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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 7th of all boys’ sports in terms of participation at the high school level with 258,208 nation-wide.
  • The number of boy’s teams at 10,597.
  • Since 1994, the number of women who wrestle in high school has grown from 804 to 13,900.
  • 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 150 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 13,496 participants.
  • 30 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.

ETHNIC MAKEUP OF THE 2004-2012 U.S. OLYMPIC TEAMS FACTS

2004
Men’s Freestyle – 6/7 Minority Athletes (4 African American, 2 Hispanic)
Women’s Freestyle – 2/4 Minority Athletes (1 African American, 1 Native American/Inuit)
Greco-Roman – 0/6 Minority Athletes (U.S. did not quality a weight for the Olympics)

2008
Men’s Freestyle – 2/7 Minority Athletes (1 African American, 1 Hispanic)
Women’s Freestyle – 2/4 Minority Athletes (1 Asian, 1 African American)
Greco-Roman – 3/6 Minority Athletes (3 African Americans, U.S. did not quality a weight for the Olympics)

2012
Men’s Freestyle – 1/7 Minority Athlete (1 African American)
Women’s Freestyle – 2/4 Minority Athletes (1 Asian, 1 mixed-race)
Greco-Roman – 4/6 Minority Athletes (4 African American, U.S. did not qualify a weight for the Olympics)

The 2012 team also included two athletes who were born in other countries — Elena Pirozhkova is a Russian immigrant, while Tervel Dlagnev is a Bulgarian immigrant. 23/48 – 47.9% of Olympic Team members in the last three years are Minority athletes. Exactly half of all the women’s wrestlers have been minority athletes.

WRESTLING IS GROWING FACTS

  • The National High School participation rate for wrestling has shown an increase the last six years.
  • Since 1994, the number of women participating in high school wrestling has grown from 804 to 8727.
  • Since 1994, the number of high schools that sponsor wrestling has grown from 8,559 to 10,488.
  • Combined total of male and female wrestling programs is 12,090.
  • Since 1994, the number of high school participants in wrestling for boys and girls has grown from 222,429 to 278,890.