To the Parents: I personally believe that wrestling is the greatest sport around and can do wonders for your child. Donít push too hard. Remember, first and foremost, itís supposed to be fun.
To the Wrestlers: Donít ever stop trying. If you didnít win a medal, donít worry, if you pay attention and learn a little more at practice, you will.
Weigh-Ins: I feel that you need a weigh in at EVERY tournament. The pound or two that one wrestler gains or another wrestler loses, will make a difference in who wrestles who. No one wants to wrestle the same kid each week, especially if youíre usually on the losing end.
Seeding: I do not believe in seeding the wrestlers according to who you think should be in the finals. First of all, it isnít possible to do this accurately unless you know each and EVERY wrestler and their ability. Listing years of experience is a help to some, but not to others. We all know wrestlers who have several years experience, but havenít yet become proficient in the sport. A registration form that lists them as having four years experience could place them in a harder bracket, where they donít really stand a chance. Other wrestlers are very good from the first time they step on the mat. A slip stating no experience would place them in an easier bracket, which is unfair to the children they are about to wrestle. Remember, EVERY time you try to help a kid out, you hurt another kid. If you intentionally separate the two best wrestlers in a bracket, you just prevented any of the other six from reaching the finals. If you selectively seed your wrestlers, itís very hard for a parent to understand why their child ended up wrestling the hardest kid in the bracket first. If you can honestly tell them that you had nothing to do with the seedings, and that it was the strictly according to weight or luck of the draw, they seem to understand. Also, by keeping the politics out of our tournaments, sometimes, it may just be that a child will luck into the easier side of a bracket and end up with his/her first medal, or even end up in the finals.
The more kids you have, the easier it is to bracket. The more kids you have, the tighter your weight classes.
Medals: This is a tough one. In a normal situation half the kids, 4 out of 8, end up with a medal. What do you do with the brackets with only 2, 3, 4, or 5 kids? Kids like medals, and believe me, itís a great feeling awarding them. But, how does a child feel about getting a medal when they didnít win a match? Will that child not practice as hard because medals in his class are automatic? I donít really know. Something to think about.
Wall Charts: Continually update wall charts throughout the day. Parents, coaches, and especially the young wrestlers, love charts. Any mistakes will quickly be brought to your attention. This is VERY important in the running of the tournament.