Public service announcement

It came to my attention recently that an association aspiring to be a scouting organization published their ranks and requirements for young members, and that one of these requirements — for 7-8 year old boys — was to learn how to Greco-Roman wrestle with their fellows. This requirement, in my opinion, shows a severe lack of judgment on the part of the association’s leadership.

Wrestling, whether freestyle or Greco-Roman, is not a sport for young boys. At the international level, boys don’t wrestle competitively until they’re at least 13 years old, and then only with a medical certificate and parental authorization. I find it mind-boggling in this day and age, when so much information is readily available on the Internet with only minimal research, that someone would think requiring 8-year old boys to wrestle with one another is a good idea. Roughhousing is one thing (and, it should be added, roughhousing is fun precisely because it is spontaneous), Greco-Roman wrestling is quite another. Someone is going to get hurt.

A far better alternative would be to teach the boys Indian arm wrestling in which two standing opponents try to wrest each other off balance. And there are other manly feats of strength that aren’t likely to end in injury.

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