Far East wrestling, single- or double-elimination: Which do you prefer?
Published: February 7, 2008
Expect a major format change to next week's DODDS-Pacific Far East High School Wrestling Tournament at Okinawa's Camp Foster.
Organizers at host Kubasaki High School will implement a double-elimination format for the individual freestyle portion of the tournament.
That will give a wrestler who loses an early-round bout and falls to the loser's bracket a chance to wrestle back to the championship round. That wrestler would then have to beat the winner's bracket grappler twice for the title, but at least would have a chance to do so.
But the format is apparently being met with resistance by coaches outside of Okinawa. Some would prefer to stick with what's been done in the recent past; others within DODDS feel double-elimination may be the foundation format of future Far East tournaments.
The past four years, 2004 and '05 at Yokota and 2006 and '07 at Nile C. Kinnick, a single-elimination with consolation format was implemented. Almost the same, except for two things: 1) The possibility of a second championship bout, and 2) a small handful of wrestlers wrestling a lion's share of loser's bracket bouts to make it back to the final.
The double-elimination format was tried at the Okinawa-American Friendship Tournament on Jan. 19 at Kadena Air Base and the Rumble on the Rock last weekend at Kubasaki, and organizers feel it was received well enough that it will be tried at Far East.
Only once in each of the tournaments did a wrestler lose early and wrestle all the way back to win his weight class.
Might it not be an issue at Far East? Maybe, maybe not. Murphy's Law preys upon such things, and ol' Murphy could pitch a tent inside the Foster Field House.
Stay tuned. The subject has made for lively debate via e-mail; it could be just as lively adiscussion at Tuesday's coaches' meeting.