USA Wrestling sets membership records in three categories in 2009 10 year

By Gary Abbott | Sept. 27, 2010, 1:10 p.m. (ET)
USA Wrestling, the national governing body for amateur wrestling in the United States, has set records in three major membership categories during the 2009-10 year.

The 2009-10 membership year, which ended on August 31, 2010, set annual records for athletes, clubs, and sanctioned events.

During the 2009-10 year, USA Wrestling registered 153,776 athlete members, topping the previous mark of 148,767 set during the 2008-09 year.

For the sixth consecutive year, USA Wrestling chartered clubs reached a new level, climbing to 3,700 clubs. The previous high was 3,693 clubs, which was set in the previous membership year.

Sanctioned events rose to a record 1,918 in 2009-10, an increase from the 1,807 events which were sanctioned in the 2008-09 year.

The membership records were possible through the combined team effort of USA Wrestling's volunteer leaders on the regional, state and local levels along with the national staff, which provided the most comprehensive program of wrestling activities in the nation.

Although it did not set a record, the number of officials registered increased from the previous year, with 2,249 officials in 2009-10 in comparison to 2,075 officials the year before. The only category which went down in membership was coaches.

"This is a testament to the hard work of our state leaders and grassroots volunteers" said Les Gutches, USA Wrestling's Director of Program Development. "We are pleased with the continued growth, but we remain focused on better serving the needs of our members and the sport."

USA Wrestling has high expectations for the 2010-11 season, and will work hard to continue to increase opportunities within wrestling at all levels across the nation.

"Programs you can expect to see in the coming year will include expanded support for our coaches, improved tournament operations and a more active athlete appearance program aimed at connecting our elite teams with grassroots competitors and coaches. I am excited about the new membership year" said Gutches.