Is making video gaming an official high school sport a good idea?

The CHSAA Board of Directors voted last week to approve eSports as a 'pilot activity.' That's one step closer to making gaming an officially sanctioned high school sport. The first of the pilot, or test seasons, are set to begin the start of the next school year.

The eSports teams will be co-ed. There will be no school size classifications either. Also, since the matches will be played online that means no travel costs associated with the competition. If all goes according to plan, eSports could become an official high school sport by the year 2022.

For those not familiar, eSports is a form of competition using video games. The most common are the games associated with real-time strategy, first-person shooter, and multiplayer online battle type games.

The thinking is that this will be a way to get more students connected with their school. "eSports has the potential to provide opportunities for more students to become engaged in their school and communities," so says CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green. "Many of these participants may not be involved in any other activity in their school. eSports will provide the same opportunity to this population that many other traditional sports and activities have provided to other students in their schools." 

The games approved for the pilot program include PlayVS include League of Legends, Rocket League, and Smite.

Of course, the questions are "Is eSports a sport at all? Will the addition really get more students 'connected' to their schools? Will it somehow dimmish the appeal of real athletic competition?" Regardless, it's coming soon to a school near you. What do you think?


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