The Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Executive Board has additional women wrestling as an “emerging game” game for the upcoming high school winter.
The feasibility of emerging game means the AIA will hold off officially sanctioning women wrestling. It is the exact same procedure beach volleyball went before being completely sanctioned this spring.
Girls can continue to exercise and compete with boy’s groups, but they’re may take part in girls-only tournaments, too. The board accepted the inclusion at its May 21 meeting.
Their movement was met with applause throughout the Valley wrestling community.
“Myself and a lot of other coaches thought this was a really important need in the state,” stated Basha High wrestling coach Michael Garcia. ” We have a lot of youth pro wrestling girls that are competing every Saturday in USA Wrestling tournaments. Those numbers continue to grow.”
Ladies wrestling has increased exponentially, with eight countries lately recognizing it as a game. Oregon will start women wrestling contests next year.
It is a game that surely has sufficient attention in Arizona.
” I think it’s very important for us as a state to be one of the frontrunners in getting these girls opportunities at the next level. You can definitely tell that there’s a demand at the college level for girl wrestlers,” stated Zach Bartlett, Hamilton High wrestling coach.
David Gonzalez, Desert Vista’s wrestling coach, was instrumental in this procedure. Like his counterparts, the longtime mentor understood high school women needed this socket.
Along with Garcia, Gonzalez filed a proposition to produce women wrestling a permanent portion of high school sports. Their eyesight is finally coming to fruition.
” It’s something we have been working on for a long time,” Gonzalez explained. ” The girls are wrestling, whether it’s against guys or girls. Now that it’s out there, I think you are going to see it grow like wildfire.”
All three trainers say they have had several women take part in wrestling along with the boys within the last couple of decades. But together with all the AIA’s new judgment, females will really get their opportunity to shine on the mats.
” For my first four years at Hamilton, there was zero interest from girls,” Bartlett said. “You could tell that there was a new interest in wrestling this year. I had six girls on the team this year. I expect numbers to increase from there.”
Garcia added,” Ideally, they deserve their own season and workout times. That’s the goal – full girl teams competing.”
For Darren Johnson, wrestling coach in Perry High, women challenging boys around the mat has become the standard for a while.
Camp Verde High hosts an all-girls wrestling championship every year, which isn’t sanctioned by the AIA. It is a showcase that Johnson’s women have frequented the previous two seasons. And since the event got popular, Johnson was convinced that the game could flourish.
” I’ve had three girls I’ve taken up to that tournament at Camp Verde. It was to make up for the lack of an event for them,” explained Johnson. ” I’m always looking for ways to get girls involved in something.”
Another reason high school girls wrestling can triumph is that the game has received so much acclaim from the Olympics.
Introduced into the matches in 2004, women’s wrestling has rapidly become commonplace across the USA, but suitable women’s wrestling training in the high school level was rare.
Emerging sports designation provides Arizona the opportunity to blossom into a coaching hotbed for female wrestlers. Since Bartlett had expected, the nation is currently taking initiative in executing this ever-growing action.
” 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 sports needs. We need to make sure we’re creating opportunities for that interest” Bartlett said.
New doors are opened for top school’s women searching for scholarship opportunities or possibly a place in an Olympic roster.
It is a massive step for Arizona sports and USA wrestling.
“I’ve seen the girls evolve and I’ve been on a lot of different committees,” Desert Vista’s Gonzalez stated. ” 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”