First came the decision from the PIAA that only the top four wrestlers at each weight from the District 6 Class AA Tournament would be qualifying for the Southwest Regional instead of the usual five. That was bad enough.
Now comes the news that most of the wrestling at the regional tournament will be crammed into the first day.
Instead of starting at 1 p.m., the tournament will begin at 9 a.m. at the Cambria County War Memorial. Two extra rounds - the semifinals and consolation quarterfinals - are scheduled for Friday night, instead of Saturday.
The consolation semifinals are 9 a.m. Saturday, and the championship finals, and the third and fifth-place finals are set for 10:15.
The Johnstown Generals are a new team in the Ultimate Indoor Football League, and they have a game against the Northern Kentucky River Monsters the night the championship finals are usually being held.
Postseason tournament time schedules have been altered like that before, but it's usually because of weather.
The Southwest Regional is so tough, it's often a preview of what will happen at the PIAA Championships. The altered schedule makes it tougher on wrestlers and coaches as they work through the rugged tournament.
The coaches recognize the problem of cramming more wrestling into the first day of such an important tournament, but they're sure that their wrestlers will adapt.
"It will make for a very difficult and trying day for the wrestlers," Claysburg-Kimmel coach Dave Marko said. "I don't like how physically and mentally demanding it will be on the wrestlers, but it is what it is."
"There's not much we can do about it," Penn Cambria coach Todd Niebauer said. "However, I do not think it is very wrestler-friendly."
"It will be challenging," Bedford coach Brian Creps said, "but all of the kids will be in the same situation."
Tournament director Terry Diehl said part of the problem was new War Memorial manager Mike Silva didn't know about the tournaments dates. When Diehl contacted him late in 2010 in regard to lowering the rent for the tournament, he was told about the game, which, he was told, couldn't be moved.
Diehl said having the tournament on Thursday and Friday was considered, but having the kids out of school for those days was the big issue. It can be argued, though, if they qualify for the state tournament, they'll be out of school Thursday and Friday, and some might even miss Wednesday.
He also talked about moving the tournament to another location like UPJ, which is where the tournament was held before being moved to the War Memorial.
"UPJ didn't have enough seating for it," Diehl said. "Where else do you take it? We had thought about Richland, but can they really house it? The War Memorial holds about 4,000 people."
There's some good news. The tournament will revert back to its normal schedule next year, and the PIAA was able to reduce the rental fee for this year and next year.
Until then, though, the wrestlers will have to contend with this year's schedule.
"We'll just try to make the best of it this year," Diehl said.
Todd Irwin can be reached at 946-7464 or at firstname.lastname@example.org