31 January, 2014

Unusual roll call

A few weeks ago I encountered a type of roll call I've never heard before. We were at the US Navy Base south of Yokohama, on the school bus with the whole high school wrestling team, about to head for home. One of the coaches checked all the wrestlers were on the bus, not by counting or calling names, but by calling out weight classes. 

They go like this:
115lb (we have no one in the bottom two classes, 101 and 108)
One of the two at-home duals in December.

The number represents the top weight of the bracket. You have to be below that number to wrestle that bracket. But you don't have to be above the next lowest number to wrestle. For example our son is about 127lb, but filled in for a sick wrestler in the 135lb weight class.

It was an interesting, but effective way to check if everyone was on the bus, seeing as the coaches (and team) all know how heavy everyone is! You kind-of forget that in normal society it isn't usual to ask someone how heavy they are, but for a wrestler, it is a natural part of life. I forgot last year while at a basketball match and asked a dad how heavy his (largish) son was. He gave me a funny look and said, "Less than he was." Oops, a wrestling mum's mistake.

I am glad that tomorrow I probably won't hear roll call like this, though. Tomorrow the tournament is at CAJ, 300m from home! No travel! Yay. I'm even happier now because I've come down with a cold and staying close to home sounds likes very good idea. Even so, the tournament could go for eight hours!

Thus far this season our son has wrestled 13 times with 11 wins, 9 of those by pins. It's been a great season, better than we expected. The way a tournament works (you wrestle until you lose or win the weight class), we'll certainly see him defeated at least once tomorrow. But hopefully some good wins too.

And it will be great to have the team wrestling at home where a lot more people who know our kids can come and support them. For most of this season there haven't been many supporters come and see them. But that's pretty common for away matches seeing as "away" generally means a long way away. 

But now, I'm off to help prepare the Hospitality Room, the room the hosting school provides for the coaches and refs. And of course, it needs food and drink put into it. It's my first opportunity to help out with this, so we'll see how that goes.

*Sorry it is all in pounds, they use the US collegiate system for weight classes, probably because half the schools in the league are Base schools. 

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