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Katie

The future of women’s college wrestling

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Usually you see a sport get popular at the HS level first and then colleges start teams to take advantage of the trend. Here it seems to be the opposite - starting college teams to hopefully start a trend and increase interest at lower levels (at least where I am, our HS team averages about 1 girl/yr across all levels). Hopefully it works - will be interesting to watch this develop.

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36 minutes ago, Fletcher said:

Usually you see a sport get popular at the HS level first and then colleges start teams to take advantage of the trend. Here it seems to be the opposite - starting college teams to hopefully start a trend and increase interest at lower levels (at least where I am, our HS team averages about 1 girl/yr across all levels). Hopefully it works - will be interesting to watch this develop.

According to a Forbes article from a few months before the pandemic hit, high school girls’ participation in wrestling grew at a rate of 250% in the preceding decade.  (That’s pretty notable, especially since overall high school sports participation rates fell slightly.)

Hopefully Iowa’s embrace of women’s wrestling will help this trend continue. 

Edited by Katie

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1 hour ago, Fletcher said:

Usually you see a sport get popular at the HS level first and then colleges start teams to take advantage of the trend. Here it seems to be the opposite - starting college teams to hopefully start a trend and increase interest at lower levels (at least where I am, our HS team averages about 1 girl/yr across all levels). Hopefully it works - will be interesting to watch this develop.

Does your state sanction girls wrestling? I'm wondering if your observation squares with @gimpeltf's

 

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2 minutes ago, denger said:

Does your state sanction girls wrestling? I'm wondering if your observation squares with @gimpeltf's

 

I'm in IL. We have a girls state tourney, but it's through a private organization and not the state org. that runs all the other high school sports. Last yr. there were about 135-140 girls in the state tourney total, but it was also during covid so that number may be artificially low.

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In Missouri during the 2017-2018 school year when girls still were competing against the boys, there were 169 females in wrestling. During their first season wrestling against themselves in their own state tournament in 2018-2019, the number of girls rose to 956. That number increased 39 percent to 1,573 girls who were certified 2019-2020.  This compares to 6,750 boys wrestling in 2019-2020.  The Missouri High School Association Sanctions Girls wrestling.

Edited by fatlaz
Clarification

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1 hour ago, Katie said:

According to a Forbes article from a few months before the pandemic hit, high school girls’ participation in wrestling grew at a rate of 250% in the preceding decade.  (That’s pretty notable, especially since overall high school sports participation rates fell slightly.)

Hopefully Iowa’s embrace of women’s wrestling will help this trend continue. 

It's promising to see a school with Iowa's history embracing this. Dan Gable has said positive things about women's wrestling for years, so it's kinda surprising that it took this long. 

Still, I'm not sold on the idea that the big schools will add that much value. Given what I see from my tiny DII school and how they compete in rugby and triathlon (other emerging NCAA sports), it seems like any school that invests the necessary resources to make a program good can attract world class athletes and compete at the highest level. A major difference for wrestling is the RTCs - if those resources are also shared, then I see how some programs would have an advantage. An unfortunate outcome could emerge, though - As @TexRef mentioned, that could have an adverse effect on the pioneering DIII schools.

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Until last year, when Covid made it impossible, the girls wrestled at the same time as the boys during the state tournament.  Four classes for boys and one class for girls.  Championships at one time on 5 mats.

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9 minutes ago, fatlaz said:

Until last year, when Covid made it impossible, the girls wrestled at the same time as the boys during the state tournament.  Four classes for boys and one class for girls.  Championships at one time on 5 mats.

Seems like a most-attractive model - certainly fan friendly and good for wrestling families. 

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A lot of these smaller schools are adding a women's program thinking they will get 30 girls on campus and the extra revenue will "save" the school. It is just not the case, sorry. 

Southwestern College in Winfield, KS added a women's program & hired a coach. The coach recruited for a year and couldn't get any girls to commit. The coach quits and the school drops the program before it ever took to the mat. 

Then you have a Cali Juco coach telling girls that if they commit to the boys team, the administration will "HAVE" to add a women's team. Not true. 

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18 minutes ago, TexRef said:

A lot of these smaller schools are adding a women's program thinking they will get 30 girls on campus and the extra revenue will "save" the school. It is just not the case, sorry. 

Southwestern College in Winfield, KS added a women's program & hired a coach. The coach recruited for a year and couldn't get any girls to commit. The coach quits and the school drops the program before it ever took to the mat. 

Then you have a Cali Juco coach telling girls that if they commit to the boys team, the administration will "HAVE" to add a women's team. Not true. 

Can you really blame anyone for not wanting to overpay for a school in Winfield, Kansas? Attending the university of Iowa is a different story-they aren’t desperate for enrollment.

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On 10/12/2021 at 5:25 AM, IronChef said:


"My wife didn't do it, so nobody else will want to," is not a very persuasive argument.

I can't think of many who are passionate about wrestling who would give up the stability of a paycheck for doing nothing but wrestling, versus coming to a foreign country to pay a lot of money in order to wrestle. 

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5 hours ago, TripNSweep said:

I can't think of many who are passionate about wrestling who would give up the stability of a paycheck for doing nothing but wrestling, versus coming to a foreign country to pay a lot of money in order to wrestle. 

Stability for how long? 

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1 hour ago, Mphillips said:

Stability for how long? 

Longer than 4 or 5 years of college lasts. Also if that's your main source of income why would you give it up? Especially if you win at big tournaments. Plus even when you're done wrestling, you're still in the military and can collect some sort of pension and probably get a job as a personal trainer or something like that pretty easily. Keep in mind who really runs wrestling in some of these countries. I can assure you it's not the Boy/girl scouts.

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13 hours ago, TripNSweep said:

Longer than 4 or 5 years of college lasts. Also if that's your main source of income why would you give it up? Especially if you win at big tournaments. Plus even when you're done wrestling, you're still in the military and can collect some sort of pension and probably get a job as a personal trainer or something like that pretty easily. Keep in mind who really runs wrestling in some of these countries. I can assure you it's not the Boy/girl scouts.

It seems to me that not every foreign women’s wrestler competes under the same conditions. For instance, are the conditions in Canada that much different than here?  Or what about a country like Germany, where (I believe) college is cheap or perhaps nearly free, but difficult to get into.  Wouldn’t a scholarship offer at a good US college sound good to some Germans?

You see guys from other countries at the NCAA tournament from time to time. I don’t know why that trend wouldn’t be somewhat more prominent for women’s college wrestling if women’s college wrestling picks up steam (and if they stick to freestyle rules).

Edited by Katie

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1 hour ago, Katie said:

It seems to me that not every foreign women’s wrestler competes under the same conditions. For instance, are the conditions in Canada that much different than here?  Or what about a country like Germany, where (I believe) college is cheap or perhaps nearly free, but difficult to get into.  Wouldn’t a scholarship offer at a good US college sound good to some Germans?

You see guys from other countries at the NCAA tournament from time to time. I don’t know why that trend wouldn’t be somewhat more prominent for women’s college wrestling if women’s college wrestling picks up steam (and if they stick to freestyle rules).

I can tell you one thing right off that is a deterrent. College costs a lot here and if you're a foreign student, unless you're wealthy or your family is, or you're a top tier scholar, you're going to have to pay a lot, most likely double at minimum what somebody in the US pays. Even from Canada, which is still a foreign country. 

The thing with women's wrestling in Europe and other places is they have a lot of support and don't need to live in poverty as a college student in the US to achieve their goals. While also paying a lot of money. 

We don't see a lot of foreigners wrestling in college here because of that same reason for the men. There's almost no point for them to come do it. I'm not counting guys like Amine who are from here but wrestle for other countries. Outside of Abdurakmanov I can't think of any elite foreign wrestlers who've wrestled here in college and done anything internationally. Maybe a Mongolian or two, but there's so few that either have the interest in coming to wrestle here, or are able to afford it. 

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