Thank you for supporting your daughter’s participation in this life-changing sport!

New to wrestling?

We realize that entering the wrestling world may feel unfamiliar and you may even wonder if it’s common for girls to wrestle. The truth is, girls wrestling is one of the fastest growing high school sports in the country. Pennsylvania has experienced over a 200% increase of girls on high school teams in the past several years. All 12 PIAA district areas have girls wrestling within their area schools and girls wrestling is currently working on becoming an official sanctioned sport that is recognized by the PIAA. By joining wrestling, your daughter will be joining the largest movement in sports in the country.


How can wrestling help my daughter?

  • Build her CONFIDENCE

  • Open up doors to college opportunities and scholarships. There are currently over 85 colleges that have women’s wrestling with six being in the state of Pennsylvania. Women’s wrestling is active at the DI, II, and III levels – schools need wrestlers! Even first year wrestlers can be eligible for scholarships!

  • Instill a positive body image and help her feel strong and healthy

  • Help her become a leader in life

  • Increase her knowledge of self-defense

  • Build LIFELONG friendships and join a tight-knit community that is like a second family

  • More and more opportunities exist for girls to wrestle girls – they do not have to wrestle boys

  • There is no “type” of girl that wrestles – female wrestlers come from all sorts of different backgrounds and they can maintain that individuality in the sport. For example, it’s okay to be an athlete from another sport, new to all sports, interested in the arts, or ultra-feminine and wrestle!


Why SanctionPA?

Girls wrestling is the fastest growing sport in the country. Girls from all areas of the US have been reaping the vast benefits of this sport for years. The majority of states have already provided official opportunities for girls to wrestle by sanctioning girls wrestling as a sport. We’d like PA to be next.


Why is having my daughter’s school form an official girls' team and why is getting girls wrestling sanctioned in PA so important?


  • Getting girls wrestling sanctioned in PA will create an official girls state championship

  • Allows girls to wrestle girls

    • Creates an even playing field and aligns with the ideals of fair play where adolescent boys and girls are not forced to wrestle each other

  • Increases competition opportunities – formed teams can participate in more girls-only competitions

  • May provide your daughter more attention in the room

  • Decreases safety and liability concerns in a combat sport

    • Wrestling is currently the ONLY combat sport not separated by sex

  • Provides girls with the same character-building opportunities that boys have

  • Helps our PA girls take advantage of post-secondary opportunities

    • There are over 85 varsity college women’s programs in the US. 6 of them are located in Pennsylvania! (East Stroudsburg, Gannon, Lackawanna, Lock Haven, Del Val, Alvernia)

    • There are a huge number of scholarship opportunities in wrestling right now

    • Women’s wrestling was given NCAA Emerging Sport Status for Division I, II, and III

    • Wrestling ranks #2 across sports for producing first-generation college students

  • Closes the gap between youth opportunities and the current college/senior level – we need to help provide an opportunity for our girls at all age levels

    • Girls are more likely to drop out of wrestling as they get older and don’t have opportunities to compete against other girls – sanctioning helps keep them in our sport

  • Increases number of girls participating in wrestling, will increase number of girls on team

    • ALL states that have sanctioned saw participation numbers increase after sanctioning

  • Increases sustainability of boys wrestling programs

    • We care about this entire sport, including boys wrestling! Research has shown that boys wrestling growth has accelerated as the number of girls teams grew

    • Between 2007 and 2020, NONE of the institutions that dropped men’s wrestling on the collegiate level had women’s wrestling

  • Increases winter sport options, moves school closer to Title IX compliance

    • Girls have 6000 less participation opportunities than boys during the winter months

    • Adding wrestling increases winter sport options for girls by 25%

  • Wrestling is highly cost-effective for schools to add compared to other sports

    • Can have the same coaches, can practice in the same space, can use same transportation, etc.















How can I help get girls wrestling sanctioned?

Before the PIAA can consider adding girls wrestling as an official sport, 100 schools must form official girls wrestling teams. To form an official team, a school needs their School Board/ district administration to approve the team. There is NO minimum number of girls required to start a team!


Want to help SanctionPA but not sure where to start? Here are some action items that parents can do.

  • Learn more about SanctionPA and the benefits of girls wrestling

  • Contact your school

    • Become an advocate of a girls wrestling program at your local school district by facilitating meetings with key stakeholders, including the athletic director, coaches, administrators, and school board members. Express your hope for a girls' team to the coach and AD. Ask how you can work together and support their efforts.

      • Highlight the numerous benefits of adding a girls' team. There are a LOT of reasons why adding a girls' team is beneficial to both the girls as well as the school. See some of our reasons above as well as in our Informational Packet. 

        • One reason that you can consider highlighting is that girls wrestling can help schools in their Title IX compliance. Girls wrestling can NOT hurt a school's compliance. It can only help. To get more information on Title IX and your school's compliance, see our Title IX page. This can be a powerful consideration! ​

      • Use information in the Informational Packet when advocating and feel free to pass the information on to the various stakeholders you talk to! *The Packet has been shared with all ADs and Head Wrestling Coaches in the state, but you’re also welcome to pass it on to your school to ensure they received it or to use it as a conversation starter.

      • Feel free to utilize our Template Parent Email to School when reaching out to your school.

      • If concerns are expressed by the school, respond to specific concerns with facts.

      • You are welcome to contact SanctionPA at at any time and we can help work with you and your school, provide them with resources, and answer any questions they have. 

  • Work with the local groups within your community to advocate and actively recruit girls

  • If you have fundraising or sponsorship ideas, share them with the school! Schools always have to consider budgets when starting a new program and they will love to hear about potential revenue sources!

  • Work with your Booster Club

  • COACH! Many programs are looking to bring in an assistant or volunteer coach, with some programs specifically looking to bring in a female. No matter what your wrestling background is, consider offering to help out. Even if you are not comfortable showing technique, there are many other roles in coaching and you offering to assist can be a big key to starting a program

  • Communicate the SanctionPA efforts. Be positive and collaborative in your social media engagement – we all must work together in this initiative!

  • “Like” Pennsylvania Women’s Wrestling on Facebook to stay up to date with the SanctionPA initiative as well as to hear about events, clinics, college opportunities, and to stay connected to other wrestling families

  • Support your daughter in finding her voice and advocating for herself. Check out our Wrestler page and, if she is interested, you can help support her in writing a letter to the school about adding a girls team (Template Wrestler Email to School).


Resources for Parents

Provides a quick overview of the SanctionPA initiative.

If you’re a coach, AD, school administrator, or other stakeholder looking to learn more, our Informational Packet 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, information on how to start a girls team, 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 parent webinar discusses information regarding girls wrestling that is relevant to parents, including background on girls wrestling, how adding a girls team can benefit girls, how to work with your school to support forming a team, as well as other common questions

For parents wanting to reach out to their child’s school about starting a girls team, you are welcome to use our Template Parent Email to help you.

Please feel free to get in touch with us at any time if you have questions or if we can help work with you and your school.


What are my next steps if my child is thinking of trying wrestling?

  • Contact your school’s wrestling program to sign-up for the team!

  • Looking for a local club to wrestle at? Check out the list of PA clubs or reach out to Pennsylvania Women’s Wrestling on Facebook and they will help connect you! You can also find out about introductory practices, clinics, and events on their page.

To further help introduce you to the sport, we encourage you to:

  • “Like” Pennsylvania Women’s Wrestling on Facebook to stay up to date with the SanctionPA initiative as well as to hear about events, clinics, college opportunities, and to stay connected to other wrestlers