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West Virginia becomes 43rd state with official girls state championships; WVSSAC to start girls tournament on March 2, 2024

by USA Wrestling Girls High School Development Committee

West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission logo in yellow, with black background

USA Wrestling’s Girls High School Development Committee, led by Joan Fulp and Andrea Yamamoto, have recognized West Virginia as the 43rd state to host a state girls wrestling championships.

On August 8, 2023, the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission (WVSSAC) announced it will hold its first-ever Girls Wrestling Invitational Tournament in Huntington on Saturday, March 2, 2024.

WVSSAC press release

The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission (WVSSAC) is pleased to announce it will hold its first-ever Girls Wrestling Invitational Tournament in Huntington on Saturday, March 2, 2024.

Young ladies will be brought together from member schools across the state to compete for individual state titles in 12 weight classes as well as vie for an Outstanding Wrestler award.

Last year, the WVSSAC began the process of sanctioning girls wrestling by recognizing it as an emerging sport, meaning, a sport committee can be established, and an event can be developed.

The wrestling coaches committee met on April 21, 2022, where Melanie Arthur was named as the liaison for girls wrestling. Discussions began on steps to take to sanction the sport in the future. Approximately one year later, April 20, 2023, the wrestling committee voted unanimously to host the Girls Wrestling Invitational in March during the High School State Wrestling Championship.

According to the WVSSAC bylaws, a sport must have 32 teams competing to be sanctioned. Over the years, we have seen an increase in support for girls wrestling from youth leagues and middle schools to high schools and colleges. We need support from our high schools to commit to having a girls' wrestling team in the 2023-2024 sports season as well as host girls' wrestling tournaments.

It is our hope that by offering the invitational and chance to compete for a state championship title, more girls will be encouraged to participate.

USA Wrestling is excited that the number of state associations with girls wrestling state championships has risen to 43, with only seven more states to add to the list.

State Associations with Girls Wrestling in alphabetical order (43)

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming