Letters to the Editor
"Concerned About the Criteria
Used for the Youth Rankings"
I'm writing you concerning the criteria you use for the
rankings of the youth wrestlers. I would like to know
why you do not award points for the other national
tournaments like the Cliff Keen Tulsa Kickoff, Cliff
Keen Reno, Cliff Keen Tulsa Nationals, Liberty
Nationals, Bighorn Nationals, Who's Bad, etc. It is
obvious that you think these are good tournaments and
tough tournaments because you list some of these such as
the Gladiator World Championships and Monster Match
Nationals and Reno World Championships. These are all
tournaments that these youth can participate in. You
list the State Junior High Championships, where not all
of the youth are able to participate. Don't you think it
would be more fair and a more true ranking if you gave
these youth credit for every opportunity that is
available to them on an equal basis?
We appreciate your desire and work to rank these boys.
Let's give them credit for all they do.
Respond to this Letter
This is a hard question,
and one that Iíve tussled with since starting this. The
final conclusion is that, if I personally know the
tournament, then I include it. If I donít, then I donít
want to award it too much or too little credit because I
would be shooting blind. That can be limiting but, at the
same time, I feel that itís the only way that I can
maintain some semblance of credibility or neutrality.
So I havenít been to any
of the series of tournaments that includes the Liberty
Nationals or the Bighorn Nationals. The former I learned
about last year, the latter I learned about just a few
months ago. (And I added it to the national folkstyle
calendar in case of there are Utah wrestlers who want to
take advantage of the opportunity.) Since Iím fairly well
connected in the wrestling community, that makes me think
that my lack of knowledge is probably an indicator that
the tournament is not as legitimate as some others. And
then there are some within those series that are not as
tough as a local tournament, where they cannot even fill a
weight for all awards.
I may be making the
wrong decision but, as I said, Iím shooting blind in these
instances. And Iíd rather hold up on pulling the trigger
than fire blind.
Then there are other
tournaments that I HAVE attended that are so tough that I
thought that just winning a match there was worthy of
additional points (Reno World Championships, USA Wrestling
national tournaments, AAU national tournaments, etc.).
That said, I know I
include local tournaments in the rankings that are not as
tough as some of them out there. The reason for that is to
encourage more support of those tournaments from the Utah
wrestling community. Itís just one thing I can do to try
to get more people to attend the Utah Summer Games, for
example. Wrestling just started back up in recent years,
so itís slow, but it IS improving. And so I try to
encourage that using the rankings.
So, if I donít award
points toward the rankings, I try to still give
recognition on the Web site, listing results, etc. I have
not yet done that for the Reno Nationals because they have
not yet posted the official results, and there were at
least a dozen Utah wrestlers there, so Iím waiting to see
the final tally.
I hope that answers your
question. Itís not an easy one to answer. Using the point
system takes away much of the subjectivity. But, deciding
what to include or not include can, as you said, put the
subjectivity right back into it.
Thank you for asking.
Respond to this Response
As I am new to your web
site and have been looking through it and what tournaments
you look at for rankings, I noticed that you don't have
anything on the Granite District Junior High School
Tournament. The School District has 15 teams and one open
slot for outstanding JV wresters (only 1st place JV
wrestler's can go to the Division tournament) to compete
from within the Salt Lake Valley. We have some very good
wrestlers that participate in these wrestling programs
that go onto be state wrestlers at their respective High
Schools. Sometimes, it is very hard for wrestlers to
attend other tournaments while participating in a full
season at their respective schools. I would like to see
some kind of scoring system to allow these kids to be
ranked. I think this is a very tough tournament. In order
for the kids to get to the District tournament, they need
to place in the top four in their weight category at their
Divisional tournament, just to get to the District
JV tournament, January
January 21, 2006
January 28, 2006
As you can see, we
cannot participate in the 4A/5A State Meet this year.
Thank you for your
Assistant Wrestling Coach
Evergreen Junior High
Respond to this Response
Thank you for sending me
that information. As of yet, you are the first coach
from Granite District to send me any hard information.
So that's great. I've talked to a few coaches,
trying to get them to send me tournament results,
dual-meet results, etc., but I'm not having much luck yet.
So thank you.
I'd be happy to add more
criteria to the rankings. But I have to have results
first. I was going to include a couple more junior
high/youth tournaments to the rankings, but I can't seem
to get results from the tournament directors. So I
took those back out of the ranking criteria. And,
also, even if I don't get the information from the
directors of those tournaments, there is nothing barring
Granite District wrestlers from participating in the
freestyle and Greco-Roman tournaments. In fact, I
would be just tickled to death to see more new faces.
In the meantime, I would like to add those
tournaments above to the calendar, if you could send me
more complete information.
Thank you for taking
this time to contribute to the improvement of wrestling in
Respond to this Response