By Steve Patton – AAA Ratings Editor
Last season, I had a parent send me an e-mail asking me why her son wasn’t ranked. She was polite and asked whether he had been considered for ranking or was just over-looked. In this case, the fact was that I had no access to the results of 11 significant matches her son had wrestled so there was no way that I could do a fair job of ranking him.
As a result of that exchange, I decided to list some tips for any parent who may be wondering how to ensure that their son or daughter is being fairly considered for ranking.
- Encourage your team to submit timely results to The Guillotine. The rankings editors typically only use results that have been personally witnessed, published somewhere, or submitted by a coach. That means that a match that doesn’t make The Guillotine, a local newspaper, TrackWrestling, or one of the other results tracking systems probably isn’t going to be considered. Some coaches are great at getting results to The Guillotine, others – not so much. If your coach is in the latter group, encourage him to utilize a statistician for the job or volunteer yourself to enter the results for him. Coaches have enough to do during the season, and for many, this is just one more administrative task that sometimes gets crowded off the desktop by his other responsibilities.
- Make sure that your son or daughter has a TrackWrestling profile. Setting up a profile is free and easy, but they don’t happen automatically. Once it’s created, make sure that it’s connected to the Trackwrestling entry that your coach has for your wrestler. I’m not advocating for any increased use of Trackwrestling, but most of the top wrestlers in the state, have profiles where a rankings editor can easily click on a name and see all of the significant results from that wrestler’s career. Take a look at last year’s state tournament brackets on Trackwrestling (find on The Guillotine’s Tournament Time Page). Names in blue are connected to a Trackwrestling profile and are clickable.
- Use the rankings input page to submit significant results to the rankings editors. Anyone, including parents, coaches, fans, and wrestlers can submit ranking input by just clicking on The Guillotine’s ranking input link. It’s important, however, that you be honest and complete in your comments and include your return e-mail address when you submit results. If your son or daughter finished second in a significant tournament, don’t just submit the scores for the wins – please include all of the scores or a link to the bracket online. In the blank on the form for an e-mail address, please enter your address (not the wrestler’s). I may have follow-up questions or ask for an update later in the season.
- Be aware of publication dates. I know that this one seems like a bit too much, but most of the input that I receive shows up the day after the rankings are published. That’s the very least useful time for results because it’s usually two weeks from the next publication. Rankings are published on a set schedule. In general, input needs to be received at least six days before the printed issues and three days before the website-only releases.
Some things not to do:
- Please don’t call me. I have a day job and am not always near a pen and paper to take notes.
- There is no need to restate the obvious. If your son or daughter placed in state last year, they are already on my radar. Updates are always appreciated but just suggesting that I should “take a look” at a returning state qualifier, doesn’t really change the landscape at all.
- Non-MSHSL results are less relevant. I don’t really want to hear about youth or summer camp results. Winning NYWA or 9th-grade state is really only significant for pre-season 106-pound rankings. Freestyle and Greco results are always a point of contention, but in general, they are only used as an indicator and do not supersede actual MSHSL results.
Please keep in mind that the rankings are for entertainment purposes only. They are not used in the state tournament seeding process, and they can’t prevent anyone from placing at state. If you don’t care whether your son or daughter is ranked, then you can ignore everything above. If it is important to you, then the steps above are things that you can do to help him or her be evaluated fairly.
The Guillotine Preseason Rankings will be published in early November.