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Boys volleyball won’t be a sanctioned high school league sport in Minnesota

Sport comes up one vote short in Thursday's MSHSL representative assembly.

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For the second time in as many years, high school boys volleyball fell just short of becoming a sanctioned Minnesota State High School League sport.

The sport needed 32 “yes” votes out of 48 at Tuesday’s MSHSL representative assembly to be sanctioned. It received 31.

The close call left the hundreds of supporters present at the meeting in Brooklyn Park in a stunned silence. Tears were prevalent outside the meeting room in the immediate aftermath of the vote. Proponents of sanctioning the sport spoke of the opportunity and inclusivity that boys volleyball — currently a popular and growing high school club sport with 1,400 participants across the state — brought to Minnesota high school athletics.

Making it a sanctioned high school league sport would make the sport sustainable and accessible to all, versus the club model, supporters argued. Organizers felt they had answered the questions that caused last year’s vote to sanction the sport to fall short.

But caucus responses suggested “no” voters again were worried about gym space, resources and the possibility of detracting numbers from other sports.

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“There’s always drawbacks, there’s always challenges to adding or to taking away things, but my personal belief and my opinion is when it comes to budgets, when it comes to issues like this, budgets are made from values,” said Como Park athletic director Koua Yang, who spoke at the meeting in support of sanctioning the sport. “What do we value? If we value something, we include it in the budget. If we value something in the League, we include it in the League, and obviously we don’t value boys volleyball, according to this vote.

“We were close. It’s frustrating, because I know there’s a lot of people behind the scenes that put so much energy into this. The kids that poured their energy, their love and passion, put themselves on the line, put their courage on the line, put themselves in a spot where they were vulnerable, and they were denied today."

Related Topics: VOLLEYBALL
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