Boys volleyball gets call up to official state league

by Martin McConnell

Hudson Boys Volleyball – a club team to date – will kick off its first season as an officially sanctioned Ohio High School Athletic Association sport in the spring.

OHSAA recently added two sports for the 2022-23 school year in the form of boys volleyball and girls wrestling. This brings the official count of OHSAA-sanctioned sports to 28, with 14 each for boys and girls high school athletics.

Hudson Athletic Director Michael Chuppa said no girls have expressed interest in a wrestling team yet, but boys volleyball is a popular club sport with about 25 participants during the 2021-2022 season. The Explorers, regional champs, spiked their way to the Ohio High School Boys Volleyball league state tournament last spring, falling to Beavercreek, 3-0, in the first round.   

“OHSAA adds sports to their ‘emerging sport list’ as it relates to the number of schools in the state of Ohio that offer that sport at the varsity level,” he said. “Typically, as sports gain traction within the state, and participation numbers rise, OHSAA reacts accordingly in an effort to support member schools.”

The main difference between club sports and those that are officially sanctioned by the state, according to Chuppa, is participation.

“Roster make-up as club-level sports is open to anyone who may be interested in participating,” he explained. “Varsity level sports, or school-sanctioned teams, would be composed only of students who attend our school district.”

Adding lacrosse in 2016 raised the profile for the sport across the state of Ohio, and OHSAA hopes these additions can do the same for wrestling and volleyball. In a news release about the additions, OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute said these two sports have been under consideration for some time.

“OHSAA has been talking with the boys volleyball and girls wrestling leaders for several years, and we are now in the position to bring these two sports into the OHSAA,” Ute said. “This move will help those sports continue to grow and allow those student-athletes to compete for an OHSAA state championship. It gives more kids opportunities and that is the mission of the OHSAA.”

Next up, OHSAA may venture into the world of video games.

“E-sports have been growing quickly at high school and colleges over the last few years,” Chuppa said. “I am not sure what the next step is, but I believe there has been discussion between the groups.” ∞

Photo: Boys volleyball joins the list of officially sanctioned OHSAA sports this year. In the spring, the Hudson’s varsity boys team advanced to the Elite Eight of the Ohio High School Boys Volleyball league.Photo submitted.