INFORMATION FOR ATHLETIC DIRECTORS & SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS

Girls wrestling is one of the fastest growing sport in the country.

The majority of states have sanctioned girls wrestling.

We’d like PA to be next.

Sanctioning starts at the individual school level by having schools form girls teams. Once 100 PIAA schools form a team (i.e., get school board approval), girls wrestling can be considered for sanctioning by the PIAA.

How do we form a team?

Girls teams are considered official when they are approved by the school board. To get started:

  • Review our Informational Packet and included FAQ to get any question you may have about starting a girls' team answered

  • Develop an idea of the logistical structure of the team (same/different coaches, same/different practice time, estimate of expenses)

  • If the current boys' coach will play a role in the girls' team, speak with them so you're on the same page

  • Propose the formation of the team to the school board. We have created Proposal Templates to help make things easier for you.

  • Adding a girls team at your school is likely much easier than you think.

    • Girls and boys CAN practice together

    • Girls and boys CAN be coached by the same coaches

    • National data shows that girls will wrestle if they know they are welcomed. Having no girls wrestling on your team now is likely a reflection of opportunity and not interest.

    • There is no minimum number of girls required to start a team. There have been several teams in PA that have formed without even having a girl on their team the previous year.

Why SanctionPA?

As an Athletic Director, there are numerous benefits that girls wrestling can bring to your school.

 

  • Adding official girls teams provides opportunities for girls to wrestle other girls instead of being forced to wrestle adolescent boys. This helps to create an even playing field and aligns with the ideals of fair play. Several states with significantly fewer girls participating in wrestling than in PA have sanctioned the sport, largely because they do not want their male and female athletes to be competing against each other.  

  • Relatedly, adding a girls team can decrease safety and liability concerns by creating more opportunities for girls to wrestle other girls in competitions. Wrestling is currently the ONLY combat sport not separated by sex.

  • When a school adds a girls team, it increases the number of girls that will come out for the team. Research has shown that girls will come out to wrestle when they know there is an opportunity for them and when they know they do not have to wrestle boys. On the state level, ALL states that have sanctioned saw participation numbers increase after sanctioning, with some increases as high as over 800% in one year.

  • Many schools are not in compliance with Title IX and adding girls wrestling may be the easiest way to move closer to compliance. Adding girls wrestling increases winter sport participation opportunities. Girls currently have 6000 less participation opportunities than boys during the winter months. Adding wrestling increases winter sport options for girls by 25%. At your own school, adding a girls wrestling team is likely the most cost effective method to addressing compliance.

  • Overall, for schools that already have boys wrestling teams, adding a girls team is highly cost-effective for schools to add compared to other sports. Schools are allowed to use the same coach, same practice space and practice time, can use the same transportation, and can even enter the same events as the boys. The vast majority of female wrestlers across the country are coached by a male head coach who is the head coach of both the boys and girls team.

  • Girls wrestling increases the sustainability of boys' wrestling programs. Research has shown that boys wrestling growth has accelerated as the number of girls teams grew.

  • Adding girls teams helps our PA girls take advantage of post-secondary opportunities. There are over 85 varsity college women’s programs in the US and 6 of them are located in Pennsylvania. Right now the college women’s wrestling landscape is ripe with scholarship opportunities and with the NCAA granting women’s wrestling Emerging Sport Status, along with wrestling’s history of producing the second highest number of first-generation college students across sports, wrestling is an amazing vehicle to increase the matriculation rate of your student-athletes to post-secondary institutions.

  • Adding high school girls wrestling helps to close the gap between youth and junior high programs and college and senior level programs. Women’s wrestling has been in the World Championships since 1989; meanwhile, youth numbers are exploding. We have seen some youth programs in PA with over 30 girls on their roster. The numbers are constantly increasing and providing legitimate HS teams to join helps keeps these athletes in wrestling.

  • Adding a girls team increases local, state, and national level positive attention to the school as well as the boys wrestling program. The media attention around this movement has been tremendously positive. Within a span of just a couple weeks, over 20 articles were published in PA about girls wrestling. When your school forms, you can expect significant positive attention.

  • Adding a girls' program can help support your district’s mission and strategic vision. For example, it can increase the perception of the school as an inclusive campus that leads by example and that is guided by the ideals of equity and inclusion.

  • Adding girls' wrestling increases the strength of the wrestling program, Athletic Department, and school community as a whole. It can help bring in new donors, volunteers, and community supports to the School, Athletic Department,  and boys wrestling program. It can also lead to an expansion of the fan base for the boys wrestling program as well as other school sports. It also solidifies a place in the history books for the School Board, Athletic Director, Superintendent, Principal, boys wrestling program coaching staff, and supporting staff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Resources for ADs and Administrators

                                

 

This is a very detailed document that includes data on girls wrestling, benefits of adding programs and how they relate to existing boys teams, recruiting ideas, coaching resources, an outline of the sanctioning process, as well as an FAQ that we worked closely on with the PIAA that covers the most common questions from coaches, ADs, school administrators, and others.

                                          

 

 

 

 

Our proposal templates can be used when submitting a proposal to your School Board about adding a girls wrestling team. You will also see proposals that were actually used by several districts across the state.

                                         

 

Our AD webinar discusses information regarding girls wrestling that is pertinent to ADs/Administrators, including background on girls wrestling, the benefits of adding programs, the process of doing so, the role of Title IX, as well as other important considerations. 

If you have questions or if we can help work with you and your school, please get in touch with us anytime at sanctionpa@gmail.com.