By Prof. Harold Tüennemann
Now that you have read the Athletes' Questionnaire, below are some guidelines:
Goal: How do both disciplines of international wrestling fashion a more dynamic set-of-rules for the viewing audience that provides a level playing field for all of the participants, allows the best prepared wrestlers to prevail, and yet maintains a distinct difference between the Free and Greco-Roman styles?
When formulating ideas and faced with the responsibility of constructing a set-of-rules, whims and opinions are less persuasive. Realistic expectations and acumen supported with facts are more convincing. The following link contains useful statistical material presented at the 2011 FILA Coaches Clinic and compiled by Dr Harold Tunnemannn [FS - GR - FW]. The challenge for each Federation in the deliberation process is to articulate a carefully thought-out plan that focuses on several key concepts:
a. The rules should provide incentives for the wrestlers to generate activity that both demonstrates one's wrestling prowess and is exciting for the viewing audience--i.e.,scoring, especially spectacular techniques.
As an example, today far too many Greco Roman wrestlers take the least risky route--each waits his turn on top in par terre. If both either turn or are not-turned, then wrestling in earnest begins in the 3rd period. Far too many Greco Roman matches are won by being placed on bottom and not-being-turned. This trite strategy is taking its toll on the Greco Roman discipline. Several Greco Roman wrestlers have suggested that a 5-point or two 3-point throws end the match, not just the period. Other suggestions include beginning and not ending each period with a 30 second par terre, hence ensuring at least one wrestler will be motivated to score in the remaining minute and a half.
b. The total time required to complete the daily wrestling sessions should not be lengthened--any increase in individual match time must be off-set with savings elsewhere.
For example, forced par terre in Greco Roman does not lengthen the period, yet, because of the jostling during the set-up, it adds roughly 1 minute/match in total time versus a freestyle match, even when the overtime-clinch is added. Similarly, [in both styles] far too often the challenge is being abused by the coaches/wrestlers and increasingly is becoming a time-consumer. In decisive periods where the opponent scores what will be the winning-points, the opposing wrestler/coach challenges knowing full well the challenge has no merit. These challenges are distractions that accomplish nothing except waste time. Suggestions from the athletes on finding a workable solution such as increasing the cost of a challenge, limiting the total number of challenges, or perhaps extending a losing challenge into the next bout would be welcomed.
c. The total number of days to complete the championship can not be increased, though it may be possible to wrestler more than one day per weight-class.
For instance, the current 1-day format has been criticized as reducing the quality of wrestling. The limited time--sometimes as little as 15 minutes--between highly contested matches is argued to lessen the intensity of wrestling. A staggered 2-day format has been suggested as a means of enhancing wrestling. A 2-day format, if configured properly, may have the twin advantage of increasing the quality and intensity of the wrestling and also providing the host country a day to promote the medal contestants.
d. As much as possible, the wrestlers, not the referees, should determine the outcome of the competition. The path to determining the best prepared wrestlers in each weight category is best decided by the wrestlers. Yet there is a need to discern when a wrestler is simply thwarting his opponent as opposed to wrestling openly and actively. The FILA suggests each National Federation create a forum (on this website for exemple : http://www.freeforums.org), which the Federation leaders and/or the National Coaches administer. Once a consensus is established as to the best set-of-rules, use your assigned password to post the final results to the Athletes web site.
Then my colleagues--Mikhail Mamiashvili, Daulet Turlykhanov, Csaba Hegedus, Tomiaki Fukuda--and I will tabulate the suggestions and present them to the FILA Bureau for consideration.
Chairman FILA Athletes Commission