IHSAA says goodbye to wrestling sectionals, increases individual qualifiers

The wrestling rumors are now confirmed, and the Iowa High School Athletic Association has voted and approved to remove sectionals from the IHSSA wrestling calendar. The sectional tournament will be replaced with state duals which will now take place that weekend.

“Dropping the Class 1A and 2A Sectional tournaments addresses the extremely low numbers in some weight classes leading to incomplete Sectional brackets”, IHSAA executive director Tom Keating said. It also frees up a Saturday to schedule the State Dual Team Tournament, something Iowa coaches have been interested in for several years.

As a result of those changes, all three classes will now compete solely in District tournaments to determine individual qualifiers for the State Traditional Tournament.

The State Dual Team Tournament was moved to Wells Fargo Arena the day before the start of the State Traditional Tournament in 2012. Now, it will be moved to the first Saturday in February, which falls on February 4th in 2023. The tournament’s first year as an IHSAA championship was in 1987, and it was held in Cedar Falls, Marshalltown, and then Cedar Rapids until its move to Des Moines. The IHSAA release stated a site has yet to be determined for this year’s dual tournament.

In another major shakeup, the IHSAA has announced that 24 qualifiers will now make their way to Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines for the three-day traditional tournament. “The increase to 24 qualifiers at the State Traditional Tournament will allow more of our wrestlers to experience the excitement of competing at the state level,” Keating also noted.

According to a press release from the IHSAA, the advisory committee had three other recommendations out of its March 23 meeting approved by the board on Wednesday:

  • Regional Duals qualifiers (24 per class) will be determined by IWCOA Dual Team Rankings.
  • Seeding criteria for State Traditional Tournament qualifiers will remove the additional point previously received for head-to-head wins over fellow qualifiers.
  • IHSAA will continue to use 14 weight classes after NFHS provided states an option to adopt 12, 13, or 14 weight classes for state competition in 2023-24.

2023 Wrestling Postseason

Jan. 31-Feb. 1 – Regional Duals, Host Schools

Feb. 4 – State Dual Team Tournament, TBD

Feb. 11 – District Tournaments, Host Schools

Feb. 16-18 – State Traditional Tournament, Wells Fargo Arena


BREAKING NEWS: News that has just broken within the last hour, IHSAA will remove the sectional tournament from the wrestling schedule.


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