PLHS fall powderpoof tournament reignites questions about sanctioning boys volleyball


Luke Bloomer, Contributor

After an incredible 16-team Powderpoof Tournament over September’s Homecoming week, questions again arose about the future of Boys Volleyball at PLHS and in the state of Minnesota. In order to figure out the answers to these questions, we have to go back to the beginning.


On May 10th, 2022, a motion was made to officially add Boys Volleyball as a Minnesota State High School League-sanctioned sport. This motion needed 32 out of 48 representatives’ votes to pass.


However, they fell just short, receiving 31 of the needed 32 required votes. This was not the first time, either. In 2021, they fell just two votes short of officially sanctioning Boys Volleyball.


“It’s kind of disappointing,” James Lucht, a member of the Prior Lake Boys Volleyball Club said. “Other sports with fewer players and less support get sanctioned, and I don’t understand why we can’t get the same treatment.


Last year, the club was so large they were able to garner enough players to fill four teams. These included one top varsity team, one junior varsity team, and two ‘JV2’ teams.


“I understand concerns about the sport adding more work for schools,” said Jenny Kilkelly, director and president of the MN Boys High School Volleyball Association, “but this would just be an option for schools to add. It wouldn’t be required.”


Kilkelly, players, and other advocates for the sport felt dismayed that the most recent sanctioning motion failed. Knowing they will have to wait another year for a chance to retry is disappointing.


The next MSHSL assembly will be held in May 2023, just as the next boy’s volleyball season starts. “It’s important for all kids to have the same access to playing a sport that is sanctioned. It allows them to play a sport they like at an affordable level,” Kilkelly said.


If Boys Volleyball finally gets sanctioned at the next assembly, we could see a significant increase of players than has already happened in the last couple of years. Boys volleyball has been one of the fastest-growing sports in Minnesota, and with the additional support of the MSHSL, it could explode in popularity.


The MN Boys HSVA helps to support and run club programs for high schools around the state, but the association is completely non-profit and won’t be able to run forever. MSHSL funding and regulation are required to continue to allow Boys Volleyball to be played competitively and run indefinitely at high schools around the state.


Story Update: The Minnesota State High School League unanimously approved Boys Volleyball as an “emerging sport” during their December 1st meeting.  During the upcoming 2023 season, the sport will be run by the HSVB as in the past. Next year, however, will be a collaborative effort between the MSHSL and the HSVB, and in 2025, Boys Volleyball will be run entirely by member schools and the MSHSL.  It’s been a long and hard-fought effort, but the work has paid off!

The 2023 season starts soon! Open gyms begin on January 12th and continue every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 7:00-9:00 PM in the PLHS Activities Center.