The National Federation of State High School Associations, the organization that creates rules for high school sports for public high schools across the United States, has appointed PlayVS as its exclusive esports partner.
This partnership will provide students with the ability to compete in gaming titles – both locally and interstate – and also includes the NFHS Network, which streams high school sports online. PlayVS is a venture-backed startup that has created an infrastructure in which high school students can compete in esports leagues.
Delane Parnell, CEO and Founder of PlayVS stated the following: “We’re excited to partner with the NFHS and NFHS Network to introduce esports in high schools nationwide.This partnership combined with our technology and publisher relationships will help us create the first scalable competition for high school students. Esports is about more than just playing games – it can be used to help students grow their STEM interests and develop valuable life skills and since there are more high school gamers than athletes, it’s about time we foster this pastime in an educational setting.”
Together, the three companies are working together on rolling out a program that enables over 14 million high school students to have an opportunity to compete in numerous esports titles. Students will represent their school in the lead up to state championships, in which the inaugural season is set to start on October 15. At least 15 states are said to become a part of the competition.
Mark Koski, CEO of NFHS Network also commented:”PlayVS’ philosophy on high school-based sports and focus on participation perfectly aligns with the NFHS and its member state associations. We looked at many potential esports partners and PlayVS was the clear choice thanks in part, to its overall education-based concept, mission and vision.”
Notably, PlayVS will allow students to choose their own teams regardless of their gender or age – and no tryouts are necessary. Each school year will include two seasons, with each regular season lasting two months with a month either side for post and pre-season with schools competing in a minimum of eight matches.
PlayVS will implement at least four titles each season; each title will see a state champion crowned through a single-elimination bracket. Students will compete through PlayVS’ online platform, though higher-profile playoff and championship games will take place in front of a live audience.
Bob Gardner, Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations discussed the partnership: “We believe the NFHS, NFHS Network and PlayVS make a great team to help jump-start esports activities in high schools across the country. With the rollout of this partnership, we anticipate that there will be tremendous initial and growing interest in esports from students, and we are excited to broadcast these events on the NFHS Network.”
Esports Insider says: This partnership spells good news all around. Not only will it allow high schools students to be exposed to esports, it supports and encourages inclusivity – a value that is vastly underrated in the industry at the moment.