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New York becomes 37th state to host a recognized girls state high school wrestling tournament

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

NYSPHSAA Girls Wrestling Invitational logo

USA Wrestling’s Girls High School Development Committee has determined that New York has become the 37th state high school association to host a recognized girls state high school wrestling tournament.

On July 29, 2022, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) announced that girls wrestling “has now met the criteria to be considered an emerging sport.” At that time, the NYSPHSAA also announced that a statewide committee for girls wrestling would be formed.

On January 12, 2023, the NYSPHSAA announced that it would conduct the first Girls Wrestling Invitational Tournament on Friday, January 27 at SRC Arena on the campus of Onondaga County Community College in Syracuse, N.Y.

Press release: NYSPHSAA to conduct first ever Girls Wrestling Invitational Tournament on January 27th in Syracuse

The USA Wrestling Girls High School Development Committee, co-chaired by Joan Fulp and Andrea Yamamoto, has determined that the NYSPHSAA has met the standard required to be included in the list of states with official girls high school wrestling programs.

The decision to give girls wrestling emerging sport status in New York, along with the fact that the NYSPHSAA will conduct the state-level Girls Wrestling Invitational Tournament (rather than another organization) were factors in recognizing New York along with the other state associations which have stepped up for girls wrestling. The NYSPHSAA has put girls wrestling on the administrative path to become an official state championships sometime soon.

“The New York State Public High School Athletic Association is excited to provide valuable participation opportunities in the sport of girls wrestling. The momentum for girls wrestling is a great example of listening to our schools who have expressed a desire to implement a new sport. I can’t wait to host our first state championship in the near future,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director.

This recognition has come about because of the determined efforts of wrestling volunteer leaders, coaches, referees and families within the state to develop and grow girls high school wrestling opportunities in New York.

“I am excited for the girls of New York State to have achieved emerging sport status and the opportunity to define wrestling for themselves. So many girls have shown up for years on the boys teams. I am confident they will have the numbers to support their own all girls teams statewide, and soon, their own state championship. Special thanks to the many coaches and allies who are supporting their dreams,” said Kyra Tirana Barry, who chaired a working group that led this grassroots effort.

On March 5, 2022, wrestling leaders in New York hosted a successful USA Wrestling sanctioned event, the New York State Girls Folkstyle Championships at Tamarac High School in Troy, N.Y. This event was a big step forward for girls high school wrestling in the state, and helped push the overall effort forward.

State Associations with Girls Wrestling in alphabetical order (37)

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