MINNEAPOLIS - Boys volleyball will have to wait at least one more year to become a sanctioned sport by the Minnesota State High School League.
At its board meeting Tuesday, 48 league officials voted 31-17 in favor of making boys volleyball a sport. But MSHSL bylaws require a two-thirds vote to pass, which means they needed 32 votes for approval. Boys volleyball came up one vote short of getting that approval.
Officials with the Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association released a statement after Tuesday’s vote.
"It is a sad day for high school athletics in Minnesota. The Minnesota State High School League 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," officials said.
The MBHSVA formed in the fall of 2017 and by the spring of 2018, 22 schools combined to from 38 varsity and junior varsity teams, with more than 400 boys playing. A year later, that number more than doubled to 49 schools, 92 teams and more than 800 players. In 2022, 53 schools will participate and 1,400 players are registered.
Last year, boys volleyball got 29 votes in favor of becoming a sanctioned sport, coming up two votes shy after one board member did not cast a vote. That came during the same meeting that MSHSL officials voted in favor of section and state tournaments for girls wrestling.