NYSPHSAA Executive Committee approves freestyle for girls high school wrestling in New York in 2024-25

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Podium photo from the 2023 NYSPHSAA Girls State Championships in New York (Photo by NYSPHSAA)

The New York Public High School Athletic Association (NYPHSAA), in their Fall 2023 Executive Committee meeting on October 18, approved adopting freestyle for girls high school wrestling in New York starting in the 2024-25 season.

Freestyle is the international style of wrestling for girls and women and is the style of wrestling which is used for women’s college wrestling in the United States. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) conduct their women’s wrestling programs in freestyle.

New York had previously conducted its girls wrestling in folkstyle, also known as scholastic style, which is a traditional wrestling style for contested in the United States. High school wrestling for boys and college wrestling for men is conducted in folkstyle.

The New York State Girls Wrestling Task Force, which has worked to develop girls wrestling in New York and helped encourage the NYPHSAA to create a girls state wrestling championships, was an advocate for freestyle in high school girls wrestling in the state. On their X page, they posted the following on October 18:

“New York is the 1st State to offer a Freestyle State Championship. Congratulations and Thank You to ALL that have been fighting and pushing this forward. We Did It NY. This is how you #GrowTheSportNY”

The NYSPHSAA reported its decisions concerning girls high school wrestling on its website on October 19:

“Another sport experiencing fast growth, Girls Wrestling, saw two key proposals get approved. The first was adopting freestyle starting with the 2024-25 season and permitting a Girls Wrestling State Championship during week #34 of the NYSPHSAA calendar in February 2025.”

Recap of Fall 2023 NYSPHSAA Executive Committee Meeting