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Illegal Contact


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MSHSAA sent out the following on Friday. It is nothing new, happy to see it sent out. I think quite a few people aren't playing by the rules for contact, particularly when it comes to coaches also coaching club teams some implementation of open rooms with multiple schools present.

 

Question 1:  I am a high school wrestling coach and wrestlers from my high school want to wrestle Freestyle/Greco this spring.  Can I facilitate a freestyle/Greco practice twice a week and provide coaching and instruction to these wrestlers?

Answer 1:  No, as a high school wrestling coach you are not permitted to give coaching and instruction in wrestling “outside the school wrestling season-during the school year” to students that attend your high school (9-12th graders) or may attend your high school next school year (8th graders).  As a high school wrestling coach, you would be permitted to give coaching/instruction in freestyle/Greco this spring to 7th graders and below. (See Bylaw 3.14.2 e-1)

 

Question 2:  I am a middle school wrestling coach and wrestlers from my middle school want to wrestle Freestyle/Greco this spring.  Can I facilitate a freestyle/Greco practice twice a week and provide coaching and instruction to these wrestlers?

Answer 2:  No, as a middle school wrestling coach you are not permitted to give coaching and instruction in wrestling “outside the school wrestling season-during the school year” to students that attend your middle school (7th/8th graders) or may attend your middle school next school year (6th graders).  As a middle school wrestling coach, you would be permitted to give coaching/instruction in freestyle/Greco this spring to 5th graders and below. (See Bylaw 3.14.2 e-2)

 

Question 3:  I am a high school coach at School A and I have wrestlers from my high school that want to participate in Freestyle/Greco this spring and summer.  The high school wrestling coach from School B also has wrestlers from his high school that want to participate in Freestyle/Greco this spring and summer.  Can the wrestling coach from School A provide coaching/instruction to students from School B and the coach from School B provide coaching/instruction to students from School A this spring in freestyle/greco before the start of the defined summertime? 

Answer 3:  Yes, the coach from School A can provide coaching and instruction to students from School B and the coach from School B can provide coaching and instruction to students from School A during the spring (outside the wrestling season during the school year); however, both high school coaches are still restricted from providing coaching/instruction to all 8th graders.  NOTE:  The coach from School A and coach from School B cannot use the same practice room/gym/etc. at the same time where students from each school are receiving coaching and instruction.  In short, the coach from school A and coach from school B cannot be in the same coaching/instructional setting and simply say, I am coaching his kids and he is coaching mine.  Once the defined summertime begins for School A, the coach from School A has 20 contact days during the summer to provide coaching/instruction to students from School A.  Once the defined summertime begins for School B, the coach from School B has 20 contact days during the summer to provide coaching/instruction to students from School B.  (See Bylaw 3.14.2)  (Bylaw 3.15 for Summer Contact Days)

 

Question 4:  I am a high school wrestling coach with interest in coaching for a MoUSA club team this spring and summer for freestyle/Greco.  Since I am a school coach, can I coach for a club team and give instruction at a wrestling club’s practices and competitions.

Answer 4:  This is a slippery slope since you are a high school coach and you have to be very cautious with what students you have coaching/instructional contact with outside the school wrestling season during the school year.  You can coach a club wrestling team; however, at no time during the spring can you coach or give instruction to any students that attend your high school (9-12 graders) or may attend your high school next school year (8th graders).  So if you coach for a club team you are restricted to coaching students that DO NOT attend your high school OR students who are in the 7th grade or below.  Furthermore, as a high school coach you cannot be in a coaching/instructional setting (club team practice) if students from your high school are present or 8th graders are present (if you are in the same room with them you are coaching them OR they are hearing instruction you are giving to others). Once your school’s defined summer begins you have 20 contact days to use for coaching/instruction with students that attend your school or are enrolled to attend to your school, so during the summer you can start providing coaching/instruction to wrestlers that attend the school even if it is at a club team practice.  The easiest and cleanest way for a school coach to handle this situation is to stay away from coaching club teams that involve wrestlers from their school and 8th graders until the defined summer starts.  (See Bylaw 3.14.2 e-1)

 

Question 5:  I am a wrestling coach at School A and want to host a freestyle tournament this spring as a fundraiser for our high school wrestling team.  Can I do this?

Answer 5:  No, a freestyle tournament is a “non-school” competition and per bylaw 3.14.2 must be sponsored by a non-school entity (civic organization, service organization, parks and recreation department, etc.).  A school or school coach CANNOT be the sponsor of a “non-school” competition such as a freestyle tournament.  A Wrestling Club, not affiliated with a school, is considered a non-school entity; therefore, a Wrestling Club can sponsor a freestyle tournament and can administer the freestyle tournament at a MSHSAA member school so long as the school’s facility rental agreement/policies are being followed for allowing the school facilities to be used by a Wrestling Club.  A school coach cannot be the organizer/main contact/administrator of a non-school competition without being in violation of bylaw 3.14.2. 

 

Question 6:  I am a high school wrestling coach and I have a wrestler from our school who has been participating in freestyle wrestling during March/April/May with local club team.  His performance in freestyle competition during these months has qualified him to be on the Mo-USA National Team.  Can I coach this wrestler from my school this “summer” at the USA Wrestling Cadet/Junior Nationals.

Answer 6:  As a school coach you are restricted from providing coaching/instruction outside the season-during the school year to any students that currently attend your high school(9-12 graders) or may attend your high school(8th graders) next school year; however, during the defined Summer your school’s coaching staff has 20 contact days in which you are permitted to engage in coaching/instruction with students that attend or are enrolled to attend your school next school year.  Since you are permitted contact days during the summer….YES, you can coach the wrestler from your school at the Cadet/Junior Nationals so long as you count each day of contact with this wrestler at this event toward your limit of 20 summer contact days for your wrestling program.

 

Question 7:  I am a high school wrestling coach and this summer I plan to open our school’s wrestling room and hold offseason workouts twice a week at our school.  Who can attend these offseason workouts?

Answer 7:  Since you are the school coach and you are using the school facility as the “school coach” for workouts for your school team, only students enrolled at your school may attend and participate in the offseason workouts held during the summer.  Allowing a student to attend your school team offseason workouts during the summer without being an enrolled student at your school is a violation of MSHSAA bylaws and could lead to severe consequences for both the school coach and student.  Anytime you have a “new” student show up to school team summer workout or camp ALWAYS make sure to check with your counselor/administrator to confirm that the individual is an enrolled student at your school before allowing them to participate.

 

Question 8:  I am a high school coach that coaches Freestyle/Greco with a Wrestling Club team in the spring(outside the wrestling season during the school year); however,  I only coach on Monday and Wednesday which are nights that there are not students or wrestlers from my high school in attendance.  On Mondays and Wednesdays when I am coaching the Wrestling Club team there are 4th graders through 8th graders in attendance.  Is it okay for me to coach this age group?

Answer 8:  As a high school coach It is completely okay for you to coach the 4th through 7th graders; however, the 8th graders are a huge risk for you as a high school coach.  If any of the 8th graders are on track to attend your high school next school year and end up attending your high school next year you are in violation of Bylaw 3.14.2 e-1.  If any of these 8th graders are not currently on track to attend your high school BUT end up enrolling and attending the high school you coach at you are subject to violation of Bylaw 2.6 – Undue Influence(Recruiting) and these 8th grade wrestlers are subject to violation of Bylaw 3.10 Transfer for Athletic Reasons.  The attempt of a high school coach to coach any 8th graders during non-school competition that occurs “Outside the Season-During the School Year” is such a huge risk for high school coaches and a violation of MSHSAA bylaw.  Thus is why the MSHSAA office communicates to high school coaches to be “hands off” with 8th graders.

 

Question 9:  I am both a middle coach and a high school coach at my school.  Our school is a 7-12 MSHSAA member school.  What age groups can I provide wrestling coaching/instruction to outside of our school wrestling season but during the school year?

Answer 9:  Since you are both a school approved middle school and high school wrestling coach at your school, you are restricted from providing coaching/instruction to all 6th-12th grade students that attend your school and you are restricted from providing coaching/instruction to 8th graders and 6th graders, even if they do not attend your school.  You would be permitted to coach 5th graders and below or you can coach 7th graders or 9-12 graders that DO NOT attend your school.

 

Question 10:  I am a school wrestling coach and my son wrestles on the school team where I coach.  Can I continue to provide coaching/instruction to my son during the spring freestyle season?

Answer 10:  Yes, as a father you can provide coaching/instruction to “your” child 365 days a year; however, this does grant you access to providing coaching/instruction to other wrestlers on your school team outside the season-during the school year.  In other words, you can coach your son during the freestyle season but you cannot ask another wrestler(s)/student(s) from your school or 8th graders to be a practice partner with your son because you are then giving them all coaching/instruction outside the school season-during the school year, and that is a violation of Bylaw 3.14.2. 

 

Question 11:  A local Wrestling Club wants to use our school’s wrestling facilities as a practice location during the MoUSA Freestyle/Greco Wrestling season which is during a time that is outside the school wrestling season-during the school year.  Is it permissible for the club to use school facilities and am I allowed to supervise the facilities at these practices.

Answer 11:  First and foremost, before a non-school group, such as a Club Wrestling Team, can use your school’s facilities the group must communicate with school administration with regard to the school district’s Facility Use Guidelines/Agreement in order make sure they are meeting school board policy on using school facilities.  As far you as a school coach “supervising” the facilities/practice, if you have wrestlers from your school/school team that is participating in the club practices you cannot supervise the facilities/practices.  Being in attendance supervising a facility/practice is not a reasonable assignment as it will turn into you helping with coaching/instruction; therefore, you as a school coach need to avoid that supervision setting/situation.

 

Question 12:  The Wrestling Club in our community is holding a MoUSA Freestyle/Greco Tournament at our school in April.  The club has met our school district’s Facility Use Guidelines/Agreement to use our gym for the tournament.  The director of the Wrestling Club is now asking if I could be available to help work as a volunteer at this tournament but I am a school wrestling coach and there will be wrestlers from my school participating in the freestyle tournament.  Can I volunteer as a worker at this tournament?

Answer 12:  As noted in several of the Q and A’s above and in Bylaw 3.14.2 e-1, you cannot coach wrestlers from your school or wrestlers that “may attend” your school next school year at this freestyle tournament.  Per Bylaw 3.14.2 e-3 you cannot serve as an official/referee at this freestyle tournament.  Per Bylaw 3.14.2 as a school/school coach you cannot be the organizer/administrator/director of this “non-school” freestyle tournament.  You can help the non-school wrestling club with things such as the bracket room, scoring tables, working computer program, etc; however, you as a school coach have to conscientiously avoid any coaching/instructional contact at this freestyle tournament with wrestlers from your school or 8th graders that may go to your school next school year or you will be in violation of 3.14.2 e-1.

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I totally disagree and think the rules need to be changed for many reasons.  I can't tell you how freaking stupid I think these regulations are in the grand scheme of things.  What are the kids supposed to do that want to actually get better during the off-season?   You think all the kids can pay Purler/Hoehn/Eierman/etc?  So bascially if you can't afford or even get to one of these clubs you're out of luck.   How are kids supposed to get better at freestyle and greco if they can't go to a club that is more affordable or God forbid FREE with high school coaches that want to allow them the chance to get better?  Stupid that we are so worried about kids who want to get better and coaches that are wanting to work together to allow them to get better.  Rules like these hurt Missouri wrestling in general, they don't make any sense to me.  

Someone explain to me how these regulations aren't complete stupidity!!!!!!!  

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And let me point out, I have nothing against any of these clubs and wish ALL my kids that aren't in a spring/fall sport would go to Purler/Hoehn/Eierman.  I'd love for all my kids that wanted to, to have the means to join one of thse academies, but most can't for either money reasons or scheduling reasons.    

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Long time lurker, first time poster.  I am not a coach or administrator, I am a wrestling parent who has spent the last 8+ years spending a lot of time and money supporting my wrestling sons.  I am sure this gigantic thicket of MSHSAA rules was put together by folks with the best of intentions.  However, I think that these rules - if they are actually followed - would create a number of very negative unintended consequences.  First among these would be "affluenza."  As others have stated, many kids/parents simply cannot afford the $100+/month cost of private clubs.  Same thing goes for the significant expense that come with out-of-state tournaments (travel + registration fees, etc.).  By making it "illegal" for local HS coaches to host off-season camps or clubs at low or nominal cost in their own HS facilities, MSHSAA is making it difficult for the average kid/family to pursue their dream of excelling at the sport.  I think most of us on this site know this already, but most of the kids in the medal rounds at State wrestle at least part of the off-season... In fact, at least in Class 3/4, I would speculate the majority of kids in the medal rounds do at least some off-season wrestling.  In my opinion, the sorts of situations MSHSAA outlines in their FAQ are way, way too restrictive.   Do we adults really, truly want to make wrestling (or any other MSHSAA-sanctioned sport) a zone of exclusivity, where only affluent or wealthy kids can pursue their athletic goals?  I know that is not MSHSAA's intention, but I think that would be the outcome if everyone adhered strictly to the regulations.

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I agree that the current rules are stupid and hinder development as it essentially becomes pay to play. It negates the role of the school coach to a 17 week season and then 20 days in the summer. 

 

That being said, they are the current rules and it is irritating to see others break them out in the open. This includes websites that list club coaches who are are also school coaches, coaching their kids throughout the year, coaches on videos that are streamed on the internet where coaches are coaching their own kids at out of season tournaments, etc. I read several newspaper articles recently where coaches talk about specific techniques they worked on in pre-season workouts. 

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What's going on KC?  Honestly I want to know if it's different than say STL?  Are you talking about high school coaches coaching clubs?    I'm honestly just trying to educate myself to gather information in order to make changes.  We can't move the sport forward if we make decisions without all the information.

That being said, what are the drawbacks or pitfalls to having high school coaches running a club and working together to coach kids up in the off season for those kids that want to be involved?  Here we are in a time when our sport needs growth and kids need to be involved in positive things and we are telling them we can't be involved.    

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I believe the concern is specialization, that coaches will pressure kids into choosing one sport and making it a year round sport. The contact rules are in place for other sports besides wrestling as well, but seem to be overstepped by wrestling more than others.

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12 hours ago, NCMC4life said:

That being said, they are the current rules and it is irritating to see others break them out in the open. This includes websites that list club coaches who are are also school coaches, coaching their kids throughout the year, coaches on videos that are streamed on the internet where coaches are coaching their own kids at out of season tournaments, etc. I read several newspaper articles recently where coaches talk about specific techniques they worked on in pre-season workouts. 

This is what will make this an interesting offseason. I know some clubs are already scrambling with their coaching rotation and kids practicing. I think it's going to be open season on turning in these clubs/coaches to MSHSAA. 

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The current rules are probably better than you think.  Remember that if you allow wrestling coaches to coach during the school year outside of their season, every other sport gets to as well. What if football coaches started putting together winter workouts. Do you think that would cut into our numbers even more?  

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44 minutes ago, mshsaaref said:

This is what will make this an interesting offseason. I know some clubs are already scrambling with their coaching rotation and kids practicing. I think it's going to be open season on turning in these clubs/coaches to MSHSAA. 

I did notice MoWest removed the names of their coaches from their website. In regards to open season for turning people in, I don't see that happening as these infractions have been going on for quite a while and are nothing new.

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5 minutes ago, NCMC4life said:

I did notice MoWest removed the names of their coaches from their website. In regards to open season for turning people in, I don't see that happening as these infractions have been going on for quite a while and are nothing new.

There is a bit of a backstory to all of this, that I will not get into on a public forum. There will be people at tournaments this year actively looking for violations.

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From MSHSAA Handbook---

3.14 SPORT PARTICIPATION AND CONTACT – WHEN NOT PARTICIPATING IN AN INTERSCHOLASTIC SPORT SEASON DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR 3.14.1 Restrictions When NOT Participating Interscholastically: During any sport season within the school year (defined in 3.13.1) that a student is not a member of a school sport team, the following guidelines and restrictions regarding other sport participation and contact with school personnel apply

3.14.6 Sport-Specific Instruction

c. No member school or member of the coaching staff of the school the student is attending or will be attending the following year is involved in any way in the organization, sponsorship, or administration of the sport-specific instruction.

3.14.7 Out-of-Season Sports Conditioning: During a period the student is not a member of a school sport team, he/she may participate in an out-of-season sports conditioning program administered by a member school, under the following conditions:

d. Participation is voluntary and is not required directly or indirectly for membership on a school team. e. Participants will furnish their own clothing (sweat suits, shorts, shoes, etc.). f. Activities shall be limited to running, weight training, and calisthenics. Agility drills that do not involve specific skills of a given sport are also permitted. g. Specific equipment pertaining to a given sport may not be used. This includes, but is not limited to, such items as footballs, basketballs, volleyballs, wrestling mats, hurdles, shot put, discus, high jump or pole vault standards or landing pits, batting cages, blocking or tackling dummies, charging sleds, and other similar equipment.

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On 3/20/2018 at 8:36 AM, Warren Haynes said:

The current rules are probably better than you think.  Remember that if you allow wrestling coaches to coach during the school year outside of their season, every other sport gets to as well. What if football coaches started putting together winter workouts. Do you think that would cut into our numbers even more?  

What rock have you been living under? Football coaches are putting together winter workouts which is what's taking away from numbers! I personally know one school where the football coach welcomes those with open arms who quit wrestling to lift and participate in football workouts.

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Ok, so it seems the reason for rules like this is to allow for kids to play other sports.  The one example most come up with is that if you allow all sports to be coached out of season then the fear is the football coach will basically mandate his players to not do a winter or spring sport and just do football stuff.  Granted this could happen with any coach with any sport but football is usually the example that is brought up.  My personal opinion is that this type of thinking by the football coach has changed, the culture (if you will) is different now a days.  Another thought that comes to mind is if you have a football coach that has that attitude, isn't he already putting the same "mandate" on his players to not do another sport and be in the weight room already??  So really this rule is doing nothing but hurting kids who don't play other sports and want to get better.   

And lets be honest, I'd go out on a limb and say "illegal" practices are happening at almost every school in almost all sports.  So the system is obviously "broken".

I don't know the answers or what a good rules revision would be but I'd like to hear some ideas as I'd like to move forward on trying to get some things changed.

With that said, I'd like to say a big FU to two groups of people:  those that put heat on kids to not be multiple athletes if they want AND whoever started this crap in the wrestling community this spring!!  

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Any football coach who would not want his players wrestling is a certified fool.  Also, what is so hard about following the rules?  The problem is now that in order to have any kind of success, one would have to break the rules to keep up with the multitude of other rule breakers.  We try to teach our athletes to be good sportsmen and individuals, then hypocritically violate those ideals.  I would still like to know who is responsible for this being an issue now, cause I know I could lay out a plethora of names from the past who have indiscriminately broken the rules in the name of success.  Why is this just now being brought up?

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Wrestling fan, parent of a wrestler, school administrator....

I would want my athlete with the most qualified individual giving them instruction and surrounded by other athletes that want to improve as much as he does. 

MSHSAA rules surrounding contact in the off-season are in place to allow kids to be multiple sport athletes without the pressure from one coach on them to attend off-season work or sport-specific training. So that a kid doesn't quit their secondary sport just so that they may fulfill another coaches agenda. The flip-side is that a kid that actually wants to wrestle Olympic style wrestling or to get better in the off-season must join a club. Most of the clubs are ran by high school coaches and/or at least attended by high school coaches. The "grey" area is and has always been who is giving instruction according to the MSHSAA rule.

My two cents....if the off-season training is after hours (after 6:00 PM) and does not interfere with high school practice time....let it happen. We live approximately 1 hour from KC. My son and I made this trip at least twice weekly all four years of high school just to get instruction and to be around other like minded wrestlers. I know that it made him a better wrestler! Increasingly a larger number of kids that do not live in the metropolitan areas do not have the opportunities to be exposed to instruction. (Location, cost, travel, etc. To me involvement of my athletes is key! Do something. If you are not a spring athlete then wrestle more....even if you are a spring athlete getting on the mat once a week per evening or on a Sunday afternoon is good! If I were a rural wrestling coach I would be working to organize an off-season opportunities like this for my athletes...within the scope of the "rules" of course.

If and athlete decided to quit wrestling because of football coach...to me that is a local school issue and should be handled by administration there. If a local authority condones that sort of behavior from a coach; therein lies the issue. Almost all high schools also have a  body conditioning type class during the school day...when utilized properly this can take the place of an after school type need. With that being said as a former head football coach I would want my athletes doing SOMETHING in the off-season after-school; either a winter sport or extra body control type exercises.   

I have heard through the grapevine circles that this is being brought-up now through KC metropolitan area club stuff. Multiple high school coaches involved in off-season club practices (for the reasons above) and I am sure someones feelings were hurt and the rule violation was reported. So now the edict from on high is sent out to all schools.       

I would compare this rule to the speed limit. It is followed by a few, broken by many, and completely disregarded by some.       

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There really isn't any grey area. The rules are pretty black and white and have been for some time. The only grey area exists for those who create one as means to justify their breaking of the rules.

I have no problem with the idea that the current rules are bad and need reformed. I do find comments such as, "... I am sure someones feelings were hurt and the rule violation was reported," and " whoever started this crap in the wrestling community this spring!" strange in that rather than villifying those who have been cheating, instead those who want to adhere to the rules as currently written are made to be the criminals. I believe in a level playing field and it certainly is not fair to those who have made a commitment to following the rules.

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Please remember that just because a reminder e-mail has been sent out by MSHSAA does not mean that someone has been "cheating"...I have not heard or nor seen anyone school having to forfeit any competitions nor student-athletes losing their eligibility. The e-mail is simply a reminder to do things on the up-and-up....

When I drive 66 mph I do not consider myself a criminal.  

 

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15 hours ago, GotMiller said:

What rock have you been living under? Football coaches are putting together winter workouts which is what's taking away from numbers! I personally know one school where the football coach welcomes those with open arms who quit wrestling to lift and participate in football workouts.

Exactly.... ours keeps a spreadsheet tracking attendance to zero hour weight lifting....makes summer school weight lifting "mandatory"  etc....   one of the main reasons neither of my sons are playing football any more...

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The reason the email was sent, was in fact, because people have been cheating. You keep bringing up a comparison to speeding, it appears to make it seem like illegal contact is a harmless offense and thus rationalize cheating. This does not address, however, the lack of fairness afforded to those who choose to break the rules over those who make a commitment to playing by the rules.

Per the email, " Over the course of the past several years it would appear that a growing number of middle school and high school wrestling coaches are either unaware, uneducated or choose to ignore Bylaw 3.14, a bylaw that MSHSAA member schools voted to put in place several years ago that addresses restrictions and/or allowances of Coaching-Instruction “Outside the Season-During the School Year”.

 

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