By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling
The ASICS/Las Vegas Open Wrestling Championships will return to the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev. April 16-19, USA Wrestling and the Las Vegas Sports Committee have announced.
It will be the 23rd time that the Las Vegas Convention Center has hosted the U.S. National Wrestling Championships. Organizers have re-imagined this year’s event with a substantial expansion of competition and an improvement in the event presentation.
The event will be produced by USA Wrestling, along with the Las Vegas Sports Committee (LVSC), Las Vegas Events (LVE) and USA Wrestling of Southern Nevada (USAWSN). Funds from the event will remain in Las Vegas to help build wrestling at all levels.
This year’s ASICS/Las Vegas Open Wrestling Championships will feature the following competitions
- Kids (Greco-Roman, Freestyle and Folkstyle)
- Cadets(Greco-Roman, Freestyle and Folkstyle)
- Western Juniors Regionals/Boys and Girls (Freestyle & Greco-Roman)
- FILA Junior Nationals(Freestyle & Greco-Roman)
- Seniors National Championships (Freestyle & Greco-Roman)
- Veterans National Championships (Freestyle & Greco-Roman)
As part of this upgrade of the competition, the title of the event has been changed from the U.S. Open and Western Junior Regionals, placing all of the tournaments under one name, the “Open Wrestling Championships.”
Top wrestlers in every age group and every style from all over the country will compete alongside our current and future Olympians. This is the first time USA Wrestling has provided wrestlers of every age and every style to wrestle in a single venue at the same event.
“Las Vegas and Southern Nevada is excited to provide the backdrop for this monstrous event. It is a privilege to host and share our town with the wrestling world,” said Robert Cate, Vice President and Events Director for USA Wrestling of Southern Nevada, “I can’t imagine the excitement of young wrestlers when they realize that they are wrestling on the same mats as their heroes.”
Every final match, in every style, in every division will be contested on raised mats in the center of a custom-built two-mat wrestling arena, called “the Golden Circle.”
There is a substantial change in the format of the U.S. Senior Open. Instead of holding one-day tournaments on the Senior level, all three of the Olympic styles will be contested over two days. On Friday, April 18, the Senior tournaments will run through the semifinals in all weight classes. On Saturday, April 19, all of the weight classes will be completed, with the championship finals in all 24 weight classes contested on two raised mats in the Golden Circle, starting at 6:00 p.m.
“Taking what we learned from the Keep Olympic Wrestling movement, we are making this year’s event more fan friendly,” said Event Director Larry Barnson of the Las Vegas Sports Committee. “This year’s Senior wrestlers will wrestle on a two-day format, giving us a better opportunity to showcase the finals on Saturday, April 19. The event will also give wrestlers of all ages the opportunity to see and wrestle alongside our future Olympians.”
Financial support from Las Vegas Events is allowing USA Wrestling to improve the production of the competition and include more athletes in more divisions in more events.
This concept will also provide the opportunity to build and improve the fan base leading up to the 2015 World Championships at the Orleans Hotel & Arena in Las Vegas.
Below are the websites for the competitions at the ASICS/Las Vegas Open Wrestling Championships: