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Team State Qualification FAQs: Topic #4, Injuries and "Those scores don't seem fair" situations


Just after Team State and during the Team State qualification process (during the individual state series), I am asked many, many questions "behind the scenes" by coaches and parents that want to understand the process better.  While the event is fresh in people's minds, I want to post a series of "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)" topics with basic descriptions of the qualification process.


Topic #4A: Injured or ineligible


Q: Are good wrestlers that are injured or procedurally ineligible factored in to the scoring process?


--Yes, if a 3A or 2A underclassmen reached at least semi-state last year and misses the state tournament series this year due to injury or due to being procedurally ineligible (i.e. transfer rules), his previous year score is factored into his team's score for this year.  The same is true in 1A for any underclassman that reached at least regional last year.


Q: Why aren't additional injuries considered?


--Unfortunately, injuries are a part of wrestling and the qualification process involves some luck.  It would be impossible to consider all injury situations and this is where the committee has voted to draw the line so that there is a balance between genuine competition and the predictive scoring process.


Topic #4B: "Those scores don't seem fair" (responses to questions about perplexing scores during the qualification process)


Q: Why does an average level team have a similar score to a top-level team after sectional or regional?


--All that is measured after sectional is placement in the top 6 and qualification for regional.  There is no difference between a sectional 4th place guy and a sectional 1st place guy at this point.  Plus, recall that underclassmen score more than seniors.  Also, in 3A specifically, the biggest scoring doesn't happen for top teams until semi-state.  For these reasons, a lesser team with many underclassmen advancing to regional can have a score in line with top teams the first week or two of the tournament.


Q: At what point in the individual tournament series do the qualifying scores become meaningful?


--In 1A, scores are quite meaningful after sectional already.  There will be some further shuffling after regional, but contenders will have already put themselves in position.  Positions will then be mostly decided after regional in 1A.

--In 2A, scores are somewhat meaningful after sectional, much more meaningful after regional, and further finalized after semi-state.

--In 3A, scores are virtually meaningless after sectional.  The list of contenders will be clearer then after regional.  However, the biggest weekend in this class is not until semi-state.  We won't really know the cream of the crop until then.  


Q: Why does a team that we beat during the season have a higher score than my team?


(several possible answers)

--It may be too early in the state tournament series to fairly evaluate scores (see previous 2 questions' answers).

--The team you beat during the season may have more underclassmen coming back and their tournament performance suggests they are expected to be better than you next year.  If a team is at a similar level to you this year and has 3 or 4 more starters returning than you, there is a high probability they will be better than you next year and the qualifying scores should reflect that.

--THE QUALIFICATION PROCESS IS A COMPETITION. Just as during the season, you have to earn the points you get.  Upsets, injuries, underperformance, and bad draws can all have a negative impact, while a strong performance can slot you higher than people might expect.

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