Boys volleyball? Out!

Despite+intermittent+interest+and+local+rivals%2C+Glen+Rock+High+School+has+never+had+a+boys%27+volleyball+team.

Photo Credit: Laura Yuan

Despite intermittent interest and local rivals, Glen Rock High School has never had a boys’ volleyball team.

by Laura Yuan, Staff Writer

Similar to the majority of the schools in its conference, Glen Rock High School has never had a boys’ volleyball program. Since our school has a strong girls’ team, I wondered why boys were never offered the same opportunity.

Boys’ and girls’ volleyball follow very similar rules, with the main differences being that the net is higher in boys’ volleyball and the seasons are at different times during the year. Girls’ volleyball is a fall sport while boys’ volleyball runs during the spring.

According to Coach Matthew Kingsley, current head coach of the girls’ volleyball program at Glen Rock, “The boys’ game is played above the net where the girls’ game is more of a control passing game.” In addition to girls’ volleyball, Coach Kingsley has coached the boys’ team at Hackensack High School and is the current head boys’ volleyball coach at Bergen Tech.

Statistically, on the high school as well as college levels, girls’ volleyball has more interest and participation when compared to boys’ volleyball. Compared to the number of schools in the area that have girls’ volleyball programs, only larger schools such as Fairlawn and Garfield offer boys’ volleyball. Other schools that have established boys’ volleyball programs include Bergen Tech, Ramapo, Don Bosco, Passaic and Passaic Valley.

According to the administration, a lack of facilities is a big reason that Glen Rock High School does not offer a boys’ volleyball team.

If the school were to have a boys’ volleyball program, the high school gym would be needed for practices during the spring. Although many people think that spring sports are outdoors,  the season starts in March and there is still a possibility of snow on the ground. As such, the early season for the baseball and softball teams is often spent indoors where batting cages are set up in the gym.

To add another sport in the spring, I think would really hit both of those sports really hard.”

— John Arlotta, principal

Yet facilities are not the only concern, says the school principal, John Arlotta.

“When I was in high school, most boys in the spring played baseball. When lacrosse hit, it really affected both baseball and softball because you’re taking that same group of students,” he said. “To add another sport in the spring, I think would really hit both of those sports really hard.”

Unlike some high schools that have two gyms, Glen Rock High School has just one, so it would be a challenge to add a sport in terms of space.

According to the administration, though, the biggest reason for why the school at this point is not considering the addition of a new sport is a lack of interest.

Over the past ten years, there has not been a strong and consistent interest by a group of students (which is usually how a new sport comes under consideration). Many boys who were interested in playing expressed that they would be unable to during the spring due to conflicts with other sports such as lacrosse, baseball and hockey.

“If there was major interest then we would look into it. But right now it’s kind of a moot point because there is no interest,” said Frank Violante, district athletic director.