Just over a year ago, the Colorado High School Activities Association declined to endorse adding boys volleyball to its ranks.
A vote on Wednesday is the first step towards an about face on the issue as the CHSAA agreed to allow pilot seasons for boys volleyball, girls wrestling and unified bowling. For boys’ volleyball, this is a crucial next step in a battle that has raged for some-20 years.
“We’re really excited about the possibility of these sports offering new opportunities for students across the state,” CHSAA assistant commissioner Bethany Brookens said. “We are really trying to reach new populations of students who aren’t already participating, with a focus on inclusion.”
The additions were jump started by a January creation of a new step by step process for adding a new sport, which was brought about in part by last year’s no vote. The new process requires the Board of Directors to approve the new activity for a piloting program, which will last for one year.
The activity also “must have support from the classification and league organizing committee, the sports medicine committee, the equity committee and the Board of Directors before the Legislative Council can vote on it” to approve official sanctioning.
The first of two boys volleyball pilot seasons will be this spring. The legislative council will then vote in 2019 whether or not to approve the sport. If it is sanctioned, official play would begin in spring 2020.
Colorado would become the 24th state to sanction boys volleyball, with six other states said to be looking at the possibility of joining the ranks.
According to the CHSAA announcement, 35-40 teams have participated in boys volleyball in Colorado over the last 20 years. In 2017, more than 650 athletes played on 50 teams as part of the Colorado Boys High School Volleyball Association.