THE HISTORY OF NCAA WRESTLING
In the United States wrestling is a major sport at college as well as high school level. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA)are the 2 national level bodies that regulate wrestling in the USA and organize wrestling matches across the country.
College wrestling differs from international or professional wrestling in many ways. At college level the focus is on wrestlers learning to control their opponents rather than on explosive action. The rules also differ a little bit at the collegiate level. Wrestlers are discouraged from throwing their opponents to avoid injuries. The length of a period in college wrestling is different from that in professional wrestling. The 1st period is of 3 minutes duration while the 2nd and 3rd periods are of 2 minutes each.
Riding time is a rule unique to intercollegiate wrestling. This means that if a wrestler stays in the top position for more than a minute, he is awarded an extra point.
It is interesting to note that wrestling was the third national championship sport established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. the other two sports were Swimming and track and Field. The first team championship was held in 1934.
A large number of people believe that some college’s are being forced by Title IX legislation to cut some men’s sports including wrestling but there are still 222 NCAA institutions with active varsity wrestling teams.
The Midwest dominates college wrestling, with colleges such as Penn State, Iowa, Oklahoma and Nebraska nearly always holding the top positions in National Collegiate Athletic Association rankings.
Wrestling is a sport that is taught from an early age and is encouraged and supported by entire communities. Midwestern schools have strong wrestling programs because they can recruit from the best high school programs located in their own area’s.