2023 Representative Assembly passes two bylaw amendments
Posted: Tuesday, May 9, 2023 - 11:43 AM
BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. --- Bylaw amendments to Adapted Athletics and Boys Volleyball were approved Tuesday, May 9, 2023, when the Minnesota State High School League’s Representative Assembly convened for its annual meeting at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest. The 48-member Representative Assembly is the legislative body of the League that is responsible for creating and amending bylaws.
Following delegate caucuses to discuss the proposed bylaw amendments, the Representative Assembly, in its first action, voted unanimously to approve amendments to Bylaws 506, 511, 514 and 515, respectively, which creates a separate set of bylaws for Adapted Athletic programs rather than including them with the sport-specific bylaws. The approved bylaw amendment includes updated definitions on length of season, number of contests and other language that is specific to the Adapted Athletics programs and differs from non-adapted sports. The creation of these bylaws also supports students in adapted sports in participating in multiple sports.
Since the inaugural year of Adapted Athletics in 1993-1994, the co-educational activities have followed the bylaws and guidelines of non-adapted sports.
“The MAAA Board of Directors, Adapted Athletics coaches and program administrators are really excited at this new chapter in our activities,” said Marcus Onsum, executive secretary of the Minnesota Adapted Athletics Association, one of the authors of the proposed bylaw amendment. “While our programs have thrived since becoming sanctioned by the League, we have had ample time to look at what it is that adapted athletics needs to continue being successful in the future.
“Much like each and every one of our athletes being unique, we have found that each of our sports and their administration and operation are equally unique. Our leadership group has spent many, many hours over the last two-plus years looking at every aspect of adapted athletics in Minnesota and has decided that now is the time for us to have our own set of bylaws that are designed specifically for our athletes. It is this change that we feel will allow us to continue to grow and provide adapted athletic opportunities at the highest level possible.”
In its second action, the Representative Assembly approved a proposed amendment to Bylaw 520 to include Boys Volleyball as a sanctioned interscholastic sport beginning with the 2024-2025 school year. The amendment passed by exceeding the two-thirds majority requirement, receiving 39 votes in favor of sanctioning. In 2022, a proposed bylaw amendment to sanction Boys Volleyball as an interscholastic sport fell one vote short of approval during the Representative Assembly process.
Since that decision in 2022, the Boys Volleyball proposed bylaw amendment followed a path back to the Representative Assembly through a Board of Directors-approved Adoption of Programs Task Force, a group tasked to review and outline processes and pathways for emerging activities and sports. In December of 2022, the Board of Directors approved Boys Volleyball for emerging status in the 2023-2024 school year. The Board of Directors, then, with unanimous support, sent the Boys Volleyball proposed bylaw amendment to the Representative Assembly for consideration.
With the approval of the Boys Volleyball bylaw amendment, Minnesota becomes the 25th state association to sanction the sport. Nearly 2,000 participants are currently playing through the Minnesota Boys High School Volleyball Association.
This summer, the League, through a task force of member school representatives, will begin the process to determine when the Boys Volleyball season of competition will take place.
“This is another milestone day in the League’s rich history of supporting member schools and their students,” said Board of Directors President Troy Stein, activities director at Edina High School. “The Representative Assembly was very reflective and thorough in their consideration of the proposed bylaw amendments that were before them today.”