April 12, 2020,

Popularity in a sport is sure to beckon new leagues and organizations who will rank and run them.

That is mostly a good thing.

When it comes to rankings, at times it can get a little confusing as professional boxing found out with numerous ranking systems and organizations so much so that it became incredibly muddled with the championship belts diluted along the way.

Since at least John L. Sullivan, in the late 19th century, there have been world champions in professional boxing. The first modern organization to award a world title was the World Boxing Association (WBA), then known as the National Boxing Association (NBA), when it sanctioned its first title fight in 1921 between Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier for the world heavyweight championship.

There are now four major sanctioning bodies in professional boxing. The official rules and regulations of the World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Council (WBC), International Boxing Federation (IBF), and the World Boxing Organization (WBO).

All recognize each other in their rankings and title unification rules. Each of these organizations sanction and regulate championship bouts and award world titles.

Now here is where the confusion may come in.

There are seventeen weight divisions. To compete in a division, a boxer’s weight must not exceed the upper limit.

Manny Pacquiao has won world championships in eight different weight divisions, more than any other boxer. The Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir, held all four major titles in the heavyweight division from 2011 to 2013; they were the first brothers to hold versions of the heavyweight championship at the same time.

Joe Louis holds the record of being the longest reigning world champion in boxing.

Have we been punched? Our heads are still spinning.

Previous to the NCAA Men’s football playoff system, there were two major polls that ranked the year’s end winner and often the two polls did not agree.

The widely recognized Associated Press began its college football poll on Oct. 19, 1936, and it is now the longest-running poll of those that award national titles at the end of the football season.

The preseason poll was started in 1950. A panel of 62 sports writers and broadcasters from around the country votes on the poll weekly.

There is also the Coaches Poll.

At usatoday.com they educate, “The Amway Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports is conducted weekly throughout the regular season using a panel of head coaches at FBS schools. The panel is chosen by random draw, conference by conference plus independents, from a pool of coaches who have indicated to the American Football Coaches Association their willingness to participate. Each coach submits a Top 25 with a first-place vote worth 25 points, second place 24, and so on down to one point for 25th.”

We sensed that was how it worked.

This brings us to collegiate women’s wrestling. Things used to be so simple when the girl’s numbers where small.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, fcielitecompetitor.com, EOU Athletics photo

As reported on January 10, 2020 by the Columbus Dispatch in Ohio, “Girls wrestling is among the fastest-growing sports in the United States. Since 2001, participation has jumped from 3,405 to more than 17,000. Studies suggest that the inclusion of women’s wrestling as an Olympic sport in 2004 and the popularity of mixed martial arts have contributed to the surge. Sixty-three colleges ranging in size now field teams.”

Girls’ wrestling is now one of the fastest-growing high school sports and is soon expected to qualify as an emerging sport in the NCAA.

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Female Competition International (FCI) can remember when we first began publishing in 2012, there were only about 12 in the WCWA.

With the surging growth, various organizations are involved in team and individual rankings.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a college athletics association for small colleges and universities in North America.

For the 2018–2019 season, it has 251 member institutions, of which two are in British Columbia, one in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the rest in the conterminous United States.

The NAIA, whose headquarters is in Kansas City, Missouri, sponsors 26 national championships. The CBS Sports Network, formerly called CSTV, serves as the national media outlet for the NAIA. In 2014, ESPNU began carrying the NAIA Football National Championship.

On January 30, 2020, here is the NAIA’s Coaches poll on collegiate women’s wrestling’s top ten.

Rank Last Week Team Points
1 2 Campbellsville University 195
2 4 Menlo College 182
3 1 Life University 162
4 5 Southern Oregon University 153
5 8 University of Providence 147
6 3 University of Jamestown 142
7 7 University of the Cumberlands 135
8 6 Wayland Baptist University 128
9 10 Lyon College 121


The organization that we have been most familiar with over the years is the WCWA.

The WCWA is the Women’s College Wrestling Association. The organization serves as the governing body for women’s college wrestling. There are 38 college teams that are currently members. The WCWA follow International Freestyle Rules.

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As of January 5, 2020, here is the WCWA women’s wrestling rankings.

1 Simon Fraser (BC) 114
2 Jamestown (ND) 100
3 Campbellsville (KY) 98
4 Life (GA) 80
5 Oklahoma City (OK) 66
6 Augsburg (MN) 55
7 Eastern Oregon (OR) 33
8 Presbyterian (SC) 26
9 Midland (NE) 21
10 Adrian (MI) 20


They look fairly similar.

The National Wrestling Coaches Association is another player on the scene.

As shared at nwcaonline.com, dated February 20, 2020, “The National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) has released the most recent edition of the NCAA Women’s team tournament, team dual, and individual rankings.”

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, fcielitecompetitor.com, Lakeland University Athletics photo credit

Here they are.

NCAA women’s team tournament poll

Ranking Team Total Points
1. Simon Fraser (BC) (116)
2. McKendree University (IL) (113)
3. King University (TN) (94)
4. Colorado Mesa University (CO) (50)
5. Emmanuel College (GA) (36)
6. Augsburg University (MN) (29)
7. North Central College (IL) (25)
8. UW Stevens Point (WI) (23)
9. Gannon University (PA) (19)
10. Tiffin University (OH) (18)


There you have it.

Proof that women’s collegiate wrestling ranks are swelling is the mild confusion that goes with all of the ranking systems. We’re needing a scorecard to keep up.

Having said that, this is a great thing.

We will figure it out and the female wrestling fans across the United States and Canada are happy to figure it out too.

It is worth the effort.

Once the NCAA confirms Women’s Collegiate Wrestling as an emerging sport and the scholarships begin to flow, we will have a whole new rankings system to content with.

We’ve never been more happily confused in our lives.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, fcielitecompetitor.com Montana-Sports.com-photo

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