Greco-Roman wrestling as olympic sport discipline: situation and prospects

PhD, Assistant Professor E.D. Mitusova1
PhD, Assistant Professor M.V. Andriyanov
PhD, Assistant Professor N.B. Chitaykina1
1State Socio-humanities University, Kolomna, Moscow Oblast

Keywords: Russian Championship, competitions, Greco-Roman wrestling elite, technical/ tactical skills, wrestlers

Background. In modern wrestling sport theory and practice a special priority is given to the individual special endurance rate as one of the key pre-season training system success criteria, with the annual training systems believed to be efficient and effective when they secure the individual best competitive fitness being achieved by the time of the major seasonal sport events. However, the national sport science still needs to work out the key design provisions (design logics, content and timeframes) for the annual pre-season training systems of the national Greco-Roman wrestling elite [1, 2,  4].
Objective of the study was to give theoretical grounds for the annual pre-season training systems of the national Greco-Roman wrestling elite to effectively comply with the new rules of competitions.
Methods and structure of the study. The competitive performance records of the 2010-18 Russian Championships in every weight class (398 bouts with videos) were analyzed under the study using the relevant qualitative and quantitative performance criteria. It should be noted that the 2010 Russian Championship was run under the straight elimination rules with consolation prizes for the losers, with every bout including three 2-min periods, with at least two periods need to be won for success. Each period implied 1min standing and 2x30s ground times. The top wrestler in the ground phase would hold the opponent’s belt and take an action as soon as the referee gives a signal, with the both wrestlers free to fight for the 30s. Should the top wrestler fail to act, he was warned with a one point deduction.
Results and discussion. The 2018 Russian Championship was still run under the straight elimination rules with consolation prizes for the losers, with every bout having two 3+3 periods with 30s rest breaks. Passive performance was penalized by a warning with the active wrestler offered to choose “ground” or “stand”; the second warning was penalized by 1 technical point and “ground” or “stand” position; and the third warning implied the bout being stopped and the more active wrestler was declared a winner in case of 0:0 score. The unintentional going beyond the carpet was penalized by a warning rather than 1 point deduction. Repeated going beyond the carpet was penalized by a point deduction, warning the “ground” or “stand” option for the opponent. Technical actions completed beyond the carpet were rated by 1, 2, 3 and 5 points.
Passiveness of either wrestler was qualified by the referees within 30 seconds of the bout time. Winners were nominated by the higher scores for at least two periods. A clear victory was awarded to the one who lands the opponent on the shoulder blades or scores at least 7 points more per bout. The competitions were started at 11 am, with the extra 2 hours given to the finalists for rest to demonstrate their best performances. The lower wrestler’s standard ground position was with the buttocks on the shins and with the hands 20cm afar from the knees. The top wrester’s standard position was with one knee on the carpet and with the hands rested on the opponent’s shoulder blades.
The new rules of Greco-Roman wrestling competitions effective since 2018 made changes to the standard ground and standing positions. Thus 11.86% and 88.14% of the actions were taken in the standing and ground positions respectively in 2010, versus the 2018 competitions where the proportion was estimated to change to 49% and 51%, respectively. The activity ratio (AR) was estimated to grow from 0.489 in 2010 to 1.131 in 2018 – that may be interpreted as indicative of the new rules effectively motivating the athletes for actions; whilst the performance intensity ratio (PIR) was estimated to drop from 0.712 in 2010 to 0.523 in 2018. This fact may be explained by the still limited technical fitness of the athletes. Since the past rules prioritized the standard positions, the technical training systems made an emphasis on the ground positions at sacrifice of the other key technical skills, and that is why the technical toolkits of the athletes are still inadequate as verified by the average performance quality ratio (PQR) dropping from 0.441 in 2010 to 0.219 in 2018. This means that the inadequate performance intensity tells on the performance quality. The past rules with their priority to the standard positions were changed, and the new rules require the fight plans being revised and individualized both in the tactical and technical aspects, i.e. more versatility is required for success.
The relative growth of the technical intensity of the bouts is due to the standard positions being no more required by the rules and the athletes instead expected to be much more active in the bouts. That is the reason why the ground performance success ratio was estimated to drop from 0.766 in 2010 to 0.672 in 2018 at no sacrifice for the performance quality. Moreover, the new rules provide a ‘high ground position’ standard as one for the activation tools – that has proved to be effective enough. On the whole, the above ratios demonstrate that the ground performance intensity and quality have notably grown since the new rules are effective, and now the ground and standing wrestling skills and activity are equally important for success. The new rules have also motivated the wrestling elite for fast progress both in the technical and physical fitness aspects.
Conclusion. The new rules effective since 2018 have notably spurred up the competitive performances, with the bouts becoming more intensive and active. However, since the past rules prioritized a variety of standard positions critical for the performance scoring, the technical toolkits of the wrestlers were found limited enough that could not but tell on the actions quality, quantity and success rates. The popular pre-season training systems applied by the national Greco-Roman wrestling elite are recommended to be updated as soon as possible to effectively adapt to the new rules of competitions.

References

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  4. Lubysheva L.I. Mitusova E.D. Sports heritage of the Olympic project "Sochi-2014" as a factor of intensive development of the Russian social sports institute. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury, 2016. no 5, pp. 45-47.

Corresponding author: emitusova@bk.ru

Abstract
The study analyzes the modern competitive performance of the national Greco-Roman wrestling elite in the context of the recent (2018) changes in the rules of competitions. The competitive performance records of the 2010-18 Russian Championships in every weight class (398 bouts with videos on the whole) was rated and analyzed using the relevant qualitative and quantitative criteria for the purposes of the study. The 2010 Russian Championship was run under the straight elimination rules with consolation prizes for the losers. The new rules effective since 2018 were found to notably spur up the competitive performance, with the bouts becoming more intensive and active. However, since the past rules prioritized a variety of standard positions critical for the performance scoring, the technical toolkits of the wrestlers were found limited enough that could not but tells on the techniques quality, quantity and success rates. The popular training systems applied by the national Greco-Roman wrestling elite are recommended to be updated as soon as possible to effectively adapt to the new rules of competitions.