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Athletes react to MSHSL vote; League decided not to make boys volleyball an official high school sport

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 10:27 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – High School boys’ volleyball will continue to be a club sport.

On Tuesday, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) voted down efforts to make boys volleyball a sanctioned sport.

It was a 31-17 vote. The board needed 32 votes or two-thirds to pass the initiative.

“I was disappointed that it wasn’t sanctioned but it just makes us have a better feeling that we need to show them that they were wrong,” said Isiah Brennan, a Kasson-Mantorville boys volleyball player.

“I just think it’s hypocritical to not even think about having this as a sanctioned sport,” said Fischer Paulson, a Kasson-Mantorville boys volleyball player.

“Being able to play under your school is a whole other caliber than playing for a club,” said Jaxson Lester, a Mayo High School boys volleyball player.

For one player, volleyball is the only athletic activity that he’s drawn to.

“I’ve tried every other sport possible that’s in the school but nothing’s ever clicked. I’ve never felt as passionate for any other sport or academic than volleyball,” said Hunter Paulson, a Kasson-Mantorville boys volleyball player.

Players also said having boys volleyball as a sanctioned sport could help expand their athletic career after graduation.

“Next year I’m going to Iowa State to play volleyball,” Lester said. “If this is a sanctioned sport this would be like a huge building block to be able to compete at a higher level. It could also get us to start younger, and really develop those skills that are needed in the higher levels.”

Since boys volleyball is a club sport, the students and their parents have to pay for equipment and gear themselves.

As a sanctioned sport the school would help fund those things.

The MSHSL could revisit the decision in the future.

“It will absolutely be a possibility to be brought up in the future,” said Erich Martens, Minnesota State High School League Executive Director. “What you’re seeing, if you follow the path of volleyball, is both the growth in terms of the number of participants and the number of schools that have the programs. As more schools get on board, and some of the questions that were brought up by caucuses can be addressed, then I think we can get over that threshold.”

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