How it All Began

Here's some background on 3D Wrestler Stats and the Wheeler Wrestling Model for Building and Analyzing Performance and how I developed the Wrestling Analytics Power Rating System© (WAPRS©). It's a long story, like any good story, so hold on tight.

Sunrise from Space

Initial Background on How We Started

A few Insights on how the Wheeler Wrestling Model for Building and Analyzing Performance began.

More to follow via Blog Entries

Why did you start calculating wrestling stats?

As team statistician for my son’s high school team I got started by trying to help quantify my son’s success. He was injured most of his senior year, but his “in-match performance” appeared to be outshine some of those who beat him in traditional wrestling stats categories, e.g., reversals, takedowns, etc. 

I wanted to see if a different comparison would put his effort in a more favorable light, so I started crunching numbers. This is the Wheeler Wrestling Model that developed.

In other words I started applying my day job skills in IT project management to wrestling stats – what story do the numbers tell us?

How did you go from the Wrestling Model to the Wrestling Analytics Power Rating System© (WAPRS©)?

Actually — I have no idea. I woke up one morning and said: “What a minute, I think I can do more here.”  

I saw how the initial work I had done to model, rate, & compare match performance could be applied globally to any team and then I got serious about building a full-fledged system. I developed the core elements in about 36 hours, because the ideas were just there. 

I continued to work with the team’s HS coach to tweak a few presentation aspects and have had tons of fun refining it for use by other teams. 

But wait, there's more?

There’s a connection back to my high school wrestling team. In other words, it all started a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, when at the wrestling banquets both my Junior and Senior years in high school my teammates made fun of me.

Why did they make fun of me? 

  A) because they are wrestlers and that’s just what wrestlers do, and 

  B) because I won the award for most reversals.

Why was that award so funny (according to them)? 
Because: “The only reason I got so many damn reversals, was because I got taken down so much.” (If I’m remembering the quote correctly.)

And, they were right, at least partially. What they didn’t know was that a question formed in my head in that moment.
What’s a better way to analyze a wrestler’s performance?
I didn’t know how to answer it or even where to start back then, but knew I loved this question and the spark I felt when it crossed my 18 year-old mind.

The funny thing was that the same thing happened at my son’s senior season wrestling banquet. I overheard someone make the same comment about the team’s reversals leader (not my son) that year. At the time I was already working on solving the puzzle: what’s a better way to analyze wrestler in-match performance?


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