WHAT TO EXPECT ON TOURNAMENT DAY
Wrestling tournaments are one of the most exciting sports events you will ever attend! However, your first few tournaments may seem a bit overwhelming. While each tournament we attend is run slightly differently, there are many similarities. This page will give our new members some information to better prepare you, and your wrestler(s) for a successful tournament.
Each tournament posts their weigh-in and check-in time’s on their tournament flyers (available here: We try to list these in our weekly emails as well. Some tournaments run their weigh-ins more efficiently than others, but make sure to give yourself enough time to weigh in, find seating, eat something, and attend team warm-ups.
It’s a good idea to bring one of the weigh-in cards (the small tear off sheet with the bar code on it) you were given earlier in the season. Tournaments are using these less and less, but they certainly make the check-in process easier. If you don’t have one, make sure to have your wrestler’s IKWF number available.
Wrestlers must wear a singlet during weigh-ins. Tournament officials also check wrestlers’ skin, hair and fingernails. Please trim fingernails before you arrive. Any unusual skin conditions will require an IHSA skin condition form (available here: with a doctor’s signature stating the condition is not communicable. After weigh in’s, try to find a seat with the PWC team.
Tournaments can get VERY crowded, so the earlier you arrive, the better chance you have at finding a good seat. We ask that club members try to sit together when possible. Generally speaking, seats higher in the stands have a better view. Wrestlers should wear a t-shirt and shorts (preferably in our team colors GREEN & BLACK) over their singlet. Parents: show your support by wearing your own PWC gear or our team colors.
*Also, parents who arrive early – please try to “save” seating for other PWC families. If need be, use some of the moves we’ve taught your kids to keep the other parents at bay.
We try to warm up as a team before all tournaments. Warm ups usually start around 8:30.
Typical Tournament Format:
The age groupings are:
1. Tots: ages 5 and under
2. Bantam: ages 6 and 7
3. Intermediate: ages 8 and 9
4. Novice: ages 10 and 11
5. Seniors: ages 12 – 14
There are 2 types of tournaments we attend:
1. Most tournaments we attend are this format. In blocked weight tournaments, there are no set weight classes, and thus NO NEED TO CUT WEIGHT. Wrestlers are grouped first by their IKWF age, then by weight. Tournament officials will take a group of kids all similar in weight and make a bracket with those kids.
2. Most of the post season and elite tournaments require wrestlers to make a certain weight class. Each tournament will list the weight classes on their tournament flyer.
You can watch when your wrestler/PWC team will be wrestling(on deck) It will tell you what Mat your wrestler will need to report to. Sitting as a team helps the coaches find the wrestler(s) ready to be on deck. You can download the trackwrestling APP. If you need help to navigate please ask another parent or coach.
Mobile device will be very important, please make sure that your phone is fulling charged AND consider bringing a portable charger to ensure your phone doesn’t die in the middle of the tournament.
Unlike the “Bullpen” style tournament, kids will NOT be called anywhere. It will be the responsibility of the coaches (with help from parents) to monitor when wrestlers are up on their mobile devices through the “trackwrestling website” or “Mobile App.” T
here should be a couple projectors and/or TV screens setup in the gym or fieldhouse that you will be able to monitor if your mobile device is dead or unavailable.
Trackwrestling will let you know what mat your wrestler is assigned to, who is on deck(waiting to wrestle), and who is in the hole (ready to wrestle).
Some “Elite” tournaments also allow for live remote viewing of matches through trackwrestling (not very common).
Please ask a coach or veteran parent for assistance setting up your mobile device BEFORE the tournament gets started.
There’s usually about ½ - 1 hour gap between the end of weigh-ins, and when wrestling begins. Tournament officials group the kids based on their IKWF ages, weights, years experience, and win/loss records. Usually the tots are the first to wrestle, followed by Bantams, and so on.
After your wrestler’s match is completed, they will return to their seat and wait for the next round of wrestling. The time between matches can be anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. All wrestlers will have at least two matches; many will have 3 matches.
After your wrestler’s final match, you can take your wrestler to the awards table and give awards based on their performance. This is a great opportunity for photographs!
Please do not leave until you have confirmed with the coaches that you are finished wrestling. Typically, younger wrestlers (7&U) will be finished around 12:00pm (noon). Older wrestlers will likely be finished by early to mid-afternoon.
What To Bring:
1. Weigh-in cards and USA wrestling cards – these were given to you by the PWC.
2. Your wrestler’s IKWF number. You can always look this up here:
3. Your wrestler’s current win/loss record
4. Wrestling shoes and headgear
5. PWC Singlet or 2-piece uniform (tip: wear them from home)
6. Warm-up clothes: please wear the PWC provided t-shirt over your singlet when not wrestling. You may also want to bring shorts or sweat pants
7. “Street” shoes to wear outside of the gym.
8. Food/Drinks: While concessions are available, you may want to bring healthy snacks, breakfast, and lunch. Also bring plenty of water or sport drinks.
9. Something to occupy your wrestler between matches: homework, books, puzzles, cards, or (ugh) electronic games, etc.
10. Cameras/Video recorders
11. Seat cushions
12. Any special medical items you wrestler requires (contact lenses, mouth guards, etc…)
13. A large duffel bag to keep your belongings organized (see below)
Mark Your Belongings:
As mentioned above, the seating area gets VERY crowded. Please make sure to mark and keep track of all belongings. Most equipment (shoes, headgear, T-shirts, shorts, backpacks, pants, coats, etc.) looks similar and can easily get mixed up.