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SEPTEMBER 15, 2020




Coaches and Leaders,

I hope you and yours are well.  I know many of you are being able to practice and compete… congrats !  We, in New Mexico are locked down hard.  Being a large land area, with a small population, we don’t have any large Club facilities.  Pretty much all of our mats are being held hostage, in schools.  

Like you, I believe kids need sport !  I’m anxious for all of us to be together and do what we do.  We know that Wrestling goes far beyond sport.  It’s lifestyle.  We are comfortable with calculated risk… expect it… demand it.  

I’ll get to the point.  I’ve always been cast as a bit of a rebel.  The reputation is well-earned (and cherished).  That said, I have to tell you, “I’m a rebel who is a proud, contributing, loyal member of a group”.  That group is USA Wrestling, the National Governing Body of Wrestling in the United States and a leader in the USOPC.

Our 2021 membership year began September 1st.  First time members (over 18), as well as those renewing, must first complete a background check and become (or remain) SafeSport certified.   All of this plays a key role in what you and I offer youth.

As an NGB, USAW answers to a ton of outside agencies and issues.  It is in our National Staff’s job-description to keep the peace with state High School Associations, the NCAA, NAIA, WCWA, UWW, and our several states.  Tall order !

Having listened, rather carefully, to the conversations of our Virtual State Leaders’ Summit, Board of Directors’ Meeting, monthly Leaders’ Calls, GRIT meetings, and our Coaches’ Council Calls, the rebel in me has grown a deeper appreciation for what it means to be USA Wrestling.

There are other “organizations” (actually entrepreneurs is the most gentle term I can muster) out there. These money people can, and do, access facilities, mats and equipment, and personnel, to offer competitive opportunities… especially to youth.

These money people stand to lose nothing, if state governments over-react and shut down high school wrestling.  Quite to the contrary, they stand to GAIN.   

These money people completely disregard the implied relationship our Membership creates, between a seven-year-old and Snyder, Mensah-Stock, Burroughs.  Absent any interest in Olympic Development / Dream, they will go to the bank every Monday, after their event.

I am NOT saying, “Don’t go wrestle”.  The very fact that USAW membership covers athletes in ANY legitimate competition supports our athletes attending events run by all responsible groups.  What I AM saying is, “Exercise sound judgement”.

Beyond that, please take it upon yourself to enlighten parents and athletes.  Let Mom know that her baby is part of our Olympic highlights.  Ask her to really consider the burden of representing our sport, as NGB.

Membership is belongingness, and we all crave that right now.  Kids grow from the knowledge that they really are part of something larger than themselves.  Parents need to know that they are paying for something besides a trophy from the Itty Bitty All City Championship.

The rebel in me is confident that USA Wrestling is looking out for our sport’s Long-Term well-being, through all of this nonsense.  There are so many, out there, who can exercise power over our sport but who have no clue as to the wrestling Lifestyle.  A knee-jerk reaction to second-hand panic can hurt us at our roots.

Seize responsible chances to get your kids a few handshakes.  As you do, please talk up the responsibility we share, looking forward to Olympic Games, NCAA’s and High School States.  Recruit people to the lifestyle.  Spread the word about Membership in a National Governing Body.

On behalf of the Coaches’ Council… and personally… I wish you the best.  Hang Tough.



New Mexico Junior Wrestling Family,

In light of our Governor’s press conference, the New Mexico Junior Wrestling 2020/2021 Wrestling Season will be postponed until March 2021 due to the growing concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are extremely disappointed that we could not kick off our season in November, but our priority is the health and safety of both our youth and members of our community. 

Even though our season has been delayed we look forward to March and plan to have tough competition which will include both youth and possibly high school wrestlers.

As always, please feel free to reach out to us anytime. We plan on remaining extremely active within our community and on social media. Please continue to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for any up to date information from New Mexico Junior Wrestling!

We look forward to seeing you all again. Stay healthy and safe!

Thank You,


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Phone: (505) 585-4375



For the latest information on COVID 19 decisions please see


New Mexico Governer has announced additional restrictions of businesses and activities due to the rise in Covid cases in the State.  Please stay informed of the latest news and take the appropriate measures to help control the spread of the virus.  Renewed NM Order through August 28!

USAW has recommended "Return to the Mat" guidelines.

As your teams and clubs start to prepare to practice and gather please make yourself aware of the precautions and requirements to start gathering once again...SMALL groups only at this time.

See for USAW guidelines - Return to the Mat.  

Although the guidelines do not coincide exactly with the NM re-opening please use your best judgement and appropriate precautions.  See Return to the Mat - Phase 3: Public health authorities allow small group activities (less than 10 people), but public training facilities remain closed.

All the best,

New Mexico Wrestling - USA

July 10, 2020




Coaches and Leaders,

I hope you and yours are well.  When last I wrote, in May, I was working hard at spreading optimism.  I haven’t lost that, but it is one ”curve that has been flattened”.

My reality, like yours, changes a few times a day and I’m not having much luck finding things I can control.

Your National Coaches’ Council has stayed busy.  We currently meet bi-weekly, with our next on July 15th.  Each Zoom meeting touches all the bases.  We are studying plans for Age Group Trials and the chances we will attend World Championship events.  We’re in the loop with Developmental Camps, being delivered virtually. 

We work at checking the pulse of our various states.  Clearly, we are all operating under different political views and restrictions… one of those things we can’t control.  The best I have for you, there, is to continue keeping yourself in-the-know, locally.  Your athletes and parents are likely more frustrated and anxious than you.  Make sure you have current and accurate information when they ask.

Our National Developmental Camp is coming up July 27 – 30.  This intensive, virtual experience is designed for your ‘Blue-Chippers’.  Registration costs $95.  If you’ve got athletes that can profit from this experience, contact Mike Clayton, Manager of Coach Education.

Tenatively, UWW has World Championships scheduled for Juniors and U23’s.  Juniors is slated for Belgrade, the first full week of December.  U23’s are in Tampere, Finland, Thanksgiving week.  Trials for these, also tentative, will be at the SPIRE Center, just outside of Cleveland, in mid to late September.

If these trials become a reality and you have kids that belong there, I’ll offer what advice I can, regarding travel and hotel.  The SPIRE Center is a pretty sweet venue.  There are a few options, getting there.

Last week the NFHS published a free webinar on Return to Competition for Scholastic Sports.  Titled “COVID-19 for Coaches and Administrators”, the piece is well done.  It’ll take you half an hour and is has some really useful information.  I recommend putting in your tool box, especially if you are a School Coach.  Being ‘Out Front’, with stuff like this, makes your conversations with administration more productive.  Go to 

Several states have offered local events, camps, clinics.  Others are still completely locked down.  Chicago had their ‘Rooftop’ event.  Austin has a pretty big deal, in a couple of weeks.  Utah is hosting their ‘Western States Championship’ at the end of the month.   Last I heard, there were still a few spots available, in the GRECO-ROMAN tournament.  Freestyle and Folkstyle are filled.  You can find the event on

Hang Tough, Dear Friend !  We’ll find a way.  We always promise parents that Wrestling builds character.  We must celebrate the chance to demonstrate the character it has built for us.  Take care of your family and take care of you.



From: Tony Black <>
Date: May 27, 2020 at 2:08:43 PM MDT
Subject: For release, May 27, 2020 - USMC Junior and 16U Nationals in Fargo, ND cancelled

For release, May 27, 2020 – USMC Junior and 16U Nationals in Fargo, N.D. cancelled, with focus turned to local, state and regional events

USA Wrestling has announced that the 2020 U.S. Marine Corps Junior and 16U National Championships at the Fargodome on the campus of North Dakota State in Fargo, N.D. has been cancelled.

The competition, recognized as the largest wrestling tournament in the world, had been scheduled for July 17-24.

With input from its state leadership as well as its COVID-19 Special Committees, USA Wrestling believes that this is the responsible thing to do in order to maintain the long term viability of the sport. As has been the case since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the health and safety of USA Wrestling members and the entire wrestling community remains the No. 1 priority for the organization.

Based upon information currently available, it was not feasible or prudent to host a major national championship in July, where participants will come from all different areas in the nation, many of which have vastly different local situations concerning COVID-19. High-performance experts indicate that it takes up to eight weeks to prepare for high-level competition, a factor which also went into the decision.

This year would have marked the 50th year that the Junior Nationals (high school) portion of the event had been held, with the first Junior Nationals hosted in Iowa City, Iowa in 1971.

USA Wrestling has either postponed or cancelled 21 national or regional events since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

USA Wrestling has consistently stated that the expected progression of wrestling activity will likely begin locally, based upon health and government regulations, then move on to state, regional and national activity.

With that in mind, USA Wrestling will focus on the working with its state association leadership to consider local, state and regional competitions in the upcoming months.

Any such activity will only be possible when held under the guidelines set by local and state health authorities and in compliance with the safety measures being developed for the sport.

On May 14, USA Wrestling published its “Return to the Mat Guidelines” document, which are guidelines and recommendations for the wrestling community as it makes decisions on a local level regarding when and how to safely resume wrestling activity. USA Wrestling is expecting to release its Return to Competition Guidelines document in the coming week.

Tony Black

USA Wrestling

Director of State Services

719.265.3665 (direct)

Become a member of USA Wrestling at!

This message contains information that is confidential and may be privileged.  Unless you are the addressee (or authorized to receive for the addressee), you may not use, copy, or disclose to anyone the message or any information contained in the message.  If you have received this message in error, please advise the sender by reply e-mail and delete the message

From: Tony Black <>
Date: May 26, 2020 at 10:40:11 PM MDT
Subject: USA Wrestling Club Charter Update

Good evening,

Thanks for your continued involvement during the challenges we’ve all been facing during the COVID-19 situation nationwide. As discussed on last Monday’s call with state leaders, USA Wrestling is making club charters and additionally insured certificates available on a state-by-state basis for the remainder of the membership season.  Our intent is to only make charters and additionally insured certificates available once a state is at Phase 4 as defined in our Return to the Mat Guidelines that were released earlier this month.

In order for club charters and additionally insured certificates to be made available in your state, please respond by e-mail and include a link to the state government published guideline you are relying on.

As has been the case, state chairs (or their designee) will be notified when a club is chartered and is awaiting approval. Our expectation is that before being approved, it will be confirmed by the state chair (or their designee) that there are no further restrictions in the county in which the club is located. Once approved, USA Wrestling will then repeat the process to double-check before a club charter is approved an the certificate of insurance sent. 

If you have any questions, please let me know.


Tony Black

USA Wrestling

Director of State Services

719.265.3665 (direct)

719.659.9636 (cell)

719.598.9440 (fax)

Become a member of USA Wrestling at!

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