Vote To Make Boys Volleyball An Officially Sanctioned MN H.S. Sport Fails

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A vote to make boys volleyball an officially sanctioned high school sport in Minnesota has failed.

The Minnesota State High School League Representative Assembly held a vote Tuesday morning. The proposal needed 32 yes votes (or a two-thirds majority) to pass, but received 31. There were 17 no votes. A similar vote last year failed by only two votes.

Most members supported the change but there were questions about logistics.

MSHSL executive director Erich Martens said a lack of resources was one of the reasons behind the no votes. Representatives also discussed that there could be pressure on smaller schools to provide boys volleyball.

“There isn’t a school around that doesn’t want to add the next great experience for kids, but at the same time they recognize the challenge of resources and how many of these programs can they have,” Martens said.

Failed by one vote. They needed 32 yes votes. It was 31-17. Boys volleyball still not an official HS sport. https://t.co/ZJGTPord6C

— Kate Raddatz (@KateRaddatz) May 10, 2022

The push to make boys volleyball a sanctioned high school sport started with a rally in Osseo Tuesday morning, before a packed Minnesota State High School League meeting in Brooklyn Park.

The League’s representative assembly heard from more than a dozen students, parents, and coaches about why they felt strongly boys volleyball should be a high school sport, but ultimately the proposal failed by one vote.

There were gasps, tears, and hugs from the students.

“I am very surprised. I thought that with this many people showing up and showing out their support,” Centennial High School’s Kevin Jansa said.

Following the vote, the Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association issued a statement, calling it a “sad day for high school athletics” in the state:

“The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) has done a disservice to Minnesota students and families by failing to sanction boys high school volleyball, despite the overwhelming demand for the sport. Minnesota is missing out on an incredible opportunity with most boys volleyball student athletes not participating in any other sanctioned sport, and more than half identifying as students of color. While other states move ahead and make the right decision to sanction this sport, Minnesota will remain static and eventually, be left behind.

The Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association does not yet know what this outcome means for our volunteer-run organization – but we want to thank the school and administrative leadership who signed the proposal, spoke on behalf of their districts, and have supported us from the very beginning. Thank you to the tireless work and advocacy of coaches and officials who keep our competitions running, and most importantly, the passion and dedication of our parents and students.”

The executive director of the Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association says it is unclear what will happen to the high school players that have been playing club volleyball. Those competitions have been completely volunteer-run.