Improve CIF sponsored wrestling tournament venues: Petition By Jim Bryan 040506 TO: California Interscholastic Federation SUBJECT: Improve CIF post season wrestling venues PETITION: We the undersigned are petitioning the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) to upgrade CIF post season wrestling venues. Statement of purpose: High School play-off and post-season competition in sport in California falls under the jurisdiction of the California Interscholastic Federation. Post-season and play-off competition is championship competition of 1,000’s of California high schools. Conducting championship events is showcasing California’s best teams and individuals and demands quality venues befitting the status of the event. The CIF conducts most competitions with high standards but not in CIF dual, individual and master’s wrestling tournaments. Petitioners ask: equal consideration with other sports, review safety, fire codes, sanitation, disabled persons law, parking, spectator inconveniences, and elevate the CIF dual, individual and master’s wrestling tournaments to legal and reasonable standards as is done at other CIF events e.g. the California State Wrestling Tournament. Safety: Currently CIF dual, individual and master’s tournaments are conducted at high schools. In most cases high school gymnasiums are not adequate for post-season tournaments. Most HS gyms do not have space to lay six mats and have proper space between each wrestling area as specified by the national rulebook. Legal liabilities arise when recommended safety procedures are ignored. Often scoring tables are only one or two feet from the mat. Obviously, serious injury can occur when wrestler’s plow into the scorers table, gym walls and floors as they often do. Rulebook specifications call for scorers table to be placed 10 feet from mat. Inadequate floor space often causes the scorer bench be placed with little or no room for floor traffic to walk behind. Scorers are consistently having their view blocked creating aggravating situations in match scoring. Referees are constantly distracted trying to control crowd movement. Coaches and wrestlers seating: Coaches and wrestlers go from the bleachers to the mats when their matches are called and some try to return to the crowded bleachers, others remain on mat area. Remaining on the floor creates crowded conditions and interferes with officials and paying spectators ability to see. Venues for CIF wrestling championships should include rulebook specifications for coach’s seating during matches in which their wrestlers are wrestling, and a seating section for coaches and wrestlers on or near the wrestling area where the matches can be seen and with easy access to the mats. Bleacher problem: HS gyms are equipped with bleachers for gym activities. Most activities are 2-3 hours. Wrestling tournaments are typically 7 to 9 hour events. Most post-season tournaments require six mats and to fit six mats on a gym floor it is necessary, in most cases, to open only half of the bleacher space, leaving the opened bleacher space jammed packed. Typical bleacher seating is overcrowded, uncomfortable, with out backrests and disrespectful to fans. Fans, wrestlers and coaches come away from a wrestling event worn-out and with the feeling they have been discriminated against when other CIF events are held in first class facilities i.e., The Honda Center, Arco Arena, Staple Center, Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, The Pyramid, et al. The elderly suffer the most. Parents and fans should go to post season tournaments celebrating the success and achievement in excellence of our young wrestlers. Drudgery should not be the product of the CIF. Fire and panic threats: Most events attempt to control the entry of spectators to insure proper tickets have been acquired. To simplify the problem one door is usually used for entry. One door creates jamming and the entry and reentry of spectators could cause jam-ups at the door sites. Again HS gyms are not designed for wrestling tournaments. Each fire district has maximum limits on number of spectators allowed. Violations are surely being committed in most CIF wrestling venues. Narrow pathways to exits, hampered by temporary fences (usually hurdles from the track team with broad bases that interfere with passage) would violate most fire codes. Insufficient seating causes fans to sit in the isles. Entry and re-entry is difficult and blocked isles are obviously a fire code violation. Elderly people cannot climb up bleachers. Sanitation: Showers: Most sites do not furnish towels for showers. Showers are usually not taken at the venue. Wrestlers are told to shower before going to bed. Needless to say wrestling is a contact sport and skin diseases are a constant problem. Proper bathing should be required with a bacteriostatic soap and towels provided. Rest rooms: HS lavatory facilities are not built to accommodate large crowds and most tournament sites do not employ adequate custodial staff to maintain sanitary lavatories throughout the duration of the tournament. Common problems include overflowing urinals, wet floors, no paper towels, toilet paper or hand soap. Wrestlers walk on unsanitary lavatory floors and then walk on the mats where competitors come in contact with their tracks. Shoe cleaning: Floor mats or towels are not provided for shoe cleaning prior to wrestling. Wrestlers walk about the premises and then walk on the mats without cleaning their shoes. Disabled persons law: Disabled spectators are ignored. If an area is set aside for wheelchairs in is often at one end of the bleachers where over crowding is at its worst and visibility of the wrestling area is significantly hampered. Most HS lavatories do not accommodate wheel chairs or the disabled. Parking: Most post-season tournament begins on Friday while school in still in session. Most school parking lots are filled. Inadequate parking is common causing problems with near-by parking i e. churches, schools and curbside etc. Equality with other sports: Wrestlers are among the hardest working athletes in HS. Their work ethic and dignified pursuit of noble ideals deserves respect. CIF and Master tournaments should be conducted in venues that are befitting the nobility of these athletes. Like all athletes, they are heroes and role models and their post-season events should be a celebrated tribute for parents, coaches and wrestlers. Not an ordeal..