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Oklahoma plans exhibition state tournament for girls in 2020

The state of Oklahoma -- arguably one of the nation's hotbeds for amateur wrestling at all levels -- is about to expand opportunities for girls in the oldest and greatest sport.

For the first time in state history, the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association -- the organization that governs high school sports in the Sooner State -- will award individual state championships for girl wrestlers.

This event -- described as an exhibition state tournament -- will be held in conjunction with the annual boys' wrestling championships, Feb. 28-29, 2020, at State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City.

"We feel like the girls sport is really taking off," Todd Goolsby, assistant director of the OSSAA who's responsible for wrestling, told the Tulsa World. "Oklahoma high school wrestling is considered to be a leader nationally, and with that being said, we need to be right there moving forward with a plan."

Girls participating in this new exhibition state tournament will be eligible for individual state titles -- and medals -- for their on-the-mat achievements. However, there won't be team state titles for girls until more programs are launched, which according to The Oklahoman -- the Oklahoma City newspaper -- said "is happening rapidly."

Oklahoma had approximately 90 girls involved in wrestling at the high school level this past school year.

"The wrestling community, as a whole, is quite excited about this opportunity," Goolsby said.

In an April 2019 memo, Goolsby wrote, "During the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, girls wrestling in Oklahoma is being piloted as we take the steps necessary for it to become a sanctioned sport."

As InterMat reported in April, Broken Arrow became the first Oklahoma high school to start a girls' program, hiring Cassidy Jasperson, a former standout for the women's program at Oklahoma City University, as the program's head coach.

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Boost230 (1) about a month ago
On the forefront. Only 20 years behind Texas - literally. About time and glad to see it. Don’t make it exhibition and it will spur more teams more quickly. Expansion is good for the sport and girls bring more fans than boys.