HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) – The Nebraska School Activities Association voted for girls wrestling to become an emerging sport. During the NSAA Board of Directors meeting, the board voted 7-1 in favor of classifying girls wrestling as an ‘emerging sport.’
However, they fell three votes shy of becoming a sanctioned sport next season. Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Association Girls Director, Les Painter said it is a step in the right direction.
“With this emerging sport we are getting closer to the overall objective. So, our goal was again to make sure that our girls are getting a chance to I guess to enjoy the great sport that we all loved as young kids,” Painter said.
Painter said the biggest difference between a sanctioned sport and an emerging sport is the NSAA will not sponsor a State Tournament. Which is where the NSWCA stepped in by hosting the first ever Girls State Wresting Tournament in February.
He said now with the new classification, it is up to coaches to get the word out and make girls feel welcome.
“It’s been known as a boys sport for a long time. Now it is time for us as coaches to take the initiative and make them feel welcome and that’s the biggest thing,” Painter said.
The NSAA is giving girls wrestling three years to prove themselves and Painter said those around the sport need to get to work so they can become sanctioned.