UNCASVILLE, Conn., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Boys outnumber girls by at least 50-to-one in U.S. high school wrestling programs, but girls' wrestling is getting bigger, The New York Times reported.
About 5,000 high school girls wrestled last year, the National Federal of State High School Associations reported. That's a five-fold increase from 1995, and it probably understates the true number since many states did not report girls' wrestling participation, the newspaper said.
In any case, it doesn't come close to matching the number of high school boys -- 250,000 -- who participate in the sport.
Women's wrestling has been added as an Olympic sport and some colleges have added it as well.
One impediment to growth for girls' wrestling is a shortage of girls' teams. Without girls' teams, the sport may have trouble attracting girls to participate, and without girls' participation there won't be many girls' teams.
In a few cases, the Times reported, courts have ruled that girls should be permitted to join boys' teams if there are no girls' teams available to them.
Girls have teams in Texas and Hawaii, and in some California schools, the newspaper said.