High school wrestling matches postponed after reports of skin infection

Posted: Updated:
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- High school wrestling sectional tournaments scheduled for Saturday were postponed after tournament officials learned several wrestlers have contracted a skin infection.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association announced Friday that the tournaments are postponed until further notice as a precautionary measure.

According to the AIA, none of the infections have been reported to be MRSA, a contagious and potentially dangerous infection which is difficult to treat.

Wrestlers from across the state have been preparing for the tournaments, which were supposed to be held at Tim's Toyota Center in the Prescott Valley.

"The AIA recognizes the disruption this may cause to families' schedules and preparation for competition, but the AIA is focused on the health of all of its athletes," the organization said in a statement.

Athletes with any suspicious skin lesions are asked to consult their physicians.

Chandler High School Associate Head Wrestling Coach Curtis Owen said none of his wrestlers have reported having any skin infections.

"We don't know what the scope, how many teams are involved, how many kids are involved ... if it's just a handful of kids, we were just kind of wondering why we are canceling the whole thing," he said. "But I'd rather err on the side of caution anyway."

The AIA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recommended tournament officials follow the USA Wrestling and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for handling an infectious disease.

When the competition resumes, wrestlers with suspicious skin lesions will not be permitted to participate, and wrestling mats will be disinfected between every match, the AIA said.

Owen said there are strict sanitary rules for Chandler High's wrestling program as well. Mats are disinfected after every practice, and wrestlers must shower after all practices and matches.

The AIA expects to have an update about the tournaments by the end of the day Monday.

To read the full AIA statement, click here.

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