The use of certified referees? Check.
The use of uniform technology across all events? Now, that’s possible as well.
After the conclusion of NYWAY’s second year of operations in 2012-13, the organization’s leadership talked about what to focus on to continue to improve in Year 3. Officiating and technology were high on the list.
With officiating, the leadership agreed to move forward with all certified referees in the coming year.
However, in order to standardize technology, a significant amount of hardware was necessary. During the discussion on this topic at the NYWAY Retreat this spring, Western Region Director (and co-owner of the G2 World Wrestling Academy) Adam Burgos thought he might have a solution. He excused himself to call his G2 business partner Todd Wheaton, the President at Maven Technologies, a certified electronics recycler.
“We talked about it and I asked Todd if there was something we could do to help,” Burgos said. “A few minutes later he said we could. I came back into the meeting and told everyone G2 would take care of the laptops and monitors. You could hear a pin drop. It wasn’t grandstanding, but about our love of the sport. I’ve been one of those parents at tournaments over the years, wishing things were going more smoothly and saying if I could help, I would. This was the chance. It just so happened that we could help fill a need and we jumped at the opportunity.”
In mid August, 64 laptops and monitors were dropped off by G2 to NYWAY. And now the improvements in the IT area will begin, including the use of Track Wrestling to assist with registration, event management and more.
“The level of competition brings kids to a tournament, but what keeps families, parents and wrestlers coming back is how well that tournament is run,” Burgos said. “Technology is such a big part of that.”
“By running all of our tournaments through the TrackWrestling system, we are able to not only offer top notch, consistent tournaments, but all of the results automatically enter into a statistical management system so that we will be able to track all the results,” added NYWAY President Clint Wattenberg. “This will enable us to potentially develop leaderboards, rankings, seeding and eventually postseason awards based on these statistics. We were hoping to trial one region on this system this year, but the incredibly generous gift from Adam [Burgos] and G2 has empowered us as an organization to roll this out statewide this coming season*.”
One place the technology will certainly be useful is at the NYWAY state championships, which will be held on March 15-16, 2014 at Onondoga Community College in Syracuse. Last year, over 900 wrestlers competed at the event, with representation from all corners of New York.
That competition will signal the end of the season. But there’s a lot to look forward to beforehand, including the kickoff in late December with a pair of events on back-to-back days at SUNY Sullivan in Loch Sheldrake.
First, on December 28, a dual tournament will be held with each of the eight NYWAY regions entering a squad made up of wrestlers from Kindergarten to sixth grade. Then, the following day, an individual tournament will take place in the same location.
However, there will be plenty of participation in other events as well. For instance, the NYWAY Western Region will take on the Far West Region (essentially a Section 5 vs. Section 6 clash) at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center on September 21.
In addition, NYWAY will send representatives to high level competitions such as the Freak Show in Las Vegas, the Super 32 Challenge in North Carolina, the Junior Mid Cals in the Golden State, the Border Wars in Cleveland and the NUWAY National Duals in Columbus, among others.
“The organization wants to keep providing opportunities for New York wrestlers to get great competition to continue to develop,” Burgos said. “Over the last few years, we’ve seen where we need to improve. We believe Year 3 of NYWAY will be much better than Year 1 and Year 2 and that the future is bright. It’s an exciting time to be a parent, a coach and a fan here in New York.”
* Wattenberg mentioned that individual tournaments may opt out, however, trained pairing directors will be available across the state to assist with the new technology or run the tournaments.