Checklist for Wrestlers and Parents
If your child is ready to compete in a youth wrestling tournament, the following is a 20-point checklist:
Before the Tournament
Warm-up/Waiting to Wrestle
Wrestling the Tournament
- If you are attending one of the club-sponsored tournaments, there will be a sign up sheet at the practices. If you are attending a different tournament, INFORM THE HEAD COACH of your interest. Are there other wrestlers in the club going to this other tournament?
- If you are attending one of the club-sponsored tournaments, the club will complete the registration if it is a pre-registration tournament based on who has signed up for the tournament. If you are attending a different tournament and the tournament is a "pre-register only" tournament - you will need to fill out the registration form and mail in the money.
- You will need to have a USA card. If you signed up for the tournament package, the club will order the USA card. If you signed up for the basic package, you can buy a USA card for the tournament.
- if the tournament is not a pre-register only, you can sign up on the location. if it is a club-sponsored tournament, the club will cover the fee for the tournament. Otherwise, you will need money for the tournament fee. Directions to the tournament may be listed on the website. Otherwise, you may look up the location on Mapquest or some other website.
- Note the registration/weigh-in times and if there is a limit of wrestlers - the earlier you register the better. You can get breakfast after you register and weigh-in.
- In the days leading up to the tournament - eat healthy, drink liquids, and get enough sleep.
- Registration is often early morning (7 - 9am). DO NOT worry about eating before you arrive to register. Bring along food. Most tournaments have concessions; but to save money have a sack lunch along. Also bring your own water and sport drink. Not that some schools do not allow coolers in the gym.
- Once you fill out the paperwork, wrestlers proceed to the weigh-in area.
- Bring along your wrestling equipment: headgear, shoes, singlet, warm ups (sweats), etc. There will be a place to change at the tournament. When you are not wrestling wear sweatpants and sweatshirt to stay warm. LABEL all your clothing, except the club assigned singlet.
- Parents - bring along something to do for yourself. There is a waiting period after registration and before the tournament begins. Wrestlers should keep video games, etc. at home and focus on wrestling. This is a great time to have breakfast, either on site or locally.
- Wrestlers will most likely have their weight written on their hand. After weigh-ins the tournament organizers group the wrestlers based on weight, age and possibly experience. This is referred to as "Bracketing".
Warm-up/Waiting to Wrestle
- Support your team and stick together - remember you are representing the Portage Wrestling Club and our community. We will warm up together as a team, even when there are two or more gyms. When you are not wrestling, watch and support your teammates. It's a good way to learn. You are representing Portage. Be respectful, follow directions and be a good sport. Parents too! Clean up after yourself. All garbage should be place in trash/recycle cans.
- Bracketing - once the host club completes the grouping of wrestlers, they will post bracket cards. The coaches will be hovering over these charts. It will inform parents, coaches, and wrestlers of the following: GROUP/CHART/MAT number. Coaches may write on the wrestler's hand next to weight the chart/mat number. If run by mat assignments, the wrestlers will always be on the same mat. If run by chart/group number it means the group will wrestle on any mat with that group.
Wrestling the Tournament
- Most tournaments are run "Round Robin" format. This means that your child should wrestle at least 3 matches. It depends on the number of other wrestlers that show up in the same age/weight category. There are 3 periods for each match. Each wrestler will compete in each period for 1 minute. Older students in grades 5-8 may get 1.5 or 2 minute periods. Each round involves all ages/weights wrestling before the next round begins. It may take up to 90 minutes per round. Often there is a break after second round. Most, not all, tournaments are finished before 3:00pm.
- "Bullpen" is used to organize the wrestlers into their group/chart. This may be located outside the gym. Wrestlers, when called, should go to the bullpen. Coaches usually are with the youngest wrestlers in the bullpen. Older wrestlers usually can handle the wait until they get to the mat. By the time a wrestler is at the mat a coach is present. If not, a parent should located a club member to get a coach. Wrestlers shouldn't wrestle without a coach present at the matside.
- WRESTLERS AFTER EACH MATCH are to go to the coach at matside for final tips and a "pep talk" before going elsewhere.
- Tournaments usually give out some type of award to all wrestlers in the form of a medal or trophy. After your last round, STAY with your group and proceed to the awards area. Parents may take photos at anytime throughout the tournament. Wrestling is finished once the ward is received.
- BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE TOURNAMENT you are to show the HEAD COACH your award. The coaches want to know how you finished up and be sure that you received the correct award. There are times when the child gets the wrong award and the Head Coach can take care of the error.
- Make sure that you keep track of your belongings. It is recommended that expensive games or items be left at home. Neither the tournament nor the club is responsible for lost items.
- If you have never attended a youth wrestling tournament, they may seem at first a bit overwhelming. Plan on being gone all day (7:00am - 4:00pm). It may appear chaotic; however have faith, most tournaments are well run. you will spend most of your time sitting on a bleacher, if you need it - bring something soft to sit on or something to support your back. Bring along water and food for yourself too. Most tournaments have concessions, clothing, and shoes for sale. Nose bleeds may happen and tears may flow. This is a personal sport and kids need to learn how to handle it when it's not going their way. The coaches are there to coach and will be truthful with your child and support him/her. Your job is to be the supportive parent and give hugs.