July 9, 2020,

Are you a betting person?

Even a global pandemic will not slow down the explosive growth of female youth wrestling across the United States.

You agree?

There is a powerful female youth movement surging in singlets infused with talent, prolific skills and great entertainment.

As reported by ESPN, “87 girls from 55 high schools found their way to the mats for North Carolina’s first official high school girls’ wrestling invitational contest.

The state is one of many experiencing a boom in female wrestlers. For years, girls around the country were folded into boys’ programs. But since 2001, the number of girls in high school wrestling has soared from 3,405 to nearly 17,000, buoyed by the introduction of women to Olympic wrestling in 2004 and the rise of MMA.”

The infusion of the girls into the high school and collegiate wrestling scene is a welcome breath of fresh air.

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The great news is that in the past year, six states have sanctioned the sport, making it one of the nation’s fastest-growing high school girls’ programs.

“Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential.”… Bruce Lee

Across the country media outlets are taking notice.

At the Modesto Bee they share, “In 2018-19, high school participation in the sport declined for the first time in 30 years but girls wrestling increased by 27%, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. There were 21,124 girls who wrestled last year compared to 16,562 during the 2017-18 year. In California, there were almost 1,000 new girl wrestlers in 2019 the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section has doubled its participation from 2016 (540) to this year (1,095).”

The news gets even better.

As reported on July 26, 2019 by intermatwrestle.com, “In separate actions this week, the NCAA Division II and Division III Management Councils each recommended that their divisions add women’s wrestling (along with acrobatics/tumbling) to their list of emerging sports for women.”

To be considered for Emerging Sport status, the sport must meet the following requirements:

  • The sport meets the NCAA definition of a sport
  • At least 20 varsity or competitive club teams exist at NCAA member schools
  • At least 10 NCAA member schools sponsor or intend to sponsor the sport

The Committee on Women’s Athletics can recommend an emerging sport to become an NCAA Championship sport once 40 NCAA member schools sponsor it. Once added to the Emerging Sports list, a sport has 10 years to achieve NCAA Championship status, after which it may be removed from the list.”

The main benefit to being fully designated as an emerging sport are the scholarships that will be made available to the new group of graduating female high school wrestlers.

Since the Emerging Sports for Women program was established in 1994, five sports have earned NCAA championship status: rowing (1996); women’s ice hockey (2000); women’s water polo (2000); bowling (2003); and women’s beach volleyball (2015).

Report after report demonstrates that girls wrestling shows no signs of slowing down. Here are a few.

The theintelligencer.net educates, “The fastest-growing sport in the nation has reached the Ohio Valley. It was recently announced that Steubenville High School will field a girls’ wrestling team for the 2020-21 school year. The team will be led by Big Red boys’ coach Mike Blackburn and Tommie Goff, an Akron Copley graduate who led the junior high program last season at Harding Middle School.”

Here’s another.

On May 29, 2020, the team at mcall.com shared, “Executive Education Academy Charter School is joining the fray. Its board this week approved a girls wrestling program for the 2020-21 season.”

And another one.

On May 27, 2020, the group at yorkdispatch.com expressed, “An historic step was taken Tuesday night by an historic Pennsylvania wrestling program. Easton Area School Board unanimously approved the start of a girls’ wrestling program starting in the 2020-21 season during its virtual meeting. Easton is the second Pennsylvania public high school to approve a girls’ wrestling program. J.P. McCaskey in Lancaster was the first in mid-March.”

Girls wrestling is certainly in a great place and appears to be heading to an even better one.

Our associates at grapplingstars.com attended a girls wrestling tournament in Rocklin, California in December of 2019 and were absolutely shocked at the crowd in attendance. It was a sight to behold.

They shared their experience. “As we drove down Industrial Avenue towards Tinker Road we saw something that surprised us once again.

The sign said “overflow parking” should head this direction. So the regular parking lot is full? For girls wrestling? Really?

We’ve never seen that before.

After parking we were in for another nice surprise.

A bus would shuttle us to the event. Again. All of this for a girl’s wrestling tournament? Usually the girls have to be second fiddle to the boys at tournaments. Here at their own girl’s only tournament, the parking lot is full and you get a shuttle bus to take you up to the door.

All of those clippings about the growth in girls wrestling is indeed very true.

Once inside we were in for the surprise of our wrestling lives.

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This huge facility was crowded with high school and college female wrestlers along with their coaches and family. There were thousands of people in attendance, everything was well organized and professional.

There were teams of female wrestlers everywhere. Some of the colleges included Eastern Oregon University, Santa Rosa Junior College, Southern Oregon University, Umpqua Community College, Skyline College, Menlo College, Life Pacific University, Life University, Central Christian College of Kansas, Pacific University and York College among others.”

Very impressive indeed.

What they noticed is that the skill level has greatly improved as well as substantial parental support. Where parents were once hesitant, now they seem to be fully comfortable with the idea of their daughter being a wrestler. Imagine that.

As little as 20 years ago, it would be very hard to.

In relation to the pandemic, we keep hearing the expression that we are in unprecedented times.

In relation to the incredible growth of girls high school wrestling, we are in unprecedented times and this is one virus that we are all happy to grapple with and hope that it continues to spread.

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