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MCKAJC

8th Graders wrestling in HS Yes or No?

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Several states currently allow middle schoolers to wrestle the High School season. i.e. Min. Ok. Iowa...

 

The coaches I've talked to worry about Programs filling out their team with Middle School wrestlers that aren't ready to compete at that level. In my opinion a valid concern.

 

How about this:

 

1. Set a cut off date just after the state finals for paper work(petition) to be submitted.

2. Create a set of rules and standards to govern the process and make it fair to all.

3. The IHSSA reviews each case on it's own merit and approves or rejects the petition based on rules governing the process. (This would keep coaches from using 8th graders that are not prepared, to "fill out" their rosters).

 

If, in the opinion of the IHSSA the kid has the experience behind him and is prepared for the challenge(not undersized and academic standards are met),they are approved to wrestle.This would be a huge development advantage for our state.

 

Yes or No???

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Reasons??

 

There are many reasons. I think that if you are not in high school then you should not be on a high school team. One reason would be to be fair to all teams. For example if your team and my team were wrestling each other and using only high school wrestlers your team would win by 5 or less points. Both teams have one forfeit. Now imagine that I have a 8th grade wrestler that the IHSAA let wrestle for my team and he gets a forfeit from your team. You also have a good 8th grader but the IHSAA did not approve him for high school wrestling. The difference between our teams come down to someone in a office in Indianapolis who has never seen either 8th grade wrestler actually wrestle a match making a choice. Another reason would be the season records that some kids have worked very hard for over their four years of high school. With your plan to allow 8th graders to wrestle some kids would have five years to break those records. I have seen guys that have great middle school records but struggle as freshman. 

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There may already be restrictions by the IHSAA to prevent this.  Many years ago (probably 15-20)  AC hosted a C team tourney.  It was supposed to be for 1st/2nd year wrestlers with little experience.  Carmel and Clay middle schools asked to attend the tourney since they had freshmen on their  teams at that time.  We allowed there 7th/8th graders to participate, but they were prohibited from wrestling anyone above a sophomore.  I think it was an IHSAA restriction.  In our case we made the junior forfeit because this was supposed to be an underclassmen tourney.

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There may already be restrictions by the IHSAA to prevent this.  Many years ago (probably 15-20)  AC hosted a C team tourney.  It was supposed to be for 1st/2nd year wrestlers with little experience.  Carmel and Clay middle schools asked to attend the tourney since they had freshmen on their  teams at that time.  We allowed there 7th/8th graders to participate, but they were prohibited from wrestling anyone above a sophomore.  I think it was an IHSAA restriction.  In our case we made the junior forfeit because this was supposed to be an underclassmen tourney.

I'm sure there are restrictions in place, which I'm also sure, could be lifted. What if these were 8th graders that could seriously compete at that level with upper classman? It's been done in the past and is currently being done. With Middle School wrestlers not just competing but contending at the High School level. I don't think the forfeit argument is valid, if you don't have someone at a weight class you should get a forfeit. I'm talking about kids that earn spots, not fillers. My outline for qualifying isn't just a decision made by "people in an office" if you have a good 8th graders that meets the qualifications he wrestles. If he dosen't me them he dosen't. It's very simple and clear cut criteria. It's an objective not subjective process.

 

I spoke about this at length with a former NCAA All-American who currently coaches at a Big Ten school. I asked him, how can we(in Indiana)leverage training to compete against kids from states that allow Middle School kids to wrestle at the High School level. He paused for a second and said, you can't there is no replacement for being able to compete at a higher level like that. So you have to ask yourself, do you want to keep up?

 

Again we could be holding kids back that are prepared to move forward. This seems to me to be the opposite of "Redshirting" or "Holding back" which there are no restrictions on. So, I can hold my kid back on a whim, but I can?t move him ahead even if he?s ready. That makes great sense, right?

 

Is it just me, or is this backasswords?

 

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I would have to agree with Chambers how many bigger 8th graders do you see wrestle in HS in these other states? Most are the lightest weight classes. I believe a bigger 8th grader has a good shot of getting injured. Might be the best at that school in that weight but as the season goes on they are more likely to get injured than placing. Plus they are not in HS yet give them time, let them enjoy middle school.

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Not all states that are stronger wrestling states than Indiana are that way because they allow 8th graders to wrestle on high school teams. If that was the case then we would also be behind Kentucky. Kentucky allows 8th graders to wrestle on their high school teams and they are way behind Indiana when it comes to wrestling.

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Several states currently allow middle schoolers to wrestle the High School season. i.e. Min. Ok. Iowa...

 

The coaches I've talked to worry about Programs filling out their team with Middle School wrestlers that aren't ready to compete at that level. In my opinion a valid concern.

 

How about this:

 

1. Set a cut off date just after the state finals for paper work(petition) to be submitted.

2. Create a set of rules and standards to govern the process and make it fair to all.

3. The IHSSA reviews each case on it's own merit and approves or rejects the petition based on rules governing the process. (This would keep coaches from using 8th graders that are not prepared, to "fill out" their rosters).

 

If, in the opinion of the IHSSA the kid has the experience behind him and is prepared for the challenge(not undersized and academic standards are met),they are approved to wrestle.This would be a huge development advantage for our state.

 

Yes or No???

 

You example schools of Min. Ok. Iowa are not good examples as two of the three do not actually allow 8th graders to wrestle on their high school teams.

Iowa- 7th and 8th graders can only wrestle 7th and 8th graders. Only 9 contests,  no tournaments. It looks like Indiana allows more chances to wrestle at this level than Iowa does.

 

Minnesota- allows 7th and 8th graders. This is the one out of three that you got right. What is it that makes you feel that Minnesota is ahead of Indiana when it comes to high school wrestling?

 

Oklahoma does not allow 7th and 8th graders, in fact they go the other way and allow 9th graders to wrestle both high school and JR high.

 

 

 

Can you give us your ideas on what would be  a set of rules and standards to govern the process and make it fair to all.

What are these rules and standards?

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The Idea of putting a 8Th grader to face a bigger wrestler like Mike Johnson Jones that just is not safe. Expecially just to fill a spot. Just my opinion.

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What High School would the 7th or 8th grader wrestle for?  He could pick and choose from several high schools in a lot of urban areas.  You think recruiting is a problem now, imagine what would happen to an 8th grade Stud that had numerous high schools in which he could wrerstle for.  The idea is rediculous and wouldn't work.

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Chambers - Thanks for the clarification, the information I have is from individuals I have had conversations with at national events from the various states. This is by no means always factual, Very often gamesmanship.

 

IU89 - The wrestler has to wrestler for the HS he will attend for his HS education, not difficult to manage. Ridiculous?? Absolutely Not! What would you say to a 7th or 8th grader that had say a 30-10 record and qualified out of mville? Ridiculous?? Fiction could become fact. No losers in that scenario.

 

For starters it would seem that a requirement be set for a minimum number of matches(250 or so), and a minimum of 3 top 3 finishes at ISWA State Finals, from Novice to second year Schoolboy(Second year Schoolboy min. age) This would create a small group of potential candidates, of which not all would want to take part. This too would most likely give this particular wrestler more match experience than over 50% of the HS wrestlers that are grade 11 and under. It would seem that a wrestler that meets these criteria is prepared technically.

 

Scholastic requirements are simple. No grades No wrestle.

 

The five years to break records argument isn't serious. This is about development on a national level from within the State not about records. Development needs to evolve with the sport.  It wouldn't surprise me to see some of the middle school kids that could potentially qualify to wrestle, make it out of their semi-state, and maybe even win a place.

 

I just don't see a down side.

 

I'd really like to know the IHSSA's position or opinion.

 

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Chambers - Thanks for the clarification, the information I have is from individuals I have had conversations with at national events from the various states. This is by no means always factual, Very often gamesmanship.

 

IU89 - The wrestler has to wrestler for the HS he will attend for his HS education.

 

For starters it would seem that a requirement be set for a minimum number of matches(250 or so), and a minimum of 3 top 3 finishes at ISWA State Finals, from Novice to second year Schoolboy(Second year Schoolboy min. age) This would create a small group of potential candidates, of which not all would want to take part. This too would most likely give this particular wrestler more match experience than over 50% of the HS wrestlers that are grade 11 and under. It would seem that a wrestler that meets these criteria is prepared technically.

 

Scholastic requirements are simple. No grades No wrestle.

 

The five years to break records argument isn't serious. This is about development on a national level from within the State not about records. Development needs to evolve with the sport.  It wouldn't surprise me to see some of the middle school kids that could potentially qualify to wrestle, make it out of their semi-state, and maybe even win a place.

 

I just don't see a down side.

 

I'd really like to know the IHSSA's position or opinion.

 

 

I don't like the idea of using the ISWA results as one of the criteria.  Some kids do not have the chance to wrestle ISWA do to the cost involved. If you do not live near Indianapolis the cost to attend one state championship starts out at about $250. How are you going to prove that a kid has over 250 matches? Placing  top three at a ISWA state finals is very had to do for some age/weightclasses but then you have some age/weightclasses that only have three wrestlers entered or even with a few more than three wrestlers a wrestler would only need to win one match to place top three. 

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If you don't meet criteria you can't wrestle. It's that simple. Are you saying because some can't afford or choose not to go to state, the ones who do can't use it as criteria? It's the only measuring stick. Your talking about a very small number by comparison to the one's that attend and wrestle. As far as proving matches, that's up to the wrestler and his family. I would have no problem using trackwrestling, I could have a valid number in less than an hour. It would show all matches, but it would be enough.

 

We've been to seven state meets and never had less than 15 and as many as 40 in our groups. Only the highest weights have lower numbers. That changes as you get older, and the smaller weights have the lower numbers. The smaller kids most likely wouldn't be big enough to participate.

 

Again, this would be for the wrestler that wanted to participate, and did the work to become eligible. If your not prepared to go through the required steps to be eligible you don't wrestle. I'd be surprised if there were 30 kids in the state that would petition to wrestle.

 

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If you don't meet criteria you can't wrestle. It's that simple. Are you saying because some can't afford or choose not to go to state, the ones who do can't use it as criteria? It's the only measuring stick. Your talking about a very small number by comparison to the one's that attend and wrestle. As far as proving matches, that's up to the wrestler and his family. I would have no problem using trackwrestling, I could have a valid number in less than an hour. It would show all matches, but it would be enough.

 

 

 

We've been to seven state meets and never had less than 15 and as many as 40 in our groups. Only the highest weights have lower numbers. That changes as you get older, and the smaller weights have the lower numbers. The smaller kids most likely wouldn't be big enough to participate.

 

Again, this would be for the wrestler that wanted to participate, and did the work to become eligible. If your not prepared to go through the required steps to be eligible you don't wrestle. I'd be surprised if there were 30 kids in the state that would petition to wrestle.

 

When you say that "Only the highest weights have lower numbers. That changes as you get older, and the smaller weights have the lower numbers" you are not right. A quick look at the ISWA website shows that from Novice 95 and up had low numbers last year. SB also had several weights that had low numbers.

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I just don't see a down side.

 

I'd really like to know the IHSSA's position or opinion.

 

IMO, the bigger issue for the IHSAA would be the onslaught of middle schoolers from other sports now wanting the opportunity to participate at the HS level.  This sounds like a nightmare for the IHSAA. 

 

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I'm sure there are restrictions in place, which I'm also sure, could be lifted. What if these were 8th graders that could seriously compete at that level with upper classman? It's been done in the past and is currently being done. With Middle School wrestlers not just competing but contending at the High School level. I don't think the forfeit argument is valid, if you don't have someone at a weight class you should get a forfeit. I'm talking about kids that earn spots, not fillers. My outline for qualifying isn't just a decision made by "people in an office" if you have a good 8th graders that meets the qualifications he wrestles. If he dosen't me them he dosen't. It's very simple and clear cut criteria. It's an objective not subjective process.

 

I spoke about this at length with a former NCAA All-American who currently coaches at a Big Ten school. I asked him, how can we(in Indiana)leverage training to compete against kids from states that allow Middle School kids to wrestle at the High School level. He paused for a second and said, you can't there is no replacement for being able to compete at a higher level like that. So you have to ask yourself, do you want to keep up?

 

Again we could be holding kids back that are prepared to move forward. This seems to me to be the opposite of "Redshirting" or "Holding back" which there are no restrictions on. So, I can hold my kid back on a whim, but I can?t move him ahead even if he?s ready. That makes great sense, right?

 

Is it just me, or is this backasswords?

 

 

 

So why don't you just have your son skip a grade and advance to a freshmen? Problem solved...

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I would vote NO to this proposal, here are some of my reasoning:

 

-  There is much talk of Indiana competing at the national level.  While I am not "against" that, I do believe that at it's basic level Indiana high school sports is more about promoting competition, sportsmanship and athletics within the youth community.  What happens when you have a senior wrestler that has worked under a superior athlete for several years, finally has his chance to be a varsity wrestler, then loses a wrestle-off to an 8th grade stud?

 

- I believe that for the very good middle school wrestlers there are other avenues available to find greater competition:  first and foremost, local wrestling clubs.  Go to those and you will find a concentration of more serious partners and coaches teaching higher techniques.  Secondly, ISWA/USA and HYWAY tournaments.  If they are not providing enough competition within state, then get onto the USA Wrestling major tournament tour where you will see some of the best from the nation.

 

-  Lastly, and I think this is overlooked, is maturity level.  High school boys deal with different issues that middle schoolers, discuss some "topics" at a much different level and generally are divided for a reason.  Just as I think it would be a mistake to have an elementary child hanging around with primarily a middle school group of boys, I believe the same would hold true for the middle school kid being put in the middle of a high school wrestling team.  I have personally seen/heard high school boys have discussions that make me cringe as an adult.  Personally, I would not want a middle school kid in the middle of that.

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I would vote NO to this proposal, here are some of my reasoning:

 

-  There is much talk of Indiana competing at the national level.  While I am not "against" that, I do believe that at it's basic level Indiana high school sports is more about promoting competition, sportsmanship and athletics within the youth community.  What happens when you have a senior wrestler that has worked under a superior athlete for several years, finally has his chance to be a varsity wrestler, then loses a wrestle-off to an 8th grade stud?

 

- I believe that for the very good middle school wrestlers there are other avenues available to find greater competition:  first and foremost, local wrestling clubs.  Go to those and you will find a concentration of more serious partners and coaches teaching higher techniques.  Secondly, ISWA/USA and HYWAY tournaments.  If they are not providing enough competition within state, then get onto the USA Wrestling major tournament tour where you will see some of the best from the nation.

 

-  Lastly, and I think this is overlooked, is maturity level.  High school boys deal with different issues that middle schoolers, discuss some "topics" at a much different level and generally are divided for a reason.  Just as I think it would be a mistake to have an elementary child hanging around with primarily a middle school group of boys, I believe the same would hold true for the middle school kid being put in the middle of a high school wrestling team.  I have personally seen/heard high school boys have discussions that make me cringe as an adult.  Personally, I would not want a middle school kid in the middle of that.

 

I would also vote no, but I would disagree with your first point.  Couldn't that scenario happen if that 8th grade stud is a 9th grade stud, instead?

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I think there are a lot of 8th graders who could compete at the high school level.  You see more and more freshman winning state championships - they could surely have competed the year before. 

 

How many times do coaches send high school kids with no experience out to wrestle a kid that is clearly out of their league during a year - I think a lot.  You know you have seen kids that have no business being on the mat with other kids at every high school tournament you go to - how many are really injured?  Wrestling is a fairly safe sport,  they are already limited to wrestling kids at approximately the same weight.  I think you have to trust that coaches wouldn't send an 8th grader out to wrestle a kid they think would injure them. 

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There are likely a number of 7th and 8th graders who could easily compete at the high school level.

 

Want an example? A Minnesota wrestler was a 7th grader (8th grader this coming fall) just won first place at a Michigan tourney against a high placing state wrestler from Indiana who I believe is a senior this coming season. This wrestler in Minnesota has a chance to become a 6 time High School State Champion.

 

In Minnesota all 7th and 8th graders are eligible to compete at the high school level.

 

IMO there are actually many extremely talented wrestlers who are fully skilled enough to compete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There are likely a number of 7th and 8th graders who could easily compete at the high school level.

 

Want an example? A Minnesota wrestler was a 7th grader (8th grader this coming fall) just won first place at a Michigan tourney against a high placing state wrestler from Indiana who I believe is a senior this coming season.

 

 

 

If that example is Mark Hall it's not a strong one cosidering he is a 14 or 15 year old 7th grader.  That makes him of freshman age where as a regular 7th grader turns from 12 to 13.  And not your typical wrestling family either.  Along with moving from state to state (Mich, OH, KY, and MN) in the last few  he was also held back at least once by his parent for what was reported as none grade related reasons.  Thus he's not exactly a great case study here.   By the way he actually had a chance to be a 7 time state champ but ended up placing second in Kentucky last year during his first 7th grade year.  

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If that example is Mark Hall it's not a strong one cosidering he is a 14 or 15 year old 7th grader.  That makes him of freshman age where as a regular 7th grader turns from 12 to 13.  And not your typical wrestling family either.  Along with moving from state to state (Mich, OH, KY, and MN) in the last few  he was also held back at least once by his parent for what was reported as none grade related reasons.   Thus he's not exactly a great case study here.   By the way he actually had a chance to be a 7 time state champ but ended up placing second in Kentucky last year during his first 7th grade year.  

 

http://www.intermatwrestle.com/articles/7774

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