Effort to add boys volleyball as official high school sport in Minnesota fails by one vote

An effort to add boys volleyball to the list of officially sanctioned high school sports in Minnesota failed Tuesday by a single vote.

The Minnesota State High School League's Representative Assembly took up the proposal as they gathered for their annual meeting in Brooklyn Park.

The proposal required a two-thirds supermajority to pass — meaning 32 members of the 48-person assembly needed to vote for it. The measure received 31 votes for, 17 against.

That means boys volleyball will remain a club sport at the high school level in Minnesota — without the additional resources that sanctioned status would provide.

Backers of the sport called it "a sad day for high school athletics in Minnesota."

"Minnesota is missing out on an incredible opportunity with most boys volleyball student athletes not participating in any other sanctioned sport, and more than half identifying as students of color. While other states move ahead and make the right decision to sanction this sport, Minnesota will remain static and eventually, be left behind," the Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association said in a statement after the vote.

Last year a proposal to officially sanction the sport failed by two votes.

Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, Jenny Kilkelly — director and president of the Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association — acknowledged concerns that adding the sport would create more work for schools. But she said sanctioning the sport would not require any school to add it.

”We want this to be an option for schools to be able to offer it, if it makes sense for their school,” she told MPR’s Minnesota Now.

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