Why LHS does not have a boys volleyball team


Virginia Beach Sports Center


At Lanier, we have a wide variety of sports available to students, including football, tennis, golf, volleyball, and many more. For most of these sports, we have respective boys and girls teams. However, we only have girls volleyball, who is known for how well they perform each season, but what about the boys? Why don’t we have a boys volleyball team?
It turns out that no high school in Georgia has a team, well, not an official GHSA team; there are only club teams. Club teams can compete against other schools, but there are no official events or normal GHSA-style playoffs.
According to Coach McDonald, the athletic director of Lanier, “We can have a club team if there is an interest, and we have gym availability. This has been asked in the past, but we have never had enough interest or a club sponsor to make it happen.”
However, many boys have recently expressed an interest in playing volleyball for the school. When asked about his thoughts on having a boys volleyball team, Coach Deppe, the girls volleyball coach at Lanier, replied, “I think that having boys volleyball would be a great addition to fall sports. I have had a lot of guys show interest, so it would not be difficult to field a team if the GHSA [Georgia High School Association] decides to make it an official school sport one day.” He added that he would be willing to coach the boys team as well.
Coach McDonald shared a similar response when asked about his thoughts on having a boys volleyball team, or at the very least a club, saying, “I am all for it as a club. But there has to be enough interest, a school sponsor (coach), and we have to have gym availability.”
That being said, what can we do about our lack of a boys team? Well, we could propose the formation of a volleyball club, at the very least, to the school, with Coach Deppe as a possible sponsor. However, since many schools in Georgia lack boys volleyball teams, it will be difficult to find teams to compete against during the season. But a small step forward can lead to loads of opportunities, and maybe one day the GHSA will recognize boys volleyball as an official sport.
Because GHSA does not officially recognize boys volleyball as a sport, the issue of a lack of a boys volleyball team runs deeper than just Lanier; instead, this is a statewide problem, which leads me to wonder why boys volleyball is not a GHSA sport. If girls volleyball can be recognized as a GHSA sport, then why can’t boys volleyball be too?
Coach McDonald gave some insight about what criteria has to be met in order to be recognized as an official sport by the GHSA, “They look at interest (national and state trends)… Gender equity (part of Title IX) does play a role. Male and female participation numbers are compared, and sports have been added as an attempt [to] decrease the disparity between genders. Currently, female participation numbers [are] below that of males.”
Given this information, another important factor that is holding Lanier back from having a boys volleyball team is Title IX. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, “Title IX regulations require schools to offer equal participation opportunities for girls and boys. This does not necessarily mean the same number of teams, since team sizes can vary.” This means that schools are not required to have a boys and girls team for each sport, so while a school may have a girls volleyball team, they are not required to have a boys volleyball team. At Lanier, and in the state of Georgia as a whole, female sport participation is lower than that of males, so schools typically have girls volleyball teams, but not boys teams in order to increase female participation.
Right now, the boys volleyball teams that are in Georgia are club sports because most schools do not have a boys team since it isn’t officially recognized by the GHSA and because of Title IX guidelines. Personally, I think that the sport should be a GHSA sport, but it takes time and money for that to happen because it’s a change made on the state scale. So what can we do for now? As mentioned before, if there is enough interest and a willing club sponsor, we could have a boys volleyball club at Lanier, so any boys who are interested in that idea should propose the idea to the school. Now, how do you start a new club at Lanier? Check out “How to start a new club at Lanier” for details about the process!
Title IX and High School Sports: Facts and Findings. (2019, February 6). GAO’s WatchBlog. https://blog.gao.gov/2019/02/06/title-ix-and-high-school-sports-facts-and-findings/