The Manteca Unified Board of Education added boys’ volleyball to the list of available options for junior high school student several years ago.
And on Tuesday, the board decided that it’s time to add the sport to high schools after a student suggested that they provide it during the spring sports season to cater to what he says is a growing number of students that want to play.
While the funding to add boys volleyball is not technically currently in the budget, the board instructed staff on Tuesday to make sure that the funding for the sport was included in the 45-day update that will be back before the board for final approval.
While the three other schools that comprise the Valley Oak League – Oakdale, Kimball and Central Catholic – don’t currently offer boys volleyball, Manteca Unified’s clout as the majority of the schools inside of the conference will allow the district to offer it amongst its own schools and possibly go outside of the district to find opponents to comprise a full schedule.
Aside from the student who requested that the board look into the matter, nobody spoke in favor of the item and representation from the individual schools that could end up offering it by Spring of 2017 were not present.
A number for what adding volleyball to the spring would end up costing was not available when the board instructed staff to bring it back in the revised budget on Tuesday, and that budget would need to be approved before the matter was set in stone.
Currently the spring is one of the busiest seasons in high school sports with track-and-field, swimming, baseball and softball all making up the schedule. But next year girl’s soccer and boys soccer will both be played in the same season when they transfer to the winter at the start of the next school year. Currently the boys play in the fall while the girls play in the spring – a chance to the spring from the winter season came a few years ago to give the girls better weather.
Boy’s volleyball is already played in Southern California, Sacramento and the Bay Area, and local schools such as the University of the Pacific offer scholarships to athletes in the sport – one of the arguments that the student made when addressing the board.
Because the item wasn’t on the agenda, simply instructing staff to bring it back was possible since the budget was already an item that was on the agenda.