Thanks to an initial vote of 7-3, New York wrestling has decided to potentially move from 15 weight classes to 13 for the 2020-21 season which will need to get the final approval by the NYS Executive Committee next month.
The past several years, NY has had 15 weight classes ranging from 99 pounds all the way up to 285.
This past season the weight classes included 99, 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220, and 285.
The new 13-weight class proposal is 102, 110, 118, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 172, 189, 215, and 285.
Genesee Region Wrestling Chairman Rich Hannan is in favor of the new format and hopes it gets approved.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” Hannan said. “It can only help smaller schools — and all schools really — field better line-ups. Although this hasn’t been approved yet I strongly support it.”
Section 5, our local section, was one of the seven “yes” votes, along with sections 3, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11.
Sections 1, 4 and 9 voted against the decrease in weight classes.
The Executive Committee will vote on this in July.
The 50 percent rule, which requires a wrestler to have to weigh-in half the time at the weight class he wants to wrestle in the post-season, will continue the same.
A second important topic will also go to a vote when the Championship Advisory Committee will discuss what to do with ‘wild cards’ or ‘at large’ berths for the NYS Wrestling Championships.
Currently, wild cards are selected by power points, individually.
The current option being sent to approval for selecting the number of auto-qualifiers per section include:
Option 1: The top two sections earn three qualifiers, the next five sections earn two qualifiers, the remaining sections earn one qualifier.
Based on the current formula, from results from the 2019-20 NYS Wrestling Championships, Section 5 would receive two total berths per weight class, so in essence the top two wrestlers (finalists) in each weight class would be granted a berth to the state championships.
Sections 3 and 4 would both get the top three place finishers from their Supersectional meet into the tournament.
Hannan loves the idea proposed by NYS.
“The end game is the change the way we qualify our athletes for the state championships,” Hannan said. “We want to wrestle our way in and qualify from our section and stop using wild cards to fill those brackets in Albany. This is how most other states already operate. When we get this entire plan through, it’ll bring us to a true state championship and not an intersectional championship, with at large picks thrown in. This is a huge advancement. I want to thank everybody that worked on it. It can have an impact across all individual sports. In short this would be a huge win for New York State wrestling.”