NJSIAA approves official New Jersey girls state high school championships, pending final vote in October

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling and assorted sources | Sept. 12, 2018, 4:58 p.m. (ET)
Although an official press release has not yet been released, state-wide media in New Jersey has reported that the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) has voted to make girls wrestling an official high school sport in the state, with a state girls wrestling championship to be held this winter.

Proposals to have girls compete for region and state championships beginning in the 2018-19 season were unanimously approved by the NJSIAA’s Executive Committee today.

According to the media reports, there will be one more final vote in an Executive Committee meeting in October before this is official. A number of media reports indicate that there is not expected to be any opposition to this getting its final approval.

In 2017-18, six high school state associations, Missouri, Georgia, Oregon, Massachusetts, Arizona and Colorado voted to either officially add high school girls wrestling, or begin the process for official status. This addition of New Jersey brings the total to 13 states with girls wrestling. Hawaii, Texas, California, Washington, Tennessee and Alaska host the other state-sanctioned girls wrestling championships.  

QUOTES

From NJ.com
“Now we’re offering a very important segment of our student population — which is the girls — an opportunity to showcases their talents such as the boys do at our premier wrestling event,” NJSIAA Executive Director Larry White said. “More than likely there’s a good chance we’re going to see an increase in the girls that will come out for wrestling now that they have a forum.”

From NorthJersey.com
“I think we will be pleasantly surprised by the turnout,” said NJSIAA Assistant Director Bill Bruno, who led the presentation at Wednesday’s Executive Committee meeting on the new sport. “This is an opportunity the girls have never had, now that you put it out there, I am sure it will spike throughout the schools.”

Princeton wrestling coach Chris Ayres was part of the presentation, and said that the popularity of the sport is hard to ignore and that a handful of other states have added it to its high school offerings. He added that there are multiple Division I schools that offer it as a club sport. “This was just a matter of time,” Ayres said. “We are just going to be on the front end of it.”

ARTICLES

NorthJersey.com: Adding girls wrestling comes at low cost, high value for NJSIAA

NJ.com: New Jersey on the cusp of historic move to create girls H.S. wrestling

Asbury Park Press: NJSIAA: Move to add girls state wrestling tournament close to reality

USA Today High School Sports: New Jersey one step closer to adding girls state wrestling tournament