To: Athletic Directors, Girls’ Wrestling Coaches
From: Erin Kirtley, IGHSAU Associate Director
Greetings Wrestling Fans!
My name is Erin Kirtley, and I am an Associate Director for the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union and the sport administrator for girls wrestling. For those of you paying attention, it has been quite the year for high school wrestling in Iowa - particularly for the females!
In January of 2022, the IGHSAU Board of Directors voted to sanction wrestling as the eleventh sport offered to our member schools. Since that time, we have held multiple IGHSAU Wrestling Advisory Committee meetings, established dates and framework for regular season and post-season competition, selected a State Tournament site at the Xtream Arena in Coralville for the next three years, and provided guidance to the many schools who have jumped on board in adding a girls’ wrestling program. While there was much work to be done initially to secure 50 member schools for the sanctioning process, we now have over 100 host schools offering girls’ wrestling programs at their respective schools for the upcoming season. In short, much work has been done and there are no signs of slowing down!
The IGHSAU has also strengthened our partnership with the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association (IWCOA) and has added positions to their board and several committees to best advocate for the opportunities that come with the growth of our sport for the Iowa Girl. The IGHSAU also brought on board Bruce Ennen as our Coordinator of Wrestling Officials. He and a handful of other appointed officials will help assign post season tournament officials, and also create a system of in-season evaluations and clinic opportunities for all IGHSAUestling officials.
We encourage all wrestling coaches and officials to become members of the IWCOA nd attend the convention held in Des Moines on Saturday, October 29th. Much work has been put into making this event purposeful, educational, and interactive for all who attend. In addition to technique sessions offered by male and female collegiate coaches, the IWCOA has designed ucational mini sessions that will be helpful for new and veteran coaches and officials alike! We hope to see all coaches here!
Updated Season Timeline:
- October 10th Official Weight Assessments may begin (final date is January 26th)
- October 29th Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Convention (Des Moines)
- October 31st First Practice Date
- November 7th Last Date to Declare/Dismiss Cooperative Sharing
- November 14th First Competition Date
- December 12th 2 lb allowance begins for those who qualify
- 24-Jan. 1st Winter Break, no competition allowed
- January 4th Super Regional Assignments Released
- January 27th Super Regional Qualifying Meets, TBD
- February 2nd-3rd State Tournament, Coralville
Super Regional Information:
Two of the four Super Regional locations have been identified and reserved for the 2022-2023 season. We hope to have two more locked in by the end of September. Because we are still unsure about the number of athletes that will be participating this year, we will be waiting until enough information can be accurately assessed through Trackwrestling/OPC to assign schools to regional sites. We know that we will be qualifying the top eight athletes from each weight class across our four regional sites to achieve the 32-person brackets at our state tournament.
Clarification on Girls Competing Against Boys:
When competing as a member school under the IGHSAU sanctioned umbrella, female athletes are not allowed to compete against male athletes during school-sponsored events. This includes all regular season and postseason tournament activity. Coed instruction and practice are permissible for grades 7-12.
Unlimited Scrimmages for Girls:
Girls’ programs will not restrict the number of scrimmages with other IGHSAU female school programs during the 2022-2023 season. The intent of this is for programs with low numbers of females to find quality practice opportunities with other females. This scrimmage rule only applies to IGHSAU girls’ programs. IHSAA Boys’ programs will still follow the three-scrimmage rule.
Clarification on Junior High Wrestling:
The decision to sanction girls’ wrestling for the 2022-2023 season and beyond was for female athletes in grades 7-12. It is permissible for a joint junior high boy/girl meet to be held at one location. It is permissible for stand-alone junior high girls or junior boys’ events to take place. Schools may attach a junior high girls’ event to a high school girls’ event. In any set-up for junior high competition, the expectation from the IGHSAU remains the same: females are to compete against only females, and junior high cannot compete against high school athletes.
Member High Schools have until November 7th, 2022, to declare whether a cooperative sharing agreement will exist between host and sharing schools. Forms for cooperative sharing need to be filled out on Bound between all cooperative sharing parties and approved by the IGHSAU. For those junior high programs which would also like to participate in program sharing, that is a matter of local control and communication. The IGHSAU is not responsible for any program sharing agreements that exist on the junior high level.
The first official weight assessment/certification date for females is October 10th, 2022. The last date to certify is January 26th, 2023. A reminder that the minimum weight for females is 12% body fat. Weight loss progression plans remain the same as the IHSAA. Two-pound allowances for wrestlers who have made scratch weight will begin December 12th, 2022. All information will continue to be tracked through OPC and Trackwrestling.
We will release more information about logins for member schools and Trackwrestling in the upcoming weeks. Trackwrestling is currently building a database for those schools that have submitted their intent on Bound to have a girls’ wrestling program. If you have not submitted that information on Bound, please do as soon as possible.
Be sure to continue to check our website at ighsau.org for the MANY updates yet to come for preseason, regular season, and post-season details. We look forward to serving our ADs, Coaches, and Iowa Girls in the sport of wrestling during this special inaugural year and for many years to come! Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at [email protected] with any of your girlsrestling questions!
IGHSAU Associate Director