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The Louisiana Wrestling Archipelago - Part I of I hope not too many
February 5th, 2014 | Written by: Editor

My only tangible experience re wrestling in Northwest Louisiana is virtual.  Seriously - for a reason with which I am not familiar I am an "Admin" for the "Northwest Louisiana Wrestling" page on Facebook.

An "Admin" in this scenario should not be a "role model" or "father figure."  The kids on the page are polite enough and usually just want to know about practice schedules and the like.  It is a fine tool for that purpose (while it is not suitable for running a wrestling club at LSU!).  The adults are, well, adults, and are expected to behave as such even when they are wrong.  So as much as I might be tempted to delete a post that catches my eye as something that maybe should have been reconsidered by the author, I prefer not to be a fascist.  Albeit I do believe that the rights given to the peoples of the United States by the Founding Fathers have been horribly misconstrued over the course of U.S. history, and I believe their rampant abuse will be the downfall of this great nation, this is the form of government the people have chosen .  Churchill was correct in that "democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."  One can try to be a "benevolent dictator," but as everything else in Plato's Republic did, one will fail.

This response was prompted by comments posted on the "Northwest Louisiana Wrestling" Facebook page.  I'll not publish the actual post because the page is a "Group Page," access to which is only meant for members.  (Of course, with my having the line of thought described below, as long I remain an "Admin" then MENSA membership will not be a prerequisite for admission - honest, if someone wants to remove me from that position, just tell me what to do!)  But the general tone of the post inferred that seeding was not terribly important, and that coaches who object to how an event was seeded should be ignored if they were not present to "fight" for their wrestlers.  Suffice to say it could (and should) open up a much larger "can o' worms."

The matter is only one part of what I deem as a larger problem with wrestling in Louisiana that I call...

The Louisiana Wrestling Archipelago

Forgive me, sir, but I have a few problems with your line of thought.  (Granted, I am handicapped by being a former SE LA wrestler and coach, and am now relegated to the role of a mere pundit - as such, if only because it is the easiest thing to do, you have the right to ignore this essay.)

A coach should not have to be present at a seeding meeting to “fight” for a wrestler.  Records are supposed to do that for them, and with the advent of aids like TrackWrestling and NWCAonline, the task has become significantly easier than it was when records were only kept in scorebooks (if even there) and scorebooks could be compared.  The records indicate wins, wins at particular weight classes, overall seasonal experience and reflect head-to-head match-ups.  There are basic tenets to seeding, including: the last winner of a match between two wrestlers generally being seeded above the other, and whether one win by “Wrestler A” should be superseded by the number of times “Wrestler B” has defeated “Wrestler A” over the course of the season.

Seeding is not about a wrestler earning an easier path to a championship.  The best wrestler at that particular event will do find that route by definition.  What it does is help determine who the second, third, fourth and however many places are counted wrestlers should finish.  That is incredibly important in determining team championships.  If the second best wrestler is in the half of the brackets with the best wrestler, the second best wrestler can only score “third place” points.  The same logic works when applied to the consolation brackets.  And some kids (apart from just earning team points) want to know if they were the second or third best at an event (and haven't they earned that right over the course of a season?).  That is why some tournaments have the “True-second” matches in the event the runner-up and the third place finishers did not meet before the champion was determined.

Another problem is that attitude toward seeding tournaments in general.  It is hard enough to get SE LA teams up to NW LA, which is what I believe the majority of NW LA coaches would like to see.  Many SE LA teams do not see the logistics of spending the money and time to travel to NW LA as, because as many are the "powerhouses" that they are considered, they derive little benefit from doing so.  (Granted, some of the smaller D2 and D3 programs are, of course, happy to travel, as they want to see their state competition, and they also respect and hence reciprocate the time and effort the other schools expend to participate in their events.)  Why give the SE LA teams any less reason to travel if they cannot be assured equitable seeding in an event that will count toward state seeding?

Now I must apologize as I have not spent much time in NW LA and am not sure it is my place to put in my “two-cents-worth” as to how wrestling is managed there.  (Does anybody see that type of attitude as a problem in itself?

Seeding serves a purpose and should be done correctly.  But that is really its only similarity to rocket science.

Dissenting opinions are welcome (and if relevant and not terribly objectionable they may be published) and may be sent to MullerYou'reAnIdiot.


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