My two-cents-worth...
Rank Wrestlers a fount of wrestling information
January 8th, 2018| Written by: Editor



Some of you may have noticed a new link on the Louisiana Wrestling News Website: Rank Wrestlers.  And some may even think “What?  He hates rankings!” and are wondering why I put it there.

I did so because I am very impressed by the data the Website contains, the method in which the data is manipulated, and by the integrity of the owner.

I also think that the $25 annual subscription is a first-rate bargain.  Potential subscribers may peruse the Website for an hour to see if they like what it provides, and only after that hour will it require the $25 subscription.

I learned about Rank Wrestlers ( at the Deep South Bayou Duals.  (Thanks to Hunter Hawkins of St. Amant for that lead.)  Upon accessing it I found it to be a well-organized and easy to use Website that covers high school and college wrestling across the country.

The Website ranks wrestlers by weight via state Divisions or by the entire state.  And, like the TrackWrestling “Matches” function, it provides records, opponents, events, dates, types of decisions and team rosters.  And it goes beyond that to include rankings by grade, rankings of teams and the number of pins a wrestler has, among other statistics.

Another useful aspect of the Website is that, when you click on the name of a ranked wrestler, the option "Lst Yr 3 Best" is located on the upper-right side of the table.  That option shows the wrestler's record (including the three "best" wins) from the previous year.

The Website provides information like TrackWrestling because the records originate from TrackWrestling.

Rank Wrestlers was created four years ago by Mr. Kirk Briden of St. Louis, Missouri, the father of a high school wrestler.  Mr. Briden runs a company that measures the performance of a certain industry over time, which is in essence what rankings do.  He also “tweaks” the data with mathematical functions to which some readers have not yet been exposed, and that some others, including myself, chose to forget about once exams were over.  The “tweaking” is used to account for the caliber of competition against whom a wrestler competes prior to calculating a ranking.  The Website is updated daily, although it is dependent on when coaches input results into TrackWrestling.

The Website can be a very handy tool for seeding committees and for coaches and wrestlers to learn about wrestlers they may not yet have faced.  It also easily lets one keep tabs on wrestlers in other states at the high school and college levels.  I will use it to make sure I do not forget noteworthy wrestlers in my articles, which becomes more of a problem as each December comes and goes.

As with any computerized ranking system, there are flaws.  But unlike most human ranking systems, they are not subject to nepotism, hope or just plain stupidity.  Databases have no egos.  They do not hedge facts.  They do not collude.

The flaws are minimal and are in the numbers themselves, but they are not something a coach or member of a seeding committee cannot easily remedy.  Wrestlers may be found in a different weight class than one might expect.  This is because Rank Wrestlers chooses the weight class in which the wrestler competed the most over the last seven matches.  Competing at a wrestlers chosen weight in an additional tournament with at least four matches guarantees the wrestler will be ranked in that weight class.  Additionally, the numbers cannot tell if a team did well in a tournament with solid performances by 14 wrestlers, or by outstanding performances by only five or six wrestlers.  They do not know if a coach put forth his best team, or if a team has been plagued with illness.  Over the course of a season, though, enough data is available to mitigate any temporary discrepancies caused by such issues.

To be honest, Mr. Briden did give me a complimentary subscription.  However, after first looking at the site and exchanging a few emails with Mr. Briden, I had decided to subscribe anyway.  When I next got to my computer, however, I found via an email that I was too late.

In my humble opinion, is a fabulous Website and is available at a very reasonable price for anyone who wants to keep an eye on the “big picture” of Louisiana or national wrestling.

For the wrestlers who read this, know well that a ranking will not make you stronger.  It will not make you faster or smarter on the mat.  It will not keep you in shape.  The rankings do not control you – you control the rankings!

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