Team State

A total of 12 schools will be selected from each of three classes (3A, 2A, and1A) to participate in the Duals State Championship. For each class, one school will be invited as the top school from each of the four IHSAA individual semi-state locations (East Chicago, Fort Wayne, New Castle, Evansville). Additionally, eight Wildcard schools will be selected as the next best eight schools, regardless of location in the state.

The top team from each class from each of the four semi-states will be selected and invited for the following season’s IHSWCA event based solely on points earned in the IHSAA individual state series. The first six Wildcard positions for each class will also earn an invitation to the event based solely on qualification points. The seventh Wildcard for each class will be chosen after the individual state finals by a Selection Committee vote. The eighth and final Wildcard for each class will be chosen after the seventh Wildcard vote.

The IHSWCA Team State Duals Qualification Procedures for 2019 can be found here.

2018-2019 Results

View in Google Docs


Topic #1: General Qualification and Scoring Process

Q: How many teams qualify for the Team State Duals championship?

  • 36 teams qualify
  • 12 teams from each of 3 classes (1A, 2A, 3A)

Q: How and when do teams qualify?

  • Teams qualify by earning points in the IHSAA individual state series (all 4 tournament steps)
  • The top scoring team from each semi-state for each class earns an automatic berth (4 berths total per class)
  • The six highest scores in each class that are NOT one of the 4 semi-state winners also earn automatic berths (6 berths per class)
  • The final two berths in each class are voted on by the tournament IHSWCA selection committee from among the next few highest scoring teams in each class. This voting happens at the beginning of April.

Q: How do teams earn points during the IHSAA tournament series?

  • Individuals earn points for their teams by arriving at one of the following final classifications: sectional non-placer, sectional placer, regional qualifier, semi-state first round, semi-state second round, state first round/8th place, state 6th-7th place, state 3rd-5th place, state runner-up, state champion
  • Points for these levels are different for each of the 3 classes and they are different for seniors and underclassmen

Q: How can points in an individual tournament be used to determine who the best duals teams will be the next year?

  • The points are not awarded as they are in a typical individual tournament. They are specifically awarded to reflect each individual’s expected positive impact on his team’s dual meet ability next year. For example, a semi-state qualifier will have more of an impact on his team’s duals ability next year than a regional qualifier and a regional qualifier will have more impact than a sectional non-placer. Similarly, an underclassmen state qualifier tells us more about a team’s duals ability next year than a graduating senior state qualifier. The scoring captures all of these differences.

Q: Why is there different scoring for the different classes?

  • Having wrestlers at different advancement levels means something different in each class. For example, in 1A, there is very little difference between having a returning semi-state qualifier and a state champion when 1A schools are wrestling against each other. However, there is a huge difference between having a semi-state qualifier and a sectional non-placer. On the other hand, in 3A, there’s very little difference between a regional qualifier and a sectional non-placer’s impact on next year’s team when good teams are wrestling each other. However, there is a huge difference between a semi-state first round loser and a state champion when top 3A teams face off. The scoring must reflect these class differences.

Q: Why is there different scoring for underclassmen and seniors?

  • Underclassmen are obviously coming back next year, so they are much, much stronger predictor’s of next year’s team’s ability. Their scoring is therefore much more significant than seniors’.

Q: Why are seniors’ scoring included at all since they won’t be back?

  • Seniors’ performance are very good indicators of a program’s strength, so they are extremely good predictors of next year’s team’s ability. There are teams in the top 10 of the state every year that lost 6 or 7 seniors from the previous season. We have to include seniors’ scores (at a lesser level than underclassmen, of course) or those teams will be virtually eliminated from qualifying.

Q: Why is there a “full lineup bonus” for a couple of the classes?

  • Almost all lineups in 1A and many in 2A have forfeits. Especially in 1A, history shows that having bonuses for full or almost full lineups helps us further know who the best teams will be next year. In 2A, there is a small bonus for having 13 or 14 guys, but nothing beyond that. You have to have a full lineup of very good individuals for any chance to qualify in 3A. Scoring 0 points at a weight is penalty enough, research has shown, so there is no special bonus for having no forfeits in 3A.


Topic #2: Team Classification

Q: What data are used to determine teams’ classification?

  • The most recent official enrollment data from the IHSAA are used to classify teams into 1A, 2A, and 3A. FOR THE UPCOMING QUALIFICATION FOR THE 2019-20 EVENT, WE WILL USE THE DATA THAT THE IHSAA JUST RELEASED.

Q: How many teams are assigned to each class?

  • One third of all eligible teams each year are assigned to each class. These totals could be slightly different from year to year.

Q: Are all Indiana high school wrestling programs eligible?

  • Yes. However, a program must have 7 wrestlers compete at sectional for their team to be counted in classification. Only those schools are considered toward Team State qualification.

Q: When is final classification announced each year?

  • Usually, finalized classification assignments are announced following sectional Saturday when the eligible teams can be fully confirmed. In some years, the IHSAA releases its new data just after our tournament begins and so we wait to announce final classification based on those numbers.

Q: Why the change to only classify teams with at least 7 participants when the IHSAA counts sectional scores of teams with only 3?

  • The selection committee wanted the teams eligible to be those that could be considered a genuine dual meet team–not just a tournament team. This total of 7 is in line with what our neighbor Ohio does for their similar Team State format.


Topic #3: Controlling for Sectional and Regional Difficulty

Q: Why is it necessary to consider sectional and regional difficulty in the Team State scoring process?

  • There is a vast difference in the quality and depth of various sectionals and regionals. For example, one sectional had only 5 wrestlers per weight class, on average, while several others had nearly double that number. Another example: the 7th best wrestler from a sectional with all large schools had an average record of 17-11, while the average 4th place wrestler’s record from a sectional of all small schools was 13-15. Simply assigning regional qualifier or semi-state qualifier points without considering these enormous differences would greatly skew teams’ scores away from their true quality in many instances.

Q: In what way are sectional and regional quality levels measured?

  • Because we want to assign points according to advancement to regional and semi-state, we must determine how difficult it is to advance out of sectionals and regionals. This means we cannot simply consider which tournament sites have the most semi-state or state qualifiers, as this has little bearing on how “crowded” or difficult it is to advance. For example, one sectional with 4 traditionally strong large schools with numerous state qualifiers every year had only 5.3 wrestlers per weight class last year because the other 4 schools had very low participation. If we only consider our first impression of the tournament site’s quality based on how many strong top-level individuals there are, we might miss the fact that it is very, very easy to place at least 4th and earn regional qualification. We must use other methods to figure out advancement difficulty levels.

Q: How can we know how difficult it is to advance from a particular sectional or regional?

  • We can look at the Genius ratings of all schools for the last several years and consider how many regional qualifiers and semi-state qualifiers they got while “controlling” mathematically for their sectional and regional path. Using all of these factors simultaneously, we can project very, very accurately how many regional or semi-state qualifiers teams of any given Genius rating “deserves” if they were in an average level tournament path. If we then add together how many regional and semi-state qualifiers the teams of each sectional and regional should have, we can know how difficult each tournament site is to advance from.

Q: What are Genius ratings?

  • Genius ratings are computer ratings that use the system on which all major sports’ “true talent” or “true ability” ratings systems are based. All Las Vegas lines for particular games, for example, use the score-based ratings system that we use to compile the Genius ratings. The ratings include all scores for all dual meets and tournaments in the IndianaMat database for the entire season. They are very accurate, very predictive ratings over the long term.

Q: Once we know how many regional and semi-state qualifiers each tournament site “deserves”, how do we specifically control for their various difficulty levels?

  • Using our “deserved” regional or semi-state qualifier totals, we assign a “Category” level to each tournament that corresponds with a “quota” of advancers per weight class that are assigned to that tournament. For example, a sectional that deserves 4 regional qualifiers per weight class is a Category 4 sectional. A regional that deserves 5 semi-state qualifiers per weight class is a Category 5 regional. We then award regional qualifier points or semi-state qualifier points based on each site’s Category quota (between 2 and 6 per weight class per site).

Q: How can we award regional qualifier or semi-state qualifier points to 5 or 6 guys when only 4 really advanced?

  • For sectionals, a Category 5 or Category 6 site’s individuals receive regional qualifier points for placing 5th or 6th place. For Category 5 or Category 6 regionals, we use tiebreaker criteria to award 5th and 6th place to individuals who are then awarded semi-state qualifier points despite not advancing in real-life.

Q: When are the Categories assigned for sectional and regional tournament sites?

  • They will be announced each season during the last week or two before sectionals. This year, they will be announced Thursday or Friday before sectional as part of the Team State qualification procedures document that is always posted to the IHSWCA website.

Q: What about the “multiplier” that I heard about that controls for sectional and regional difficulty?

  • The multiplier no longer exists It was a little bit less accurate and more difficult for tracking your own team’s score.

Q: Why does my sectional have the same (or lower) category than the sectional we face at regional when we had just as many semi-state qualifiers as them when our regional qualifiers faced each other face to face?

  • Your sectional, despite having just as many (or more) strong top-end individuals, was not deeper than the other sectional at the 4th, 5th and 6th spots at your sectionals. In other words, your sectional was not harder to get out of even though your best individuals are just as good or better than the other sectional.


Topic #4A: Injured or ineligible

Q: Are good wrestlers that are injured or procedurally ineligible factored in to the scoring process?

  • Yes, if a 3A or 2A underclassmen reached at least semi-state last year and misses the state tournament series this year due to injury or due to being procedurally ineligible (i.e. transfer rules), his previous year score is factored into his team’s score for this year. The same is true in 1A for any underclassman that reached at least regional last year.

Q: Why aren’t additional injuries considered?

  • Unfortunately, injuries are a part of wrestling and the qualification process involves some luck. It would be impossible to consider all injury situations and this is where the committee has voted to draw the line so that there is a balance between genuine competition and the predictive scoring process.


Topic #4B: “Those scores don’t seem fair” (responses to questions about perplexing scores during the qualification process)

Q: Why does an average level team have a similar score to a top-level team after sectional or regional?

  • All that is measured after sectional is placement in the top 6 and qualification for regional. There is no difference between a sectional 4th place guy and a sectional 1st place guy at this point. Plus, recall that underclassmen score more than seniors. Also, in 3A specifically, the biggest scoring doesn’t happen for top teams until semi-state. For these reasons, a lesser team with many underclassmen advancing to regional can have a score in line with top teams the first week or two of the tournament.

Q: At what point in the individual tournament series do the qualifying scores become meaningful?

  • In 1A, scores are quite meaningful after sectional already. There will be some further shuffling after regional, but contenders will have already put themselves in position. Positions will then be mostly decided after regional in 1A.
  • In 2A, scores are somewhat meaningful after sectional, much more meaningful after regional, and further finalized after semi-state.
  • In 3A, scores are virtually meaningless after sectional. The list of contenders will be clearer then after regional. However, the biggest weekend in this class is not until semi-state. We won’t really know the cream of the crop until then.

Q: Why does a team that we beat during the season have a higher score than my team? (several possible answers)

  • It may be too early in the state tournament series to fairly evaluate scores (see previous 2 questions’ answers).
  • The team you beat during the season may have more underclassmen coming back and their tournament performance suggests they are expected to be better than you next year. If a team is at a similar level to you this year and has 3 or 4 more starters returning than you, there is a high probability they will be better than you next year and the qualifying scores should reflect that.
  • THE QUALIFICATION PROCESS IS A COMPETITION. Just as during the season, you have to earn the points you get. Upsets, injuries, underperformance, and bad draws can all have a negative impact, while a strong performance can slot you higher than people might expect.

IHSWCA President Jake O'Neil has released a new newsletter, which can be viewed here.