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Volleyball could become an official sport of Massachusetts

A bill to make volleyball the official recreational and team sport of Massachusetts is now on Gov. Deval Patrick’s (D) desk.

The sport Ζ — invented in Holyoak, Mass., in 1895 by William Morgan, a YMCA physical director — was originally called “mintonette,” according to the Volleyball Hall of Fame, which is located in the town.

“This is not just a cute name bill,” said Rep. Aaron Vega (D), one of the bill’s sponsors. “This is actually an economic development tool for western Massachusetts.”

Vega said he hopes to use the designation to leverage support and financing for the Volleyball Hall of Fame, something the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in neighboring Springfield was able to do after then Gov. Mitt Romney made basketball the official state sport in 2006, he said. Basketball was also invented in Massachusetts.

Vega said he anticipates Patrick will sign the bill in August or September.

Hunter Schwarz covers the intersection of politics and pop culture for the Washington Post

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