Countdown to wrestling, part one: a guide for beginners

Here are clarifications of potentially confusing aspects about wrestling before the season starts this fall.

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Countdown to Wrestling Part one: A guide for beginners

It’s no secret that Mizzou has become a wrestling powerhouse. The Tigers have consistently put out some of the best teams and individual competitors in the sport in recent years, dominating the Mid-American Conference every year since joining for the 2013 season. But wrestling can be a hard sport to understand at times. Follow The Maneater’s “Countdown to Wrestling” series for features, player and coach profiles and even explanations for new wrestling fans in the months leading up to the new season.

Raise your hand if you feel like you are not quite an expert yet when it comes to the ins and outs of wrestling.

That’s okay — our hands are raised, too. Wrestling can be complicated. The first match is not typically until late October or early November, so there is plenty of time to get the basics down in preparation for Mizzou wrestling’s first match.

For the first installment, we’ll just go over the basics. Make sure to check back next week for a guide on matches and how to score points.

How big is a typical wrestling team? How many athletes wrestle for each match?

There are 36 athletes on the Mizzou roster, but only one athlete per weight class wrestles per meet. For open meets, more wrestlers compete. There are 10 weight classes, ranging from the 125-pound weight class to heavyweights, which is 197 pounds and above.

Why is Mizzou wrestling in the MAC and not in the Southeastern Conference like the rest of Mizzou sports?

Mizzou wrestled in the Big 12 Conference up until the end of the 2012 season, winning the Big 12 Championship on March 3, 2012. With the university’s move to the SEC, wrestling was put in an interesting situation — wrestling is not an SEC sport. The Tigers joined the MAC for the 2013 season and have won the conference every year since.

What is the difference between an individual win and a team win?

Each wrestling match within a meet gets a decision. An athlete’s personal victory counts for points toward the team’s total. The team with the most points at the end of all of the individual matches wins the overall meet or dual. Because of this, it is possible for an individual to win his match but for the team to still lose the overall meet. This is similar to track and field; a runner can win his or her race, but that does not necessarily translate to the team winning the meet.

How long is an individual wrestling match?

Individual wrestling matches have the potential to last for three periods. The first period is 3 minutes, with the second and third each lasting for 2 minutes. A decision can be reached in any of the first three periods, so there is a chance the match could take less than 3 minutes if the it is ended by a fall, technical fall, default or disqualification. If there is still no decision by the end of the first three periods, there is a 1-minute overtime period.

How many individual matches make up a dual meet?

A dual meet is similar to a game for another sport; it is one school against another. An open meet is more like a tournament. It can involve multiple schools and usually has more wrestlers in each weight class. For a dual meet, there will be a match between each wrestling class for a total of 10 matches.

When and where are meets?

While the 2017-18 wrestling schedule has not been released yet, the regular season typically starts in late October or early November and lasts until late February. The championship tournaments start in March. Last year there were nine home meets, which take place at Hearnes Center.

Do MU students have to pay to attend?

No. Wrestling matches are free to any MU student with a valid student ID. Single-dual home tickets (excluding the match at Jesse Hall, which is slightly more expensive) are $5 for adults and $3 for youth or senior citizens.

Staff writer Bennett Durando contributed to this article. Edited by Joe Noser | Jnoser@themaneater.com

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