-There will be an entry fee as a spectator. Wrestlers are free to enter. This is a free event for wrestlers. Many competitions do require a competition fee, but the FVL events will be a free competition for wrestlers during the regular season. It is a $5 entry fee for adults and $3 for students (not wrestling).
-When you arrive, get your wrestler ready (shoes and uniform-I recommend having uniform already on wrestler and let them have sweats over-top to enter building in cold weather) and get them on the mat with the rest of the team. Find a spot in the bleachers-Be sure your wrestler knows where you are sitting. Try to find other Penn Manor families and sit together if possible. Get to know each other and cheer for each other’s wrestler. Let’s build a community!
-While on the mat for warm-up time, your wrestler will be assigned a coach. That coach will write your wrestler’s “bout numbers” on their hand with a marker. These numbers will be important for you to know. The bout numbers represent the matches. Each match is assigned a number. There will probably be multiple mats. Ideally, your wrestler will have all of his/her matches on the same mat. However, this may not be possible, so be aware of the bout numbers and watch for them at each mat. Each wrestler should have 2 matches.
-Usually, each mat will have a “tree”. It’s a wooden post that will hang three bout numbers. The top number is the current match. The second number is “on deck” and next up. The third is “in the hole”. When you see your child’s bout number “in the hole” and assigned to a specific mat, please make sure he or she gets to that mat and ready to go. The child’s assigned coach will be at the mat looking for him or her. The coach will then help make sure they’re ready to go…shoes tied, water bottle with them (in case they need it-bring water bottle please), and headgear strapped (if they’re wearing it). There are times when all coaches are busy at other mats. If your child does not have a coach and he or she is about to wrestle, please grab any Penn Manor coach. We’ll either find your child’s coach or coach your child.
-Some events require headgear. FVL meets do not require headgear.
-Once the match begins, please cheer. We plan for all wrestlers to win at least one match this year and lose at least one match this year. Learning how to win and lose with dignity is part of what is great about this sport for our youth. Please know that and be totally supportive no matter what happens on the mat with your wrestler. This is very important. We want to lift them up! When the time is right, coaches can help share and teach what changes may need to be made. This may not happen until next practice. If you have questions about things that you can do to help reinforce things, please ask a lead coach. They will give you guidance on best way to help reinforce teaching points.
-When match is over, you may get some food or drink for your child. There is a usually a concession stand. I do like to pack peanut butter and jelly for my boys because it stays cheap and is fairly light for them while competing. Concessions support our program, so please do use this as well! Be careful about what they’re eating throughout the competition…especially if their bout number is coming up soon. Matches are short, but can be grueling!
-Please be sure to help your wrestler keep food out of the gym and keep the area clean of trash. We leave an impression when we leave our space a certain way, and we want to keep our reputation strong. The way we treat facilities impacts the impression we leave about our program.
-You may video matches. Be careful to not stand in front of bleachers. You can probably stand on the side, but please stay behind the rope. This helps the coaches stay the main focus during the match. It’s important that the coaches can get cues and tips to the wrestlers while on the mat. It can be exciting and as a fan of your child, you’ll want to cheer and encourage. Please do! Just be careful to not overpower the coach….If you sit in bleachers, even in front row, it’ll allow coaches to stay the focus and give needed cues while match is happening.
-After warm-ups, the coaches will send the wrestlers to the bleachers to sit with parents. Coaches might follow wrestlers to the bleachers to see where you’re sitting. When matches come up, if you don’t report to the mat, the coach assigned to your wrestler needs to find him or her. Again, if you can all sit together as a Penn Manor group, this makes the coach’s job much easier.
-For white and grey group…when your two matches are completed, you may go home. Please do check in with your assigned coach or lead coach to let them know you’re leaving. As your wrestler grows in the program and joins blue or gold group, they will be asked to stay to root on their teammates and help clean up the gym on home matches. However, our group is young and these events can be long.
-There will most likely be “brackets” posted on the other side of the gym. If you find your child’s division and weight, you’ll see their name and planned matches. These matches also have the bout numbers posted on the brackets. You may look at these if you need to as well.
-Know that even though a lot of time was put into the pairings and matches, things can change. There are always last minute drops based on children getting ill and emergencies. Your child’s planned match may change. Every year we create some match ups on the spot. With this being the case, know that your child could be asked to wrestle a third match. Each wrestler will be guaranteed two matches, but with certain situations, he or she could be asked to wrestle again.
-If there is an emergency where you need to leave early or cannot attend at all, please let coaches know ASAP. My phone number is 717-327-9814. You may text or call if necessary.
-It can be cold in the gym, so it’s not a bad idea to have your wrestler have sweatpants and long sleeve shirt or sweatpants to wear while waiting for their matches. It is not a bad idea for you to bring things for them to do to keep them occupied as well while waiting for matches. Most likely, your little one will have a match within the first hour of the event. Their second match would most likely be 1-1.5 hours later. The time does go fast, but depending on your child, you may want to have something for them to do during the wait. I know this from experience!
I’m excited for the event and to work with your kids! If you have questions, please let me know.
Coach Dave Beard