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Montana officially sanctions girls wrestling

The Montana High School Association voted to approve girls wrestling -- along with boys powerlifting -- as the state's two newest sports at its annual meeting on Monday, according to multiple media reports.

These new sports will be available at MHSA member schools beginning in the 2020-21 school year.

The MHSA committee established a structure to create a smooth transition to separate girls' competition. During an initial two-year pilot period, girl wrestlers will be allowed to compete in the regular season against either male or female competitors. In the postseason, however, girls will have their own state wrestling tournament with all schools competing in the same classification. That means, beginning in 2020-21, girls will no longer be allowed to wrestle in the boys' state tournament. There will be no divisional for girls wrestling, and all girl wrestlers will qualify for the state championships.

The committee also recommended weight classes of 103, 113, 126, 138, 152, 170 and 205 pounds for girls wrestling in Montana high schools.

Girls wrestling and boys powerlifting are the first new sports to be officially sanctioned by the MHSA since 1991.

Montana is the first state to officially sanction girls high school wrestling in 2020. By InterMat's count, up through the end of 2019, 20 states had approved girls wrestling.

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