Wisc. Considers Girls' Wrestling

January 3, 2018

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association recently added a girls' division to the Badger State Invitational tournament, a possible step in the process toward officially allowing girls' wrestling divisions.

According to the Lacrosse Tribune, Mel Dow, athletic director for Stoughton High School, said the tournament served as a pilot program that would help Wisconsin study potentially adding a girls' division.

Alexa Flores, a senior at Madison La Follette High School, said that seeing her brothers wrestle and Ronda Rousey participating in the Ultimate Fighting Championship inspired her to become a wrestler.

“Any sport (and its appeal) just depends on the person,” Flores said. “I would say, `Don’t be afraid to try it.’ I had the itch (to wrestle) for three years. One day, I did it.”

Rose Ann Marshall, a freshman at Stoughton, said her parents had her join wrestling in fourth grade because she was an aggressive child. She said she usually wrestles against male opponents, which she prefers, since they force her to try harder and adapt to their techniques.

“I like how it gets me working hard,” Marshall said. “It’s a really tough sport. It isn’t easy. I like that, so I can get better and work on technique.”

Todd Clark, Communications Director for the WIAA, said that Wade Labecki, head of the organization, had received a proposal for a girls' wrestling division, but this proposal would take a significant amount of time to implement.

“I know Wade had indicated that there has been a proposal sent to him, but that is the extent of the process at this point,” Clark said. “It would have to be discussed with and through the standard committee process, beginning with the wrestling coaches advisory committee, following the 2017-18 season. Any idea or `proposal’ would not be considered without first being discussed by the various levels of committees next spring.’’

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