West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Dual Meet Tiebreakers

There is an interesting approach to ties in dual meet competition throughout the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It was brought to my attention during a telephone conversation with a hometown friend -- Ron Weller. Let me share the discussion with you, regarding this unique set-up for dual meet draws.

I was quite intrigued when Ron explained the dynamics behind this team-tiebreaking approach to dual meets. Some time ago Pennsylvania decided to eliminate all draws in dual meets. Consider the following. Should a tie occur in team score after the final match in a dual meet, the criteria below is utilized to determined the ultimate winner.

The Pennsylvania Dual Meet Tiebreaker Criteria

As previously mentioned, so far it seems to be working in Pennsylvania. However, Ron Weller has mixed feelings regarding the practice, having witness a number of dual meet ties. Here's what he has to say about the approach. "I like the use of this criteria system to decide winners for conference or league dual meet championships. On the other hand, I don't think it is really necessary in dual meets not involving such championships." You must understand that there has been a trend over the last few years to eliminate draws in all sports, and wrestling is no exception. Wrestlers can no longer have ties whether it be dual meets or tournaments. And now a number of states have found a way to remove draws from dual meets. Now note, the above criteria would not be applicable for tournaments. There are just too many extraneous variables that encompass wrestling tournaments. For example, if there was a tie between Team A and Team B in a tournament, it might be that Team A had easier opponents to wrestle throughout the competition. Thus, it would be unfair to Team B, who may have had a much rougher road to travel. And to be quite honest, I think most coaches would be more than willing to accept a tournament co-championship, especially in state competition.

As a wrestling official, it is not my place to promote such a practice in West Virginia or Ohio. Such decisions should be left in the hands of the coaches. If they want to eliminate ties in dual meets, I can live with it. So what do you think? Is it a good idea? I guess it all depends on whether or not you mind "kissing-your-sister" draws in athletic competitions.

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Updated January 16, 1998