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Boys high school volleyball fails to win official MSHSL support

The Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association called the decision "a disservice to students."

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) came up one vote short of approving boys volleyball as an officially sanctioned high school sport.

According to MSHSL's John Millea, MSHSL's 48-member Representative Assembly voted 31-17 in favor of approving boys volleyball; however, the league's bylaws require 32 votes for approval, or two-thirds of the vote.

"It is a sad day for high school athletics in Minnesota," the Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association said in a statement following the vote. "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 led a rally in Maple Grove on Tuesday morning prior to the vote.

RELATED: Students, coaches, parents push for boys high school volleyball

Right now, several schools in Minnesota have boys volleyball club teams, but becoming a sanctioned sport would have provided greater resources for those teams. 

"It will absolutely be a possibility to be brought up in the future," MSHSL Executive Director Erich Martens said in a post on the league's website. "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. As you saw, today’s vote was very close. There are a lot of folks that are in support and excited to see boys volleyball continue to grow."

This isn't the first time boys volleyball has been brought up to the MSHSL. In 2021, it missed board approval by only two votes with a 29-18 outcome. One representative abstained in that vote. At that time, the board did approve to add sectionals and a state tournament for girls wrestling.

FROM 2021: MSHSL shoots down boys volleyball as sanctioned sport

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