Push to make boys volleyball an official sport in high schools throughout Minnesota
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There’s a push to make boys volleyball an official sport in high schools around the state.
Next month, the Minnesota State High School League will again vote on whether to sanction it.
The Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association, a non-profit organization, started a petition and said it’s time for it to become an official sport with the MSHSL.
“Volleyball has brought me a lot of leadership skills, athletic skills, as well as a sense of community,” said Hien Nguyen, a senior at Shakopee High School.
Boys volleyball is not a sanctioned sport by the Minnesota State High School League. Instead, it’s technically a club sport, run by two moms Jenny Kilkelly and Krista Flemming.
Flemming and Kilkelly also coach in Shakopee.
“It’s just gotten to be so large that we can’t continue to take it on by ourselves,” said Flemming, Co-Director of the Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association.
The Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association started with about 400 student-athletes in 2018. Today they have 1,400 in more than 50 schools across the state.
Some believe Minnesota is falling behind. Twenty-seven states in the U.S. currently offer boys volleyball as a sanctioned high school sport.
“It’s the number one fastest growing boys high school sport across the country right now,” Kilkelly said.
The non-profit also points to the fact that this is a sport that promotes diversity.
Kilkelly told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, “53% of those boys identify as a person of color, with the biggest ethnic group is our Asian community.”
Last year, the State High School League voted against sanctioning boys volleyball in the most recent attempt. May 10 will be the next time the Representative Assembly votes.
“If the vote fails, it’s going to be really, really sad for kids, and that’s the mission of the Minnesota State High School League is to provide opportunities for kids,” Kilkelly said.
If it doesn’t pass again, Kilkelly and Flemming aren’t sure what the future holds because it’s a challenge to run this as a non-profit.
“We can’t do it forever, and we’re going to collapse on our own success,” Flemming said.
“It’s super big everywhere else, but I’m really shocked it’s not big here yet,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen hopes this time, the state recognizes the value this sport brings to so many.