USA Wrestling South Dakota is 25th...

South Dakota is 25th state and Illinois the 26th state to approve girls high school wrestling; now over half the states!!

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | June 16, 2020, 10:10 a.m. (ET)

The wrestling community was greeted with outstanding news this past week, as two more high school state associations formally added girls wrestling state championships. On June 11, South Dakota approved a girls division at the state meetin in 2021-22. On June 15, Illinois approved a girls state wrestling championships in 2021-22.

That brings the total number of states with state association girls programs to 26, meaning more than half of the U.S. states have created programs.

SDHSAA approves girls division at South Dakota state meet, the 25th state with girls wrestling

The South Dakota High School Athletic Association (SDHSAA) Board of Directors, in its meeting on Thursday, June 11, approved a girls division at its State Individual Wrestling Championships beginning with 2021-22.

The Board passed the following item.

Agenda Item #15
Hold a Girls Division at the State Individual Wrestling Championships beginning in 2020-21. The division would include four weight classes to be determined by certified weight by SDHSAA staff based upon enrolled participants weight certification. Each weight class would include the top eight seeded participants across the state, regardless of classification or Region. Trackwrestling criteria would be used in the development of divisions and seeds in the first year of competition.

IHSA approves individual girls wrestling state series in Illinois for 2021-22 school year, becoming state No. 26

After holding official meetings on Monday, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) published this concerning its vote on girls wrestling:

The Board approved a recommendation to begin an Individual Girls Wrestling State Series beginning in the 2021-22 school year.

IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson:
“I commend the Board on their vision to further the IHSA mission by continuing to seek out more participation opportunities for high school students in Illinois. Participation in high school girls wrestling has grown significantly over the past few years, and we expect this announcement will only help increase that momentum here in Illinois. Our staff will use the lead time in the 2020-21 school year to best decide how the IHSA Girls Wrestling State Series fits within the current wrestling state series structure, including the dates and locations of each level of the tournament.”

St. Louis Post Dispatch: Illinois to offer girls wrestling at championship level in 2021

News Tribune: IHSA to host girls wrestling state tournament

Girls wrestling up to 26 states – more than half of the USA!!!

South Dakota becomes to 25th state to approve an official state high school girls championships or to make girls wrestling an emerging sport, or begin the process to making girls wrestling a sanctioned sport. Illinois becomes the 26th state to approve its girls wrestling program. That means that more than half of the state associations among the 50 U.S. states now have girls wrestling.

The state associations with girls wrestling (alphabetically) are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington

USA Wrestling’s efforts on behalf of high school girls wrestling is led by its Girls High School Development Committee, co-chaired by Joan Fulp and Andrea Yamamoto. They work with other organizations such as Wrestle Like A Girl and the NWCA, as well as numerous state-level grassroots groups, to champion high school wrestling opportunity for girls.