Knocking on the Door

August 10, 2017

Wrestle Like A Girl, Inc. has joined with several other organizations to submit a bid to the NCAA asking that women's wrestling be recognized as an emerging sport. According to FloWrestling's website, women's wrestling has been an Olympic sport since 2004, but is not recognized by the NCAA, although 30 schools participate in the Women's Collegiate Wrestling Association.

In order to change that, 11 NCAA schools have submitted letters of commitment and budget information to the NCAA, with the hopes of having women's wrestling recognized as an emerging sport, and ultimately, grant it the NCAA's full sponsorship. Other suporting organizations include USA Wrestling, the National Wrestling Coaches Association, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, and the United States Olympic Committee.

Tom Brands, coach for the University of Iowa men's wrestling team, wrote a letter to the NCAA asking them to recognize women's wrestling as an emerging sport so that women can fully benefit from participating in it.

“It is long overdue for women to share in the opportunities afforded by this great sport,” Brands wrote in his letter.

The NCAA Women's Committee on Athletic will review the bid during its meeting in September. Should women's wrestling be granted emrging sport status, it would have 10 years to grow to at least 40 teams and attain championship status. Since the start of the emerging sport program in 1996, it has helped five women’s sports reach NCAA championship status—beach volleyball, bowling, ice hockey, rowing, and water polo. Three other sports–equestrian, rugby and triathlon—are currently in the process of trying to reach the 40-team mark.

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