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IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Petition to allow Georgia High School Wrestlers to attend all National Level Events

08/04/2019, 10:15am EDT
By Robert M Horton

Good Morning Membership,

The Mission and Vision of the Georgia Amateur Wrestling Association (Team Georgia USA Wrestling) is to:

Vision:  To be the premier organization enabling Georgia to be a "Top Tier" wrestling State.

Mission:  The GAWA Vision will be achieved by Expanding participation and promoting excellence in Georgia Wrestling

 

There is currently a petition being circulated all over the State of Georgia by some Team Georgia USA Wrestling Member parents to allow the Georgia High School Wrestlers in Georgia High School Association (GHSA) member schools to attend all National Level wrestling events regardless of what school is also attending.  

Most of you have Elementary and Middle School age wrestlers and you have the freedom and flexibility to go with your club teams anywhere to compete and can compete against any clubs or teams with no restrictions. But what most folks may not realize is that once your wrestler gets to be High School age, most High Schools in Georgia are governed by the Georgia High School Association (GHSA).  

The GHSA is the governing body for High School sports in Georgia, much like Team Georgia USA Wrestling is for amateur wrestling in the State of Georgia.  They have bylaws that each member school and sport must follow or risk being fined or sanctioned for infractions.  In Wrestling, the GHSA follows the National Federation of High School (NFHS) sports rules and regulations and are a member State Association for the NFHS.  Again, this is much like Team Georgia USA Wrestling as we are governed by USA Wrestling and it's rules and regulations.

The rule that the GHSA has imposed is that no member school of the GHSA may compete in an athletic competition against members of schools who do not abide by their State High School Governing body.  This is schools like Blair Academy in NJ, Wyoming Seminary in PA and other prestigious wrestling schools in the country.  This prohibits our Georgia wrestlers from attending highly prestigious National events like PowerAde, Beast of the East and other such events.  This also prevents Georgia member schools from having these marked schools attend events in Georgia.

This has many high level athletes leaving the State of Georgia to further their High School academic and wrestling careers to attend high level schools such as St. Edwards in OH or Baylor in TN that have no restrictions and will put these athletes higher on the radar of Top Level Wrestling Colleges across the country.

So there is a group of Team Georgia USA Wrestling member parents that are working with some state legislators to bring this issue to a brighter light with the GHSA and to allow the coaches and schools more freedom to decide where they compete and against any competition they choose. 

Many Georgia athletes are not being given the same opportunities to be seen by Colleges and Universities simply because their teams can’t go where the scouts are watching. This will eventurally affect all sports and all member schools governed by the GHSA because if this happens for the sport of Wrestling, they will have set a precedent and need to do the same for the other sports.  So if you have friends with kids in other sports you may ask them to support this too. 

This petition at change.org http://chng.it/TMYpzFLK is to show just how many Georgia residents are in support of the petition and they are asking for your help!!

Would every GAWA member coach, club director, tournament director, official and parent (father and mother) just click on the link and sign the petition just to say you support this effort to allow Georgia High School coaches and schools more freedom to decide where they compete and against any competition that they so choose.  #FreeGawrestlers http://chng.it/TMYpzFLK

If you have any questions, Jan Kilic (678-457-3162) or Heather Payton (404-702-9449) would be happy to explain. 

Thanks in advance for your consideration. 

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