Emerging High School Sports Seek Support from MSHSL

October 04, 2018 08:23 PM

Volleyball is the most popular high school sport in the state for girls. Now there's a push to bring it statewide for boys.

Most of us are familiar with football, basketball and even girls volleyball.  

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But the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) hears about many others.

"We've heard from boys volleyball, we've heard from girls wrestling, we've heard from bowling, bass fishing," said Erich Martens, the executive director of the MSHSL.

Martens said it's important to support emerging sports that are asking for league support.

"Some have just inquired about it, others have said we want to get on board, we know it may be a two-year process, but we want to start talking to you now," said Martens.


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Boys volleyball is one of those sports.

Walt Weaver is one of the directors of the Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association. He said last spring 22 high schools around the metro started boys club volleyball teams, creating opportunities for more than 400 players.

"Of the 400 kids last year that played, over 300 were not out for another spring sport," said Weaver.

"There's a lot of kids out there that don't have opportunity because there is not enough opportunity in the schools."

This spring Weaver said they're hoping to double the number of high schools involved with the ultimate goal of getting the boys sport sanctioned.

"They're opening their eyes and saying holy mackerel, that's a sport that looks like a lot of fun," Weaver said.

Fun, he says - also quite safe, and a whole lot cheaper than many other sports to play.

"This is a bargain for everybody, the schools don't have to spend a ton of money, all you need is a uniform, a place to play and a ball, that's about the only expenses there are," Weaver said. 

The MSHSL said the likelihood of something becoming a sanctioned sport depends on the proposal brought before the board, and how many schools are involved. 

It also has to be approved by the representative assembly, a group of educators and school representatives from across the state. 

There is a 2019 boys volleyball informational night on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Shakopee High School. More information can be found here.

The Minnesota State High School League sponsors 43 different sports and activities.  Below are the sports and activities most recently added by the MSHSL to its lineup.

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association provides tournament opportunities for 23 sports, including boys and girls programs. Below are the sports and activities most recently added by the WIAA to its lineup.

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Jessica Miles

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