Our first FEW duals were in idea phase for a year or so before the details came together. I pulled together a small group of USA Wrestling state women's directors and advocates to explore options to 1) get the girls team experiences and 2) get them more freestyle mat time. That led to creation of the Lady Lincoln (freestyle) Duals in Spring of 2016 and our first Midwest Mat of Dreams (folkstyle) in the Fall.
How long have you been doing this?
FEW was founded in 2012 to advocate, educate and create opportunities for young women. We hosted our first all-girls practice in 2014. We've been hosting MODIFIED Folkstyle tournaments since 2015, blending folkstyle and freestyle rules.
Explain the Modified rules you use that blend Freestyle with Folkstyle?
Women wrestle freestyle in college and of course folkstyle is the heart of wrestling in America. Many female wrestlers are new to the sport in high school with little time to transition. We changed 2 folkstyle rules to help bridge the gap for our female wrestlers.
At modified folkstyle events we use all neutral restarts and award an out of bounds step out point. It makes for a fun fast-paced match for fans and the athletes get extra experience on their feet and develop "zone" awareness.
This has been a dual and individual tournament, what is the process for this?
Early on we used Midwest Mat of Dreams to help grow the girls division at Conflict at Carver (a Hawkeye Wrestling Club fundraiser). When that event was discontinued, FEW replaced the Saturday mat time for girls with Conflict for Charity, a fundraiser supporting University of Iowa Dance Marathon and the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital.
In it's first two years Conflict for Charity raised $10,000 for University of Iowa Dance Marathon in honor of our friend and inspiration, Coach Mike Duroe.
How many teams do you have room for?
With the move to Coralville, we have room to grow and still spread out for social distancing measures. We can accommodate up to 20 teams in each age group this year (youth Saturday and high school on Sunday).
What do you give out as far as the awards go?
Midwest Mat of Dreams 2020 will award custom medals to the top 8 teams in each division and two outstanding wrestler trophies. Our Outstanding Wrestler awards go to the team champions who select and honor their team's outstanding wrestler.
What other events coincide with this event?
This year we've cancelled Conflict for Charity and will use both days for age group duals. USA Wrestling Senior Nationals are being held the same weekend so there will be plenty of wrestling to keep fans engaged both days.
You moved to the Mariotte in Coralville from Independence this year, why did you do this?
Independence has been a great venue for our tournaments but with COVID-19, it would have been a tough sell to bring girls from a dozen states into one high school gym for the 2020 preseason.
Moving our tournament close to Senior Nationals also helps our team leaders since several of them will be involved with both tournaments.