Greco-Roman World Team Trials set for Tulsa, Okla., June 21-22, alongside Junior National Duals

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Jan. 04, 2018, 12:46 p.m. (ET)
2016 Olympian Robby Smith, shown making a big throw at the 2017 Worlds in Paris, are among the top Greco-Roman stars expected at the World Team Trials in Tulsa. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors

USA Wrestling has announced that it has awarded the 2018 Senior Greco-Roman World Team Trials to Tulsa, Okla., where the event will be hosted at Cox Business Center, June 21-22.

The top Olympic-level Greco-Roman wrestlers in the United States are expected, with the winners earning a spot on the 2018 U.S. Senior Greco-Roman World Team, which will compete at the World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary, October 20-28.

The event will be held alongside the Junior National Duals, one of USA Wrestling’s most popular age-group events featuring state-association teams of high school wrestlers competing in freestyle and Greco-Roman. In 2018, the Junior National Duals will be held in Tulsa for the fourth straight year. Also new this year is the Women’s National Duals, which feature state-level high school girls teams.

The local organizing committee for both the Greco-Roman World Team Trials and the Junior National Duals includes the Tulsa Sports Commission and Oklahoma USA Wrestling.

“USA Wrestling is excited to partner with the Tulsa Sports Commission and Oklahoma USA Wrestling on this great event. Both organizations have a history of coordinating fantastic USA Wrestling events, and this year will include even more great wrestling,” said Pete Isais, USA Wrestling National Events Director.

“On behalf of the Tulsa Sports Commission and our regional tourism partners, we are extremely excited to welcome the Greco Roman World Team Trials to Tulsa, June 21 and 22. We are looking forward to hosting this prestigious competition and will work diligently to make Tulsa a favored sports and travel experience for all athletes, coaches, and fans. Thank you for choosing Tulsa," said Vince Trinidad, Executive Director of the Tulsa Sports Commission.

“We are excited to host a great showcase event and bring elite Greco-Roman wrestling to Oklahoma. This will give the wrestlers at the Junior Duals something to strive for at the next level, as they rub shoulders with our top Senior-level athletes. Without the Tulsa Sports Commission, we would not have been able to secure the Greco-Roman World Team Trials. They pull out all the stops in helping host the Junior Duals, which has been a big success in past years,” said Rance Stein, Oklahoma USA Wrestling state chairperson.

The Greco-Roman World Team Trials will be held separately from the World Team qualifying events in men’s freestyle and women’s freestyle. The leadership in Greco-Roman chose to have an inclusive qualifying process, which also opens the opportunity for athletes who also compete in men’s freestyle to try out for the Greco-Roman World Team.

The tournament will feature the 10 new World Championships weights in Greco-Roman, which is an increase of two weight classes from the eight weight classes contested last year. Each weight class will be contested over two days, which is consistent with the new format of international wrestling competition. There could be well over 100 elite Greco-Roman wrestlers battling for the 10 spots on the U.S. Senior World Team.

As part of the qualification process, the top seven athletes from the 2018 U.S. Open in Las Vegas in April will qualifty for the Greco-Roman World Team Trials. The 10 national champions from the U.S. Open will advance directly to the best-of-three Championship Series in Tulsa. There are series of other qualifying standards, which will allow additional athletes to qualify for the Challenge Tournament in Tulsa, which are included in the Greco-Roman World Team Trials Procedures, posted online at

On Thursday, June 21, a Challenge Tournament will be held with all of the qualifiers except for the 2018 U.S. Open champions. The winner of Thursday’s Challenge Tournament will advance to Friday’s Championship Series, where he will battle the 2018 U.S. Open champion in a best-of-three series.

This will be the third time that the Greco-Roman World Team Trials will be hosted in Oklahoma. The event was held in Stillwater, Okla. in 1989, as part of the U.S. Olympic Festival, and also in Oklahoma City in 2013.

The final event schedule and information on purchasing tickets will be announced shortly.

About the Tulsa Sports Commission
The Tulsa Sports Commission, Inc. (TSC) was created in 1993 as a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization to create a positive economic impact in the Tulsa region through attracting, developing and facilitating amateur sports events, sports-related conventions and other sports ventures. The TSC is a founding member of the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) and is an integral part of Tulsa Regional Tourism’s efforts to showcase Tulsa as a preferred destination.

About USA Wrestling

USA Wrestling is the National Governing Body for the sport of wrestling in the United States and, as such, is its representative to the United States Olympic Committee and United World Wrestling, the international wrestling federation. USA Wrestling is the central organization that coordinates amateur wrestling programs in the nation and works to create interest and participation in these programs. USA Wrestling has more than 232,000 members, including athletes, coaches, officials, parents, fans and others who are actively involved in the sport. Its president is Bruce Baumgartner, and its Executive Director is Rich Bender.