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Proposal to add Female Wrestling as KSHSAA Activity


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Kansas has a long history of girls wrestling. Kansas has showed growth within the youth ranks of girls wrestling. Specifically USA Wrestling card membership and state tournament participation has grown each year after year for the past 5 years.

 

In addition to the youth ranks, Colleges across the US (including Kansas) continue to add women's’ wrestling programs and thus college scholarship opportunities for female Kansas wrestlers.

 

The Olympic committee has also added additional Women’s Wrestling weight classes to increase opportunities on the Olympic level.

 

All of these point to tremendous acceptance and growth in a sport that has historically been dominated by male participation. To allow Kansas girls interested in the sport of wrestling to better capitalize on the growing opportunities, it is our recommendation to add girls wrestling as a sanctioned KSHSAA sport.

 

111 females participated in the 2016 Kansas High School Wrestling season. Other states that have added girls wrestling as a sanctioned high school sport have seen tremendous increase in participation once girls have the opportunity to compete against girls.

 

Regular Season:

 

The women’s wrestling season would run parallel to the regular KSHSAA wrestling season. All current wrestling season rules and regulations would apply except for the weight classes as defined herein.

 

Weight Classes (11):

 

95, 102, 110, 119, 128, 138, 148, 165, 185, 215

 

These weight classes were modeled after the weights successfully used in Texas HS girls wrestling. The girls would follow the same weight certification & allows procedures required by the state.

 

Girls will not be allowed to compete in the boys weight classes unless the tournament does not recognize/have girls weight classes.

 

 

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Let's hope Missouri supports this same idea. It would be an amazing step in the right direction. With all the great things that are learned from our sport it amazes me that anyone who loves our sport would not support the initiative. Why deny 50% of our population such a great learning opportunity.

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Missouri has no excuse in regards to implementing a girls division at the high school level. We have more in-state collegiate opportunities and plenty of ladies coming up through the MOUSA ranks. Come on now Missouri, are we really going to let Kansas beat us to the punch?

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Missouri has no excuse in regards to implementing a girls division at the high school level. We have more in-state collegiate opportunities and plenty of ladies coming up through the MOUSA ranks. Come on now Missouri, are we really going to let Kansas beat us to the punch?

Lack of interest is more than enough excuse not to add a girls division. Saying that there are plenty of ladies coming up through the MOUSA ranks is great, but when pressed to present hard numbers to support that assertion, there is nothing to back that up. The numbers from the girls' state tournament certainly don't indicate significant interest. I've yet to see one number from those beating the drum for this showing there is interest to warrant a separate division.

Also, any vote that were to take place would be to add wrestling as an emerging sport. Were it to pass as an emerging sport, which is a big if as ADs I have spoken with would vote against a proposal because of lack of interest, 50 schools in at least 3 districts will have to have the sport for two consecutive years. So at earliest, given everything falling in line, a separate championship is at least 3 years away.

Since women's wrestling at the college level was brought up, it does bring up several other points. The NCAA does not sanction women's wrestling, the WCWA, a separate organization specific to women's wrestling sanctions the sport. Why doesn't the NCAA sponsor wrestling? Collegiate womens' wrestling is freestyle. Saying we should create a girls' folkstyle division in high school because there are colleges in our area wrestling a different style, doesn't seem to be the best avenue to promote those opportunities.

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I know that a coaches' survey and the results of that survey were posted on a different thread recently. Out of the 60+ coaches who replied, over 85% were in support of adding girls wrestling. That being said, if an AD or other admin sees a MSHSAA proposal for a particular sport/activity, wouldn't they be asking the current head coach/sponsor their opinion on the matter before voting?

Another question of the survey was asking the coaches how many girls they could realistically recruit. Based on the survey results, the coaches who support this change would be able to gather 250 girls.

Girls State Signups in 2015: 97

Girls State Signups in 2016: 119 (+25%)

 

Girls State Projected numbers for 2017: 150+ (150 would be another 25% increase)-this would be a minimum. When the MSHSAA proposal passes, we are anticipating a higher increase.

Based on this data alone and nothing that MSHSAA has done to this point, several volunteers have decided to add 3 all-girls tournaments to the MOUSA schedule. These tournaments will be open to K-12 ladies and open to girls from outside the state as well. These 3 tournaments (one in each major region of the State of Missouri) will be part of a build up that will conclude with girls state at the end of February.

It's not lack of interest, it's lack of awareness. Women's wrestling is the fastest growing sport.

More Numbers:

July 1, 2014: 0 Facebook pages/subscribers, 0 Twitter Accounts/followers, 0 message board threads associated with Girls Wrestling in Missouri.

June 24, 2016: 1 Facebook page/1500+ subscribers and growing, 1 Twitter Account/48 followers and growing, and 2 dedicated Message Board threads.

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The survey data you cite is all conjecture. "Would be able to gather..." is hypothetical in nature. You continue to cite the state numbers of 119, which in and of itself is a low number, without addressing the fact that this number is for all ages. It is not 119 high school aged competitors. Several people have asked for the number who are in high school, but no one will provide those numbers, probably because they do not support the agenda.

The statement "It's not lack of interest, it's lack of awareness. Women's wrestling is the fastest growing sport." is inaccurate. Lacrosse has experienced much more growth and has many more participants at the female level...still not MSHSAA sponsored. Trap Shooting and women's bowling come to mind as other sports with higher growth rates.

Facebook subscribers and likes are great, but ultimately don't mean anything. I can get hundreds of likes for something, but that in no way means people are going to show up and participate. In regards to will AD's ask coaches their opinion, what kind of questions do you think they are going to ask? It isn't going to be "Do you support this?" It is going to be numbers based questions on participation, particularly at the youth level, as well as a cost and facility issue. Facts, not opinions and conjecture, should and generally drive decision making.

Missouri has sports with much higher participation numbers than girls' wrestling that still are not MSHSAA sponsored. What makes girl's wrestling special? For a separate championship at least 50 schools in 3 districts must sponsor the sport. What 50 schools will sponsor it? I doubt many Class 1 and Class 2 schools will jump on board for a variety of reasons, meaning programs will primarily exist at the Class 3 and Class 4 levels. Are there clubs in the metro areas with high participation numbers among females?

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What's interesting is that the coaches who responded in the affirmative for this movement, the overwhelming majority are coming from Class 1 and 2 schools. In fact nearly half of your quota of 50 schools would be class 1 schools. Not the bigger two divisions. Granted those who did respond from Class 3 and 4 projected higher numbers but that's because they have more numbers to draw from in any given year. We have even gone so far as to contact the all-girl schools in the state and several of them would be in support of it.

Facility use wouldn't be an issue as they would use the same practice facility as the boys. You mentioned costs. What's cheaper lacrosse equipment, a bowling alley, firearms/ammo or wrestling equipment?

What makes girls wrestling special? For us wrestlers, it saved our sport from extinction at the national and international level. Without the women's division at the UWW senior level, we would no longer be an Olympic sport. Our Women's National team has won more World/Olympic Medals since 2004 than the Men's FS and GR teams combined. With the Olympics being the pinnacle of our sport removed, wrestling would have taken a sharp decline in participation on all levels in this country as well as others. Jobs would be lost, money given away to basketball or some other sport, etc.

 

It's also about equality. Wrestling at this point is the only sport MSHSAA offers that doesn't have a female equivalent (outside of football). Adding women's wrestling would create a level playing field for all wrestlers throughout the state. It would increase overall participation in a school sponsored sport, which is something that regardless of who you are (coach, booster, AD, etc.) would find acceptable. More participation = more money.

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The idea that Class1 schools will make up half the 50 seems to be a stretch. Very few of these schools can field a lineup on the male side and now they are going to sponsor a girls' division. I have a hard time buying that.

Facility Use will certainly be an issue. It is an issue already at many schools. Many schools lack facilities as it is, without having to find time and places for another practice. I have coached at several schools where facilities just for one team is an ongoing issue.You seem to be operating under the assumption that boys and girls practice will be concurrent, when I don't know that would be the case. I am not aware of any boys and girls basketball teams that practice on the same court together.

Cost is not simply an overall cost issue it is a cost/participation issue. The other sports mentioned have much higher participation numbers than women's wrestling.

In regards to International wrestling, the idea that the loss of Olympic wrestling would have killed the sport at lower levels is weak conjecture. The majority of wrestlers don't wrestle internationally, and MMA has become the predominant go to after college. If anything women's wrestling forces our talent away from international wrestling because of the weights lost due to women's wrestling.

Wrestling doesn't have an equivalent sport, because it is considered a co-ed sport. It doesn't need an equivalent sport. Adding a girls only division will not increase participation in boys wrestling which to me is a more pressing issue.

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NCMC4life needs to realize that girls wrestling is growing throughout the entire United States. He probably needs to go to some little league tournaments and see the number of girls who are taking part. To deny them the opportunity to continue in our sport just because they don't have the same amount of testosterone is just wrong. It is very sexist to deny young ladies, which make up 50% of our society, the chance to experience this amazing sport. To address his complaints is really quite easy. We do what Texas does. The teams practice at the same time using the same coaching staff. They travel to duals in the same bus. They wrestle at the same time as the boys wrestle. It is extremely successful in Texas. The number of female wrestlers in Texas is amazing. If you don't like Texas take a look at California, its an even bigger sport there.

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Girls are not being denied the opportunity to wrestle, just because MSHSAA does not currently have a separate division for them. There are a number of opportunities outside of MSHSAA. Throwing up the term "sexist" is an easy out to dismiss an argument, rather than actually present numbers to support your case. Yes, roughly 50% of the population is female, but be confused as 50% wants to and is being denied an opportunity to wrestled. Numbers from the NWCA are roughly 11,000 high school wrestlers and 5,500 USA wrestlers with some overlap between the two, so less than 16,000 girls are wrestling nation wide at all levels.

 

My point is simply that currently numbers do not support a separate championship at the MSHSAA level. Growth should be shown at the USA level, which while girl's wrestling has grown, is still not a large number. A top down approach without numerical backing doesn't make sense to me, particularly if the goal is to actually make the proposal successful.

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Look at what happened in California, Texas, Washington, New York, etc. Once girls high school wrestling was added the numbers exploded. Why deny girls the best coaching they can get at the high school level and make them stay in local clubs coached by their dads. Oh, by the way, it is sexist when you deny a person an opportunity based on their body parts.

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Look at what happened in California, Texas, Washington, New York, etc. Once girls high school wrestling was added the numbers exploded. Why deny girls the best coaching they can get at the high school level and make them stay in local clubs coached by their dads. Oh, by the way, it is sexist when you deny a person an opportunity based on their body parts.

I haven't read anything on here proposing to deny opportunity based on body parts. The arguments, which are valid imo, are being based on participation numbers and really lack of participation. Girls are not being denied the opportunity because they have the opportunity to participate now in high school wrestling.

The tactic of labeling something as sexist or racist in our society to get a desired result is becoming all to prevalent. Instead of making a case based on facts, let's put a label on it and try to bully others into getting our way.

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Look at what happened in California, Texas, Washington, New York, etc. Once girls high school wrestling was added the numbers exploded. Why deny girls the best coaching they can get at the high school level and make them stay in local clubs coached by their dads. Oh, by the way, it is sexist when you deny a person an opportunity based on their body parts.

Based on the numbers with only 11,000 girls competing at the high school level nationwide, I would not call that an "explosion". Once again, girls are not denied the opportunity to wrestle. There is a USA division for them. If they so choose, the can participate on the high school team. They already have access to high school coaches. Denying them an opportunity to wrestle would be saying there is no avenue for girls to wrestle which is not the case.

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So let me get this straight. Lets say there is only seven weight classes starting at 155 lbs. I want to go out buy I only weigh 120. Not only that but there are a bunch of my friends my size who want to be on the high school team as well. We ask if it would be possible to have some lower weight divisions for us smaller guys. Your response would be that since there are so few of us we must continue to compete in the weight classes as provided. We say that if you would create more weight classes we think a ton of little guys would go out. Your response is that you don't build from the top down. If you want to wrestle go outside of the high school atmosphere,find practice facilities, find coaches, create tournaments, and prove there is an interest. So we talk to our friends our size and their response is they would like to take part if there were weight divisions for them but not going to bother with all that other stuff. The high school provides uniforms and coaching for free, the USA clubs charge for all that stuff. So you decide to list the smaller weight classes as a provisional experiment. Don't you think the numbers would explode? That is the proposal before MSHSAA. Make it a provisional sport and see what happens. I know what will happen. I have seen it all over this country. The numbers will explode!!!

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So let me get this straight. Lets say there is only seven weight classes starting at 155 lbs. I want to go out buy I only weigh 120. Not only that but there are a bunch of my friends my size who want to be on the high school team as well. We ask if it would be possible to have some lower weight divisions for us smaller guys. Your response would be that since there are so few of us we must continue to compete in the weight classes as provided. We say that if you would create more weight classes we think a ton of little guys would go out. Your response is that you don't build from the top down. If you want to wrestle go outside of the high school atmosphere,find practice facilities, find coaches, create tournaments, and prove there is an interest. So we talk to our friends our size and their response is they would like to take part if there were weight divisions for them but not going to bother with all that other stuff. The high school provides uniforms and coaching for free, the USA clubs charge for all that stuff. So you decide to list the smaller weight classes as a provisional experiment. Don't you think the numbers would explode? That is the proposal before MSHSAA. Make it a provisional sport and see what happens. I know what will happen. I have seen it all over this country. The numbers will explode!!!

For 8.5 months of the year the non-school system is what all wrestlers are already forced to do. Also, once again collegiate opportunities for females is freestyle for which schools do not provide resources nor do they sanction competition in this style.

Wrestling has had girls' divisions since 1996 and 20 years later has a 5,500 registered females. HS participations numbers have definitely gone up, but the numbers simply do not reflect an explosion in terms of overall participation numbers. Only 11,500 total including massive states like California and Texas where girls wrestling already is in place at the scholastic level.

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Using term narrow minded is just like the use of sexist, as a technique to invoke emotion without actually addressing any of my points. Girls already wrestle. I have not stated that girls are not capable of or should not wrestle. I don't care either way. However, my argument from the onset is that there is not currently enough participation to warrant a separate division at the MSHSAA level.

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There are currently emerging sports that have the same amount of participation as girls wrestling would if it were to start in a year or two. Look at Boys Volleyball which doesn't have a team west of Wentzville. It's been an emerging sport for a few years.

NCMC If you really didn't care you wouldn't have a third of the posts in the thread. You care, either about girls wrestling not being a separate division or about arguing. Either way you care.

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We've never stated there has to be a MSHSAA championship right away. However, that would be a nice benchmark for the state in the coming years. However, before we reach the benchmark of 50 Varsity teams in the separated regions, we can still have a State Tournament similar to what we have had the past 2 years. It has seemed to workout quite well for all parties involved.

 

According to the NFHS it's roughly 11,496 girls from 38 states that list girls separate from the boys. The 13(Washington D.C. is the extra) states combine the results, so it's nearly impossible to say how many girls are in that number. However, we can estimate that based on the average of the first group. 11,496/38 = 302.536 girls/state So at 13 States = 3,630 Girls (Actual number is 3932.84) 3,932 = roughly 1.5% of the population of the combined totals, which is right around the current trend of the sport in terms of the percentage of girls involved in wrestling on boys teams.

11,496 + 3932 = 15,428 (high school girls nation wide)-estimated based on the information provided by NFHS.

USA Wrestling 5,500 Girls (I've emailed USA Wrestling for a more accurate and up to date count and will edit later when I get a reply); I'm going to assume you estimated roughly 1000-2000 girls are USA card holders at the High School Level. So that leaves 3500-4500 younger girls to be added to the previous number.

15,428 + 3,500 = 18,928

15,428 + 4500 = 19,928

Considering there are girls who only wrestle AAU or NUWAY in other parts of the country, It would be a safe estimate of an excess of 20,000 girls nation wide currently wrestle. The biggest in terms of quantity and age bracket is the 10u and 12u girls. This trend is also true at the State level in Missouri as these two age groups had the largest amount of girls the past 2 years at MOUSAW Girls State.

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Based on the numbers with only 11,000 girls competing at the high school level nationwide, I would not call that an "explosion". Once again, girls are not denied the opportunity to wrestle. There is a USA division for them. If they so choose, the can participate on the high school team. They already have access to high school coaches. Denying them an opportunity to wrestle would be saying there is no avenue for girls to wrestle which is not the case.

How about giving them equal opportunity aka level playing field? I believe there are more than a few federal guidelines about that. One is in the constitution that's been in effect for 150 years (The 14th Amendment).

Don't tell me they already have an equal and level playing field because my BS meter would go off.

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I received an email from Tony Black at USA Wrestling in regards to numbers.

According to his report, there are 9,765 girls registered during the 2015 season. That is nearly double the amount (77% more) that NCMC estimated. This was also a 1,725 (21.5%) increase from 2014, which had 8,040 girls nation wide in USA Wrestling. So given the higher estimate of dual registered athletes (2000 in both NFHS and USA Wrestling) that would leave us with this number with a national figure:

15,428 + 7,765 = 23,193 girl wrestlers nationwide

I did correspond with Mr. Black and he's working on a yearly breakdown of girls registered in Missouri as well (from 2010-2015). I will post these numbers when I receive the information from Mr. Black.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did anyone else see the post about another women's collegiate program coming to Missouri? That would be program number 5! Oh wait, there's not enough interest to garner such an endeavor in Missouri...maybe we shouldn't have girls wrestling at the high school level in this state.

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