Estes Park High School is offering a new extracurricular activity this year. It has eligibility requirements, practices, tournaments and a governing body, but it doesn’t require cleats, game balls or trumpets. What it does require is some 21st century technology, video games and some changes in thought. ESports, a new Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) sanctioned school activity, is a pilot program currently being developed at Estes Park High School, according to Jeff Collins, the high school assistant principal and athletic director. Collins is one of the sponsors of the new program which allows kids to compete in online video game competitions like sports tournaments.
Currently, the school is in the very early stages of rolling out the program, he said. CHSAA has been looking for ways to expand what the organization does. He also mentioned that other states are looking at ESports as well. In the past few years, pilot programs for activities have been tried, including boys volleyball, girls wrestling and “what we’re calling ESports,” Collins said. “The first I heard about it was like last spring, right around the time when the kid made three million dollars playing Fortnite,” Collins said, adding he remembered that being looped into the conversation. At first, Collins was somewhat resistant to jump on board.
“But, at the same time, I thought about the upside for kids,” Collins said. “Because I was thinking about my own personal opinion about video games and some of those things.” He said he wanted to see kids out and doing things and being active.However, at a state-wide summit for athletic directors in late June, there was a presentation on ESports and talked about the kids who don’t have interest in band, choir, athletics or drama- but it they had an interest in E-Sports they could connect with their school, Collins said.“I’ve always been a fan of anything that you can hold kids accountable to, or give them a reason to do their homework and pass their classes,” he said.A couple of companies have done work in support of state organizations for hosting and helping to make the program work, he said.PlayVS is the company which CHSAA has partnered w[…]
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