On Tuesday, some wrestling teams who either won their district duals or placed in the top three of the event had to quickly get ready for another match a day after they competed. Most district duals were scheduled for Saturday, but the winter weather forced the postponement of most of most of them.
Was the first-round of the PIAA Team Duals handled in the right way this year? It says here it wasn't.
Bedford was wrestling Chestnut Ridge for the District 5 title until 10:30 Monday night. Huntingdon, the District 6 runner-up was at the Tyrone High School until after 10. They both were scheduled to wrestle in the first round of the PIAA Duals at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Chestnut Ridge. Then they both got calls telling them the match was moved up to 3 p.m. because of impending bad weather.
Was it fair to those teams to not only have to jump right back onto the mat the next day, but also to speed the process up on moment's notice? What if you and your co-workers had worked overtime the night before and were scheduled to be in the office at 9 a.m., but your boss called you at 3 a.m. and told you to be there at 6 a.m.?
Doesn't sound fair does it? Some will point out these are athletes and they sometimes have to wrestle three to five times in a day during tournaments, and sometimes they have to wrestle within an hour of their last bout. But the difference is they expect that in a tournament. They're at the arena, and they're there ready to wrestle many times.
Once Bedford coach Brian Creps and Huntingdon coach Jon Mykut got the calls, they had to scramble and call of their wrestlers to be ready right away for the moved up match.
Why not move the first-round matches back to Wednesday or Thursday, or even have them wrestled at the Giant Center or the Hersheypark Arena? They are first-round matches, and you can argue that those matches should be wrestled in Hershey anyway, so move them. Give the teams a fair chance to compete and even reward them for making it that far.
Let's hope the PIAA takes a look at something like this for the future, making it a Plan B just in case another winter storm wipes out the district duals.
Answering a question
The basketball fans among us, and there are plenty of them, have been asking this question: Why do wrestling teams still have regular- season matches remaining after the district and state duals?
The district and state duals are scheduled now at the latest dates they can be wrestled. Many district and sectional individual tournaments begin this weekend, including the District 6 Class AA Tournament. So, if the state duals were any later, some districts wouldn't be participating.
There are some teams that still wrestle dual meets the week of the individual tournament, but that's rare because most coaches don't want their wrestlers opening themselves up to injury before the postseason starts.
Other teams can wrestle regular-season matches after the district and state duals because their district tournaments don't start until the week after this one. That includes teams wrestling in the District 6 Class AAA Tournament and the District 5 Tournament. So, they have a little more freedom with their schedule.
Todd Irwin can be reached at 946-7464 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.