ARDEN HILLS, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota State High School League made a big decision Tuesday morning regarding the future of boys volleyball in high schools.
A vote to sanction the sport failed to pass by just two votes.
There are at least 41 schools around the state who will be disappointed by this news, Mounds View High being among them. They are in the boys high school league.
Right now, it’s run by volunteers, not recognized by the MSHSL. And it will stay that way.
That’s despite emotional testimony from players, parents, including First Lady Gwen Walz whose son plays volleyball, and Hugh McCutcheon.
To know volleyball is to know his name. He once was the head coach for both men’s and women’s USA volleyball and now leads the Gophers.
“We’re talking about mental and social benefits that are, I think, more important than six people and a ball. Whether you like it or not, your organization is the gold standard for high school sports in our state,” McCutcheon said. “People want to be state champions. They aspire to feel validated in their school environment and sanctioning is the way that they feel validated. I understand that we could keep this duct tape and string club model going off the back of volunteers that are committing so many hours and so many resources to keep it going but unfortunately what they want is to be a part of your organization.”
Voting members seemed to agree with the philosophical message. It’s the practical one that led to 18 no votes.
The main concerns: Cost, particularly as schools recover from the financial impact of COVID, facility scheduling and how adding a new boys sport may affect a school’s Title IX standing.
Girls wrestling did get enough votes to become a sanctioned sport.