(HARRISBURG) – In honoring the 2020-21 Pennsylvania state Champion Girls Wrestlers, Senator Scott Martin (R-13) and Rep. Ann Flood (R-138) highlighted the growth of girls wrestling in Pennsylvania and the movement of making it a PIAA-sanctioned sport.
“Pennsylvania’s rich wrestling tradition grows stronger each day as more and more girls get involved in the sport,” said Senator Martin, who was a PIAA State Champion and National Heavyweight Wrestling Champion. “Wrestling is a powerful influence in the lives of young people allowing them to develop important qualities such as self-confidence, perseverance and leadership skills. We should provide them with the opportunity to participate on a girls’-only team and championship. Given that Pennsylvania has more girls competing now than all the other states has when they sanctioned girls wrestling, we believe it’s time for the PIAA to sanction this girls’ sport, especially given the prominence of Pennsylvania in the wrestling world.”
More than 300 high school girls and about 200 middle school girls participated in wresting during the past school year. Girls wrestling is the fastest growing high school sport in the country during the past five years. The majority of states, 32 of them, sanction girls wrestling as an official high school sport.
“The door to female wrestling has opened wider during the past few years, and we’re looking to bust it down so more and more young ladies can benefit from this sport,” Rep. Flood said. “I come from a family of wrestlers and was part of a youth team when I was very young. The door of opportunity soon closed for me, and I want to prevent that from happening to other girls. It’s time for PIAA to sanction girls high school wrestling. The sport of wrestling teaches strong discipline, work ethic and grit, along with other skills wrestlers learn on the mat. These essential skills will serve them very well later in life as they enter the workforce. We want our young ladies to obtain the skills necessary to be successful on the mat and in all their future endeavors.”
Senator Martin and Rep. Flood were joined by Olympic Gold Medal winner and World Champion Wrestler Bruce Baumgartner, supporters of girls wrestling and the State & National Champion female athletes. In Pennsylvania, SanctionPA is engaged in grassroots efforts to have the PIAA sanction girls wrestling and hold a playoff system.
The PIAA has indicated that they will sanction the support when 100 teams have been formed. Currently, 10 school districts teams exist in areas throughout the state.
WATCH: Senator Martin, Rep. Flood highlight growth of PA Girls Wrestling, call for PIAA recognition
Terry Trego (Martin)
Dan Massing (Flood)