Dallas Hosts Major Boys Volleyball Tournament

Volleyball was on display in more ways than one Sunday inside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.

The souvenir shop was filled with just about every item imaginable -- and on the court, a fantastic showcase for the sport with more than 600 teams visiting from across the country.

"This is a chance for boys volleyball to take center stage," USA Volleyball communications manager B.J. Evans said.

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Evans said boys volleyball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. That's right -- boys volleyball.

"A lot of people, in the United States especially, consider volleyball a girls sport," Evans said. "Yet when they see this (type of event), when they see our men's national team play, they realize that this is a sport that boys and men can play well and excel at."

It's also a sport that's a lot of fun to play.

"It's super-fast paced and like every play there's something different that's cool that happens," said Trevor Phillips, a competitor from North Carolina.

"It's non-stop movement and quick plays," said Noah Platfoot, who's from Ohio. "It's very sporadic but it's fun."

Texas has yet to sanction boys high school volleyball as a varsity sport. But 24 states have, and more are expected to follow suit, which makes many of the participants at this event very happy.

Nobody's happier than Mitchell Beal, who's in from Ohio. His father Doug coached the United States volleyball team to a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics and Mitchell is excited about the spike in interest for this sport.

"I really don't have any words for how happy it makes me," Beal said. "And then to come here and see this I mean it grows every year. The kids are getting better. There's more teams. It's just becoming more popular. It makes me ecstatic."

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