Key coaches and leaders begin plans to launch a Community College Women’s Wrestling Nationals for 2021

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | April 09, 2020, 12:32 p.m. (ET)
Members of the Umpqua CC women's wrestling team pose together at the Oregon Classic. Photo courtesy of Umpqua CC Athletics.

A group of women’s college wrestling coaches and administrators from two-year universities held a historic meeting with members of the USA Wrestling staff on Wednesday, Feb. 26, to begin planning to launch a Community College Women’s Wrestling National Championships in 2021.

With the rapid growth of women’s college wrestling, as well as the development of specific national tournaments for NCAA and NAIA women’s programs, these leaders have agreed to organize a women’s national championships in freestyle wrestling for community college teams and athletes next year. They asked USA Wrestling to organize a conference call to being work on this project.

The plan which was developed in the meeting is to finalize a date and location for this first national competition, tentatively targeted for February 2021. Teams and individual athletes from any community college will be invited to participate, regardless of what national or regional sports organization oversees their school’s sports program.

Those teams invited will include community college programs affiliated with the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC), the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA), the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) and others, as well as wrestling-related college organizations including the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA).

In addition to organized teams, community college women student-athletes who wrestle on a men’s college team or club will also be invited to participate and challenge themselves against other community college women wrestlers.

The group is committed to hosting this event in freestyle wrestling, which is the style that has been approved and is being contested by the NCAA and the NAIA teams. Freestyle wrestling has been the style used in women’s college wrestling since its creation in the 1990’s. By competing in the same style as the major four-year colleges conduct their women’s wrestling program, this will provide even better opportunities for the community college student-athletes to attend a four-year institution after their career is over at the community college level.

The participants in the group would like to see multi-organizational competitions, such as the current WCWA Nationals, continue to provide opportunities for their teams and athletes. However, the creation of a specific community college national tournament is important for the improvement of the current programs, a year-end national competition for them to focus on as well as a way to showcase women’s wrestling and encourage other community colleges to start teams.

Additional meetings will be scheduled, and others who wish to be part of the organization process are welcome.

Any community college administrator, coach or athlete who is interested in participating in this championships or wish more information on creating a community college women’s wrestling program can contact Craig Jackson, Director of Athletics at Umpqua CC at craig.jackson@umpqua.edu

Media inquiries on this project should come to Gary Abbott of USA Wrestling at gabbott@usawrestling.org