IGHSAU sanctions girls wrestling: A monumental moment for the sport


UKR Photo

On Jan. 12, 2022, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union made the decision to officially sanction girls wrestling beginning in the 2022-2023 season.

Carson Knebel, Student Life Editor

The growth of girls wrestling in the state of Iowa over the last few years has been astronomical. On Jan. 12, 2022, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s (IGHSAU) board of directors unanimously voted to sanction girls wrestling. This decision will become effective in the 2022-2023 sports season. Iowa is now the 34th state to officially sanction girls wrestling. The impact that this decision will have on girls wrestling at PV will be significant.

The decision for girls wrestling to become an officially sanctioned sport in the state of Iowa has been very long awaited. Iowa is one of the top wrestling states in the country and the decision to make girls wrestling an official sport is a monumental moment for the sport as a whole.

For the last four years, the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association have held a statewide girls wrestling tournament at the end of each season. The sport of girls wrestling has grown exponentially since the start of the IWCOA state tournament four years ago. When the IWCOA state tournament was first held four years ago only 87 wrestlers competed. This year a staggering 697 wrestlers competed in the tournament. With the sanctioning of the sport, it will likely continue to grow larger and larger.

This change will also become monumental for girls wrestling at PVHS. It will create a large amount of recognition that the sport has not seen before in Iowa. “With the sport becoming sanctioned you’ll have more people within the wrestling community growing up with it, being a part of it, knowing what it is. It really just expands it,” stated PV wrestling coach Jake Larsen. “They’ve had girls wrestling in the past, but now that it’s sanctioned it will help the growth a lot. I walk the halls here and only see so many people that have ever even been to a wrestling meet or have watched wrestling before. When you get more people involved the sport really can take off. It will create extra exposure and help both boys and girls wrestling grow.”

With more people involved in girls wrestling, more media coverage comes with it. “All the girls that have been a part of it will now be able to be properly recognized. Now we might start seeing girl wrestler’s pictures up on the wall of the PV athletic hall of fame,” stated senior wrestler Aine Moffit.

The decision to sanction girls wrestling means the future for the sport is very bright. The extra attention it will get from being a sanctioned sport in Iowa will help feed the growth for years to come. It is likely that this decision will have a very large impact on the PV wrestling program for years to come.