By Doug Halberstadt
This weekend, the streets of downtown Rockford will be inundated with more than 900 wrestlers. They won’t be the kind that’ll jump off the top rope or spill buckets of fake blood. These are real wrestlers.
For the 10th consecutive year, the Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation (IKWF) will invade the BMO Harris Bank Center at 300 N. Elm St., starting tomorrow (March 8) afternoon.
Weigh-ins will begin at 4 p.m. and continue through 7 p.m. Boys and girls ages 10-14 will compete in the tournament. The grappling action won’t begin until Friday (March 9) morning. The first round of matches is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day. The matches will resume Saturday (March 10) starting at 8 a.m.
The Parade of Finalists, one of the highlights of the tournament, is scheduled to take place at 5 p.m., Saturday evening. This is the grand presentation of wrestlers and their coaches who have made it to the championship bout. The championship matches will start at approximately 5:30 p.m.
An adult all-session pass is $15 or $5 for any single session. An all-session pass for children (5 to 12 years old) is $10 and $5 for an single session. All children younger than 5 are admitted free.
According to the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the tournament is expected to generate more than $350,000 for area businesses. Organizers of the tournament have agreed to return to Rockford next year and in 2014.
Following is the schedule for the event:
Thursday, March 8
4-7 p.m. — Weigh-in at BMO Harris Bank Center
Friday, March 9
6-6:30 a.m. — Weigh-in at BMO Harris Bank Center
8 a.m. — Grand March
9 a.m. — Championship Preliminary Round
Noon (approximately) — Championship First Round
5:30 p.m. — Championship Quarterfinal Round
6 p.m. — Consolation Preliminary Round
7:30 p.m. — Consolation First Round
Saturday, March 10
6:30-7 a.m. — Weigh-in
8 a.m. — Championship Semifinal and Consolation Quarterfinal Rounds
10 a.m. — Consolation Semifinal Round
3 p.m. — Place Bouts (third, fifth and seventh)
5 p.m. — Parade of Finalists
5:30 p.m. — Championship Bouts
From the March 7-13, 2012, issue