Why Wrestle?

"As a young man, I participated in wrestling, and later had the privilege of helping others experience the sport as both a teacher and a coach. Wrestling has played a vital role in developing our nation's young people. No sport demands more in courage, discipline, and perseverance."

Dennis Hastert,
Fmr. Speaker of the US House of Representatives

Why wrestling belongs in your state

  • Indigenous to your geographic area
  • Wrestling provides opportunities for all sizes and promotes diversity
  • Opportunity for regionally competitive program
  • High school participation trends
  • Academic achievement of scholastic/collegiate wrestlers
  • Modest cost for establishing a program
  • Wrestling's outstanding Americans

Diversity anyone can be involved

  • Wrestling has weight classes from 106 lbs. to 285 lbs. so all students of any size have an opportunity to compete.
  • Historically, wrestling is a "blue collar" sport that attracts student-athletes from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Wrestling is one of the few sports that provides opportunities for the blind and physically handicapped.
  • Wrestling ranks 1st for the most 1st generation college students at iNCAA Sports.
  • Wrestling ranks at the top of NCAA sports in opportunity for minority athletes.

Ethnic makeup of the 2004-2012 U.S. Olympic Teams

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)

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)

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:

  • 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.