Volleyball's numbers spike in Winter

OSJ: The sport continues to grow, while basketball's numbers decline
Jan. 24, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Jounral

In a moment of reflection on the state of youth athletics, volleyball coach Kim McLain offered a very traditional view of sports today.

“I really wish there were no club sports,” McLain, the head coach at Santiam Christian High School, said Monday. “I think it’s a great thing when an athlete can go from one sport in fall, to another sport in winter and another in spring and get a diverse background as an athlete.

“But, sports specialization is how our society is going, and it seems like it’s here to stay.”

And, since they're here to stay, the coaches who lead club volleyball programs operate within a system, the Columbia Empire Volleyball Association, that continues to grow annually - more than 12 percent since 2011. It's growing, though, while girls basketball, which plays during the same winter season, is declining - more than 7 percent in the past five years.

Girls are playing basketball less and volleyball more.

It's the cover story to this week's issue of Oregonsports Journal, which is available for $25 for 52 issues or $5 for the single copy.