Every serious sports fan has a bucket list of events he or she would like to attend someday. For some, it’s the Super Bowl or Game 7 of the World Series. For others, it’s the Kentucky Derby or the Masters at Augusta National. These are the kinds of once-in-a-lifetime events that people would gladly spend thousands of dollars to experience firsthand.

Wrestling enthusiasts are no different in their desire to catch all the exciting action of a major tournament in person. But if you’re unfamiliar with the biggest meets in the world, then you might not know which ones are worth the price of admission and which are a waste of good money that could otherwise have been spent on new wrestling gear. We’re here to point you in the right direction.

Scholastic Events

  • State championships. Wrestling is a sanctioned high school sport in 49 out of 50 states, with Mississippi being the lone holdout.  Checking out the state championships in February is a fantastic way to catch a glimpse of future stars.
  • Dapper Dan Classic. This post-season meet is held in March and is a means of showcasing Pennsylvania’s finest wrestlers as they grapple against USA All-Stars.

Collegiate Events

  • Midlands Championships. The Midlands is an invitation-only tournament that is held at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL every year. Not only do current elites go head-to-head, but many past standouts and even coaches dust off their wrestling gear for one more shot at glory.
  • NCAA National Championships. This is to college wrestling what the BCS title game is to college football or the March Madness tournament is to college basketball. The best D-I wrestlers in the country will converge in St. Louis from March 15-17, 2012 to battle it out for a national championship.

International Events

  • Summer Olympic Games. The next Summer Olympics will be held in London, with the Men’s Greco-Roman, Women’s Greco-Roman, and Men’s Freestyle events taking place from August 5-12, 2012. Line up your tickets now to see America’s finest wearing their special red, white, and blue wrestling gear as they take on the rest of the world.
  • FILA Wrestling World Championships. This event usually draws the same participants as the Olympics. But the advantage here is that the World Championships are held every year instead of every four years, giving you more opportunities to attend.

If you make it to even half the events on this list, you can consider yourself more fortunate than most wrestling fans. Start booking your travel arrangements now to ensure you get the best seats in the house!