The evolution of college wrestling and officiating

Psalm 1 guy

Well-Known Member
Nov 3, 2019
I was over on HR and they had posted the 1987 dual between Iowa and Iowa State. Iowa vs Iowa State 1987 It was a great dual, so I decided to post it here, but what I really wanted to talk about was the changes I have seen in both wrestling and officiating in the last 35 years since that dual. On the wrestling side, the wrestlers were well-conditioned and very physical. They looked to have been cutting more weight than what you typically see now. On the technique side, I believe there seems to be a greater variety of moves used by today's wrestlers, although the use of various moves ebbs and flows over the years. Today's wrestlers seem to be more comfortable in scrambling positions. I see a greater reliance on hand fighting and head position. One constant between now and then is that the most successful wrestlers were good at their finishes and also stayed in solid position, especially on their feet. My feeling is that most of the excellent wrestlers in their era would have been excellent no matter what era they wrestled.

On the officiating and rules side is where the changes are most dramatic. The current out-of-bounds rules are so much better than the old rules and make the matches so much more entertaining. Also, the current rules regarding stalling for leaving the wrestling area are a great improvement in my mind as is the prohibition of hanging on an ankle. On the officiating side, I was amazed how quickly (at least by the official in this dual) stalemates were called, how strict the official was on not allowing a parallel ride or working toward a pinning combination, how quickly stall calls were given and generally how active the official was in not only talking to the wrestlers during the match about potential stalling, but just in general how much the official involved himself in the matches. I personally liked the emphasis on not allowing a parallel ride on top, although in the 190 pound match the official seemed to go out of his way to call the top wrestler for staying parallel and on the hips. I definitely disliked the quick stalemate calls. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about the changes you have seen over the last few decades in the wrestling and officiating and whether you view those changes as generally positive or negative.
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Well-Known Member
Aug 9, 2013
Before we continue, I suggest that you change the title of this thread. It is common knowledge that college wrestling did not exist prior to Cael becoming the head coach at Penn State. It takes more time for something to evolve.