ISWA's Pat Culp on recent COVID-19 cancellations
By Dane Fuelling
When sports started shutting down four weeks ago, one of the first casualties was the ISWA (Indiana State Wrestling Association) Folkstyle State tournament, which was due to be held at Warren Central. While the decision came as a surprise at the time, it was certainly the right one. One must look at the losses suffered by township schools in Marion County in the last month to realize that the virus would have been spread at WC and sent back to every corner of the Hoosier State had the tournament gone on.
ISWA President Pat Culp says her organization and the greater USA Wrestling body, have canceled all events up to May 10th at the local and national level.
As President, Culp participates in weekly video conferences with the CEO and president of USAW, along with all the state chairs.
“USA Wrestling has developed a COVID-19 committee,” said Culp Wednesday morning, “that tries to stay on top of any and all developments regarding what is happening nationally. In addition, they try to determine what is happening state by state. All states are required to inform USAW each time there is a change in our ‘stay at home’ policy, school cancellations, etc.”
The challenge for the ISWA has been a set of circumstances that seem to change daily.
“We saw this when trying to host Folkstyle State in the second weekend in March. Our venue, which was a school, informed us on Tuesday that they would not be allowed to host the event, which was a three-day event scheduled to start that Friday. We had to scramble to find a new venue.”
The Columbia City resident, whose son Blane is the head wrestling coach at CCHS, said that her team quickly contacted USAW and asked if they were allowed to still host the event.
“The people at USAW informed us we could until the state of Indiana told us no. So we found a new venue. However, 24 hours later, USA Wrestling put out a statement stating they were recommending postponing all events until further notice. That’s how fast everything changed.”
At the time of printing, Culp was preparing for another conference call to discuss the upcoming Central Regionals, scheduled to be held at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on May 15, 16, and 17.
The ISWA will also be hosting the 14U national duals in Franklin in the middle of June, pending conditions of the pandemic.
“It has been a very trying situation for all sports. Our main objective is to keep the kids safe, along with spectators, officials, coaches, etc. The ISWA would like to be able to have wrestling open back up this summer, if allowed, and with precautionary measures. In the meantime, we are posting daily workouts to keep the kids involved and in shape.”
Pat Culp took over as ISWA President in the fall and has been part of the organization since 1992 in one form or another.