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New Jersey considers a girls' state wrestling tournament

A separate girls' state wrestling championships could be a reality in New Jersey as soon as 2019.

The NJSIAA -- the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, the governing body for high school sports in the state -- is likely to add a separate state wrestling championship for girls starting next year, assistant director Bill Bruno said Wednesday.

The proposal to add a girls' state tournament will be heard by the NJSIAA's Program Review Committee in September, and if approved by that committee, will go to the Executive Committee for readings in September and October.

Numerous details would need to be worked out in the coming months, including determination of weight classes, how to handle regional tournaments, and a possible schedule change at the state championships.

Bruno believes the time is right to create a separate wrestling state championship for girls.

"I think it's time we start to look at it since we already have 10 to 12 states on board with full-fledged (girls state tournament) programs. Why not now? Why wait any longer?,'' Bruno said. "I've never felt comfortable with girls wrestling boys to begin with. I think it's a losing situation for both (boys and girls).

Bruno told the media there were 128 girls who wrestled for predominantly boys' teams in the state last season. According to the National High School Federation's Participation Survey Results for 2016-17, 310 schools in the state of New Jersey have wrestling programs, with a total of 9,220 wrestlers. As for separate girls' high school programs in New Jersey ... there were none listed in the NHSF document.

In recent months, a number of states have announced plans to set up separate state championships for girls, including Arizona, Colorado and Oregon.

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