March 27, 2018 10:42 PM
(ABC 6 News) – In Minnesota, boys’ volleyball isn’t an official sport recognized by the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL)—but the sport is gaining steam.
This year, for the first time ever in the state, there is a high school-sponsored Minnesota High School Boys Volleyball Association. The Association is made up of 22 teams, with the majority of the teams coming from the Twin Cities-area—but Kasson-Mantorville is the lone Southeast Minnesota School to have a club team.
The KoMets will be coached by the school’s girls’ volleyball head coach, Adam VanOort, for the entire spring season.
VanOort said he hopes by having this spring boys’ volleyball league in Minnesota, it could lead to the sport possibly becoming a part of the MSHSL.
VanOort said he hopes to see boys’ volleyball become an official sport in Minnesota within the next five years. With high-level coaches, such as University of Minnesota head women’s volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon, serving as strong advocates to grow the sports on the boys’ side, that dream could become a reality.
"I think once people see boys can play, and they can play competitively and it looks like a fun athletic sport, then I think more people will get involved in it,” VanOort said. “Everyone knows it's already a really fun sport when girls are playing it, but very few people have seen high-level guys play it, and it's incredible how athletic and dynamic the sport is at that level."
In the past, VanOort said he had talked about bringing boys volleyball to the high school—when the idea came up to put together a boys team for a high school spring league, VanOort said he wanted to stop talking and “start doing” by adding a team to the league.
“If club grows to the point where we think it can, and we’ve got a lot of people who are on board with this, I think as we grow and get more people involved, the MSHSL will start to look at those things and talk about (making it an official sport) at that time,” VanOort said. “It’s just a matter of time. Hopefully, this is the springboard for it.”
The KoMets have ten players on their inaugural boys’ volleyball team. VanOort said it’s different from coaching girls’ volleyball because most of the boys' players are at a beginner’s level—but there are signs of promise.
“The rate they’re improving is incredible, which is natural,” VanOort said. “Guys jump a little higher, hit a little harder, so some of those intangibles with male athletes are really fun to see on the volleyball court.”
The KoMets will open competition in April and the 11-game season will go through the end of May. The VanOort said due to high school graduation among other events later in the spring, there is an “optional” postseason.
Updated: March 27, 2018 10:42 PM
Created: March 27, 2018 08:56 PM
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