HELENA -- The first girls wrestling state tournament will be held at Lockwood High School in Billings.
The Montana High School Association executive board met Thursday to discuss postseason events for the winter sports seasons, which will conclude in February and March.
Girls wrestling, which is in its first season as an MHSA-sanctioned sport, will have an all-class state tournament Feb. 19-20 at Lockwood. There are 169 girls wrestlers from 48 schools, according to the MHSA, and the board approved adding three weight classes to bring the total to 10 weight classes for the remainder of the season. The weight classes are now 103 pounds, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 170 and 205.
The boys tournaments, which are typically held concurrently at First Interstate Arena at MetraPark in Billings, will be spread between three sites. The Class B/C boys wrestling state tournament will be at Shelby on March 5-6 and the Class A state tournament will be at Miles City the same days. The site for the Class AA state tournament is to be determined.
The MHSA executive board also discussed the state basketball tournaments at Thursday's meeting, and its office is checking to see if the awarded facilities and communities are still able to host the events. As of now, the Class A boys and girls basketball state tournaments are tentatively scheduled to be played at the Butte Civic Center, the Class B boys and girls basketball state tournaments are scheduled to be played at Metra, and the Class C boys and girls basketball state tournaments are tentatively scheduled to be played at Montana State University in Bozeman. The tournaments are scheduled for March 11-13, but the MHSA executive board is aiming to add one day of play to the tournaments to allow more time between games for teams and fans to exit the facility before the next game's teams and fans enter. Fans will only be allowed in for their team's games.
Class AA has opted to conduct playoffs instead of divisional and state tournaments, with the highest seeds hosting games.
The MHSA state swim meet will be separated between Class AA and Class A-B, and swimmers will compete on separate days at separate sites. The Class AA meet, which will include the top 24 finishers from the regular season, is scheduled for for March 5 in Great Falls, and the Class A-B meet, which will include the top 18 finishers from the season, is tentatively scheduled for March 6 in Polson, pending approval of county public health officials.
The board outlined general spectator guidelines for MHSA postseason events, as well:
- Each site must provide a minimum of two tickets per suited player for both home and visiting fans. Schools will determine distribution criteria and must sell the tickets and provide names for check off and contact tracing for the host site.
- Each swimmer will be allowed two tickets at the state swim meet.
- Each wrestler will be allowed a minimum of two tickets and maximum of four for postseason wrestling events, depending on site capacity.
- A maximum of 25% capacity of the facility (no more than 500 fans per team) or whatever the lower limitations imposed by local county health departments would be will be allowed at postseason basketball games.