibly see 20 or more teams represented in the finals at the State Tournament.

That being said, I have a few concerns regarding this great sport and its future in our state. First, I was disappoointed by the referrees at the state duals. I didn't recognize any of them and none of them seemed to be on top of match control. Why does it seem like stalemates and stalling calls come 20-30 seconds too late? To answer my own question, it's because THEY DO!! Our refs should be enforcing action, not watching two wrestlers relax, or let them hold in stalemate for half of a period. It's ludicrous that these calls are missed so frequently. Our wrestlers would benefit from more of these calls. All of a sudden top work wouldn't be a break to catch one's breath. I saw way too many costly blown calls in key matches during the duals. And beyond that, in the final between Union Co. and Larue Co., at least once the two refs conferenced to correct a call and took more than one minute to make a ruling. That is unacceptable. Those wrestlers should've been back at it way sooner. And if those refs were just inexperienced, then I ask why in the world would they be reffing a state championship? That is not the correct venue to be practicing being a referee. I feel refs should be required to have a certain amount of experience before they are qualified to participate in such events. And something HAS to be done about the lack of stalling calls and stalemates. Wrestling is an action sport.

My next suggestion would be to seed the State Tournament. I know it's been discussed before and that many feel it's more of a pain than anything else, or that it would be unfair to unseeded wrestlers, but let's be real for a moment. Despite anyone's personal feelings, we all know which wrestlers are best at their respective weight-classes. I think the top eight wrestlers from each weight could be seeded appropriately. Eight seeded wrestlers, and the rest are drawn randomly. This would allow for more top match-ups in the semis and finals rather than seeing #1 vs. #2 in the quarterfinals. It may sound elitist but face it, wrestling is an elitist sport. Only one wrestler gets his hand raised after the match.

Thoughts?

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The state needs more officials. I invite you to become one...that's if you are man enough to do it. You are a big man to get on this here and say those officials suck, then put your talents to work sunshine, rather than running your chops. Then, after you have officiated a State Duals tournament and see how stressful it is, then I bet you will change your tune or you just might find it's your cup of tea...that is if you can find time to do it rather than typing a dissertation of your thoughts.

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I'm not going to complain about one particular ref, or one particular call, but my complaint with referees this season has been the lack of consistency from one ref to another, one tournament to another. Out of bounds calls (the line is in bounds but I've seen it called out; I've also seen both wrestlers completely outside the line and still somehow the match is not stopped), top man starting position calls (since when are you allowed to start with a tight waist?), loss of control calls, and pin calls are just some of the situations where it seems like refs are operating under different guidelines. I understand there is a certain degree of discretion with judgment calls. However, there is not as much discretion in the official rulebook as what I have seen on display at tournaments this season. Everyone needs to enforce the same rules and make the same calls in the same situations.

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@ trithis:

Don't misunderstand my motivation, sir. And don't question my manhood. I never once said that the referees "sucked" so don't put words in my mouth. If I am going to be taken out of context, then it is pointless for me to offer my point of view on this site. I am simply encouraging some changes statewide in the flow of matches. Too many kids are allowed to lie on the mat unpenalized, wasting away the clock while his oponent is working hard for points. This allowance can encourage some of our competitors to be lazy instead of grinding for a full six minutes. I'd rather see more frequent stall calls and stalemates, firstly because it enforces action, and secondly because our wrestlers should strive toward being better conditioned, not better stallers. I used the refs at state duals as an example because I have a limited sample from this season, but I stand by my opinion that such an important event should by officiated by our state's best refs. My motive is not to belittle our refs, but rather to express my thoughts on standard match flow. The next time you read one of my posts, I'd like for you to really understand my tone and not assume I am bashing anyone. And as for a "dissertaion" of my thoughts, everyone who submits a post on this site is communicating his/her thoughts. You have done no differently. So I challenge you to truly grasp what I am saying before you challenge me as a man. I never made my statement personal, and I would appreciate if you didn't either.

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I may be wrong but i thought the state duals wasnt recognized as a khsaa state tournament? Its all the coaches association right? Therefor the khsaa has no say on assignments to the state duals like they do region amd state tournaments.

So im not sure how its done but i assume its voted on by the coaches association?

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Correct grappleking, state duals is not recognized by the KHSAA. Usually each region will have all their own duals tournament and then the top two from each region qualifies for state duals.

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OK, As a coach and referee of the past(3x I refereed the state duals myself)

#1 Who was at the state duals?

#2 one of the biggest problems is that referees dosent call fleeing and stalling because of the 10' circle (I was threaten to be shoot one year because I enforced this)

#3 Yes we do need more referees, with middle school and high school wrestling expanding , there is a huge need

#4 Seeding the state tournament would be nice, but the sad thing it would take much time. but 90% of the KHSAA tournaments are not seeded

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All other sports for the most part are random draw as well. And their is a lot less bracket spots in those sports. Their may be a smaller sport im not thinking of that seeds. But if the major sports dont seed im sure theyre not gonna seed the wrestling state tournament.

I cant stress enough how bad the state of ky is in need of officials. Some areas more then others.

Also the kwoa ( ky wrestling officials association ) is very young. Im thinking maybe 2-3 years old. So I assume these guys are working hard to make better officials and make sure the right people are calling post season. Give them some time to put in a system, im sure things will be better for everyone involved with this great sport.

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We wouldn't need to seed if they would go back to a District,Region and State. This would solve 90% of the problem and making it to state would mean a lot more to wrestlers. Middle school does this and the quality of wrestling has gone way up at state.

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I agree with that, dagger. Just getting to state ought to mean more than it currently does. Split the regions into 2 districts again or make the current regions the districts and go back to 4 regions.

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If they went back to a district and region the quality of wrestling at state would be awesome. I would love it and the wrestlers that qualified for state would have accomplished something. I know there are people who are against going back to a 16 man bracket and I respect that but for me i'm old school.

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When they first went to the 32 man bracket, I hated it thought it was too much, but it has brought more schools to the tournament to give a taste of what a championship is. The 32 man bracket has grown the sport. (trust me my senior year we had semi state and a 8 man bracket at the state tournament because we had a education comissioner that believed that you didnt miss school time for sports and it almost killed the sport of wrestling). Since the inception of the 32 man bracket, the sport has grown from 56 teams to 84 teams. Cant argue with numbers.

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When they first went to the 32 man bracket, I hated it thought it was too much, but it has brought more schools to the tournament to give a taste of what a championship is. The 32 man bracket has grown the sport. (trust me my senior year we had semi state and a 8 man bracket at the state tournament because we had a education comissioner that believed that you didnt miss school time for sports and it almost killed the sport of wrestling). Since the inception of the 32 man bracket, the sport has grown from 56 teams to 84 teams. Cant argue with numbers.

Big, you don't sound like your 43. Your right the 8 man bracket almost killed the sport and the 32 man bracket has helped to grow the sport of wrestling. I'm glad they went back to a two day tournament the three day tourney was to long. I wish i could be at state this year but can't make it. The first year of semi state was my senior year also and I hated it. I'm glad it only lasted two years.

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I have been around too many kids over 20 years of coaching , I started when I was 21. Could you imagine the talent left out if they had semi state , only the top 4 in regions 1-4 and regions 5-8

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remember the old pull through bracket at state, If you lost your first round match and the guy who beat you lost his second round match, you didnt get to wrestle back, It sucked if you placed 2nd or 3rd in your region

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Yep, that did suck I got beat the 1st round my sophomore year. One and out sucked I never understood why they did that. The odds were the fourth place wrestler would get to wrestle again and a 2nd or 3rd would be one and done. I wander what rocket scientist thought that up. When did they change that rule.

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Being a Ref is tough and stressful, i did it for 2 years before helping out as a coach and I give them a lot of credit to get out there and give back to the sport. I have wrestled all my life and pretty much know how to call each position, but it's a lot to take in when you have to focus on the wrestlers position and take heat from coaches when the calls don't go the way they think.

The biggest problem with the way the officials are going about their business is that they aren't getting any feedback on how to be a better ref. They simply take the test at the beginning of the year then they are on their own. I think it needs to be more of an organization and have meetings every so often to discuss different calls and positions, this will help keep calls all across the state pretty consistent. Aside from that I think that feedback is going to be the biggest help that they could receive. In college there are head officials that go to certain matches to observe new refs or controversial refs to see what they are doing wrong so they can make corrections and be a better ref. Now I know that KY doesn't have the numbers to be doing this, but the coaches should fill out a survey online after every dual to be submitted to whoever is in charge of the refs. Then that person could look over the sheets and see if there are any similarities between the complaints from the coaches, then they could be addressed at that point.

- Regional meetings all across the states to discuss the same situations

- Feedback forms online submitted to whoever is in charge of the refs after every dual/tournament (could have sheets given out at the coaches meeting for each ref so they can take notes throughout the day)

I think if Refs had more feedback they would make better calls and have more confidence in their calls.

If there were region meeting all across the state to discuss certain situations the calls would be more consistant.

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ridingtime- good suggestions. The meetings do happen along with a clinic for the refs in the off season. I have been to them personally and they are very helpful. I encourage feedback when things are going well and when constructive criticism is needed. I am personally open for any tweaks or advice in the way I officiate. The way I look at it is, the longer your in the game and you keep trying to get better, the better you should get. As far as the online forms...can't say that they exist at this moment, however the KWOA has a website with a forum just like that for officials that we use all the time for chats, videos, questions ect. Like I said before...the state needs many more officials and I invite anyone of you to come and give it a shot.

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I've read all of the post in here and would like to commitment on several.

Takedown 152; I see by your name that you are still a young man as when I wrestled that was not a weight class. Even though you did not say the referees “SUCK” you tone was such. I’ve been doing this referring thing for 21 years now and I have been licensed in 5 states. Three of the states are actually true wrestling states, Ohio, New York and Illinois I have seen many officials over the years and we are human, humans make mistakes. Just because you wrestled at one time doesn’t make you a great official and I agree that maybe you should come out and give it a try. As far as the State Duals and experience of the referees, they all had a great number of years under their belt. For your information I went and looked up all the years of officiating for each and every official that was at the state duals. Region 1 official has 18 years, Region 2 has 11 years, Region 3/4/5 X 2 officials has 16 years, Region 6 has 7 years and Region 7 has 7 years. I have this info because I am a official and have access to the list of officials and our qualifications. Spend the $50 and go become an official, don’t be a critic and be part of the problem be part of the solution and become an official.

Ridingtime: I agree with you that the officials in this state need more training and oversight when starting. When I started in Ohio back in 1987 I have to go to a 3 day training class then take the test followed by some one on one training at the district all-star meet. Then I had to do 2 years of Jr high and JV before I could do any varsity matches. Since I am new to KY and will remain here it will become my goal to change that in this state, but it will not happen overnight. We do have local meetings where we do talk about calls and the rules so that we can become unified. Surveys become more of who you like and who you don’t this I know from other states.

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Ohiowrestler:

I can see how the surveys would be about who you like or dislike but thats part of pooling multiple surveys from every coach to see if there are any common complaints/occurances about the way they are reffing.

Thats great that the regional meetings are already in place, and glad to have you on the better side of the river.

trithis:

I understand that the longer you do something the better you get but formal feedback would speed the process up....basically a performance review of some sort.

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Let the wrestlers wrestle. Go back to the root of the sport and quit taking away from working from the top, or bottom. If all you want to see is wrestling from the neutral spot, coach or ref basketball. Some refs want to "over-ref" and stalls and stalemates are part of their repertoire and they don't see, look at, or understand what's going on. If a guy on the bottom is ahead, and the guy on top isn't doing anything to gain an advantage, why call a stalemate or stall? Whose job is it to gain an advantage? The guy on top, right? And if a guy on top is working to get a half, then don't call a stalemate. I have so many ends of the spectrum this year it makes it hard to coach a kid.

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Let the wrestlers wrestle. Go back to the root of the sport and quit taking away from working from the top, or bottom. If all you want to see is wrestling from the neutral spot, coach or ref basketball. Some refs want to "over-ref" and stalls and stalemates are part of their repertoire and they don't see, look at, or understand what's going on. If a guy on the bottom is ahead, and the guy on top isn't doing anything to gain an advantage, why call a stalemate or stall? Whose job is it to gain an advantage? The guy on top, right? And if a guy on top is working to get a half, then don't call a stalemate. I have so many ends of the spectrum this year it makes it hard to coach a kid.

#1 Stalling is not a part of the sport, its is the responsibilty of both men to work, Riding is not a part of High School wrestling. If 2 people are working and there is no advantage , then why not restart? why watch 2 people just lay there. If a guy has a lead why should he just be able to coast, why if a guy has a lead should be called for stalling.

#2 Takedowns are the standard if Olympic wrestling, no one has ever ben able to win matches with out being able to take someone down on a higher level. wrestling as evolved from the bibical days where 2 men would wrestle in a field for days. Yes , being able to pin someone is a great accomplishment but beating the best will always require takedowns and escapes.

#3 If you feel the need to watch old wrestling, there is a festival in Turkey every year where they wrestle in a field for days in leather pants until there is one winner. If you like wrestling, remember the matches are now 6 - 9 minutes and you have to wrestle not stall and the best way to score is winning takedowns

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