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Faulkens view on Class Wrestling


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losing 5 kid or so kids for a small school and losing 5 kids for a big school is different. small schools are lucky to have a JV team... you talk about kids quitting because they are on a team with a bunch of middle school placers champs and state qualifiers. Small schools have to deal with kids not wanting to wrestle JV because they may only get 5-10 matches a year because some ADs won't schedule JV meets for only 2-5 JV wrestlers and it's hard to get JV matches at varsity meets because all the teams that have numbers send their JV to a different meet. Yes big schools may lose some wrestlers from year to year but a team that may have 10-15 kids lose 5 compare to a team of 30 losing 5 is a huge difference. 

58 minutes ago, Mattyb said:

How do we determine if we are losing more kids at smaller schools... Who’s to say that we aren’t losing more kids at larger schools? 
 

My point is this... if you walk into a big school room, with multiple middle school state placers or champs in one weight class and realize you most likely will not ever make varsity... it’s hard to stick to the sport. 
 

Also.. football players that see year round wrestlers in spots, and realize that they will never make the lineup. That’s tough. 
 

Pre-academy wrestling, everyone was sort of on the same level. Now the academy kids are mostly on another level (with some exceptions). Do we ban academies to give others a chance and level the playing field? That should help numbers... right? 

 

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It doesn't matter if random fans remember who a "champion" is. It matters to the kids that win and their schools. High school athletics should not be about the wins and losses, it NEEDS to be about bu

Most people won't ever understand small school athletics. It's easy to say just work harder. I've been coaching small schools for 33 years. It's been a struggle for most of them. We don't have the sam

In my opinion. Coaches encouraging kids to do one sport only is the biggest issue to why participation in all sports is down. 

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38 minutes ago, Galagore said:

 

What is "Not according to the provided numbers from New Jersey"? My question was about academies. If you are referring back to the participation numbers, it was stated that New Jersey numbers were holding steady, not increasing like the rest of the country.

 

I assume that the loss of numbers is from smaller schools due to what I observe at invitationals over the course of our season. Not scientific, I grant you, which is why I try not to cite this when providing evidence.

 

If academies are to blame, why are numbers falling in Indiana, staying the same in New Jersey, but rising in the rest of the country?

Correct me if I'm wrong Matt, but what I think he's suggesting, and I agree, is that the numbers are not decreasing in New Jersey, who has a single-class system, and a comparable number of schools to IN. I think you have now rephrased what we are saying to "numbers are not growing" in these two states. The fact that NJ's numbers are holding steady could show that the sport is in a healthy spot, right now. 

 

But if our numbers are decreasing, and Jersey is holding steady, and both states have a comparable system, what is causing our numbers to decrease? Would classing it simply, increase numbers? 

 

I think @Antknee wrote something up last week that really resonated with me. We are also a 1A program that has seen a lot of growth in our numbers in the last 4-5 years. Team State has been HUGE for our program, but we have also put an emphasis on offseason wrestling, wrestling at out-of-season tournaments such as Frosh/Soph, ISWA, and I think will be making our first trip out to VA Beach with a few kids in April this spring. Our kids have bought-in to wrestling in the offseason. We do not have an academy in or near Rensselaer, we just open up our room for our kids and work. The closest Academies are RWA and Elite Academy (50-60 minutes), Midwest RTC (1.25 hours) and Contenders (1.5 hours). None of them are convenient, nor feasible options, yet we have seen growth in our small-school program. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Galagore said:

 

What is "Not according to the provided numbers from New Jersey"? My question was about academies. If you are referring back to the participation numbers, it was stated that New Jersey numbers were holding steady, not increasing like the rest of the country.

 

I assume that the loss of numbers is from smaller schools due to what I observe at invitationals over the course of our season. Not scientific, I grant you, which is why I try not to cite this when providing evidence.

 

If academies are to blame, why are numbers falling in Indiana, staying the same in New Jersey, but rising in the rest of the country?

I don’t actually think that academies are are to blame.

 

My point is that that line of thinking is no more valid than then class wrestling argument. In my opinion. 
 

Heck.. may as well blame video games. The better the games get... the more kids we lose. 
 

Im not making light of things. Just feel as though class wrestling will have little effect. 
 

Pehaps the IHSWCA can form some kinda committee to help address the loss of kids. 

Edited by Mattyb
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I've coached at small schools--kids don't want to come out because they think they have no chance to advance. Those of you that think "just having the opportunity to compete" is enough for kids these days, are wrong. Classed team state doesn't move the needle for kids wanting to participate. Kids want to know there is a payoff at the end of their struggle. Is it guaranteed if we had 2 classes? No, but at least they feel like they have a fair chance. I can't get kids to come out when I tell them we are in a Sectional with Brownsburg, Avon, Plainfield, Pike and Ben Davis. And if you get through that, the Regional with Center Grove, Franklin, Mooresville, Martinsville, etc...

 

While programs aren't being dropped, at what point do teams stop getting dual meets scheduled? When they have 8, 9, or 10 forfeits? Nobody wants to schedule those teams. I don't have the numbers, but I would bet we are getting more of those teams every year.

 

Maybe I should have told them to come out anyway and just work harder. That seems to be a pretty popular opinion to small school problems...

 

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@bomber_bob

Yes, I agree that numbers are not decreasing in NJ, however someone else (not me) stated that numbers were holding steady. That is not consistent with what is happening nationally, where the sport is growing.

 

Again, I do not know if classing would simply increase the numbers. What is apparent, however is that most of the rest of the country runs a classed individual tournament, and wrestling is growing in the rest of the country. If there are other differences between Indiana and the rest of the country, then I am absolutely open to those changes.

 

As for both the Rensselaer Central and Bremen programs, it seems that programs that are having that much success with their off season efforts should be dominating the state tournament. A classed tournament would afford your programs the recognition they have earned. Seeing programs like yours have massive success is the the ultimate advertisement for other small schools to start doing the things you are doing to grow their programs

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2 hours ago, bbulldog152 said:

To me the difference... especially with golf is you can golf on your own you can go to a golf course you want all year round with out too much travel but most importantly you golfer don't need a team to get better... wrestling is different. tennis is more like wrestling but like golf tennis courts can be easy to find. wrestling take more travel and cost to be better which can be an issue in certain areas and small schools.

My son played tennis and wrestled.    I can assure you that tennis takes much more travel time and is significantly more costly.    Tennis clinics, lessons, tournament entry fees, etc  are way more pricey than the price of a joining a wrestling club.   Equipment is also a lot more expensive.   But back to my point.   Tennis also doesn't class,  and the disparity between the Indiana small schools and large schools in tennis is much more significant between large schools and small schools.  The small schools get clobbered with the exception of some small exclusive private schools in Indy and Ft Wayne.    Also, in the IHSAA state tennis tournament is also a messed up complicated compromise of a tournament due to its single class nature.    Id say if the  class wrestling propenents want to make progress,  they might need to join forces with the pro Class Tennis guys and the pro Class Golf guys.

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4 minutes ago, Wrestling Scholar said:

My son played tennis and wrestled.    I can assure you that tennis takes much more travel time and is significantly more costly.    Tennis clinics, lessons, tournament entry fees, etc  are way more pricey than the price of a joining a wrestling club.   Equipment is also a lot more expensive.   But back to my point.   Tennis also doesn't class,  and the disparity between the Indiana small schools and large schools in tennis is much more significant between large schools and small schools.  The small schools get clobbered with the exception of some small exclusive private schools in Indy and Ft Wayne.    Also, in the IHSAA state tennis tournament is also a messed up complicated compromise of a tournament due to its single class nature.    Id say if the  class wrestling propenents want to make progress,  they might need to join forces with the pro Class Tennis guys and the pro Class Golf guys.

 

Do they have a message board? Would love to get them to join the pro-class team. Similar arguments have been made about track and cross-country. All for having them on board as well.

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10 minutes ago, Mattyb said:

I don’t actually think that academies are are to blame.

 

My point is that that line of thinking is no more valid than then class wrestling argument. In my opinion. 
 

Heck.. may as well blame video games. The better the games get... the more kids we lose. 
 

Im not making light of things. Just feel as though class wrestling will have little effect. 
 

Pehaps the IHSWCA can form some kinda committee to help address the loss of kids. 

Matty B.   I dont think the academies are to blame, but maybe part of the larger problem.   Im saying a big problem is "Specialization of sports".    The Academies appear to be doing well and they have a high rate of participation in HS wrestling which is good.  But the kids that arent wrestling any more are the good athlete footbal;, track and baseball players that used to play two or three sports but only play one now.  These kids have chose to specialize in Lacrosse, baseball, football, track,CC etc and chose not to wrestle.  They dont  have to time to wrestle now because they're going the other sports lessons, practices and competitions.    Also, on the flip side these kids are aware that that the club wrestlers are improving, and to compete against them would take more offseason work that their specialized sport will not allow.   So they dont compete.

Of all the reasons kids arent going out, this is the biggest.   Class wrestling, video games, girls, Doritos, piano lessons,  hot rod, and the a job that pays money are some other reasons.

 

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36 minutes ago, bomber_bob said:

Correct me if I'm wrong Matt, but what I think he's suggesting, and I agree, is that the numbers are not decreasing in New Jersey, who has a single-class system, and a comparable number of schools to IN. I think you have now rephrased what we are saying to "numbers are not growing" in these two states. The fact that NJ's numbers are holding steady could show that the sport is in a healthy spot, right now. 

 

But if our numbers are decreasing, and Jersey is holding steady, and both states have a comparable system, what is causing our numbers to decrease? Would classing it simply, increase numbers? 

 

I think @Antknee wrote something up last week that really resonated with me. We are also a 1A program that has seen a lot of growth in our numbers in the last 4-5 years. Team State has been HUGE for our program, but we have also put an emphasis on offseason wrestling, wrestling at out-of-season tournaments such as Frosh/Soph, ISWA, and I think will be making our first trip out to VA Beach with a few kids in April this spring. Our kids have bought-in to wrestling in the offseason. We do not have an academy in or near Rensselaer, we just open up our room for our kids and work. The closest Academies are RWA and Elite Academy (50-60 minutes), Midwest RTC (1.25 hours) and Contenders (1.5 hours). None of them are convenient, nor feasible options, yet we have seen growth in our small-school program. 

 

 

New Jersey is an interesting state. They have around 300 programs in the state and a one class system with 24 or 32 qualifiers for state.

 

There was a time I asked some Jersey people about class wrestling and if the "big" schools dominated like they do here. They said no that the middle classes were just as competitive when it comes to qualifiers, champs and placers. So thus, me being me, I was VERY intrigued.

 

What I found was that New Jersey doesn't have quite the disparity in big vs. small schools like we do. New Jersey also being a smaller more densely populated state also can help with kids finding good training and partners easier, but we really can't "measure" that as much.

 

Here are the comparisons between both states. Note this is a few years old, but I'm positive that it hasn't changed much

Indiana

Average Enrollment: 971
Standard Deviation: 800
 

3 Class enrollment breakdown
1A: 0-570
2A:570-1120
3A: 1140-5000

 

New Jersey
Average Enrollment: 923
Standard Deviation: 523

 

3 Class enrollment breakdown
1A: 0-672
2A:673-993
3A: 994-5000

 

Just for reference a standard deviation shows how close sets of data is. This means that in New Jersey most of their enrollments are within about 400-1300 students while Indiana it is 200-1700 students.

 

Standard Deviation refresher for ya'll

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_deviation

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20 minutes ago, Galagore said:

 

Do they have a message board? Would love to get them to join the pro-class team. Similar arguments have been made about track and cross-country. All for having them on board as well.

There's not a message board for the tennis.   I dont know why, but the tennis parents are less combative and less likely to get on board and talk smack about how bad  their kid is going to beat youre kid, and have less opinions in general.   But they do have a coaches website that has all the info and is pretty good.   Maybe reach out to them to see if their is interest from the head coaches.    https://www.ihsteca.com/

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12 minutes ago, Y2CJ41 said:

New Jersey is an interesting state. They have around 300 programs in the state and a one class system with 24 or 32 qualifiers for state.

 

There was a time I asked some Jersey people about class wrestling and if the "big" schools dominated like they do here. They said no that the middle classes were just as competitive when it comes to qualifiers, champs and placers. So thus, me being me, I was VERY intrigued.

 

What I found was that New Jersey doesn't have quite the disparity in big vs. small schools like we do. New Jersey also being a smaller more densely populated state also can help with kids finding good training and partners easier, but we really can't "measure" that as much.

 

Here are the comparisons between both states. Note this is a few years old, but I'm positive that it hasn't changed much

Indiana

Average Enrollment: 971
Standard Deviation: 800
 

3 Class enrollment breakdown
1A: 0-570
2A:570-1120
3A: 1140-5000

 

New Jersey
Average Enrollment: 923
Standard Deviation: 523

 

3 Class enrollment breakdown
1A: 0-672
2A:673-993
3A: 994-5000

 

Just for reference a standard deviation shows how close sets of data is. This means that in New Jersey most of their enrollments are within about 400-1300 students while Indiana it is 200-1700 students.

 

Standard Deviation refresher for ya'll

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_deviation

Joe,    Does New Jersey have a Prep School state championship that is seperate from their state championship?    They have a lot more prep schools there . I kind of remembered something like that.

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2 minutes ago, Wrestling Scholar said:

Joe,    Does New Jersey have a Prep School state championship that is seperate from their state championship?    They have a lot more prep schools there . I kind of remembered something like that.

I believe the prep schools have a different championship, but not sure 100%. The private/parochial schools(think Mater Dei, Cathedral, Bishop Dwenger types) all wrestle in the main state championship though. Prep schools such as Blair go to national preps and possibly their own New England or Jersey state championships I believe.

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9 minutes ago, base said:

In your 2-class scenario, would there ever be a reason for the small school wrestlers to go against the big school wrestlers?  In dual meets or any tournament environment?

Yes, during the season it doesn't matter. Just like when the small schools play bigger schools in football or basketball. Why not test yourself against the top kids across the state no matter division?

 

I think it would add intrigue to big tournament like Al Smith to see possibly returning champs/placers from different classes meet up.

 

There really is no reason to change your schedule drastically unless it's to add some different sectional/regional opponents.

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I don't understand why we can't have our cake and eat it too. Running the state series based on geography is arbitrary. Why not run it based on two classes?

 

Week three (what is now semi-state week) of the state series would be to determine top 8 Class Champions. Then the placers from the Class Championships go to "Super State" at the Bank in week four.  

 

Come to think of it, we could probably use this system to cut an entire week out of the state series (there's no need for 32 sectionals in my view . . . way too many half-filled brackets or less).

 

If I had a free afternoon to overlay the math on a map, I could probably figure it out. Or maybe I can't.

 

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48 minutes ago, base said:

In your 2-class scenario, would there ever be a reason for the small school wrestlers to go against the big school wrestlers?  In dual meets or any tournament environment?

Absolutely, conference matches wouldn't change because of sectionals. 

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Is there a map that shows the location of each school, plus their class size for wrestling according to ihswca team state duals (1a, 2a, 3a, etc.)?

 

Just want to see how far schools would need travel based on a multi class system for 1a sectionals, 2a sectionals, 3a sectionals, etc. if that were the case.  

 

Disclaimer: I am not a proponent of a multi class system.  

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45 minutes ago, rookie78 said:

Is there a map that shows the location of each school, plus their class size for wrestling according to ihswca team state duals (1a, 2a, 3a, etc.)?

 

Just want to see how far schools would need travel based on a multi class system for 1a sectionals, 2a sectionals, 3a sectionals, etc. if that were the case.  

 

Disclaimer: I am not a proponent of a multi class system.  

That would be a nice map to have reguardless of if we are talking about class or not. Is there even a map created of just schools with wrestling programs in the state? 
 

Based on past conversations, I can tell you that many people in the north don’t realize how spread out  (both distance and multiple roads connections) some schools in the south really are. 

Edited by MattM
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1 hour ago, Matt Time said:

One last thing about those Indiana wrestler numbers . . . remember that a growing number of those Indiana wrestlers are now girls. I think that number is close to 300-ish now and growing every year?

I used numbers for boys only. It wasn't separated until 2018 and 2019 for the data I showed.

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1 hour ago, MattM said:

That would be a nice map to have reguardless of if we are talking about class or not. Is there even a map created of just schools with wrestling programs in the state? 
 

Based on past conversations, I can tell you that many people in the north don’t realize how spread out  (both distance and multiple roads connections) some schools in the south really are. 

 

You'll have to do a little leg work to get the exact info you want, but here is a map of district boundary lines (click this sentence).

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9 hours ago, Y2CJ41 said:

While he's at it, I would LOVE to see retention numbers. I think those are the most important numbers.

 

It was like 10+ years ago when Les Gutches was at the fall clinic and stated that USAW numbers were very consistent. However, the retention rate was something like 50%, so while we would have virtually the same number of athletes each year, half were new to the sport. He went on to give statistics on retention rates of other activities and sports and we were at the bottom. 

 

I will say that wrestling coaches are AWESOME at getting kids out for the sport. It is not easy to get kids out consistently. We do lack the ability to KEEP them out though, which in the end should be the goal. 

Couldn’t agree more. It’s very difficult to keep the kids at small schools that get beat by academy trained athletes year in and year out. Then heaven forbid you do get a stud... because chances are that kid’s parents will travel to an academy, get better by wrestling other kids from the academy, then get recruited by the big schools, then parents move their whole lives around for 4 years of high school wrestling. Then the small school is back to square one. I’ve seen it first hand over and over again.

 

More kids will give it a shot if they believe they have a chance to be successful without having to give up their whole lives! No one will change my mind on this and I appreciate your stance on this. 

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I am all for kids having opportunities to wrestle similar skill levels. Competitive matches are how everyone improves. 
 

Sounds like we need a small school, no academy, no private school, only multi sport athlete tourney. Call it the Bo Jackson Invitational.  Winners can be Bo Knows champions. Just don’t call it a state championship. 
 

Sounds sarcastic but these are the reasons listed (true or otherwise). Again, there are levels to this sport. I am all for everyone competing at their level and striving to make the next one—all should. I think some forms of the extreme example I gave could help get similar kids together for a great tourney. They can be state-wide but don’t call them state champions. 

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34 minutes ago, TakeTheShot said:

I am all for kids having opportunities to wrestle similar skill levels. Competitive matches are how everyone improves. 
 

Sounds like we need a small school, no academy, no private school, only multi sport athlete tourney. Call it the Bo Jackson Invitational.  Winners can be Bo Knows champions. Just don’t call it a state championship. 
 

Sounds sarcastic but these are the reasons listed (true or otherwise). Again, there are levels to this sport. I am all for everyone competing at their level and striving to make the next one—all should. I think some forms of the extreme example I gave could help get similar kids together for a great tourney. They can be state-wide but don’t call them state champions. 

I'd prefer that you just call it the "we don't want to work hard" Invitational.

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