Virginia High School League to pilot eSports for 2019-20 school year

Competitive video game playing, also known as esports, is now a high school varsity sport in eight states.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (VHSL Communications) – The VHSL Executive Committee 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.”

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.

• Schools register directly through the PlayVS website. Schools may register any time prior to the start of the regular season to compete.
• Students maintain eligibility to participate as other students in VHSL activities.
• Practices and competitions happen after school in a supervised environment.
• No travel is necessary, competitions occur online.
• Three game titles will be offered; League of Legends, Rocket League, and SMITE.
• In the pilot year, schools may enter more than one team (comprised of different students) in each game title competition.
• Two seasons will be offered: Season One – October to January; and Season Two – TBD.
• Cost per student is $64 per game title, per season.

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