Well, that didn’t last very long.
In a series of sweeping changes, United World Wrestling is reportedly bringing back forced par terre to Greco Roman wrestling. It has only been a few months since the announcement of forced, or “ordered” par terre’s removal and apparently, the early results haven’t provided the spark the global sanctioning body and the community at large were hoping for. Several sources have informed 5PM that the reintroduction of ordered par terre is to take place virtually immediately. There are notable Senior events slated for this month, with the Herman Kare tournament unfolding today in Finland, the Tahkti Cup and the Poddubny next week in Iran and Russia, respectively, and the Paris Tournament followed by the US-hosted Dave Schultz Memorial International two weeks from now, making the need for an exact timetable imperative.
In other news that is just as compelling, weight classes are also being adjusted. Beginning in 2018, there will be ten weights with four non-Olympic divisions. It is to go like this: 55 kg, 60 kg, 65 kg, 70 kg, 75 kg, 80 kg, 85 kg, 90 kg, 100 kg, and 130 kg. For the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, similar to now, only six weights are on the schedule: 60 kg, 65 kg, 75 kg, 85 kg, 100 kg, and 130 kg.
UWW has yet to officially announce these changes or what par terre’s actual role will exactly entail and until they do, expect the above to be amended here and elsewhere. 5PM could not confirm any of the above with the global sanctioning body before this was published.
The news is likely to be greeted with a mixed reaction. Ordered par terre’s elimination was roundly celebrated by most US Greco Roman wrestlers back in September, predictable considering it has long been recognized as the weakest position for American competitors. Optimism also centered around the idea that increased wrestling on the feet might lead to more dynamic scoring attempts and throws. However, thus far, the rule change has not produced the expected results. In the first marquee event following the rule change, the Golden Grand Prix, scoring was actually down. The World Wrestling Clubs Cup and the Non-Olympic Weight World Championships both fell short of expectations presumably, as well.
This all comes during a busy time for United World Wrestling. In the aftermath of the Rio Olympics, Flo Wrestling unleashed a scathing report demonstrating numerous examples of collusive activity among officials and several nations. Perhaps in response, UWW has dismissed or demoted multiple officials and instituted new protocols for training. But the vague and subjective nature in which passivity is governed has once again come into question, since without forced par terre, wrestlers can simply be penalized points on a seeming whim.
The silver lining is, of course, the additional weight classes. Despite being tabbed for non-Olympic competition, more weights mean more opportunities for “in-between” wrestlers to gain valuable experience at the World-level. It also means that for some US competitors, there may be decisions to make a year from now.
We will update this page as soon as more details become available.