DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) announced it will sanction girls wrestling starting in the 2022-23 school year.

The IGHSAU’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to sanction girls wrestling as the organization’s 11th sport. The decision was announced prior to the start of the championship round of the IWCOA Girls State Wrestling Tournament in Coralville on Saturday.

“We think there’s a great foundation in place for the success of this sport and we intend to fully support these Iowa Girls as they continue their pursuit of championships,” said IGHSAU Executive Director Jean Berger. “As the sanctioning process unfolded, the Board was able to quickly approve this new opportunity for our girls and schools across the state. The increase in participation, the growth in youth wrestling and the willingness of our schools to commit to the sport all factored into this decision.”

The IGHSAU said it plans to follow the National Federation of State High School Associations’ wrestling rules and guidelines. An IGHSAU wrestling advisory committee will work to finalize details for the season format, classification system, weight classes and postseason/tournament.

According to the IGHSAU, 58 schools in Iowa have already committed to sponsoring girls wrestling programs.