The Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association voted unanimously to officially sponsor a girls state wrestling tournament for the upcoming wrestling season, the committee announced June 12.
The event is scheduled to take place on February 22-23 at Hilliard Davidson High School.
"It is our goal to make this a first-class event and build it to ‘emerging sport’ status with the OHSAA [Ohio High School Athletic Association]," said President of OHSWCA Dean Conley. "Once we meet the requirements, we plan on handing this over to the OHSAA like we did with the state dual tournament. Tyler Brooks has been incredibly helpful with the process and is excited about the future possibilities of the sport."
"The OHSAA is in full support of the OHSWCA conducting a girls tournament," said Brooks, an OHSAA wrestling administrator. "This tournament is an important and necessary step for girls wrestling as they seek OHSAA emerging sport status.
"Last year, there were more than 200 females who wrestled for their school, so we look forward to partnering with the OHSWCA in order to help grow the sport of wrestling by increasing participation opportunities for female wrestlers."
"We have been working on this for quite some time, but we could’ve never gotten this far without the support of the Ohio High School Athletic Association, Ohio Wrestling Officials Association and USA Wrestling (OH)" Conley said. "Our members see this as a no-brainer, but it took the legwork of past president Dominic DiSabato to really spearhead the project.
"We have a lot of work ahead of us in order for this to be a top-flight event, but our committee is excited about the opportunity and we’re honored to be hosting the first ever high school girls state tournament in Ohio."
The announcement comes after a year of planning for the OHSWCA.
"We’ve tried to meet with as many stakeholders as possible including the OHSAA, USA Wrestling [OH], OWOA [Ohio Wrestling Officials Association] and several parents and coaches of current female wrestlers in Ohio and around the country." said DiSabato, who will be the tournament director for the inaugural event.
Information will be shared on ohswca.org starting in September about the specifics. Immediate questions and media requests can be directed to Conley at firstname.lastname@example.org.