Girls Wrestling Section
Three of my 5 daugthers are competitive wrestlers. Currently the majority of their training and competition is against boys. The sole provider of their girls only competition has been provided by the United States Girls Wrestling Association (USGWA). The state we live in does not sanction girls wrestling teams in high school. They have failed to see that they need girls' only teams on the middle school and high school level. Boys and girls play t-ball; basketball and soccer together in childhood yet by middle school are separated by gender for the purposes of fair and equal competition. Yet Illinois and many other states have not embraced girls wrestling which has been the fastest growing sport for females over the last 10 years. Three states, Hawaii, Texas and Washington, have embraced girls wrestling completely and Oregon is starting this fall. A handful of others have started to schedule events or clubs but have not fully sanctioned them yet.
The following are a list of materials I have created to encourage the state athletic association and the wrestling advisory committee to sanction girls wrestling in our state. Most of these materials can help you in your own state initiate the same thing. Just take what I've created and customize them for your own state. I'd be interested in seeing anything additional that anyone comes up with. Also any corrections or revisions to any of the detail would also be appreciated.
The petition above was created because my initial response from the director of wrestling for the state of Illinois when I inquired about the possibility of adding girls wrestling was met with the following comment: "Our member schools have not expressed an interest so this is not being considered at this time." Don't let them over look girls wrestling so easily. Please consider circulating this petition amongst your friends and turning it into the Athletic Director or Principal with a request to send to the state athletic association. I'd recommend keeping a photo copy of it as well. And if you are from Illinois I would like to receive a copy either via mail or scan it in and email it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you need to mail a hard copy send me an email and I'll send you my mailing address.
You can make a difference . . .
Check out a new site I started developing - Women's Wrestling News.
Check out this document I created titled We Need Your Help to Increase Girls Wrestling Opportunities in the State of Illinois.
Media attention definitely is something we all should be leveraging. I have a list of TV and Newspaper media outlets through out the state with their website address and email contacts. I would encourage you to contact the media about your daughter’s participation and accomplishments in wrestling. Even go so far as to write a draft or complete article for them to consider for inclusion in their newspaper and don't forget to send a photo. You can review articles on the Women's Wrestling News site for ideas or contact me for help in writing an article.
Illinois Specific Detail
I've noted above and elsewhere that the IHSA has been non-responsive to some of my inquiries. Some recent time spent on their site helped me find the following information.
So the magic number of schools/teams in Illinois participating needs to get to about 80 for sanctioning to be considered by the IHSA. This is not insurmountable. They do not have any guidelines on number of participants per team or number of weight classes required. We as the interested community can set the guidelines ourselves. Consider how Washington, Hawaii, Texas, USAW, & USGWA have established weight classes as well as the recognized world weights.
|World||7||105, 112, 121, 130, 138, 147, 158
|Washington||9||103, 112, 119, 125, 130, 135, 145, 160, 285
|Texas||10||95, 102, 110, 119, 128, 138, 148, 165, 185, 215
|Hawaii||11||98, 103, 108, 114, 120, 125, 130, 140, 155, 175, 220
|USA Wrestling||12||95, 102, 109, 116, 124, 132, 139, 146, 153, 165, 190, 220
|USGWA||14||98, 103, 108, 112, 116, 120, 124, 128, 133, 139, 146, 155, 170, 250
|HS Boys - standard||14||103, 112, 119, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 152, 160, 171, 189, 215, 285
|IL Girls - proposed||8||95, 103, 113, 125, 140, 155, 175, 220
The proposed weights are just me taking a stab at them. We need to start where we have a low enough number of weight classes that we could potentially fill all the slots for a team as well as cover all the sizes of willing participants.
IHSA forms on the topic
I'd be interested in working directly with anyone on this effort so please contact me at the email listed above. I'm guessing girls able to fill a minimum of half of the weight classes established would be required to form a team. And they would need to be from either the same school or schools within a close enough commute to Co-op. It also looks like we would need administrators (athletic directors) to be apart of the process. I'll have to read into this further but it may be able to be funded through sponsorships and or private funds/fundraising.