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Wrestling Coaches Advisory Meeting 4-31-2004

04/07/2004, 12:47pm CDT
By President

Coaches Advisory Committee

March 31, 2004

MINUTES

Committee in attendance: Lewie Benitz (Wisconsin Rapids), Dale Damon
(Spooner), Kent Weiler (Cedar Grove), Bob Empey (Stoughton) and Luke
Francois (Middleton) representing the Coaches Association. Arvo Britten
attended representing wrestling officials. Dave Anderson attended the
meeting representing the WIAA. Luke Francois chaired the meeting and
recorded the minutes.

I. SEASON REGULATIONS

A. Review of 2003-04 Season Topics/Points of Emphasis

1. Summer Coaching Contact � During the coaches' discussion on summer
coaching contact, Doug Chickering joined the committee to offer his
observation and reaction to their proposal. Mr. Chickering felt that
provided the request was a true and accurate reflection of coaches'
wishes, and provided contact would end July 31, he could be supportive. 
Dave Anderson indicated that the staff and Board of Control support were
not certain. Coaches felt wrestling should be aligned with other
individual sports, and has a certain connection to gymnastics due to
athlete health and exposure concerns. Further considerations include the
hazards of the sport and the problem of finding quality coaches.

A motion was made by Bob Empey, seconded by Lewie Benitz to seek coaching
contact opportunities consistent with other individual sports (baseball,
cross country, golf, gymnastics, softball, swim, tennis and track) that
presently are allowed summer coach contact through July 31. Passed
unanimously. The coaches were informed that the motion would be advanced
with proposals for other winter sports and would not take effect until
summer 2005.

2. 6th-7th-8th Graders � The committee discussed and has tabled this
issue until after the membership votes at the Annual Meeting.

3. Female wrestlers and female-only events � It was noted that a school
could host one female-only event, which would in effect be a "second
schedule". Last year's idea (to allow female wrestlers to wrestle in
'girls-only' competition counting it as one of the individual 14
exposures, but not counting the meet toward the team total) was a good
suggestion and was agreed upon by all.

4. Tie-breaking procedures � Significant differences exist between state
and NF rules. A motion was made by Bob Empey, seconded by Dale Damon to
indicate that during the State Team Tournament series, the rule regarding
Ties in Dual Competition should be aligned with the NF rule. Passed
unanimously. Ties occurring in the individual tournament series will be
addressed after pending discussion by the WWCA. Present tie-breaking
procedures for regional tournament remain status quo. Upon further
suggestion by Arvo Britten, Kent Weiler moved to add "team not penalized
for flagrant misconduct" after item m. on page 65 of the Wrestling Season
Regulations, concerning breaking ties in the regional individual
tournament. Dale Damon seconded. Passed unanimously.

5. Individual records � This concern pertains to claiming wins/losses. 
Dave Anderson asked for conversations among coaches in order to develop a
basic understanding. No action.

6. Weight loss per week � The coaches discussed adding an "eligible
weight upon appeal" column to the minimum weight reports, in order to
address the instances where a wrestler may be heavier on the date of
appeal than the report shows due to calculating appeals using the original
weight. Weight loss calculated in terms of 1/2 pound per day is preferred
over 1-1/ 2% per day. A motion was made by Lewie Benitz, seconded by Bob
Empey to remove "d" under #5-Weight Loss Per Week on page 46 of Winter
Season Regulations instructing on how to determine acceptable weight
loss. Passed unanimously. This can be calculated by simple math.

7. Other � The committee discussed the allowed weight loss between the
conference tournament and the regional tournament, in terms of 7 vs. 8
days, or 3-1/2 vs. 4 pounds. Each wrestler's situation determines which
formula would apply. A suggestion was made to develop a matrix on this
topic to be included in the Winter Season Regulations. No action.

II. TOURNAMENT PROCEDURES 
A. Review of Tournament series � The coaches noted that in
2004 there were 130 schools sponsoring wrestling in Division 1 creating
two regionals with 9 teams. There were also some 6-team regionals in
Divisions 2 and 3. A motion was made by Bob Empey, seconded by Kent
Weiler, to revise the tournament format, placing the largest 128 member
schools sponsoring wrestling in Division 1, and dividing the remaining
schools sponsoring wrestling equally between Divisions 2 and 3. Passed
unanimously. Rationale is that this was the rule in the past, and this
method would keep the number of teams in Division 1 regionals equal. This
method should also help to avoid some of the six-team regionals in
Divisions 2 and 3.

1. Regional tournaments � Bob Empey moved, seconded by Lewie Benitz, to
allow a wrestler at Division 1 regionals to wrestle-back to fourth place
in cases where the fifth place finisher has not met the fourth place
finisher. Passed unanimously. The coaches felt this would reduce the
strength of schedules as a factor for entry level seeding. A sample
regional bracket was shared with the committee. This provides more
emphasis on advancement through the regional bracket. Kent Weiler also
requested that in all instances when considering regional host sites,
sites with the ability to use three mats should be given preference over
hosts that are only able to use two mats. The committee agreed that the
length of the tournament at a site using only two mats is too long for all
involved. It was suggested that a preferred site list and rotation
schedule should be devised.

Regarding the number of officials assigned to regional tournaments, Kent
Weiler moved and Lewie Benitz seconded that whenever possible, the number
of post-season officials should be at minimum equal to the number of mats
used plus one, with the strength of the regional and the number of
participants for each team also considered. Passed unanimously. The
coaches noted that three-mat regionals were assigned three officials,
which caused fatigue throughout the day. In comparison, two-mat
sectionals were assigned four officials.

2. Sectional tournaments � No discussion.

3. Team sectional � No discussion.

4. State Individual tournament � A review of the 2004 State Tournament
resulted in a suggestion to use a punch tag for competitors next year. 
An attempt to punch tags for weigh-ins was found not to work properly. 
Lewie Benitz moved, seconded by Kent Weiler, to wrestle the semi-finals on
three mats at the state individual tournament. Passed unanimously. The
coaches believe that three mats would allow the tournament to showcase the
top four wrestlers in each division. Dave Anderson expressed concerns
about prolonging the length of the tournament in this way.

Bob Empey moved, seconded by Dale Damon, to allow wrestlers to
wrestle-back to third place at the state individual tournament. Passed
unanimously. This would help address the call for seeding at the state
tournament. Current philosophy that the reason to host a state tournament
is to find a state champion may need to be changed.

Kent Weiler also mentioned that many spectators at the Kohl Center felt
they were being "held prisoner" due to not being allowed to leave and
re-enter the facility. The use of wristbands was suggested as an
alternative.

a. Number of injuries � A large number of injuries occurred at the
tournament this year. A dolly and cart should be on-site for treating
more serious injuries. The coaches expressed concerns about the
techniques wrestlers are being taught.

b. Weigh-ins � Curtains were used to enclose the weigh-on area at
the Kohl Center. The coaches questioned the security of this practice and
noted that this is not consistent with the season regulations. It was
recommended that there be two weigh-in areas with officials stationed by
the curtains. Pre-tournament scales should be made available and would
help relieve congestion around the weigh-in area. Dave Anderson suggested
that coaches not be allowed in the weigh-in area in order to further
reduce congestion. It was observed that the team packet pick-up area is
on an upper level and the weigh-in area on a lower level.

5. State Team tournament � Bob Empey moved, seconded by Kent Weiler, to
allow the top two teams from each regional to qualify for Team Sectional
competition. Passed unanimously. The rationale offered was that
regionals with multiple strong teams now advance through a tournament
scoring system for a dual meet tournament creating the potential for the
strongest dual meet team to not qualify for post season competition. Bob
Empey then moved to advance eight teams from each division to the State
Team Tournament. The motion passed 3-0-1. This would create the need to
wrestle an additional dual at the Team Sectional in Division 1; Divisions
2 and 3 already wrestle 2 duals at sectionals. Some reluctance was
expressed due to the ramifications to other sports, the loss of school
time and venue availability. A possible super sectional would be another
solution.

The coaches support the adoption of entry level seeding at the State Team
Tournament, since seeding is unique to wrestling and is not currently a
factor in the team tournament series. The coaches also show support for
hosting the state finals using a center stage format to allow for the
ability to premiere the best duals without distraction, and creating a
more marketable venue for television broadcasts. Televising the State
Team Tournament is also supported by the coaches in order to promote the
growth of wrestling and to provide more communities the opportunity to
view the action.

a. UW Fieldhouse � 2005 � The number and size of mats that can be
used at the Fieldhouse should be addressed. Four 30-foot mats can be
used. Lewie Benitz emphasized that the size of the circles needs to be
checked.

b. 21 wrestlers � weigh-in � Dave Anderson questioned the reasoning
behind the 21 wrestlers allowed, rather than another number of wrestlers. 
Luke Francois suggested a change to the number of weight classes times 2
participants. A "two-deep" roster is not excessive. Lewie Benitz moved,
seconded by Bob Empey to allow the number of participants to be equal to
the number of weight classes times two. Passed unanimously.

III. MISCELLANEOUS 
A. Neck wrench � This is an illegal hold some wrestlers are
using, although it is not noticed in all geographical areas. Discussion
centered on the unusual potential for injury with this hold and the
opinion was that the hold should not be allowed. The neck wrench may be a
good point of emphasis at the 2004 wrestling meetings. Coaches and peers
need to address this issue as they are the first lines of defense.

B. Minimum weight printouts and processing � Electronic
reporting of minimum weight results did not work out this year. The
printouts are currently kept at the WIAA and the coaches feel a sense of
security from that. An option for the future would be to find another
programmer and look to different venues to make the information more
easily accessed by the schools and coaches.

C. Sectional groupings � The coaches received a copy of a
letter from Chris Rank of Bonduel regarding the teams in their sectional
and their sectional host site. It was noted that the WIAA responds
geographically as well as by breaking up conferences due to the unique
group of schools within each division.

D. NFHS rule change proposals � The National Federation rule
committee may be exploring the option of changing the number of weight
classes from 14 to 12. If that would happen Wisconsin would follow suit. 
Lewie Benitz offered a letter in support of 14 weight classes to be shared
with the NF committee. Dave Anderson has been hearing about the
possibility of conference realignment, but the outcome is not certain.

E. Committee replacement schedule � Due to some unique
circumstances within the committee, all of the terms will be up
simultaneously. It was suggested that some terms should be extended one
year to avoid complete turnover from one year to the next. The coaches
questioned the number of coaches that are allowed on the committee, and
made a formal recommendation that the wrestling committee should be a
5-member committee composed of 1 coach from each division plus the WWCA
president and president-elect. The WWCA president would be responsible
for chairing the meeting.

IV. ADJOURNMENT 


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