Women’s wrestling approved in Missouri

Produced by: Jonathan Dickson
MissouriWrestling.com Content Producer
May 9, 2018

PROPOSAL 18 – (Girls Wrestling) – (PASSED) – 202 FOR, 41 AGAINST

Amends By-Laws 5.1, 3.29.6, and 3.30.3.l to separate the currently co-educational sport of wrestling into sex-separated wrestling for both boys and girls.


The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) has completed the voting process on the 2018 MSHSAA Annual Ballot. MSHSAA schools have voted to separate the co-educational sport of wrestling into sex-separated wrestling for both boys and girls. The following points of interest have been reviewed and will be used relative to the implementation of Girls Wrestling under the jurisdiction of the MSHSAA beginning with the 2018-19 school year.

1.) Implementation of Girls Wrestling: The proposed plan is to have a two year transition period that would permit girls the option of participating in both their school’s boys lineup and girls lineup during regular season contests only. After this two year transition period girls can only participate against girls at girls only competition. From the start of implementation of Girls Wrestling, the girls MUST participate in the girls postseason.

2.) Weight Classes: Weight Classes will be determined after weight assessments are completed and entered into the OPC at trackwrestling.com by deadline of November 14, 2018. The 2018-19 Girls Wrestling weight classes will be released via MSHSAA Broadcast email blast on November 15, 2018, just prior to the first allowable contest on November 16, 2018. The data from the weight assessments will be used to set the actual weight classes in an effort to achieve as much equal distribution in weight classes as possible. This process would be used during the first two year of sanctioned Girls Wrestling with permanent weight classes being established in the third year and beyond.

3.) Contest Limits: In order provide more consistency in language for contest limits between the boys wrestling and girls wrestling, our member schools voted on the MSHSAA Annual Ballot (April-2018) to move forward with allowing “competition dates” in the sport of wrestling as follows:
*Girls Wrestling – 20 competition dates, no tournament date restrictions.
*Boys Wrestling – 20 competition date, no more than 10 competition dates can be used for tournaments.

4.) Postseason and Qualifying Events: There will be one Classification for Girls Wrestling. There will be two district tournaments that will be held on Saturday-Week 31 of the MSHSAA calendar (February 2, 2019). Classification/District assignments for Girls Wrestling will be released on the same date as Boys Wrestling, November 9, 2018. The girls district wrestling tournament will be the weekend prior to the boys district wrestling tournament in order to promote a school’s coaching staff to give primary attention to the girls district tournament on a weekend that our state has very few regular season tournaments occurring for the boys. The girls district tournament will be the qualifying event used to secure the top 4 place finishers at each weight class. The top 4 place finishers at each weight class will advance as state qualifiers to the state championships. There will be a total of (2) district tournaments until participation numbers at each weight class or overall girls participation numbers dictate the need for additional district tournaments. The state qualifiers will advance to compete in an 8-person bracket at the state championships. The top 4 place finishers at the state championships will be recognized as state medalists. The Girls Wrestling State Championships will be administered at the same site on the same days that the current State Wrestling Championships are held, Mizzou Arena (University of Missouri). Changes to the State Wrestling Championships schedule will have to be made to accommodate rounds for the girls competition, more information will be announced at a later date.
District Seeding: Only girls vs girls matches during the regular season will apply to seeding at the girls district tournament.

5.) Season – Length of Season: The Girls Wrestling season will begin on the same first allowable practice date as the boy’s season, the first allowable contest date will be the same as the boy’s season and the state championships will occur and conclude on the same calendar date as the boys.

6.) Coaching and Practices: A MSHSAA member school who offers both boys wrestling and girls wrestling are permitted to use the same coaching staff to oversee both teams. Furthermore, both the boys wrestling team and girls wrestling team that consist of enrolled students from the same school or an approved Cooperative Sponsorship (Co-Op) may practice at the same time in the same practice facility under the guidance and leadership of the same coaching staff.

7.) Trackwrestling OPC (Weight Management, Schedules, Etc): Due to the fact that females will have a two year transition period by which they may participate in their school’s boys wrestling line-up and in their school’s girls wrestling line-up, all weight assessments for females will “INITIALLY” be entered into the OPC using the “2018-19 Boys Season”. Weight assessments for “female” wrestlers will be entered into the OPC prior to the deadline of November 14, 2018. On November 15, 2018 the MSHSAA will use a “Copy” feature in the OPC to copy all female weight assessment from the “Boys Season” over to the “2018-19 Girls Season” in the OPC. The “Girls Season” will be used to by coaches to post their school’s female only wrestling events/contests schedule and will be used to enter all Female versus Female match results. Mixed gender match results occurring at boys wrestling events/contests will be entered in the “Boys Season” in the OPC.

8.) Regular Season Competition (Opportunities): Most competition opportunities for girls wrestling will exist in the form of tournaments. Efforts will need to be made by our Wrestling schools to create competition opportunities for Girls Wrestling. If you host a regular season wrestling tournament and have the facility space to use multiple mats I would encourage you to consider adding a girls division. With that mind, there will also need to be consideration given to the fact that too many girls wrestling tournaments being offered on the same calendar date may result in a low number of entries at each tournament. In short, our wrestling schools need to communicate with each other and make sure that tournament competition opportunities for girls wrestling are spread out during the regular season. It may also be necessary to consider geographic locations of girls wrestling tournament opportunities each week of the regular season in order to increase participation number at each girls wrestling tournament during the regular season.