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Wrestling’s Facts & Resources

The NWCA has developed a comprehensive list of compelling facts and resources that highlight the great attributes of the sport of wrestling and why it belongs in schools across the country.

(Data provided by National High School Federation of Associations)

  • Scholastic wrestling ranks 8th of all boys’ sports in terms of participation at the high school level with 244,804 nation-wide.
  • The number of boy’s teams at 10,629.
  • Since 1994, the number of women who wrestle in high school has grown from 804 to 14,587.
  • California, Guam, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington sponsor a girl’s state high school championship.
  • In 2008/09, 42 new wrestling programs were established in Arkansas and the Arkansas High School Athletic Association became the 49th state to sanction a high school state wrestling championship currently, Mississippi is the only state that does not.

(Information provided by NCAA and GAO report)

  • Intercollegiate wrestling has over 100 years of competition.
  • Collegiate wrestling typically ranks in the top 5 in revenue production of all NCAA Championships.
  • Over a 180 new or re-instated intercollegiate wrestling teams (all divisions) have been established since 2001.
  • Wrestling has one of the lowest per cost student-athlete of any male sport with a large squad size that makes it an ideal sport to help increase male enrollment.
  • Wrestling has very modest start-up costs and needs.
  • Wrestling ranks first among all men’s NCAA sports in 1st generation student-athletes.
  • Wrestlers have performed exceptionally well in the classroom as evidenced by the number of All-American and NCAA Champions earning National and Conference Academic accolades.
  • One of the fastest growing sports with 14,587 participants.
  • 42 colleges now sponsor a varsity wrestling program.
  • Women’s wrestling has been an Olympic Sport since 2004 with Helen Maroulis winning the first gold medal for the U.S. in 2016!
  • California, Oregon, Guam, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas, Hawaii, and Washington sanction an official scholastic state championship.
  • WCWA — Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association— is currently the governing body.
  • Wrestling was included in the ancient Olympic Games, and was one of the select sports included in the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 1896.
  • Over 135 nations sponsor a wrestling federation.
  • Wrestling is one of the top three medal winning sports for the United States.


  • Since 1999, boy high school wrestling participation has increased by 8,000
  • Since 1994, the number of women participating in high school wrestling has grown from 804 to 14,587.
  • Since 1994, the number of high schools that sponsor wrestling has grown from 8,559 to 10,629.
  • Since 1994, the number of high school participants in wrestling for boys and girls has grown from 222,429 to 244,804.