Allentown Diocese reverses decision barring boys wrestling against girls

Emma Galvez, Reporter

Several high school wrestling teams have had to forfeit matches because of a rule imposed by the Catholic Church.

The Allentown Diocese, a division of church governance, a diocese is an ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop, has ruled that boys from Catholic schools are prohibited to wrestle girls in team competitions however reversed it. 

The issue started after Newport beat Berks Catholic 31-30 in a District 3 Class 2A tournament. After using two girls that were not on the team to pick up 12 points worth of forfeits, because of the rules. 

However, they are not the only school that has done that. According to The Morning Call, Palisades, East Stroudsburg North, Pocono Mountain West and Salisbury, have girls in their starting lineups so they were able to win their meets with forfeit points. 

The Diocese of Allentown suspends the rule that boys and girls are not able to wrestle. The school claims that it’s unfair and other teams are using it to their advantage to win matches. 

Six schools under diocese watch are required to forfeit wrestling matches that prohibit boys from wrestling girls, even if they are in the same weight class.  Coaches will send out girls, some that have never wrestled before, knowing that the catholic opposing team would have to forfeit. 

The Roman Catholic Diocese from Allentown released an email statement obtained by the Allentown Morning Call on February 4. “The Diocese of Allentown has suspended its policy prohibiting boys from wrestling girls in team competitions for the balance of this season,” the diocese said, “A decision on the policy beyond the current season will be made after a review at the statewide level by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference.”