Following an extensive review of the sport, the IHSAA Executive Committee voted unanimously to discontinue the Team Wrestling State Tournament following the 2011-12 school year.
The decision follows nearly two years of examination, study and survey of the IHSAA membership and concluded with the Committee’s 14-0 vote in favor of dropping the tournament from sponsorship at its monthly meeting last Friday.
“Interest in the team series has diminished over the past several years, particularly at the team state finals,” said IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox. “The concurrent running of both the team and individual tournaments created a hardship upon advancing student-athletes and in some instances, produced undesirable results.”
Beginning in 2012-13, regional, semi-state and state championship teams will be determined through points scored by competitors at those respective levels of the individual tournament reverting to the system employed for decades prior to 1995-96 when the individual tournament split in two. Sectional champions have always been determined through the accumulation of points by individuals.
“It is the belief of the Association that this decision will enhance interest and enthusiasm in the individual series allowing a greater number of member schools an opportunity to experience success at higher levels of the tournament,” added Cox. “Additionally, the change harbors the potential of drawing record crowds to the individual series as the sport continues its gradual growth.”
“The Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association (IHSWCA) has expressed interest among their membership to sponsor a dual meet tournament in January. This opening will allow the coaches association to garner much needed revenue in their efforts to promote the sport, provide recognition to student-athletes and further professionalize their ranks through clinics and other educational opportunities. Executed properly the decision will prove to be a win-win for Indiana high school wrestling and the over 8,000 youngsters that participate in the sport.”
Following this year’s wrestling sectionals on Saturday, Jan. 28, the final separate team tournament will commence with regionals on Wednesday, Feb. 1 and the state finals on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Center Grove High School in Greenwood.