Opinion: Calling for men's volleyball

Jared Schwartz and Sam Kelley

Junior Josh Totte makes a dive while competing in Palo Alto High School's own coed volleyball club. Photo by Scotty Bara.
Junior Josh Totte makes a dive while competing in Palo Alto High School’s own coed volleyball club. Photo by Scotty Bara.

Within the Santa Clara Athletic League in which Palo Alto High School’s girls’ volleyball team competes, Homestead, Los Gatos, Monta Vista and Mountain View  High School all have a male-counterpart volleyball team. With Paly’s longstanding history of success in the sports-realm, we must continue to strive in preserving this tradition of success in any way we can, specifically by adding a male volleyball team.

Coach Hansen addressed some of the problems that might accompany adding such a team.

“Right now a men’s volleyball team would be extremely hard, we don’t have the facilities to accompany both badminton and another volleyball,” said Hansen. “There’s also the future gym that will replace the small gym, meaning the teams would have to share  a single space for practice. But once the new gym is completed, we have a great opportunity to add men’s volleyball as a sport.”

Additionally one of the problems in creating a male volleyball team might be that it would upset the balance between sports offered to males, compared to those offered to females. Under Title IX of the Education Amendments to the Civil Right Act, schools must not discriminate based on gender, ergo they must offer equitable sports opportunities and programs for both males and females. Schools have historically added women’s field hockey and men’s volleyball as a “package deal” to counteract this problem . Field hockey takes place during the spring and requires a field to practice; consequently, field time will have to be provided during the Fall.

While volleyball may not be an option immediately, I urge Paly to provide this sport to males, as other schools in the Bay Area have. The demand is for volleyball is here, Paly’s volleyball club and it’s equitable gender ratio is a testimony to this.

Junior Josh Stern has experience with volleyball and wishes to play competitively.

“I’ve been playing beach volleyball with the beach volleyball club for this school year,” said Stern. “I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. If there was a more competitive outlet for me to participate in, I would.”

Senior Quinn Rockwell, a former varsity swimmer, wishes that he had the opportunity to try something new his last year at Paly.

“Volleyball has always been something that I’ve been good at because I’m tall-ish,” said Rockwell. “I’ve done a lot of volleyball at random points throughout my time in Palo Alto and I wish that I had an opportunity to try it out in a school setting while I was here.”

Once the new gym is completed, we believe that men’s volleyball should be a serious consideration for adding to Paly’s extracurricular options.