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I’ve been doing a lot of research and a lot of conceptualizing, and I think in order for us to increase the talent pool and further grow the sport of wrestling in Indiana we need to split into two or three classes for the state tournament on top of getting rid of our travel restrictions. I think we should follow the PA route and go AA/AAA. The enthusiasm from those 1A/2A schools who don’t have nearly as many resources as their 3A counterparts every year should be an indicator at what this sport could be. We have a GOOD state tournament, don’t get me wrong. However, it could be so much better if we opened up our travel restrictions and broke off by class. Imagine what kind of career guys like Trezdon O’Neal or other small/intermediate school guys could’ve had with a much better system.

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Nope. Just have wrestlebacks and our system is perfect. Division individual State Champs are lame. If you want more kids to wrestle act like it is a business and have some charisma and sell it. Class

I am pretty sure if you have more than one state champion, by the laws of mathematics it makes you less of a state champion. 

Ever since open enrollment, smaller schools have had a huge decline. Even top notch programs have felt the hit. Why choose to go to Bellmont in Decatur, IN where there isn't a whole lot of attraction

12 minutes ago, blueandgold said:

I’ve been doing a lot of research and a lot of conceptualizing, and I think in order for us to increase the talent pool and further grow the sport of wrestling in Indiana we need to split into two or three classes for the state tournament on top of getting rid of our travel restrictions. I think we should follow the PA route and go AA/AAA. The enthusiasm from those 1A/2A schools who don’t have nearly as many resources as their 3A counterparts every year should be an indicator at what this sport could be. We have a GOOD state tournament, don’t get me wrong. However, it could be so much better if we opened up our travel restrictions and broke off by class. Imagine what kind of career guys like Trezdon O’Neal or other small/intermediate school guys could’ve had with a much better system.

 

Agree - used to be a one-class purest, and while that destroyed the mystique of Indiana Basketball, it would do the opposite for wrestling. Do it now before the Title IX'rs take those resources for girls wrestling. 

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2 hours ago, blueandgold said:

I’ve been doing a lot of research and a lot of conceptualizing, and I think in order for us to increase the talent pool and further grow the sport of wrestling in Indiana we need to split into two or three classes for the state tournament on top of getting rid of our travel restrictions. I think we should follow the PA route and go AA/AAA. The enthusiasm from those 1A/2A schools who don’t have nearly as many resources as their 3A counterparts every year should be an indicator at what this sport could be. We have a GOOD state tournament, don’t get me wrong. However, it could be so much better if we opened up our travel restrictions and broke off by class. Imagine what kind of career guys like Trezdon O’Neal or other small/intermediate school guys could’ve had with a much better system.

Travel restrictions is one thing I never understood. Schools that have the resources should be allowed to go anywhere they choose. 

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17 minutes ago, aoberlin said:

Nope. Just have wrestlebacks and our system is perfect. Division individual State Champs are lame. If you want more kids to wrestle act like it is a business and have some charisma and sell it. Class wrestling only adds water. 


I understand the whole concept of ONE state champion, but in the best states (IA, IL, MN, OH, PA) you see three in all of these minus PA. Having more than one state champion doesn’t make you any less of a state champion. If that’s the case, put every college in one division and see how they fare.

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At the 2019 IHSAA State Finals, there were 108 schools represented. I’m not sure on the exact number, but last I saw there were about 300 or so schools in the state that had wrestling programs. I’m not saying we start handing out state qualifications, but we should be mindful of the direction wrestling could go. The purpose of this is to grow the sport and open it up to new eyes.

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45 minutes ago, blueandgold said:


I understand the whole concept of ONE state champion, but in the best states (IA, IL, MN, OH, PA) you see three in all of these minus PA. Having more than one state champion doesn’t make you any less of a state champion. If that’s the case, put every college in one division and see how they fare.

I am pretty sure if you have more than one state champion, by the laws of mathematics it makes you less of a state champion. 

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17 minutes ago, pugsley said:

I am pretty sure if you have more than one state champion, by the laws of mathematics it makes you less of a state champion. 


Tell that to David Taylor (4x OH Div. II State Champion), Gable Steveson (4x MN AAA State Champion), or Spencer Lee (3x PA AAA State Champion). I wonder if their classed championships make them any less of a state champion. In Illinois, state champion vs. state champion matches make for great entertainment. If I can recall, the Dvorak Invite back in 2013 featured an undefeated then-3X, eventual 4x Illinois 1A state champion in Josh Alber of Dakota against an eventual 4x Illinois 3A state champion in Jered Cortez, and Alber beat him. That same 1A Dakota team also was nationally ranked at the same time OPRF and Montini were, AND they won Disney that year when they WHOOPED a nationally ranked 3x defending national champion Perry Meridian, a team from a single class state, 55-4, but they were 1A so it doesn’t matter, right?

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59 minutes ago, blueandgold said:

At the 2019 IHSAA State Finals, there were 108 schools represented. I’m not sure on the exact number, but last I saw there were about 300 or so schools in the state that had wrestling programs. I’m not saying we start handing out state qualifications, but we should be mindful of the direction wrestling could go. The purpose of this is to grow the sport and open it up to new eyes.


 

Do any other IHSAA sports have 1/3 of the schools represented at state? 

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If I’m not mistaken I believe their is only 3 states that due true state champion without divisions. California, Indiana and New Jersey I think. We need more club wrestling in the state to be able to grow the sport. Instead of putting divisions and basically loosing our legendary semi-states, we use club wrestling to build up our Athletes and make Indiana more competitive then what it is now. Which by the way shout out to crown point and Brownsburg on making Intermat top teams in the country. 

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5 hours ago, blueandgold said:


I understand the whole concept of ONE state champion, but in the best states (IA, IL, MN, OH, PA) you see three in all of these minus PA. Having more than one state champion doesn’t make you any less of a state champion. If that’s the case, put every college in one division and see how they fare.

Take MN off of the list.  I’ve been to their state tournament..no comparison. They have 3 schools on the level. Apple Valley, Simley and Kass-Manv.  7th graders regularly win state. No good.

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5 hours ago, Wrestlingfan937 said:

If I’m not mistaken I believe their is only 3 states that due true state champion without divisions. California, Indiana and New Jersey I think. We need more club wrestling in the state to be able to grow the sport. Instead of putting divisions and basically loosing our legendary semi-states, we use club wrestling to build up our Athletes and make Indiana more competitive then what it is now. Which by the way shout out to crown point and Brownsburg on making Intermat top teams in the country. 

Kentucky, Hawaii, Delaware, and Vermont also...aka the wrestling powers.

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I used to be be a staunch 1 class believer but am not sure anymore.  I am 100% positive that the atmosphere at the state finals would not be the same.  I am no longer sure that is as important as I used to think.  If Indiana did decide to add classes, I would hope they would do 2 classes at most.  I think 3 would be pretty watered down. 

 

The Indiana State Finals are incredible and would hate to see that change but I also understand there are benefits for the smaller schools and the sport should be about the kids and not the fans.  

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24 minutes ago, doctorWrestling said:

I used to be be a staunch 1 class believer but am not sure anymore.  I am 100% positive that the atmosphere at the state finals would not be the same.  I am no longer sure that is as important as I used to think.  If Indiana did decide to add classes, I would hope they would do 2 classes at most.  I think 3 would be pretty watered down. 

 

The Indiana State Finals are incredible and would hate to see that change but I also understand there are benefits for the smaller schools and the sport should be about the kids and not the fans.  

 The bolded section of the quote above is the key here. I love that our state has passionate fans that care what happens, but the sport is for the participants and any argument that is based on "the atmosphere at state" or "losing the great bloodround at the Semi-States" is simply a selfish argument. 

 

Small school kids that are needed to play multiple sports to make their Athletic Departments work and can't dedicate an entire year to wrestling are definitely on an uneven playing field from lack of ability to recruit and keep good coaching, less funding for the program, and fewer quality practice partners in the room (if any).

 

We've all heard to exceptions to the rule: Wrestler A finishes top 4 at state from Class A school, so the system is not unfair!

 

There will always be exceptions. However, if you look at long-term sustainability of wrestling at the small school level, more tastes of success would encourage more ADs to buy into it. So it stands to reason that if we split to 2 classes, schools like Madison Grant, Clinton Prarie, Owen Valley, and Wapahani (just random examples) who have not had a ton of success, may get a state qualifier or 2, then maybe that leads to another random "football/track" athlete that picks up wrestling and finds success and the ball starts rolling and suddenly a program which is perennially done by Regional Weekend (on a good year) and has 7-12 guys on the team is getting 3 extra weeks of practice and numbers go up to 15-25. This happens at even 20 schools and numbers are up by 100-200 athletes!

 

Please note where I coach. This isn't a selfish decision for my program. HSE will be the biggest class regardless of how many divisions are set up. I've yet to hear any argument against classing that says it's worse for the kids or that one class is better for the kids. I'm generally open minded though, if you have an argument that says it's better to be one classed for the athletes, I'd love to hear it. 

 

 

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I don't comment on these often but I will say I believe that Indiana being single classed is the reason we are so tough at the top. In some states like Georgia there are as many as 7 classes for wrestling that means you have almost a full 8 man bracket of state champs. I feel like that waters down what it means to be a state champion. However I completely agree with a dual meet state being classed just like our IHSWCA has done for our state tournament gives all of the small schools great opportunities to show their talent but at the end of the day there is ONE state champion. Every year there are kids from small 1A and 2A schools that are high on the podium I believe this proves every year that wrestling shouldn't be classed because no matter where you come from if you put in the work you can get to bankers life, it doesn't take going to Cathedral, Perry, Brownsburg, Avon, etc, you can be a state champ from anywhere if you put in the work. 

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Here is an argument on why one class is better for the kids:

 

A state championship in a state with one class will carry more weight with college coaches. 
 

Also, I am raising my kids to think big.  Not just in terms of wrestling, but in life. But in that theme, as far as wrestling goes, competing in a single class state tournament is a much bigger stage, and encourages them to shoot higher than a multi-class tourney. 

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Ever since open enrollment, smaller schools have had a huge decline. Even top notch programs have felt the hit. Why choose to go to Bellmont in Decatur, IN where there isn't a whole lot of attraction like attending a school in Indianapolis. You can take all of Adams County, Wells County, and Jay County kids and lump them into one program and still wouldn't be able to have the draw and pool of kids like the biggest schools of the state. Our school keeps getting smaller and smaller every year, and the crop of the litter is bare. Our middle school is feeling it even worse. For a sport like basketball, where you only need 5 guys, the middle school doesn't even have an 8th grade basketball team this season. Even if we do get new students, we aren't getting top notch athletes at smaller schools. We are dealing with low income section 8 families who don't care to have there kids be in sports. It has become very ignorant of the fans of our sport to believe that we as a state can continue to grow our sport when we are only benefiting the biggest schools in the state.

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I also used to be a supporter of single class. With me the concern was all about the short term impact. Things like the transition and "lessening" the value of qualifying state or winning a state champ. Things that are all fan prospectives. I wasn't looking at long term affect until recently after almost 10 years of coaching. I think that is what happens with most single class supporters. Yes the change from single to 2 or 3 may seem to cheapen things at first but once class gets going we'll see numbers grow and more excitement some of the smaller schools. Sports like football, basketball,  and baseball are going to get their numbers. We at a sport need to do what we can to get numbers. Not to mention more state champs will lead to more recruitments. Yes I understand there's other factors in recruitment accomplishments matter as well.

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1 minute ago, graham said:

Here is an argument on why one class is better for the kids:

 

A state championship in a state with one class will carry more weight with college coaches. 
 

Also, I am raising my kids to think big.  Not just in terms of wrestling, but in life. But in that theme, as far as wrestling goes, competing in a single class state tournament is a much bigger stage, and encourages them to shoot higher than a multi-class tourney. 

I'll agree to the first point. Winning a state title in Indiana, or even placing, certainly carries a great weight with it, but if your children are attending Cathedral (just a guess based off of your profile pic), they will be on the biggest stage anyways. How would dropping schools like Fremont, Madison Grant, Eastbrook, and Clinton Central from your class impact your child's recruitment at all? Would you begrudge those programs having success because it means if they randomly have a stud wrestler  your athlete wouldn't get to compete with them?

 

I coach at a large school and every kid that gets recruited from us starts getting letters because of what they do in the offseason (Fargo, Folkstyle Nationals, Virginia Beach, etc;). 

 

Your point is fair though. Thank you.

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Some questions for the class wrestling supporters, and a proposal:

  • If you have 3 classes, do the smaller school teams only participate in duals/tournaments versus other small school teams during season?
  • If you plan to have small schools wrestle against large schools during in-season tournaments, then why wouldn't it make sense to do it post-season?  The individual wrestlers are at the same advantage/disadvantage.
  • If you plan to only have the small schools participate versus other small schools, then travel budget will increase as the number of schools in a given class will be less and schools will have to travel farther for class-level competition

So following this reasoning, and assuming that class wrestling supporters are likely to believe that only the post-season should be classed - my proposal would be:

  • Keep the single-class IHSAA tournament
  • Small schools opt out of two in-season tournaments (4 participation points)
  • After the Regional round of IHSAA championships, hold a regional tournament for those small school wrestlers that were eliminated in Sectional or Regional
  • After the IHSAA state championship, hold a Small School State Championship and seed the small school wrestlers that made it to state/semistate along with the top wrestlers from the Small School Regional tournament.  Determine class champions so more wrestlers can gain notoriety. Possibly only allow wrestlers that did not place at IHSAA State to participate (even more people awarded)
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10 minutes ago, base said:

Some questions for the class wrestling supporters, and a proposal:

  • If you have 3 classes, do the smaller school teams only participate in duals/tournaments versus other small school teams during season?
  • If you plan to have small schools wrestle against large schools during in-season tournaments, then why wouldn't it make sense to do it post-season?  The individual wrestlers are at the same advantage/disadvantage.
  • If you plan to only have the small schools participate versus other small schools, then travel budget will increase as the number of schools in a given class will be less and schools will have to travel farther for class-level competition

 

All classed sports allow competition between teams from different classes during the regular season so why would wrestling have to be different. I'm not 100 percent sure with other states but I'm sure they don't restrict who faces who during regular season.

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1 hour ago, QuinnHarris said:

I don't comment on these often but I will say I believe that Indiana being single classed is the reason we are so tough at the top. In some states like Georgia there are as many as 7 classes for wrestling that means you have almost a full 8 man bracket of state champs. I feel like that waters down what it means to be a state champion. However I completely agree with a dual meet state being classed just like our IHSWCA has done for our state tournament gives all of the small schools great opportunities to show their talent but at the end of the day there is ONE state champion. Every year there are kids from small 1A and 2A schools that are high on the podium I believe this proves every year that wrestling shouldn't be classed because no matter where you come from if you put in the work you can get to bankers life, it doesn't take going to Cathedral, Perry, Brownsburg, Avon, etc, you can be a state champ from anywhere if you put in the work. 

RE: Georgia. While 7 classes seems really high and really watery. Check out the team scores for Fargo 2019, this is from Flo. This is combined Cadets and Juniors. Georgia is on the rise nationally. Why? I'm not sure it's because it has 7 classes but it certainly isn't hurting them.

 

Also funny that Minnesota is 2nd here as they have 7th graders winning state.

 

Link is where I pulled from: https://www.flowrestling.org/results/6529893-2019-usmc-cadet-and-junior-national-championships/26737

 

Team Scores (Champs, All-Americans)

  1. Pennsylvania: 61 (2, 12)
  2. Minnesota: 51 (2, 12)
  3. Ohio: 50 (1, 10)
  4. Georgia: 42 (0, 9)
  5. Illinois: 40 (2, 9)
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47 minutes ago, base said:

Some questions for the class wrestling supporters, and a proposal:

  • If you have 3 classes, do the smaller school teams only participate in duals/tournaments versus other small school teams during season?
  • If you plan to have small schools wrestle against large schools during in-season tournaments, then why wouldn't it make sense to do it post-season?  The individual wrestlers are at the same advantage/disadvantage.
  • If you plan to only have the small schools participate versus other small schools, then travel budget will increase as the number of schools in a given class will be less and schools will have to travel farther for class-level competition

So following this reasoning, and assuming that class wrestling supporters are likely to believe that only the post-season should be classed - my proposal would be:

  • Keep the single-class IHSAA tournament
  • Small schools opt out of two in-season tournaments (4 participation points)
  • After the Regional round of IHSAA championships, hold a regional tournament for those small school wrestlers that were eliminated in Sectional or Regional
  • After the IHSAA state championship, hold a Small School State Championship and seed the small school wrestlers that made it to state/semistate along with the top wrestlers from the Small School Regional tournament.  Determine class champions so more wrestlers can gain notoriety. Possibly only allow wrestlers that did not place at IHSAA State to participate (even more people awarded)

I like the idea in spirit but why should small schools be punished by losing anywhere from 2-20 matches regular season and having to participate in the "big school" tournament just so big school kids can say they "beat everyone" on their way to the title? You're taking away matches from these kids so that we can keep a one class system for what purpose? Which kids exactly does it benefit? 

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