For the second time in as many years, high school boys’ volleyball was few and far between becoming an accepted Minnesota State high school league sport.
Approval of the game required 32 of 48 “yes” votes in the MSHSL House of Representatives to be held on Tuesday. 31 received.
The close call shocked hundreds of supporters present at the meeting in Brooklyn Park. Tears broke out outside the meeting room soon after voting. Supporters of sanctioning the sport spoke of the opportunity and inclusive boys’ volleyball – currently a popular and growing high school club sport with 1,400 participants across the state – brought to Minnesota High School Athletics.
Proponents argued that making it a sanctioned high school league sport would make the sport sustainable and accessible to all. Organizers felt they had answered the questions that led to last year’s vote to approve the game.
But caucus responses suggested that “no” voters were again concerned about gym space, resources and the possibility of slashing numbers from other sports.
The Como Park athletic director said, “There are always drawbacks, there are always challenges to add or remove things, but I have a personal belief and my opinion when it comes to budgeting, when it comes to issues like this, So the budget is made from values.” Kou Yang, who spoke at the meeting in support of approving the game. “What do we value? If we value something, we budget it. If we value something in the league, we add it to the league, and obviously we Boys do not give importance to volleyball according to this vote.
“We were close. It’s disappointing, because I know there are so many people behind the scenes who put so much energy into it. The kids who put their energy, their love and passion, put themselves on the line, their courage.” Put themselves in line, put themselves in a place where they were weak, and today they were refused.”