VHSL to pilot ‘Esports’ for 2019-20 school year

The Virginia High School League Executive Committee has approved a one-year pilot program for “esports” at its May 2019 meeting.

Esports competitions have grown in recent years and many high school students are engaging in cooperative, collaborative, and competitive activities on their own.  Some schools in Virginia are already offering esports as a club activity.  Through this pilot program, and with the assistance of PlayVS, the esports platform provider, The Virginia High School League will assess the potential participation of member schools in esports, and provide data to the Executive Committee for potential sanctioning of esports as an official Activity for the League.

“Since approved by the Executive Committee, there has been a lot of ​positive feedback​ from schools and sponsors  who are very ​excited about esports​,” said VHSL Executive Director John W. “Billy” Haun, Ed.D. “The Virginia High School League is always looking to ​increase opportunities​ for  students beyond the traditional activities.”

“Esports” is, basically, a competition for students who play computer games. Mike McCall, Communications Director for the VHSL, says it’s much more than just playing a game.
“At it’s simplest, yes, but it’s much more than that because of the interaction with your opponents,” said McCall.

PlayVS is the official esports partner of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and works with several other state associations to provide esports programming for their students.

All competitions are on-line, so no travel is necessary. Schools register directly through the PlayVS website and schools may register any time prior to the start of the regular season to compete.

Students must maintain eligibility to participate as other students in VHSL activities and practices and competitions happen after school in a supervised environment.
For questions or further information schools are urged to contact VHSL Assistant Director for Academic Activities Darrell Wilson at dwilson@vhsl.org.

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