The Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Executive Board has added girls wrestling as an “emerging sport” sport for the upcoming high school winter season.
The designation of emerging sport means the AIA can hold off on officially sanctioning girls wrestling. It’s the same process beach volleyball went through before being fully sanctioned this past spring.
Girls may continue to practice and compete with boys teams, but they are may participate in girls-only tournaments, as well. The board approved the addition at its May 21 meeting.
“I’m not so sure why it took us so long to get to this point. Girls participation is up. I think this is something the sport needs. We need to make sure we’re creating opportunities for that interest,” Bartlett said.
New doors have been opened for high schools girls looking for scholarship opportunities or even a spot on an Olympic roster.
It’s a monumental step for Arizona athletics and USA wrestling.
“I’ve seen the girls evolve and I’ve been on a lot of different committees,” Desert Vista’s Gonzalez said. “The AIA wanted it to happen. They just needed the particulars in place. It has a good chance of staying. We have our ducks lined up.”
Contact Brian Benesch at 480-898-5630 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @AZBenesch