Boys volleyball: set in stone?

No team for Shorewood yet

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by Loannis Soler, staff

For most student athletes, playing for their high school team is a path that can help them reach opportunities like playing for their dream college, or even guide them into going pro for their sport. While this may be true for most sports like basketball, football, and tennis, this isn’t the case for boys’ volleyball in our state. 

In general, men’s volleyball isn’t that popular in the west as it is in other parts of the world such as Asia; this remains true especially in high schools, where according to a National Federation of State High Schools Associations (NFHS) survey, for every male competing in high school volleyball, more than eight females are participating. This, however, doesn’t stop interest in boys’ volleyball from increasing throughout recent years, with the sport being featured more in the media which inspires young athletes to keep playing.

The lack of this sport in our state however is much more due to unpopularity. “Boys volleyball is not a sport the state high school organization Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) recognizes,” said school Athletic Director Joann Fukuma. “Some school districts have “club” volleyball for boys, but we do not. Other sports like water polo and lacrosse have outside organizations that have met with a staff member on campus to assist with starting a club.”

Tien Duong, junior, organized the Shorewood High School Volleyball Tournament, an open tournament which was held on campus on the day before Veterans Day. In the event, any student was able to participate and form their own teams and compete.

After watching the tournament, talks about a boys volleyball club arose again as people saw the performance of the mostly male teams. Duong, who was also part of the team who won the whole tournament, agreed that forming a boys’ volleyball club can be a good idea. “I think the school should deserve one since a lot of people enjoy the sport and it was a great turn out,” said Duong.

Sebastien Villanueva, junior, played in the open tournament and was part of the winning team. 

“I think it’s dumb how volleyball is seen as a “girl sport.” It’s something that everyone should be able to play and enjoy,” Villaneuva said. 

While a boys’ volleyball club can be a lot of fun for the school, this won’t give dedicated athletes who want to play volleyball an opportunity in the long run, which might lead to them spending less time on the club and more on sports that matter for their career. 

“I want to [make a boys’ volleyball team], but it is a lot of work and I feel like even if I do make one, we won’t have that many people joining because of [other sports]…If it was just a generalized club for volleyball it could be a good idea, but no teacher wants to spend the time watching since they’re busy,” said Duong, explaining why a boys’ volleyball club might not be worth forming. 

This doesn’t shut down the idea of a boys’ volleyball club. 

Said Fukuma: “If a group wants to start a club at Shorewood, they can. I have gym space available in the spring season. I came from Las Vegas, Nevada and in the Clark County School District, we had boys’ volleyball in the spring and it was amazing.”