Big changes are in store for the state high school wrestling tournament. Beginning next year, the state dual team and traditional wrestling tournaments will be held the same week in Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Alan Beste with the Iowa High School Athletic Association, says they will have a dual tournament on Wednesday and then a three-day regular tournament Thursday through Saturday.
Since 1994 the state dual team tournament had been held after the traditional state tournament was over and Beste says the move should help bring it more attention. He says it has had the appearance that things were over after the individual tournament, and they hope this will give more attention to all wrestlers.
Beste says the merger became possible when the traditional tournament was changed back to a three-day event. There will now be four days of wrestling with the duals and individual tournament.
Next year the state dual team tournament will be February 15th and the traditional tournament will be February 16th through the 18th. Changes are also coming to the weight classes for next season. Beste says they are the most significant changes in more than 20 years. Beste says the lowest weight class moves from 103 to 106 and there are now five weight classes in the upper weights from 170 on up rather than four.
Beste says the changes will mean more opportunities for upperclassmen and fewer opportunities for underclassmen. He says some of the underclassmen weigh in the 90’s and the thought is that some juniors and seniors can make it to 106, where before they couldn’t make the 103 weight.
Beste says there will still be 14 weight classes.