My thoughts on the Class L tournament and Class L overall (sorry, wall of text coming).
This year’s tournament was extremely exciting with the champion decided during the final rounds wrestling. Couldn’t say it any better than Gerry deSimas at Connecticut Wrestling Online, so I’ll just link his article. I encourage everyone to read it. Mr. deSimas is a huge benefit for the Connecticut wrestling community. Connecticut wrestling wouldn’t be where it is today without his efforts. I hope he doesn’t mind me linking his website.
I wrote a piece last year on sportsmanship, and I echo those again this year. Sportsmanship was on display, even when there were some heartbreaking losses (138, 285), the defeated wrestler I thought showed class and grace. Wrestling is a violent sport, learning to keep control is a lesson beyond the years of these young people. It is a skill that will benefit them throughout their lives. Be proud. The coaches, parents and fans were all cheering for their guy and, even when the ref missed a call, I didn’t hear (too much) negative reaction. Coaches pulled refs aside and had, what appeared to be, constructive conversations to understand calls. Compliments to the refs and coaches for displaying calm and coolness under intense pressure. I have nothing but respect for officials, it is a thankless job.
Simsbury, what can you say? Two years, and 3 points separates you from back to back championships from back to back runner-ups. Xavier wrestled inspired and pulled it out by the narrowest of margins.
Bristol Eastern runs an excellent tournament. The wrestling progressed well and orderly. And while it did extend the tournament and extra hour or so, I think it should be mandatory that the finals are run solo (not with the 3rd and 5th place matches). It really added to the drama of the team score and the fans were really into it. There were some amazing finals and I for one am glad I wasn’t distracted with other matches going on. Good call. My only suggestion is to wash the mats at least once or twice during the tournament, especially before the finals to ensure no dust on the mats effects the match. Just the optics of seeing mats get cleaned is positive.
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Love it, thx for the detail. The same talk was being had at LL regarding the officiating , and back points. I couldn’t agree with you more! consistency is key , and it should be across the board!
Great write up you have here. gives a good look at the tournament for those who couldn’t attend
Now, I was surprised this year at how many matches ended in falls/tech falls. Half of the finals matches (113, 120, 132, 138, 145, 152, and 170) ended in falls or tech falls. There were several finals where it was almost a given who was going to win (113, 132, 145, and 152). I mean no disrespect to the runners up in these weight classes, but the champs in these classes are on another level. It tended to take some of the drama out of the finals match, but it was neat to see such skill at work. To be able to dominate, at this level is impressive. Not sure why there was a bit of a lack of competitiveness in the finals. I don’t think I’ve seen that so prevalent before.
Finally, the officials. As I said above, officiating is tough. But please be on your game. My biggest complaints are on back points. The officials over and over again were slow to get into position and to start counting back points. This is fixable, so please work on it. You don’t have to wait to walk around the back side, get on your knees and then start swiping, You can see the kid on his back, start swiping while moving into position. I know the officials want to give their best, so give it. Secondly, the out-of-bounds calls appear to be inconsistently applied from official to official. Please focus on this in the future. I am more a fan of continuation at the edge, as long as no one is in a potentially dangerous position, but at least consistently apply the rule. It’s frustrating for the wrestlers, coaches and fans when they see two awarded on the edge for one wrestler and the next match no points for a similar position. Overall though, I thought the officiating was generally good and I didn’t see any matches where I thought the refs changed the outcome.
Thanks again to everyone, especially to Abdo, this is a mountain of work to host this website. So thanks again. Good luck to all the wrestlers who qualified for the opens. See you next year!