Business has been booming for age-group Greco-Roman activity in the United States as of late, due in large part of course to the bevy of developmental tourneys and Fargo regional qualifiers on the docket. Akin to a timeshare, that’s how this works, as everyone knows and understands. Folkstyle dominates from November through March, and then after that, the Olympic disciplines get their day(s) in the sun.
The headline says “interesting”, and that’s not hyperbole. While a collection of state-run tournaments are going on in various parts of the country, there are two new events that stand out, and for different reasons.
The first is Illinois’ “Greco Palooza”, which we touched on in this week’s Monday Roundup. Rather than offer the standard local/developmental tournament format that has become all kinds of milquetoast over the years, Greco Palooza comes at this with a completely different approach. For starters, it begins Saturday evening at 6pm and wraps up two hours later. But it’s the low fee combined with the amount of competition entrants may find to be the most enticing component. $10 not only buys your way in, but the low price also promises as many matches as one pleases during the two-hour window. So in other words, youth athletes can get themselves a whole lot of live looks for a fraction of the cost a more conventional developmental endeavor can deliver.
And no, the above is not a paid advertisement. Greco-Roman in the US requires out-of-the-box thinking in order to attract participation and provide more developmental opportunities. Just like the Midlands Exhibition Series that launched this past fall or the current slate of workshops Matt Lindland and Gary Mayabb have installed, education through creativity is of paramount importance currently and if Greco Palooza does anything, it is holding fast to that directive.
Approximately 950 miles southwest in Frisco, Texas will be the Barrientos Memorial for college-age Greco competitors. Sanctioned by the National Collegiate Wrestling Association, the objective of this tournament is to give athletes who are interested in picking up the classical style a taste of what it’s all about prior to the NCWA’s now-annual Go Greco Nationals scheduled for early-June. That’s the key point to remember — the Barrientos Memorial is not a qualifying tournament. The Go Greco Nationals are not beholden to any prerequisites other than registering with the “Go Greco” arm of the NCWA beforehand (we’ll actually have much more on the NCWA and its plans for Greco-Roman development next week).
2018 Greco-Palooza — Saturday, April 21st
Lake County High School
Lake Villa, Illinois
Age groups: Bantam through Junior
Contact: Chris Haag — (224) 622-9392; [email protected]
2018 Barrientos Memorial — Saturday, April 21st
Frisco Heritage High School
Cost: registering with the NCWA
Age groups: college
Contact: Coach Delgado — [email protected]