Boys volleyball’s OHSAA status still on hold

A Fairmont player spikes the ball past two Beavercreek blockers during their volleyball match April 4, 2019. CONTRIBUTED

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A Fairmont player spikes the ball past two Beavercreek blockers during their volleyball match April 4, 2019. CONTRIBUTED

Despite coaches’ and players’ hopes for a speedy decision, boys volleyball is still playing a waiting game with the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

The OHSAA Board of Directors met Monday — one day after the boys volleyball coaches association’s state championships — but there was no vote on sanctioning boys volleyball as an OHSAA “emerging sport.” After support this spring from the OHSAA’s Expanding Opportunities Committee, boys volleyball advocates had hoped the vote would come this week.

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“We are still conducting an internal review before the possibility of presenting it the Board, but it is entirely dependent on our internal review,” said OHSAA Director of Sport Management Emily Gates. “We do not have a set time frame at this point.”

Gates said OHSAA’s internal review will include accounting, to make sure the sport and tournament are sustainable, officiating, to review rules and the recruitment and onboarding of officials, as well as technology, to line the sport up with current membership, tournament and officiating systems.

About 80 Ohio high schools played boys volleyball this year, according to the Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association’s website. That number would have to grow if the sport is to receive full state recognition.

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Emerging sport status is the OHSAA’s way to recognize new sports among its 800-plus school membership. Girls and boys lacrosse were recently recognized at that level, meaning they must adhere to OHSAA rules, and their season-ending state championships are sanctioned by the OHSAA.

Most of the current boys volleyball schools are in the Cincinnati-Dayton area (36) or Columbus area (29). Locally, Division I teams include Fairmont, Northmont, Centerville, Miamisburg, Wayne and 2019 state-qualifier Beavercreek, while Division II has Carroll, Chaminade-Julienne and state qualifier Alter.

St. Xavier beat its Cincinnati rival Moeller for the OHSBVA Division I state title Sunday, while Walsh Jesuit near Akron defeated Columbus Watterson for the D-II title.

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