How Many NAIA Wrestling Teams Are There?By Coder| August 30, 2023 Wrestling How Many NAIA Wrestling Teams Are There? When it comes to collegiate wrestling in the United States, many people are familiar with NCAA wrestling programs. However, there is another collegiate athletic association that also offers opportunities for student-athletes to compete in wrestling – the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The NAIA is a smaller athletic association compared to the NCAA, but it still boasts a considerable number of wrestling teams across the country. The Growth of NAIA Wrestling In recent years, NAIA wrestling has experienced significant growth and popularity. More and more student-athletes are choosing to compete at NAIA schools due to the unique opportunities and benefits offered by these programs. As a result, the number of NAIA wrestling teams has been steadily increasing. The Current Landscape As of the most recent academic year, there are approximately 80 NAIA wrestling teams spread across different states. These teams can be found in various regions throughout the country, providing ample opportunities for aspiring wrestlers to pursue their athletic and academic goals. Geographical Distribution The 80 NAIA wrestling teams are dispersed across different regions of the United States. Some states have a higher concentration of these teams compared to others. Here is a breakdown of the approximate number of NAIA wrestling teams by region: Midwest: Approximately 40 teams Southeast: Approximately 15 teams Southwest: Approximately 10 teams Northeast: Approximately 10 teams West Coast: Approximately 5 teams It’s important to note that these numbers may vary slightly from year to year as new programs are added or existing programs are discontinued. However, the NAIA remains committed to supporting collegiate wrestling and ensuring that student-athletes have opportunities to compete. Benefits of NAIA Wrestling NAIA wrestling offers several advantages for student-athletes. Here are some of the key benefits: Scholarship Opportunities: Many NAIA schools offer athletic scholarships for wrestling, providing financial assistance to talented athletes. Competitive Environment: NAIA wrestling programs are known for their competitiveness and high level of competition. Flexible Eligibility Rules: The NAIA has its own eligibility requirements, which may be more flexible compared to NCAA regulations, allowing athletes who may not meet NCAA standards to compete at the college level. Closer Community: With a smaller number of teams, NAIA wrestling fosters a close-knit community among athletes, coaches, and fans. If you’re considering pursuing collegiate wrestling, don’t overlook the opportunities provided by NAIA programs. With approximately 80 teams across the country, you’ll have plenty of options to find a program that suits your needs and aspirations. In conclusion, while NCAA wrestling often takes the spotlight in collegiate athletics, NAIA wrestling offers its own unique advantages and opportunities. With approximately 80 teams spread across different regions of the United States, aspiring wrestlers have numerous options to pursue their athletic dreams at an NAIA school.