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Minnesota State High School League votes to add boys volleyball as sanctioned sport

MSHSL approves boys volleyball as official sport
MSHSL approves boys volleyball as official sport 00:45

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota State High School League on Tuesday voted to approve boys volleyball as an official sport.

The sport has teetered on the edge of gaining official status over the last few years; in 2021 the MSHSL failed to approve it by two votes, and in 2022, it failed to pass by one.

It needed 32 votes to be approved on Tuesday; it received 39. Boys volleyball will officially play in the 2024-2025 season.

The Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association currently runs the sport in the spring. Since its start in 2018, participation has jumped from 22 schools to 72 schools statewide, and from 400 participants to nearly 2,000 participants.

That growth mirrors a national trend; boys high school volleyball has spiked more than 22% in the last five years, and is the fastest growing boys sport in the country. 

RELATED: Boys volleyball growing in popularity across Minnesota

In Minnesota, proponents have pushed for the sport in part because more than half of participants identify as people of color, with Asian student athletes making up about 40% of the figure.

Previously MSHSL representatives have argued that there aren't enough resources - especially for smaller schools - to provide boys volleyball. However, the MBHSVA pushed back, saying that volleyball is quite affordable, as there is a court in most schools or in nearby community centers.

Minnesota is the 25th state to sanction the sport, and ranks 10th in participation nationwide.

The Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association issued the following statement:

"The official sanctioning of boys high school volleyball is a monumental moment in Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) history. We would like to thank the MSHSL, the school and administrative leadership who signed the proposal, those who spoke on behalf of their districts, and all who have supported this mission from the very beginning. 

"Thank you to our mission founders, Hugh McCutcheon and Walt Weaver, and those who envisioned this league. 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. Minnesota is now amongst the nearly 30 states in the country to proudly offer boys volleyball as a fully sanctioned or emerging sport to its high schools.

"The Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association looks forward to collaborating with the MSHSL to organize this newly sanctioned sport, as well as set programming details for almost 2,000 currently active boys volleyball student athletes."

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