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Illinois takes another step toward sanctioning competitive gaming

December 18, 2018 / Athletic Administration
It might not be long before Illinois high school students are able to participate in competitive gaming as a state sanctioned activity.

esports league of legendsAccording to Fox 2, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) is putting together an advisory committee to develop a state series and championship format for esports. If the plan comes together and esports is sanctioned, Illinois would be the first state to make such a move.

Competitive gaming has exploded in popularity, and esports is projected to become a billion-dollar industry by 2020. In 2017, Coach & Athletic Director spoke with Andre Whitehead, executive direction of Chicago Esports & Gaming, and his goal was make esports a sanctioned sport in Illinois within two years.

From Fox 2:

“We are excited any time we can entertain the possibility of offering Illinois high school students more opportunities to represent their schools in competition,” said Craig Anderson, IHSA executive director. “We know that students benefit in the short and long term when they are involved in a high school sport or activity.”

Althoff Catholic High School athletic director Greg Leib said their kids are interested.

“I talked to Dave Harris—our principal—the other day about it and it’s something we’ll probably embrace because I think there is a distinct interest there,” he said.

In 2017, Coach & Athletic Director polled readers about competitive gaming as a high school sport. In the survey, 93% said it should not be a state-sanctioned “sport,” and more than 31% said video games are detrimental to the educational goals of schools.

Learn more about the survey.

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