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Letters to the Editor

"Honor System Is Not Working"

Guys,

I've been taking my boys to tournaments for about 3 years now. I have found, more often than not, that parents sign up their kids in skill levels below their actual skill levels in order to get wins. This is a huge disservice to the kids, especially those who are wavering. It breaks my heart to watch my boy, who is experiencing all sorts of emotions and wondering whether wrestling is fun or not, to get pounded by a kid who obviously belongs in a higher skill level. It's not right.

The honor system is not working.

What can we do to minimize this kind of behavior? I know it would be more work for club coaches. But, maybe club coaches could be required to sign off on a kid's declared skill level.

Thank you,

Gordon Miner
Lehi

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Editor's Response

I can't agree more. This has been an issue brought up for quite some time (see Peak Wrestling in the Beginner Division? from two years ago), but has been ignored by those who could take action because they were worried about losing that precious entry fee.

Unfortunately, it does not stop here. There are athletes who wrestle all season at one weight when the clubs are running their own weigh-ins, yet, at the state tournament, groups from the same clubs end up wrestling one if not two weights higher.

Personally, I prefer weight classes with athletes paired by luck of the draw, where you might run into a beginner, or you might run into a national champion.  Weigh-ins are handled by certified officials if not at the tournament itself before wrestling starts.

I feel your pain. There are people in positions to make decisions who are more concerned about winning matches at any cost than teaching their athletes values like integrity and the value of hard work, which can come from the discipline of making weight. The current system is broken in many ways and all it does is hurt the kids.

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Writer's Response

Hi Bill,

Thanks for the response. What about the following idea:

What about forcing kids to move up a skill level once they have had a certain number of wins in their current level? With the computer, once the data is entered, it would be a simple sort. It seems like the only challenge would be to get their wins entered into a database.

Thanks again,

Gordon

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I think that is a great idea, except that people can create different logins with TrackWrestling, which can treat them as new wrestlers again, with no history. So it falls back to the honor system.

Thanks for your continued interest and willingness to voice your independent opinion.

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Reader's Response

I have noticed the same thing with some of the parents who have done similar things. I have seen kids who have placed in state when they were in first and second grade, then the next two years, they to continue place their child in a beginning bracket. This is total garbage. When we first started years ago there was never this Beginner, Average, Good, Excellent option. You would show up and be paired and get matches. Now parent manipulate to assure wins. I wish there was something on Track Wrestling that would stop this, and that parents could not delete win & loss records. This is counterintuitive to the tournaments that are seeded.

Sincerely,

Luke Mandleco

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