New Club Closes Gender Gap in Volleyball


Brooke Dion

Players on the Boys Volleyball team huddle during a game in Rockwell on Feb. 16

This year, a new club emerged allowing boys to participate in volleyball games. Male students can now participate in and compete in volleyball competitions thanks to the establishment of the Plano East Boys Volleyball. The club was newly formed to expose the sport to more people and increase exposure to the community. 

“I introduced my brothers to volleyball at a young age,” senior and club co-founder Madison Tran said. “When they grew up, they started playing club volleyball at Excel. They went out to the [recreation] center and played with their guy friends. Just seeing a bunch of guys wanting to play [volleyball] for fun and wanting to compete [made me want] to see that go further. Me and my brothers discussed how we wanted to try it and other friends of ours wanted to be included.”

The number of boys volleyball teams in the United States increased over the past few years. There are male volleyball programs in 36 states. While the exact number isn’t confirmed, there are less than 100 boys’ Texas high school volleyball teams in existence today. Boys volleyball is not a class at the school, so this club wants to make the sport more accessible to everyone.

“In states like Texas, there’s not [as] many boys volleyball teams as there are in states like California and all that so it’s not as popular,” sophomore and club co-founder Connor Tran said. “Sometime in the next few years, they’re hoping to make [boys volleyball] a UIL sanctioned sport. I know some schools are making it an actual class period for their school.”

Texas has not yet designated men’s volleyball as a UIL sport, despite the sport’s developments in other states. The Texas High School Volleyball League (TBHSV) is where the majority of boys’ volleyball teams compete at the moment. The league works to expand competitive high school boys’ volleyball teams throughout Texas.  The club’s members continue to hold out hope that boys volleyball will become a UIL-approved sport in the future.

“In 2018, [men’s volleyball] was rejected as a UIL sport,” co-founder and player Dozie Ononye said. “The league we’re playing in right now helps get more exposure to the sport. If UIL sees how many people are interested, they might approve it next time it [is] brought up in one of their meetings.”

The club’s founders hope that the sport will become more accessible to more people and close the gender gap.

“It will give other individuals a chance that they didn’t have before to play something that they love,” Tran said. “Before we started, there were people who wanted to play but couldn’t play because it was only girls. I also think that it sets an example for future clubs and the community that if you want something, you can make it happen. Nothing should be inclusive for just one group.”