By Julian Gutierrez

It is the year 2017 at Umatilla High School and the summer sports season is on everyone’s minds. Many students are enrolled in the sports that are available at UHS. It is time that we add another sport to the Umatilla High School program: Men’s Volleyball.

For the sport to be set into the motion of becoming one of our sports programs, you would need to ask the Oregon School Activities Association to have it added and to have neighboring schools consider the sport as well. A sport that is approved by the OSAA goes into the state’s sports program and then the schools will be able to compete with each other. If the OSAA does not approve the sport, students can open up a club where students willing to participate in the sport can perform as they please which is how lacrosse started in Oregon, a sport that is still not part of the OSAA catalog.

These clubs can get their players together and they could have practices and have matches with other clubs. Although the clubs are smaller and there is less competition, they can get some practice in. Having enough players could result in teams to form with other schools and then they could go again to get approved by the OSAA.

“If you open up a small volleyball club, you can get students together to play volleyball together, that can get bigger and bigger.” Mr. Bob Lorence, the Principal at Umatilla High School, said.

The chance of having Men’s Volleyball in Umatilla is not too high at the moment because of a lack of players and other schools participating in the sport. Statewide, the  OSAA has not approved of the sport to take place because they need a significant number of schools interested before they will adopt a sport – it’s one of the reasons that there are a lot of lacrosse teams in Oregon, but it isn’t a sport yet.

In all of the U.S. only 23 states actually have Men’s Volleyball teams in their high schools. Not all schools have a Men’s Volleyball, but many, if not most, have a Women’s Volleyball team. One problem with having the sport for both teams at the same time would be that they would need to figure out when and where the practices would be taking place. If they have a varsity and a JV for the boys and girls, they would need to have practices scheduled and coaches to coach.

Umatilla High School has volleyball for women but not for men. Discussion of the topic has arose about having a volleyball team. I would like the opportunity to play, it would be cool but it’s unlikely for UHS right now.