(Renton, WA) The WIAA Executive Committee made their final decision with the future of State Wrestling at their most recent meeting and approved a format change and locked in Mat Classic at the Tacoma Dome for the next 4 years. 

The format change is the Regional round will no longer exist and all will be wrestled during the new formatted tournament at the Tacoma Dome. We talked with WIAA Assistant Executive Director Justin Kesterson who says the WIAA will now give each of the Regional Districts their number of allocations for each weight class and it’s up to the Districts to determine how to fill those allocations. 

Kesterson says this mean that classifications that had 16 allocations will now double to 32. Same with classifications with 12 or 20, they simply double. 

To accomodate the extra matches and with no more room to add to the 24 mats already on the Tacoma Dome floor they are adding another day and Mat Classic will become a 3-day tournament, Thursday thru Saturday. Kesterson says several of the tournaments will begin on Thursday and end on Friday while others will begin on Friday and end on Saturday.

We talked with Kesterson and he explains further…

WIAA’s Justin Kesterson

One of the big drivers in all the changes is the explosion in popularity of girls wrestling with more and more girls participating the girls wrestling program has grown from 1 tournament to potentially up to 4 by as soon as this year.

Kesterson addressed some of the calls for moving the tournaments to smaller venues and not all the tournaments at one location. He says the number of venues they would need to add to host these events is no small task. Venues such as the Showare Center or similar centers in Everett and the Tri Cities are hosts to minor league hockey and no doubt there would be scheduling conflicts, colleges are still playing basketball and it require major disruptions at larger high schools if they were even interested in hosting to begin with.

Kesterson says it was also a priority of the Executive Board to protect and continue one of the most unique and celebrated High School events in the country, Mat Classic. For the next 4 years it isn’t going anywhere.


By paulb

WordPress Image Lightbox