FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- A new scoring system could be on the horizon for the Tennessee state wrestling tournaments, thanks to a proposal submitted by Chattanooga-area coaches.
A pioneer of fan-friendly features including earlier start times, Soddy-Daisy coach Steve Henry has written a proposal to make the scoring system very similar to the scoring for dual meets.
A pin would be worth six team points, a technical fall five, a major decision four and a regular decision three. The current tournament scoring system gives two for a pin, 1.5 for a technical fall and one for a major decision. There also are advancement points (two in the championship round and one in the consolations) and placement points.
"The proposed system would mirror a dual meet, and I think it's a great idea, especially for the fans," said the TSSAA's Mark Reeves, who already has bounced the idea off several national wrestling people. "It is an exciting idea."
It's possible that the TSSAA would take this year's tournament results and employ the new scoring system to see how it works out.
"You'd want to see how much it affects the teams. Would the top five change? Would they be reversed? I'd like to see a hypothetical tournament," Reeves said.
If the idea meets ground-floor approval, the TSSAA likely would approach the national federation of high schools about experimenting with the system, at first with invitational tournaments.
"If we see it's a good thing, we would then take the proposal to the national federation wrestling rules committee," Reeves said.
SBA's first medalist
Heavyweight Josh Mackey became Silverdale Baptist Academy's first state medalist. Following up on a runner-up Region 4 finish, the junior placed fifth in the Division I tournament. The Seahawks program just finished its seventh season but only its third under Ricky Johnson, a multiyear state champion at Central.
First in a while
Central picked up two state medalists in Zac Fordham and Antonio Brooks. They're the first to get into the traditional state medals since Cody Stokes finished fourth in 2004.
"We brought a drought. Now we just need to keep taking small forward steps," Pounders coach Steve Price said.
Central took a huge step a couple of weeks ago when it won the Class A/AA state duals championship.
The state coaches association voted unanimously to ask the state to take a look at adjusting the schedule to eliminate so much dead time, especially between afternoon sessions Friday and Saturday.
Some coaches made it clear they would prefer to come, get their wrestling done and get gone, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. The championship semifinals begin at 7 p.m. EST, but there was a consolation round that followed and several teams didn't leave the Williamson County Agricultural Expo until midnight EST.
Some coaches also are in favor of moving the championship rounds back to 4 or 5 p.m. Saturday.
Changing the brackets
If and when a separate A/AA state comes to fruition, the TSSAA is looking at a 24-man AAA bracket and an eight-man A/AA bracket. Coaches already are countering with hopes of keeping a 32-man AAA tournament and adding a 16-man A/AA tournament.
There also has been talk, at least from the TSSAA's perspective, of going to four "super sectionals" with the top four in each advancing to the state tournament.
Coaches also asked that the TSSAA look at separating medalists from previous years but only if they finish first or second in their region. They also asked that teams be separated for the state duals. For example, Hixson and Central met in the A/AA semifinals the past two years with the winner eventually taking the state title. Coaches would like to see teams from the same geographic area in opposite halves of the bracket.
Also regarding the state duals, teams were seated side by side and coaches would like to see some separation.
"It is on a smaller scale, sure, but can you imagine the Steelers and the Packers being on the same sideline at the Super Bowl?" one coach asked.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...
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