Palo Alto High School is part of a very small list of schools in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) that does not have a participating men’s volleyball team.
SCVAL consists of two divisions, the De Anza League — the higher division — and El Camino League — the lower division. Paly has no male volleyball team that can participate in either division and this is simply because it refuses to add the team. An addition of a men’s volleyball team would add diversity to and strengthen Paly’s arsenal of fierce teams.
During the recent quad intramural volleyball tournament, many of the male students excelled and showed potential for a possible volleyball team. A men’s volleyball would be a great idea and this is currently an untapped area that could be very promising for Paly male students.
It’s unfair that students attending high schools in Los Altos, Mountain View, Los Gatos and other areas are able to participate in a men’s volleyball team. Paly, along with our neighbor Gunn High School, does not offer a men’s volleyball team, and in my opinion there are not any reasons for both Paly and Gunn to not to be able to participate in men’s volleyball.
When men’s baseball emerged in 1845, a women’s league was created in 1887, which later became known as softball. If we can have a women’s softball team along with countless other sports offered to both genders, why can’t men have a volleyball team?
I understand that to add a men’s sports team you then have to add a women’s sports team, there is a women’s field hockey league that Paly and Gunn do not partake in because of the lack of a men’s team to balance the number of sports for each gender. There are many male volleyball club teamsbut there is no school team for the sport.
This needs to change. There is a vast group of male students who seemed to be very interested in participating during the volleyball tournament that Paly created. Not having a men’s volleyball team can be seen as sexist to the male population — for each male sport there is a female counter sport; however, there is no men’s volleyball team to complement the women’s volleyball team. The Paly football team even allows girls to try out and play — but boys cannot try out to join the women’s volleyball team.
This is not fair because Paly has an even split between sports that are male and sports that are female, so I feel that the only way to properly add a sport such as men’s volleyball is to add a sport for females such as field hockey, another sport played in many other schools other than Paly. If there is a good amount of students wanting to partake in these sports why not have a compromise and add the two sports?
Sophomore Joao Gabriel de Pina feels the same way about having equal representation of genders in volleyball.
“I’ve been looking for a boys volleyball team near Palo Alto for nearly a year, but I cannot find any clubs and our schools do not provide that sport as an opportunity,” Gabriel de Pina said. “However, I have found that other schools have. I do not see why Paly would not provide [boys’ volleyball]. It seems like a sport that a lot of male students would be interested in playing, just based on the amount of male students that participated in the intramural grade volleyball tournament that was held on the school quad.”