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Lafayette High School news. Student-run.

The Lancer Feed

Lafayette High School news. Student-run.

The Lancer Feed

Boys volleyball becomes official sanctioned sport

Katie Rattenborg
Junior Ethan Tran serves the ball in a game against Seckman High School on April 6. They swept Seckman 3-0, with Tran leading the team in aces and serves. Overall, the Lancers placed second in the State Championship last season.

The Missouri State High School Activities Association has officially recognized boys volleyball as a sanctioned sport starting in the spring of 2024. With this decision, boys volleyball becomes a part of the high school sports landscape.

Being recognized as a sanctioned sport by MSHSAA signifies the official approval of boys volleyball as a fully established and regulated athletic activity within the high school sports frame. This acknowledgment ensures that boys volleyball will now follow standardized rules, regulations, and oversight.

For years, boys volleyball has been played across Missouri but hasn’t met the criteria to be officially recognized.

Boys volleyball head coach Whitney Ralph, who has been coaching for over ten years at Lafayette, said she feels excited to finally see boys volleyball being recognized.

“This recognition adds a level of legitimacy to the sport,” Ralph said.

MSHSAA is a non-profit organization, responsible for overseeing and regulating interscholastic activities and sports for high schools in the state of Missouri. MSHSAA sets the rules, eligibility requirements and guidelines for various high school sports. MSHSAA also determines which activities are sanctioned sports and which are emerging sports for high schools.

By recognizing them as an official sport, Ralph predicts boys volleyball will grow and expand to other schools and districts in Missouri. Until now, many boys interested in volleyball were limited to club teams outside of the school system. With official recognition, this sport will gain greater legitimacy, leading to increased funding, support, and overall participation.

“I am most excited about seeing the growth of the sport throughout the state, which in time, will increase the level of competition and could potentially provide more post-secondary opportunities for our student-athletes in volleyball,” Ralph said.

With this recognition comes changes. Other than boys volleyball being now completely in the hands of MSHSAA, boys volleyball will move to one class of competition instead of two, although this might change in the future if more schools and teams register.

“Now that MSHSAA has taken over, it’ll be a one-class-based competition and MSHSAA will now run the state tournament. Because of this, it will no longer be run by the Webster Groves Administration anymore,” Activities Director Jonathan Sumner said.

The journey toward the official recognition of boys volleyball as a high school sport in Missouri has been a long-fought one. The process of getting boys volleyball recognized by MSHSAA involves a minimum of 50 schools in three districts around Missouri that have engaged in boys volleyball in their school.

“There are eight regions in the state according to MSHSAA, you have a certain number of schools from each region represented in order for them to adopt it as an official sport,” Sumner said.

As substantial support is gathered from different schools around Missouri, a request is made to MSHSAA and voting takes place.

“I voted for it to become an officially sponsored sport,” Sumner said

It is believed by both Ralph and Sumner that because boys volleyball is a sanctioned sport now, it will grow as a sport in the future.

“The recognition and additional funding will allow schools that have not been able to initiate a program on their own, to explore this amazing sport and its benefits to future student-athletes,” Ralph said.

Sumner agrees with Ralph.

“I think the biggest change is that it is going to expand, you’re going to have more schools across the state participating,” Sumner said.

With last season’s record of 25-7, boys volleyball won districts and took 2nd place at State. Assistant Coach Jodie Fowler said that her team was a “blast to be around.”

“Our boys volleyball team worked very hard all season to continuously improve from the day before. They are a very motivated group of boys,” Fowler said.

Lafayette boys volleyball is planning on participating in a one-class state championship in the future that will be held during the week of May 26.

“Our goal is to work on playing our best volleyball at the end of the season, which includes making the postseason tournaments,” Ralph said.

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Zosia Paciorek, News Assistant Editor
Grade: Sophomore Pronouns: She/Her Years on Staff: 1 Hobbies and Interests: tennis, swimming, listening to music Favorite Quote: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”- Oscar Wilde Favorite Hot Take: Double space isn't necessary for essays. Fun Fact: I love traveling the world.
Katie Rattenborg, Legend Photo Editor
Grade: Senior Pronouns: She/Her Years on Staff: 2 Hobbies and Interests: choir, singing, reading, theatre, speech and debate Favorite Quote: “But the children love the books!”- Nun from Elf Favorite Hot Take: I like to eat ice cream with a fork. Fun Fact: I sing opera.
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