USA Wrestling helps lead strong coalition pursuing NCAA Emerging Sports Status for women’s wrestling


USA Wrestling is proud to help lead a coalition of major wrestling organizations which worked together to submit a proposal to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) seeking Emerging Sports Status for women’s wrestling.

Working side-by-side with the U.S. Olympic Committee, Wrestle Like A Girl, the National Wrestling Coaches Association and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, USA Wrestling helped develop a comprehensive proposal document which was submitted to the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics on August 1.

This proposal will be presented to the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics in its September 2017 meeting. The committee is chaired by Sherika Montgomery, Associate Director of Athletics for Winthrop University. This is the first step in a process in which the coalition of wrestling organizations hope results in women’s wrestling receiving official Emerging Sports Status within the NCAA.

“This is very similar to 2002, when USA Wrestling formally worked with partner organizations to successfully encourage the International Olympic Committee to add women’s wrestling to the Olympic Games. We are pleased that these leading organizations have come together to launch this exciting application process according to NCAA procedures,” said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender.

College wrestling for women is not new in the United States, with almost a quarter century of history on college campuses. The first women’s varsity team was the University of Minnesota-Morris, which was formed in 1993-94. There have been 14 years of college national women’s championships, starting in 2004 with the first event at Missouri Valley College. The women’s college wrestling community formed the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) in 2008, which has hosted national championships ever since. Currently, there are 36 college programs which will compete in the WCWA in the upcoming season, including institutions from the NCAA, the NAIA and the NJCAA

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