Girls wrestling now just 1 historic vote from becoming a true NJSIAA sport

Girls wrestling becoming an official, standalone sport in New Jersey is finally at the edge of the mat.

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association formally introduced its proposal that would make girls wrestling its own sport, with its own tournament and own regulations, to its member schools on Monday morning at its annual meeting, which was held virtually.

In its current state, girls wrestling is an extension of the boys, with no true organization for team dual matches (and none happening officially). The sport was first introduced in 2018 and has held individual championships over the past three seasons, both at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City and at Phillipsburg High School. This past winter, the girls had their own individual championship day, separated from the boys for the first time, a critical step in paving the way for this legislation.

As its own sport, girls wrestling will have an avenue to hold a team-based state tournament for the first time and regulations will fall in line with other sports, such as a start date for practice, a limitation of the maximum number of matches a wrestler can weight in for in a given week and postseason bans for wrestlers that transfer after the season begins.

This proposal was passed twice by the Executive Committee in January and April and needs a majority vote from NJSIAA membership to be adopted. Votes will be tabulated at the end of the week, the NJSIAA said.

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Brian Deakyne may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @BrianDeakyne.

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