Boys volleyball gets MSHSL approval to become a sanctioned sport in Minnesota

Volleyballs sit in a bin in front of a volleyball team in a gym.
Boys volleyball will join the roster of high school sports sanctioned by the Minnesota State High School League.
Andy Kosier | MPR News 2019

Updated: 3 p.m.

Boys volleyball will soon join the roster of high school sports sanctioned by the Minnesota State High School League.

The league’s 48-member Representative Assembly approved the proposal Tuesday with 39 votes in favor. It needed 32 votes — a two-thirds’ majority — to pass.

“It’s pretty incredible. We’re elated,” said Jenny Kilkelly, president of the Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association, which has organized statewide competition as a club sport for several years and had been lobbying for sanctioned status.

Boys volleyball will become a sanctioned sport in Minnesota in the 2024-25 school year. The league still needs to decide what season boys’ volleyball will play.

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“This summer, the League, through a task force of member school representatives, will begin the process to determine when the boys volleyball season of competition will take place,” the High School League said in a news release following the vote.

Tuesday’s approval comes after efforts to sanction boys volleyball in Minnesota were blocked twice before — including by just a single vote in May 2022. Last fall, the league voted to approve it as an “emerging sport,” as a step toward sanctioned status.

The Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association said teams from 72 Minnesota high schools — including nearly 2,000 athletes — are participating in this spring’s season.

“For the 2,000 boys and all the boys that came before and played in the league prior to this year — we’re ecstatic for all of them,” she said. “It becomes more accessible and more affordable to many, many kids — and there’s definitely a demographic of kids that have not necessarily found their sport, and this happens to be their sport. Fifty-six percent of our kids are students of color.”

The High School League said Minnesota is the 25th state to sanction boys volleyball as a high school sport.