INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics recommended Wednesday that Divisions I, II and III sponsor legislation to add a women’s wrestling championship, a key step to a potential jump from emerging sport status to an official NCAA championship sport.
If sponsored, the NCAA members in the divisions are expected to vote on adding the sport during the NCAA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, next January. The recommendation also includes establishing a committee that would begin working in January 2025 to prepare for a women's wrestling championship they hope makes its debut in winter 2026.
“We are excited to recommend women’s wrestling as the 91st NCAA championship sport,” said Ragean Hill, chair of the committee and executive associate athletics director/senior woman administrator at Charlotte. “We are extremely proud of the work that USA Wrestling has done to make this a reality in such a short period of time. Also, a special thank you to the men’s wrestling community for believing in our young women and championing this process."
According to the latest sports sponsorship and participation data, more than 70 schools plan to sponsor the sport for the 2023-24 academic year. If approved, it would become the sixth sport to earn NCAA championship status through the Emerging Sports for Women program, following rowing (1996), ice hockey (2000), water polo (2000), bowling (2003) and beach volleyball (2015).
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