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Final Season As Club Sport --- Boys Volleyball Will Be MSHSL Sanctioned Next Spring

By Tom Schardin, 04/21/24, 8:00PM CDT


Boys volleyball is in its final spring as a Minnesota State High School League emerging activity.

In the MSHSL Board of Directors meeting April 4, boys volleyball was approved as fully sanctioned activity, and competitive sections were made for the inaugural season in the spring of 2025.

Eighty-five teams are registered to participate when boys volleyball debuts next spring. However, 81 teams are still playing this spring as an emerging activity under the leadership of the Minnesota Boys Volleyball Association.

There are eight conference. Prior Lake, the defending state champion, along with Burnsville and Shakopee, compete in the South Conference, while Chaska-Chanhassen is part of the Southwest Conference.

"This is another exciting step for boys volleyball," said MSHSL Board President Jim Smokrovich, principal at East Ridge High School. "The Board of Directors has done a great job of being thorough in this process as boys volleyball has evolved from a club sport, to emerging status, and on to a League-sanctioned activity next year."

Next spring, practices will start the week of March 17 with the first-ever MSHSL state tournament the week of June 9.

It's been a long road for boys volleyball to get to the point. Last May, the MSHSL representative assembly voted to approve boys volleyball as a sanctioned, interscholastic sport with 39 members voting yes. Thirty-two votes were needed for approval.

In 2022, boys volleyball missed getting sanctioned status by one vote in the representative assembly, despite a 31-17 decision in favor of it. Two-thirds majority were needed for passage.

Emerging status was created by the MSHSL in 2022 for club sports that seek to become fully sanctioned. For a non-sanctioned sport to be granted emerging status, it has to have 32 or more teams that are MSHSL-registered schools for two straight seasons.

Then at that point, the sport will be eligible for full interscholastic status.

In May 2020, boys volleyball garnered 29 votes (29-18), missing sanctioned status by two votes. Thirty-one votes were needed to pass that year.

In 2017 and 2018, the sport did not gain the necessary support of nine of the 16 administrative regions to advance to the representative assembly.

According to the Minnesota Boys Volleyball Association, participation grew from 1,400 athletwes across 53 schools in 2022 to 1,974 across 72 schools last season. Each program had at least one junior varsity team last spring, and 29 had two or three levels below varsity.

Fourteen teams make the state field, including two from both the South and Southwest Conferences. This year's state tournament is set for June 12-13 at Shakopee High School.

Prior Lake won the state title last year as the No. 5 seed, beating 10th-seeded Rogers in the title match. Top-seeded Andover beat third-seeded Shakopee in the third-place match.

For more information and to see schedules and rosters for this spring, go to