High School Sanctioning Resource webpage posted to assist effort for more sanctioned states for girls wrestling

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | April 07, 2017, 11:10 a.m. (ET)
Jerzie Estrada of Selma High School receives the 131-pound state high school title at the 2016 CIF California state championships. Photo courtesy of California Wrestler.

USA Wrestling has posted an extensive new resource to assist in the development of girls high school wrestling, the High School Sanctioning Resources webpage, which is now located under the Women tab on TheMat.com.

It is the product of the work of USA Wrestling’s Girls High School Sanctioning Resource Committee, which has put two years of research and networking together to create an extensive variety of materials designed to help wrestling leaders work on girls high school state sanctioning in their own state.

CLICK HERE FOR HIGH SCHOOL SANCTIONING RESOURCE

Currently, six states have official state sanction for girls high school wrestling: Hawaii, Texas, California, Washington, Tennessee and Alaska.

“The 2017 year has been a banner year for girls’ wrestling gaining media coverage and exposure across the USA. Coaches and parents all over the country realize the need and importance for girls to compete against their own gender. Our goal for the sanctioning resources is to provide contacts and history for the six states already sanctioned, and a tool kit outline to guide a committee starting the process,” said Joan Fulp of California, a leader with the Girls High School Sanctioning Resource Committee.

The page has four unique sections: Resources, Statistics, Support Letters, Videos. A primary document which is central to the effort is the detailed USA Wrestling Women’s Wrestling Tool Kit, which provides a variety of great resource information. The page is designed to be ever-changing, as more information is created and updates are provided from around the nation.

Currently, details on the girls high school sanctioning efforts in Oregon, Colorado, Virginia, Iowa, Kansas,Nebraska, Illinois and Indiana are included. The goal is to successfully add more states with official state sanction for girls wrestling, as well as to start the process for sanctioning in every state in the nation. The ultimate goal is to get official girls high school state programs in each of the 50 states.

Among the materials is information on the sanction process in Canada, which has successfully created girls high school wrestling opportunities.

“Our Canadian neighbors started girls wrestling around 1994 and had girls-only competition from the start. We are 19 years down the road from Hawaii sanctioning girls’ wrestling and still only six states officially sanction the sport in the USA. The time to do the right thing is now! Open the door and more girls will welcome the challenge and more parents will approve their daughter’s interest in trying this great sport of wrestling,” said Fulp.

The state sanctioning effort extends beyond USA Wrestling. Joining the project has been the non-profit Wrestle Like A Girl, which is led by World medalist Sally Roberts and a board of women’s wrestling leaders. They have created a project entitled #Campaign44, focused on getting official state high school sanction in the 44 other states that currently have not added the sport for girls.

Others who are stepping up in the effort are state-level wrestling organizations, including coaches associations, USA Wrestling state associations and other wrestling groups active on the state and local levels.

Katherine Fulp-Allen, a World University champion, Women’s Team USA member, World Team Trials runner-up and a Board member for Wrestle Like A Girl, explains the importance of the growing movement.

“I want to emphasize the importance of sanctioning girls wrestling throughout the United States. It is imperative that girls wrestle against their own gender. We should not require young girls to test themselves against males in this sport in order to be a competitive wrestler or to be valued as a good wrestler. It is a tough and demanding sport as it is, and young girls deserve the right to compete with other tough female wrestlers. The longer we force girls to compete against boys, the more we prevent the growth of women’s wrestling,” said Fulp-Allen.

Leading USA Wrestling’s grassroots effort are Fulp and Andrea Yamamoto of Washington. Yamamoto was a U.S. World Team member as an athlete, and has become a successful coach and volunteer leader for women’s wrestling in Washington, one of the six states with official sanction for girls wrestling. Fulp and Yamamoto continue to reach out to others, not only collecting information but also encouraging leadership at the state level to take on this project and work towards a common goal.

“We have a lot of work to do, but the next step is to reach out to individuals in states by phone or email and give support where needed. Andrea and I encourage coaches and parents to contact either of us at USAWgirlssanctioning@gmail.com,” said Fulp.

CLICK HERE FOR HIGH SCHOOL SANCTIONING RESOURCE