Boys’ volleyball received an awareness bump at the Minnesota State High School League board of directors meeting Tuesday, and now seeks a sanctioning set and spike.

Leadership from the boys’ volleyball league, a year removed from its inaugural season, made its first board presentation. Minnesota Hall of Fame volleyball coach Walt Weaver, joined by Shakopee girls’ assistant coach Krista Flemming and boys’ volleyball league director Jenny Kilkelly, discussed the sport’s popularity surge and recommended high school league sanctioning.

A total of 51 schools, each with a junior varsity and varsity, are registered for the approaching spring season. That’s about 1,000 athletes, more than double last season.

Sanctioning a sport under the auspices of the high school league begins with a proposed amendment gaining approval from nine of the league’s 16 region committees. Then the amendment is heard by the league’s Representative Assembly.

Despite its rapid growth, boys’ volleyball did not garner enough support. Four regions voted in favor to 10 against. Two regions haven’t responded.

But a two-thirds majority vote by the board of directors also can get an amendment before the Representative Assembly. The board voted to make boys’ volleyball an action item at the March 22 meeting.

Board member and Prior Lake activities director Russ Reetz suggested avoiding a drawn-out process.

“It took lacrosse seven years to get approved and I think everyone in the state thinks that’s too long,” Reetz said. “What we need to do is increase exposure. So my goal is to get the conversation to Rep Assembly.”

In other news

The board approved five years of annual increases to schools’ membership and activity fees. Beginning with the 2019-20 school year, the current $100 memberships fee increases to $110 and goes up $10 per school year. The fee the school pays the league per activity increases for $90 to $110 next school year then increases $10 per school year.

Overall revenue from fees increaseds from $1 million to $1,657,500 by the fifth year, helping the league offset the rising costs of state tournament venues and student-athlete insurance.

The membership fee hadn’t changed since before the 1990-91 school year. The activity fee last increased in 2007-08.

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