Arizona making sports video games an activity to compete for state titles

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Arizona making sports video games an activity to compete for state titles

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Arizona making sports video games an activity to compete for state titles

One of the biggest obstacles high school coaches have while reaching kids is keeping them off their phones and computers.

Now high school students will have an after-school online outlet to compete for state championships.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association, during its executive board meeting Monday, indicated it is looking at bringing eSports on as an emerging activity, rolling it out in February, giving schools a chance to compete for state championships.

The AIA is partnering with Phoenix eSports and will run two seasons – in the fall and in  the spring after its initial launch in February. Brian Bolitho, AIA director of business development, said it will cost $50 per season for students to participate. They won’t have to travel until the state tournament, which will be held at a designated site.

Bolitho said initial games will include Rocket League (3v3) and League of Legends (5v5).

“Schools can have as many teams as they have students wanting to participate, so a school could have one team or a school could have seven or more teams,” Bolitho said.

The National Federation of State High School Associations has partnered with PlayVS for eSports competition.

Joe Paddock, assistant director of the AIA, said the executive board was informed that 25,000 students in Arizona already are involved in some form of eSports.

“We need to build a platform to have it launched,” Paddock said. “It’s in the building stage. Schools could begin to register teams and competition. We’re looking for what’s best for Arizona. Just like athletics, though, schools can opt to participate or not. It’s another opportunity to involve kids.”

Read the rest of the story in the Arizona Republic

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Arizona making sports video games an activity to compete for state titles

The next sanctioned high school sport in Arizona could be eSports.

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