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HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

MIAA will debut girls’ wrestling tourney in 2019

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association will introduce a postseason girls’ wrestling tournament for the 2018-19 season.

The creation of the tournament will only impact postseason competition. Female wrestlers are still expected to wrestle for their high school team, but now will have the option to compete either in the girls’ tournament — scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 — or the mixed gender All-State tournament set to begin one day earlier.

“When I started wrestling I did it to step out of the standards for women and be different,” said Allie Maitland, who wrestles at Bristol County Aggie.

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“Lately I’ve been questioning if I’m doing the right thing, but this opportunity proves to me I’m following the right path and keeping true to myself.”

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Unlike the traditional mixed gender tournament, the girls’ tournament will not have assigned weight classes in favor of the Madison Grouping format —a system that will create the tournament bracket based on age and weight.

By adding the tournament, Massachusetts becomes one of 10 states to offer a girls’ tournament.

“We are thrilled to provide an opportunity to showcase the tremendous female wrestlers that work tirelessly throughout the season. We look forward to the continued growth of girls’ wrestling in the state of Massachusetts,” added Phil Napolitano, wrestling liason for the MIAA.

Mia Berry can be reached at mia.berry@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @iammiaberry.