SHREVEPORT, LA – If I asked you what’s the fastest growing high school sport in the U.S. you probably would not get it right. Maybe you would if you have a daughter.

2022 USA Pickleball West Diamond Regional
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

And it’s not pickle ball. I don’t think that’s a high school sport yet. But I bet that clock is ticking.

We know fishing is a high school sport (though it’s non sanctioned in Louisiana). Powerlifting is a sanctioned sport. And you have all the standard sports: football. basketball, baseball, soccer, etc.

brad virgillito / facebook (with permission)
brad virgillito / facebook (with permission)

But there is a new phenomenon sweeping the nation and it’s catching fire.

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What Is This Hot Sport?

It is girls wrestling. Prior to now, any girls who wanted to wrestle had to wrestle with the boys and that was awkward to say the least.

But now girls wrestling is a sanctioned high school sport in almost every state.

Louisiana has been late to the wrestling party. But it is now sanctioned in the Bayou State. Louisiana is the 45th state to sanction girls wrestling.

KEEL News reached out to the LHSAA to inquire about girls wrestling and got this message:

In the January 2024 LHSAA Annual Convention, the member school principals voted to sanction girls wrestling starting in the 2024-2025 school year.  On February 14th and 15th 2025 the LHSAA will host the inaugural girls state wrestling tournament in conjunction with the boys.

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How Popular Is Girls Wrestling?

Over the past two years, the number of girls high school teams quadrupled across the nation and the number of girls participating is skyrocketing. More than 50,000 girls are now on wrestling teams in schools around the country according to figures from the National Federation of State High School Associations.

But girls wrestling participation still lags behind the biggies like softball, track and field, soccer, volleyball and basketball.

Data shows that back in 1990, only 100 girls were on high school wrestling teams. Only 6 states sanctioned girls wrestling before 2018.

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Facts About Girls Wrestling:

  • Since 1994, the number of women who wrestle in high school has grown from 804 to more than 50,000, according to OPC weight assessment data (Spring 2023).
  • 150+ colleges now sponsor a varsity wrestling program.
  • 45 States now sanction an official state championship for Girls.
  • Since 2004, women's wrestling is now a recognized Olympic sport.
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These 5 States Don’t Have Sanctioned Wrestling for Girls:



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