Foley's Friday Mailbag: December 1, 2017

The Women's World Cup starts today in Russia, with the top eight teams from the World Championships scheduled to take the mats early Friday morning.

A few interesting points about the World Cup, Team USA and some of the competition:

  • The 48-kilogram weight class features three former world champions in Yui Susaki (Japan), Mariya Stadnik (Azerbaijan) and Sun Yanan (China). Stadnyk has placed at the last three Olympics, while Sun picked up a bronze in 2016.

  • On that note, Victoria Anthony has the most popular video ever on the United World Wrestling YouTube page. Her match against Vinesh of India at the World Championships in Paris has more than 340,000 views.

  • Team Japan is without most of their major stars. The only senior world champions to make the trip are Susaki (48 kilograms) and Mayu Mukaida (53 kilograms).

  • Team Russia is still without 2012 Olympic champion Natalia Vorobieva.

  • Team China is bringing their best team since the Olympics. Many of their national team members missed the 2107 World Championships because it was the same weekend as the annual national tournament. With 1.4 billion people and local pride at stake the heavy hitters stayed back to compete for their local team.

  • Olympic bronze medalist Sofia Mattsson had her first child a few months ago and will be missing this World Cup.

  • Team USA's Adeline Gray is making her official return to the mats. Gray won an exhibition at Beat the Streets LA last month and will look to build on that momentum to help carry her into the 2018 season.

    Group stages are Friday, with the finals starting Saturday morning. You can watch online at

    To your questions …

    Richie Lewis (Photo/Ben Solomon)

    Q: How surprised were you that Richie Lewis won gold at the U23 World Championships?
    -- Mike C.

    Foley: I honestly didn't know much about him and dismissed his chances when I read the draws. So in that respect I was stunned. However, I think that our college athletes tend to be very aggressive from their feet when they head overseas and if they are fortunate to get a nice win and a head of steam they are tough to slow down.

    Also, while many of the performances were underwhelming, I don't think that U.S. fans should be too concerned. This is a very difficult age category where most of the eastern European countries still have stockpiles of eligible athletes. The team we sent was certainly very talented, but I wouldn't see their failure as anything more than a couple of close calls and tough draws.

    Q: What has been the response to the newly approved high school uniforms (compression top, fight shorts)? Will we see it on the mats this season en force?
    -- Brad A.

    Foley: I hear a lot of complaints about a lot of things, but I have yet to field one about the new high school uniforms. We'll have to wait to see if the NWCA collected any hard data on uniforms in 2017-2018 to make any solid conclusions, but in my experience this will be the wave of the future. There are simply too many benefits to a two-piece uniform and the opposition will start to convert when they see programs with larger, better dressed rosters.


    Victoria Anthony's YouTube Match

    Cool highlights from the U23 Championships

    And more ...

    Q: Is Logan Storley as good an MMA fighter as Ben Askren? In your opinion, will he also have an undefeated career?
    -- Gregg Y.

    Foley: When looking at physicality, versatility and pure aggression, Logan Storley is a more compelling MMA fighter than Ben Askren. Also, given his bloodthirsty desire to finish fights he's a marketable star that could make a huge impact in the sport. I'm happy for Askren in retirement.

    I'm as pumped to see Storley develop over the nest 18-24 months as I am Aaron Pico.

    Q: If you could subscribe to one wrestling print publication what would it be? WIN Magazine, Wrestling USA, Amateur Wrestling News or another publication not mentioned?
    -- Frank S.

    Foley: They're all superb! They have lot of content at-hand that many fans would enjoy reading. A bunch of great options. For online content, I'd also check out Five Point Move for the very best information about the Greco-Roman wrestling scene in the United States.

    Q: I'm all on board for the #duals movement that is going on in the high school wrestling world, can you articulate the argument for duals vs. 8 weekends of individual/team tournaments for those that are hesitant to take a "less is more" approach?
    -- Brad A.

    Foley: From a fan perspective it's much easier to follow team results at a dual team event than it would be to follow that of a tournament. Also, if you assume that tournaments only allow for one starter to enter, there is a higher likelihood of your wrestler receiving a full slate of bouts. For the less experienced wrestlers this access to a larger number of matches could prove beneficial.

    Like with the singlets and all changes in wrestling there is a period of time where fans, coaches and athletes don't all agree on the best course of action. However, given enough time to consider any successes of the #duals movement they will gradually change their thinking.
  • Comments

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    djhart69 (3) about 3 and a half years ago
    The singlet issue is a non-issue. Singlet or no singlet has not, does not, and will not effect participation numbers in our sport. Survey all you want but any kid that says they would wrestle only if they didn't have to wear a singlet is lying.
    Maybe the majority of kids would prefer to not wear a singlet but to believe it's a deal breaker is ridiculous.
    mjcarey (2) about 3 and a half years ago
    I can see that some wrestlers want to wear shorts, but a compression shirt that covers the shoulders will give an advantage to the opponent as they will get traction on the shirt instead of the bare shoulders. Plus the singlet top with the bare shoulders makes you look tougher
    ResiliteMarine (3) about 3 and a half years ago
    No mention of the Iranian who refused to wrestle the Israeli????????
    vawrestler79 (2) about 3 and a half years ago
    do you have any data anecdotal or otherwise to back up this statement? This is about getting new kids to try the sport, especially in areas where wrestling isn't super popular. In PA or Iowa kids see people in singlets from a very young age and wrestle in them from the time they can fit in them, so, no big deal. But if you are somewhere where the first time they see a match is 9th grade, it's quite possibly an uphill battle.
    Jason Bryants podcast Short Time recently had a great conversation about this. Imagine if every program in the country got just one more kid because of a two piece uniform. We would have unprecedented participation numbers.
    rfgilles (2) about 3 and a half years ago
    Do you have any data?
    CoreyCA (2) about 3 and a half years ago
    VA - Go to the first hs tournament in your area and tell us how many teams are wearing a 2-piece uniform. This is something Foley just can't let go of.
    cbart22 (1) about 3 and a half years ago
    All UWW broadcasts are blocked from us ip addresses because track has the rights to the broadcasts. I think I paid $35 for the yr pass but now you get thei loud blasting adds between matches.
    CoreyCA (1) about 3 and a half years ago
    As usual you can't let a week go by without harping on the singlet. Time will tell if there is a big rush to the 2-piece uniform in hs.

    Regarding dual meets, sure its easier for a fan to follow team results in a dual. However, the major problem wiht dual meets is the inordinate number of forfeits in the average hs dual meet. So while the dual meet is exciting when both teams are full and there are numerous fans in the stands, 2 things that don't happen with regularity, the best way to increase the number of bouts a wrestler experiences seems to be through tournaments. There is no logical reason to say that "your wrestler will receive more bouts with duals" because there is also only one starter in a dual meet. You can have JV tournaments just as easily as JV dual meets, if there even is such a thing any more.