Next week Budapest becomes host to the world's very best wrestlers as FILA holds its 2013 World Championships of Wrestling. This year's world championships hold special significance as they provide the biggest showcase for the newly repackaged sport of wrestling since losing and regaining its status as an Olympic event. This post is designed to impart all the knowledge you need to view and appreciate the next week of wrestling action. I'll conveniently use lots of headings and bullet points for ease of reading. This is part 1 of 2; part 2 will feature weight class previews.
Styles, Weights and Schedule
Next week's world championships will crown world champions in men's freestyle wrestling, women's freestyle wrestling, and men's Greco-Roman wrestling, and in that order. The daily schedule appears as follows:
Monday, September 16 - Men's Freestyle, 55 kg, 66 kg, 96 kg
Tuesday, September 17 - Men's Freestyle, 60 kg, 84 kg, 120 kg
Wednesday, September 18 - Men's Freestyle 74 kg, Women's Freestyle 48 kg, 51 kg
Thursday, September 19 - Women's Freestyle 55 kg, 59 kg, 63 kg
Friday, September 20 - Women's Freestyle 67 kg, 72 kg, Greco-Roman 55 kg
Saturday, September 21 - Greco-Roman 60 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg
Sunday, September 22 - Greco-Roman 66 kg, 74 kg, 120 kg
Yes, Greco goes last, I suppose that FILA wants to feature this style of wrestling to show how exciting it can be under the new rules, and to counter some intense criticism leveled at it. Under the old rules, Greco was oppressively boring to the point of being unwatchable. Early returns on the benefits of the new rules have been promising, so hopefully the "new" Greco can provide for some fun results.
How Do You Watch
Check out the home page for these championships.
I saw this page and my jaw hit the floor. FILA appears to have gotten the message and put together a professional looking web page and media portal for their world championships. This seems like a no-brainer in most sports, but in the past, international wrestling's governing body has shown no regard for the fans of its sport, and this sort of internet presence would have been unthinkable.
Good for FILA.
This home page will provide live video coverage as well as photos, results, and highlights. There will be no need to find a pirated stream of Azerbaijani state television.
- The tournaments pass at a lightning pace, every weight is wrestled in one day.
- One gold, one silver, and two bronze medals are awarded in each weight.
- Unlike the Olympics, there are no international qualification procedures for The World Championships. This means that you will see a bunch of wrestlers from a wide array of unexpected nations, this is pretty cool, particularly when one of these unexpected wrestlers makes a deep run. This also means the early rounds feature some big-time mismatches. For these reasons, I think the World Championships are more fun than the Olympics.
- FILA now administers a world ranking system, the system is flawed, but at least it's there. I am unsure at this time as to whether the ranking system will lead to some sort of seeding in the bracketing.
- Team scores are given, and a team championship is awarded. Wrestlers earn points for their nation by placing first through tenth, obviously with first place earning the most points.
- I was going to write something about how the United States usually performs better at world championships held immediately after Olympics as the fields seem a bit more depleted, but I did the research and no correlation exists.
Match Rules (and my opinion on each one)