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Arizona makes high school girls wrestling a team sport

The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) Executive Board unanimously voted to make girls wrestling an official team sport, removing its "emerging sport" status.

The organization responsible for high school sports in the state of Arizona has further refined its state championships for girls wrestling to include team titles, not just individual champions. The AIA will award state tournament-qualifying section championship plaques for girls in each of its eight sections as well as state championship winners and second-place trophies.

With these AIA-approved changes -- to be implemented for the 2020-21 season -- girls' wrestling competition will bear a stronger resemblance to the way boys' competition works.

AIA Sports Administrator Dean Visser told the Arizona Republic that the AIA's intent for these changes is to continue combining its four boys wrestling divisions and the girls' division to occur during the same weekend and at the same location.

The boys' and girls' wrestling state tournaments are headed to Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix next season, moving from its usual venue at the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott.

Despite these changes, some things will remain the same. Girls wrestling teams will continue to compete in one division, with ten weight classes.

"The AIA is excited to continue promoting the sport of girls wrestling and we look forward to seeing our young female athletes participate in the great sport of wrestling," Visser told the Arizona Republic.

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