Duals are the most exciting format for wrestling competition.
Think about a regular tournament. How many spectators are there (parents not included)? How many of your teammates’ matches do you miss? How often does your coach miss your match or get there just in the nick of time?
With wrestling duals, you see every match your team has. People from your community and school can come to cheer you on just like they would with a football team. One mat, no corral or mat assignments. Show up, warm up, and put on a show.
Duals are easy to run.
Name the biggest headaches for coaches – especially coaches hosting a tournament. Organizing hundreds of entries into brackets, dealing with last-minute scratches, and the ubiquitous struggle that comes with having 3 wrestlers competing at the same time on different mats are probably on that list.
With duals, these problems are virtually eliminated. Sure, someone might pull out or miss weight, but you’re dealing with two team lists, that’s all. There’s either a replacement right there, or there isn’t. Either way, there’s no draw, seeding, byes, etc. Best of all, you get to actually coach every single match your team has.
Duals are great for building the community and developing athletes.
Tournaments are full-day affairs. Show up early, weigh in, wrestle, go home. With a dual, you’re looking at one to two hours, depending on the number of bouts. Coaches can easily plan for a joint practice before or after the matches.
A dual league also makes it easy to properly match wrestlers. In a regular tournament format, your first-year wrestler might be in a division with a returning national champ and will be in for a discouraging match. With duals, it’s much easier to look at individual bouts and ensure there are no spirit-breaking mismatches.
Standings and rankings are also simple to maintain with a dual league. This allows for interesting opportunities such as an “All-Ontario Team” to go down to the USA for extra competition. Qualification tournaments are great, but inherent to such events is the possibility of a great wrestler having a bad day. A dual league allows us to see how athletes are performing over an entire season.