Over the last handful of years, the GHSA has approved three new sports for official sanctioning. These sports include girls wrestling, esports, and girls flag football. With more and more sports being recognized at the high school level, here are five sports that we think should become sanctioned by the GHSA.
1. Water Polo
Water polo is already approved by the FHSAA, and if you haven’t seen it, it’s a lot like soccer in the water. Teams take turns trying to move the ball down field and throw it into the opponent’s goal, all while treading in the water.
Water polo is a sport that requires peak endurance, conditioning, and flexibility in the water. It’s a great game of strategy that the GHSA should institute, as many high school sports already use pool facilities for swimming and diving.
This is another sport that feels fairly obvious, as a lot of other states already have competitive weightlifting in their ranks, and it should come to the Peach State. Many football programs have nice weightlifting rooms and facilities as it is, which would make for an easy place to host events.
Weightlifting is great for young athletes looking to get bigger, as well as athletes in sports such as baseball, football, and wrestling to continue workout programs during their offseasons. It also allows another opportunity for girls to compete. Florida has a competitive girls weightlifting program, and it’s a great chance to showcase strong athletes.
3. Boxing and MMA
This is in more of the dream stage, as the GHSA will likely never bring more competitive fighting sports into the high school level. But boxing, MMA, and other fighting sports teach kids the importance of discipline, focus, strategy, and problem solving.
The worry for fighting sports is obviously the risk of serious injuries and concussions, but the advancement in head gear could make the sports safer than ever. There will always be some risk, which is why it most likely will never happen, but boxing is one of the most exciting sports out there.
4. Team Handball
This sport is also kind of out there, but handball is one of the hidden gems of the Summer Olympics. It is widely popular in Europe and can simply be described as water polo and ultimate frisbee on a court. You pass the ball to your teammates as you move down the field, and you can only take two steps with the ball in your hand. So handball becomes a fast paced, high intensity sport with some incredible goals scored. Handball would be great if it were more popular in America, but it is an incredibly fun, athletic sport that I would love to see in high school sports.
5. Beach Volleyball
Another Olympic gem is beach volleyball, the competitive two-on-two volleyball match played on sand. Every four years, the men’s and women’s tournaments are some of the best events for viewing during the Olympics, and the games are typically intense.
It would be a great opportunity for boys and girls to play more volleyball and also play on the beach. The GHSA currently doesn’t have a boys volleyball team, and this would be a great way to give some kids the opportunity to play. It would also be a great offseason sport for a lot of basketball players to work on their leaping ability.
Those are my five sports. Which ones would you like to see added?
Written by: Kyle Grondin