State High School League rejects boys volleyball in Tuesday vote

Volleyballs sit in a bin in front of a volleyball team in a gym.
Volleyballs sit in a bin at North High School in North St. Paul. In Minnesota, women have closed the gap in participation in high school sports.
Andy Kosier | MPR News 2019

Updated: 1:18 p.m.

Minnesota's state high school league rejected a proposal to add boy's volleyball to its list of supported sports programs this morning.

Opponents to including volleyball cited added costs, lack of gym space for spring seasons, and concerns about inequity between boys and girls participation in high school sports overall. A number of high schools offer volleyball for boys as a club sport, not officially sanctioned by the state high school league. Jenny Kilkelly is director and president of the boy's high school volleyball association and says it isn't just a matter of gender equity.

“38 percent of our kids come from an ethnic diverse type of group,” Kilkelly said. “30 percent of those kids are actually from the Asian and modern communities and it's a huge huge sport that is very appealing to them it's very much a part of their culture so they'll those are kids that haven't been participating and have been maybe underserved.”

Ahead of the vote, MPR News Host Cathy Wurzer spoke with Kilkelly.

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