Download 2018 World Report Here

Team USA Roster

This episode is the third part in a series of statistical scoring breakdowns by Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan. They’ll talk about par terre, control ties, and defense scores. First, Askren brings up some big news in the wrestling world, Kyle Dake will not drop to 74 kg like many thought. Askren and Dernlan thought they would see more movement in the Team USA lineup as people jockey for positions not only for this but more specifically for next year. Askren speculates that there is a possibility if Dake was injured and couldn’t wrestle at the U.S. Open he would be forced to stay at his weight class and wait until Final X to wrestle. The new weigh-ins procedures make it more difficult to cut drastic amounts of weight. You have to make scratch weight day before and day of.

Gut Wrench vs Leg Lace (7:45)

Par terre scores accounted for 272 points leading to a total of 1521 total points scored. Of those 272 points, Gut Wrenches made up 220. This shows just how important of a technique gut wrenches are in freestyle wrestling. Askren explains how rule changes impact the techniques wrestlers use. When he was coming up you could gut wrench or leg lace but you couldn’t do them consecutively. Since you could only leg lace one time people opted for the gut wrench and the higher likelihood of more points. Askren believes this caused an era of wrestlers with weak leg lace defense. Once they change the rule back to you can roll as many times as you want and people had weak leg lace defense, people were getting rolled up. This causes people to refocus on leg laces and forget about gut wrenches and the pendulum continues.

Skewing the Data (12:28)

Askren points out how one wrestler can skew the data for their weight class. If you look at the breakdown of gut wrenches by weight class, 97 kg skyrockets above the other classes. This could be due to Abdulrashid Sadulaev. He could have potentially accounted for half the points in the 97 kg weight class. This brings up the topic of instead of allowing your opponent to gut wrench you just attack the hands and take the penalty points. For the next analysis of a major tournament, Askren would like to see gut wrenches with a trapped arm separated out in the data.

Different Ages Different Techniques (18:06)

Front headlock scored 0 and crotch lift scored 2. Askren and Dernlan explain how these are examples of techniques that are highly effective for younger wrestlers but not once wrestlers become strong enough to defend. When you’re smaller it’s much harder to lock up a gut wrench and turn your opponent.

Control Ties (19:18)

One stat in this category that surprised Askren was 2 on 1 only scoring two points. This is another category that has been affected by rule changes over the years. Askren brings up how good wrestlers are in today’s age around the edge avoiding pushouts with their underhooks and pummeling back in. They bring up how good Iran is at the techniques involved in pushouts and not allowing any breaks with relentless pressure.

Defensive Scores (26:28)

The defensive scores category is tied with Par Terre for most points scored. Askren says this is due to the fact that when there is a lot of shots there’s going to be a lot of defense. They talk about the importance of not favoring one technique over the other when it comes to scrambling and down blocking. You have to know both sides because roughly half time you’re going to be in trouble if you don’t. One major thing that stuck out is that heavyweights outscored everyone in down block go behinds by a long shot but 97 kg scored zero. This continues the story that there are no trends of technique for different weight classes.

Push Outs (39:40)

Shots outscored control tie points 79 to 62. The lighter weight classes seemingly used control tie push outs more often. This was a category that leaves more questions on the table that could be answered in future data analysis.


Featured RUDIS Gear:

Ben is wearing the RUDIS Wrestling Vigilant Hoodie:

Matt is wearing the USA Merit Men’s Cadet Jacket:


Download 2018 World Report Here


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Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan host the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast. Askren, World Champion, and Olympic Wrestler joins in official partnership as a content provider for all things RUDIS. Matt Dernlan joins from years of experience in D1 college coaching at Binghamton, Clarion, and Penn State University.

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