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05/02/2007
By Staff <!-- InstanceEndEditable -->   <!-- InstanceBeginEditable name="Professional Fighting News" -->

Just a few weeks after USA Wrestling added submission grappling to their list of sanctioned events, the organization has announced that they will hold a Grappling world team trials event in Olympia, Wash., to be hosted by the IFL’s Matt Lindland and his Team Quest gym.

“It is great for a sport like Grappling to be associated with a reputable national governing body like USA Wrestling,” said Lindland. “It is great for USA Wrestling to be forward thinking by adding more sports such as Grappling. It is a great opportunity for both USA Wrestling and the Grappling community to work together in the future.”

The move to sanction Grappling as a sport has been hailed as a major breakthrough for USA Wrestling, as it becomes the first major American sports organization to recognize the popularity and merit of the sport, and of mixed martial arts in general.

Lindland, an Olympic silver-medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling back in 2000, has long been a proponent of adding grappling to the list of sanctioned events in the hope of one day earning Olympic recognition for the sport.

Serving as Event Director for the Northwest trials will be champion grappler and MMA fighter Dennis Hallman, who hails from Olympia and was a Washington state high school wrestling champion.

The Northwest trials will take place on Saturday, May 19th at Olympia High School. This is the fourth USA Wrestling sanctioned qualifying event for the U.S. Grappling World Team Trials, joining events in Virginia Beach, Va. (May 12), Irvine, Calif. (May 12) and Alpharetta, Ga. (May 26). 

From these events, the top three finishers in each weight class will earn the right to compete at the U.S. Grappling World Team Trials in Las Vegas, Nev., to be held June 8-10.  The purpose of these events is to field a U.S. Grappling team that will compete at the World Wrestling Games in Antalya, Turkey on Sept. 7-9.

These events will use the weight classes and rules for Grappling set forth by FILA, the international wrestling federation.

The FILA international Grappling weight classes are:

Men (5 weight classes): 62 kg/136.5 lbs., 70 kg/154 lbs., 80 kg/176 lbs., 92 kg/202.5 lbs., 125 kg/275 lbs.

Women (4 weight classes): 48 kg/105.5 lbs., 55 kg/121 lbs., 63 kg/138.75 lbs., 72 kg/158.5 lbs.

The complete FILA Grappling rules can be found at the FILA website.

Weigh-ins for the event will be on Friday May 18th from 4:00-5:00pm at Fight Planet in Lacey, Wash., or on Saturday, May 19th from 8:30-9:30am at the Olympia High School Gym. There is a $40 entry fee, and all participants must be USA Wrestling members.

For questions about Grappling, contact Gary Abbott of USA Wrestling at 719-598-8181 or via e-mail at gabbott@usawrestling.org.

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