Here's my 2 cents. Be careful for what you wish for and keep things in perspective.
Is there another venue in WA that can showcase the greatest sport on earth with every classification in the same building at the same time that the WIAA can afford?
NO. But if you know of one I'm all ears.
Should we look at splitting up the tournament based on classification?
NO. It's not in the best interest of our athletes or our sport in general.
Football State for example use to be at the Dome now it's played outside in the freezing cold or the rain at some random high school. Is that really better than when all teams played at the Tacoma Dome?
Do you really want college coaches having to choose which tournament to attend? I can tell you right now it's not always going to be one particular classification. Your son or daughter might miss out on the exposure they need because the recruiter wasn't there.
No mat time on Thursday sucks, we all looked forward to that day BUT that's not the Dome's fault that's the fault of the WIAA waiting until the Monday of State to tell coaches they're just going to have to deal with it. If they had made that announcement at the start of the season it wouldn't have been such a big deal because people would've had time to prepare for it both mentally and accommodationally for their team's practice. (yes I know that's probably not a real word)
Does having more classifications "water down" the event?
If you say yes, then you should be advocating for getting rid of all classifications and State should be like it is in California with only 1 State champ per weight. Period.
If you say no, you're probably a person of rationale thought that understands we are trying to GROW our sport. More classifications give more athletes incentive to qualify for State which results in higher participation in our sport. Depth is the only difference between the classifications. Every year there's a 1B/2B or 1A or 2A kid that would win 3A/4A titles. Would the 5th place kids in 1B/2B do as well? No, but there are also 3A/4A champs that wouldn't place higher than 5th in the small schools either. To imply that none of the finalists would be able to compete in other divisions is just pure ignorance and elitist thought that doesn't hold true to the values we all believe the sport of wrestling teaches.
I herd the bathrooms were an issue, should that be fixed?
Yes. I'm sure the Dome doesn't want that to happen and will take the proper steps to fixing the problem for next year. Take those complaints to the Dome and not the Mat Classic itself.
Does anyone like paying high prices for food in long lines?
No. But you will do it to watch your favorite band or when you attend a Seahawks game so suck it up and do it to watch your wrestlers. A different venue won't change the price of food, it's simple supply and demand. Accept it and move on to what matters. The kids and the sport of wrestling.
The kids tournament should be the following weekend at a venue more suited for kids State like the Spokane Convention Center. By time Sunday rolls around I'm exhausted but I still somehow manage to still be there. But, I'm not giving the kids the same attention and effort that I would be giving if it was a week later. Trying to get weighed in at a separate location during medal matches is also ridiculous. Imagine your a family who has to choose between watching one of your children compete or leaving to weigh in their younger sibling. Kids State on Sunday is not ideal and needs to change.
I'm sure there's things I forgot to mention, but like I said, I'm exhausted from the weekend.
We all preach that quitting something because you don't get your way isn't the best way to handle things so let's all please take a breath and think about the long term effects of "quitting" on the Mat Classic Tournament. Let's find real solutions to making the Mat Classic the best State tournament in WA Sports.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and please feel free to share it with your school's AD, the WIAA executive board and whoever else you think needs to hear it.
Coach Martin Mitchell
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