It's Official: Girls Wrestling Becomes Sanctioned High School Sport

May 19, 2021, 3 p.m. ·

Schuyler girls wrestling team posing with a trophy.
The girls wrestling team at Schuyler High School. (Photo courtesy of Mark Wemhoff)

Girls wrestling is rising in popularity across the country, specifically the Midwest, and Nebraska is no exception.

The Nebraska School Activities Associated board of directors has voted unanimously to sanction girls wrestling as an official high school sport. This past school year girls wrestling was considered an “emerging sport,” essentially giving it a trial run before making it official. NSAA assistant director Ron Higdon said they saw a significant increase in interest for girls wrestling this year, in comparison to almost every other sport that saw a decrease in participation due to the pandemic.

“And that’s recruiting girls that have never wrestled before too. So to try to get somebody to come out for a close-contact sport like wrestling during a COVID year shows that there is significant interest.”

In the past girls who wanted to wrestle would have to wrestle on the boys' team, competing against boys in competitions. Higdon says by having their own division, both girl and boy wrestlers won’t have to worry about the issues that came along with the mixed wrestling. He said the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

“No one really enjoys or likes girls wrestling against boys. So the fact that they are going to have the opportunity to wrestle only girls [and] have their own championship is positive all-around," Higdon said.

Higdon said wrestling is a sport that increases both confidence and self-esteem and will give girls another winter sports option to choose from.