Mat Mayhem: the new, concise, marketing-friendy, easy-to-remember identity for the new 2012 NWCA/Cliff Keen Division I National Dual Meet Championships, which the National Wrestling Coaches Association unveiled Monday.
Mat Mayhem is shorthand for this new D1-only version of the annual event previously known as the National Duals, which had been a multi-divisional, mega-event held over a weekend in early January. The old National Duals has now been split into two separate events: one for Division I wrestling programs, and a separate event for all other college wrestling divisions. The Mat Mayhem moniker applies to the new Div. I format, featuring four regional mini-tournaments the weekend of Feb. 11, 2012… culminating in a “final four” national event featuring the regional winners the following weekend.
According to the NWCA press release, “The ultimate goal of Mat Mayhem is to create a premier national dual meet championship that will become a platform for growing spectator and media interest in wrestling both at the institutional and national levels.”
To that end, the NWCA will unveil numerous interviews and promotional videos with competing coaches, sponsors, and staff in the months and weeks leading up to the event at the NWCA homepage, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter accounts… all with an eye to enhancing the team aspect of collegiate competition in a sport that has been heretofore been focused on individual wrestlers and their records.
“The Mat Mayhem concept has tremendous potential to significantly grow the intercollegiate wrestling spectator base at the institutional, regional, and national levels,” said Mike Moyer, Executive Director of the NWCA. “When you think of every mainstream media/spectator sport in America, they all have one thing in common … the outcome of every regular season game/competition carries a lot of significance because they determine advancement to some type of post-season championship. Conversely, in intercollegiate wrestling, our infrastructure is currently designed to support an individual championship at the end of the year so there is very little importance placed on the outcome of most regular-season dual-meet competitions.”
As Moyer points out, as of now, only about a dozen of the 78 Division I wrestling programs draw more than 1,000 fans to a typical dual meet. A goal of the Mat Mayhem concept is to grow regular-season attendance at dual meets, which can ultimately strengthen college wrestling as a whole.
For the first-ever Mat Mayhem event, 22 of the top 25 teams from last year’s final coaches poll ranking will be participating. These teams have been placed into four regional tourneys of six teams each (host school is listed first):
- Iowa State, Iowa, Oregon State, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, Northern Iowa
- Cornell, Central Michigan, Oklahoma, Purdue, Illinois, American
- Rutgers, Minnesota, Kent State, Michigan, Missouri, Cal Poly
- Oklahoma State, Boise State, Ohio State, Nebraska, Wyoming, Tennessee-Chattanooga
Winners of these four events will then meet at a “final four” event the following weekend, at a location to be announced.
Ticket information and event specifics (dates, times, etc.) will be made available at NWCAonline.com under the “Events” section.
Want to know more? Read the October 17 NWCA press release regarding Mat Mayhem. To learn more about the new two-part format for what had been a single event known as the National Duals, check out College Wrestling Examiner‘s articles announcing the new Mat Mayhem Division I regional format over two weekends in Feb. 2012… and the new Division I-less National Duals, to be held Jan. 7-8 in Springfield, Ill.
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