UIL: Wrestling season to start March 1

State tournament scheduled for April 23-24; site still TBA

Greg Riddle
The Dallas Morning News
Senior Jackson Carter celebrates winning the state championship in the 145-pound division at the University Interscholastic League state wrestling championships in Cypress in February 2020. Carter leaves Midlothian High School as a two-time state champ with well over 150 wins. Teammate Felix Saunders also won a state title in the 126-pound division, and Marshall Hodges was runner-up in the 285-pound division. Together, the trio led the Panthers to second place in Class 5A.

Last year, the UIL wrestling state tournament ended Feb. 22.

This year, with the season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, the first meets won’t be held until March 1 and the state meet isn’t scheduled until April 23-24.

The UIL has announced tentative dates for regular-season and postseason wrestling competitions, although the UIL website does say “all dates, times, and materials are subject to change.” Feb. 8 is the first day for minimum weight certification, and regional meets are scheduled for April 16-17.

At regionals, the girls and boys tournaments will be held on separate days. At state, the 5A and 6A tournaments will be held on different days. The UIL website does not list a location for the state tournament after last year’s event was held at the Berry Center in Cypress.

The Allen boys and Euless Trinity girls are the defending team state champions in 6A. Allen has won 11 consecutive team state titles.

The UIL will limit the number of participants in postseason tournaments because of COVID-19. Only the top two individuals from each weight class will advance from district to regionals and from regionals to state. Regionals and state will utilize an eight-person bracket.

At district tournaments, capacity may not exceed 50% of the venue. DECs should consider limiting the total number of participants allowed in the facility at a given time to provide for appropriate spacing.

There may only be one level of competitors and one gender participating on site at a given time. For example, if the varsity boys are wrestling, the varsity girls would not be allowed on site until the varsity boys have left.

In May, two months after the start of the pandemic, the National Federation of State High School Associations stated that wrestling could be considered a higher-risk sport because it involves “close, sustained contact between participants, lack of significant protective barriers, and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants.”

The UIL has some wrestling-specific guidelines in place because of COVID-19.

Only duals, triangular and quadrangular meets will be allowed prior to the district, regional and state tournaments. Face coverings must be worn by all wrestlers unless actively engaged in a wrestling match. Coaches and team personnel must wear face coverings at all times.