Boys volleyball sanctioning rejected by Legislative Council

Volleyball generic

(Matt Daniels/

AURORA — CHSAA's Legislative Council opted to not even consider sanctioning boys volleyball on Thursday.

As a result, the vote on a proposal that would have added a 28th sport never happened. Fifty-four percent of the Legislative Council voted against opening the Classification and League Organizing Committee report from January.

In order to have boys volleyball be considered, the CLOC report needed to be reopened.

It was a stunning red light given to boys volleyball, a sport that was seeking sanctioning for the third time.

"It's not something we expected to happen," said CHSAA assistant commissioner Bethany Brookens, who administers volleyball. "It's very rare that an amendment doesn't even get considered. We were expecting a lot of discussion on it. With that being said, the Legislative Council has the right vote how they feel they're best representing their leagues and constituents."

The Legislative Council — a 72-member body made up of representatives of leagues and associations, including athletic directors and other administrators — first voted by raising their panels on Thursday. But in order to be clear on the vote to open the CLOC report, commissioner Paul Angelico called for an electronic vote. That vote resulted in 54 percent of the body voting against opening the report.

After that, Angelico asked if everyone understood that merely opening the report would only lead to discussion, and asked if anyone on the Council wanted to change their vote, saying again that not reopening the CLOC report would mean no vote on the proposal.

But no one did. And so boys volleyball's sanctioning never came to the floor.

The refusal to even open the CLOC report sent a loud message.

"Not getting enough votes to get it on the floor, I don't know if it's ever happened," Angelico said. "If they couldn't even get it on the floor, I have a feeling that that speaks volumes about what the vote would have been.

"We felt as though the Legislative Council should have at least discussed it," he added, "but if they don't want to talk about it, they don't want to talk about it, and that's the way it is."

Thursday's proposal was forwarded by the Tri-Peaks League, and spearheaded by Mike Prusinowski, the athletic director at James Irwin who also serves as the president of the Colorado Boys High School Volleyball Association. It sought to add boys volleyball as a two-classification sport in the spring.

Initially, boys volleyball seemed to have some stream behind its sanctioning quest in Colorado.

A survey of member schools seemed to indicate support for sanctioning, or at least, not much opposition. But then in January, the Equity Committee did not endorse sanctioning. Then, in recent weeks, as Thursday's vote drew nearer, the overzealous approach of some of the sport's supporters — including an email to schools predicting, by name, how each Legislative Council member how would vote based upon that survey — took some wind out of their sails.

This was the third time the sport has sought sanctioning from CHSAA. It is unknown if representatives of boys volleyball will try again in the future. They could try again next January — a time in which they would not have to reopen the CLOC report, as it would already be open.