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Proposal to add girls wrestling in Nebraska fails by one vote

An attempt to make girls high school wrestling a separate, official sport in the state of Nebraska fell one vote shy of being approved Friday.

A proposal to make girls wrestling a sanctioned winter sport under the jurisdiction of the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) failed to gain enough support from the NSAA's Representative Assembly at its annual meeting in Lincoln.

To add girls wrestling to the winter sports roster in the Cornhusker State, the NSAA proposal needed 30 of 50 votes -- a 60 percent approval rate. A majority of voters said yes to the girls wrestling proposal; however, the final tally came up just short, received 29 votes in favor of adding girls wrestling as a scholastic sport, with 21 votes against.

If the measure had been approved, separate wrestling competition for girls would have been approved for the 2019-20 school year. As it stands now, high school girls in Nebraska can continue to wrestle boys.

At the same NSAA meeting, a proposal to make bowling an official sanctioned sport in Nebraska was also rejected. The vote for high school bowling was 23 in favor and 27 against.

Girls wrestling continues to grow throughout the nation, both in terms of numbers of individual athletes ... and states that now offer separate state championships for females. Approximately 2,000 more girls wrestled in the U.S. during the 2017-18 school year compared to the previous school year. What's more, 14 states now have a separate state championship for female wrestlers. In 2018, only six states had separate state wrestling championships for girls.

Earlier this week, Broken Arrow High School in Oklahoma announced it was launching a separate girls wrestling program, and had hired Oklahoma City University women's wrestling standout Cassidy Jasperson as its head coach.

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