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The Boston Globe

Politics

Volleyball may become official recreational, team sport of Mass.

It may not be the sport you talk about with your friends over beers. And your kids might not have jerseys or sports cards from its most revered players.

But with a stroke of Governor Deval Patrick’s pen, volleyball could become “the official recreational and team sport” of Massachusetts.

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In the midst of wrangling over everything from a bill aimed at reducing gun violence to one meant to curb harassment and obstruction outside abortion clinics, the Massachusetts Legislature this month gave speedy passage to a legislation giving volleyball, invented in Holyoke, that hallowed designation.

Basketball, another Massachusetts-invented game, was made the state’s official sport in 2006.

State Representative Aaron Vega, a Holyoke Democrat who backed the legislation, said volleyball’s Massachusetts history is something the state should be proud of and promote.

And, he said, the official title could give a lift to the little-known Volleyball Hall of Fame in his city.

The hope is that the designation can “help us leverage some international funds” from the worldwide volleyball community to help boost the Hall of Fame, he said.

“This really is an economic development tool for Holyoke and western Massachusetts,” Vega added.

Action on the bill by the governor, which passed sailed through the House and the Senate, is due by Aug. 3.

A Patrick spokeswoman said this morning the governor had not yet signed the bill into law.

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.
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