MSHSL approves high school boys volleyball as fully sanctioned sport

[anvplayer video=”5176101″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) – The yearslong push to make boys volleyball a sanctioned high school sport in Minnesota has finally paid off.

On Tuesday, the Minnesota State High School League’s (MSHSL) Representative Assembly voted to approve boys volleyball as a fully sanctioned sport, starting in the 2024-25 season. The delay is to give the league and schools time to fully prepare for the change.

The measure passed by a 39-7 vote, with two members abstaining. In order to pass, 32 votes were needed.

It comes after years of work by advocates of the sport and multiple years of falling just short of the necessary support.

In 2021, the MSHSL Representative Assembly fell two votes short of approving boys volleyball as a fully sanctioned sport. Last year, the assembly needed just one more vote.

In the meantime, boys volleyball has operated as a club sport in Minnesota and has continued to grow.

According to the Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association, a total of 120 boys volleyball teams from more than 50 schools across the state participated in the sport in 2022, involving more than 1,400 student-athletes. Those numbers grew even larger in 2023, with nearly 2,000 student-athletes from more than 70 schools participating.

Back in December, the process league took a step toward approving boys volleyball when the MSHSL’s Board of Directors created an “emerging status” classification for sports that want to become a fully sanctioned, interscholastic sport, and approved boys volleyball for that status.

Now, it’s officially becoming a fully sanctioned sport.

On Tuesday, the following prepared statement was issued by the Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association regarding the vote:

“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.”

Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association

Minnesota becomes the 25th state association to sanction the sport.