A Growing Sport: Boys Volleyball Popularity Rising in Texas
Originally Appeared on VYPE
TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS FANS ARE AWARE – the Lone Star State's girls' volleyball is among the best – if not THE best – in the world.
Recently, there's been a movement for Texas high school boys' volleyball.
While the exact number isn't confirmed, there are less than 100 boys' Texas high school volleyball teams in existence today.
The Southwest Preparatory Conference has nine teams that include Episcopal, Kinkaid and St. John's in the Houston-area and St. Andrew's and St. Stephens in the Austin area. There are 20-30 more teams (mostly private schools) in the Dallas Metroplex area, but none are sanctioned by the University Interscholastic League (UIL). Compare that to over 1,200 UIL-sanctioned girls' teams.
The approach to high school boys' volleyball in Texas is the "club" space – a group of teams that play at the high school level, but in the private sector. Think lacrosse, which is sanctioned by the Texas High School Lacrosse League. Or hockey, which has a few club organizations.
Boys' volleyball has a lot of growing to do on a national scale. On the collegiate front, the NCAA has only 45 schools that compete.
"The boys' game has a ways to go," stated Butch Hart, the "Godfather" of Texas volleyball media. "There's some really good talent out there. In my opinion, Nathan Lietzke (St. Andrews High School; Austin Juniors Club Volleyball) is the best player in the state – he's going to Stanford on scholarship.
"The key to growing the boys' game will be finding a time period when they can play. Texas high school sports is packed – football in the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball, track, soccer and lacrosse in the spring. There must be a time when you can get boys to play volleyball."
The story continues here