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Girls wrestling and boys volleyball will be OHSAA sports beginning in 2022-23 school year

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Posted at 10:46 AM, Jan 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-13 10:52:30-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio High School Athletic Association board of directors voted Thursday morning to approve girls wrestling and boys volleyball as the 27th and 28th OHSAA sports starting in the 2022-23 school year.

There are about 850 high school female wrestlers overall in the state, according to the OHSAA.

The OHSAA said there are about 85 schools that have boys volleyball teams. The Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association has been conducting its tournament since 1988.

The Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association has been conducting a girls wrestling tournament since 2020.

“The OHSAA has been talking with the boys volleyball and girls wrestling leaders for several years and we are now in the position to bring these two sports into the OHSAA,” said OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute. “This move will help those sports continue to grow and allow those student-athletes to compete for an OHSAA state championship. It gives more kids opportunities and that is the mission of the OHSAA.”

As emerging sports, girls wrestling and boys volleyball will be administered like the OHSAA’s current 26 recognized sports, but will have additional requirements according to OHSAA General Sports Regulation 16 that could lead to full sanctioning in the future.

“We will look to keep a very similar format for the girls wrestling and boys volleyball tournaments as what the coaches associations have been doing,” Ute said. “The girls wrestling state tournament is held in mid-February and the boys volleyball state tournament is held in the spring. We have not yet developed tournament regulations, but we’ll start working on that so that those two sports hit the ground running next fall for the start of the 2022-23 school year.”

The OHSAA has 26 sanctioned sports this school year (13 girls, 13 boys). There are approximately 400,000 student-athletes in grades 7-12.

Schools are volunteer members with 817 high schools and 873 middle schools, according to the OHSAA website.

Boys and girls lacrosse were previously the most recent sports to be added to the OHSAA when the board of directors approved a recommendation in June 2015.

Lacrosse is a spring sport and the first OHSAA statewide tournament series started in 2017.

The board voted Thursday to move girls and boys lacrosse out of the emerging sports category into the recognized sports category.

The OHSAA said Thursday morning it has also been in conversation with Esports, as it has grown rapidly at both the high school and college level in the last several years. The OHSAA will look to partner with a group that specializes in Esports, similar to how the OHSAA partnered with Varsity Spirit for its sideline cheerleading competition that was held for the first time this past December.