The Arizona Interscholastic Association announced on Thursday that it is adding girls wrestling as an emerging sport for the winter sports season next school year.
“The coaches are the ones that really brought this up, feeling it’s time,” said David Hines, executive director of the Arizona Interscholastic Association. “There are quite a few girls who want to wrestle in Arizona.
“They’re not having real good success having to wrestle against the boys.”
Hines said girls wrestling is being brought on as an “emerging sport,” the same way beach volleyball was brought on in 2012 with only a handful of teams as a pilot program.
This was the first year it was fully sanctioned by the AIA with nearly 60 schools.
Hines said he foresees two or three girls invitational wrestling tournaments next season with a couple of jamborees mixed in, before an end-of-season individual state tournament run in conjunction with boys wrestling. There will be individual medals handed out in weight classes.
“Eventually, if we get enough schools, there will be team scoring,” Hines said.
With Arizona on board, there are less than 10 state associations to offer girls wrestling as a championship event.