Alaska Nears End of First Season with Sanctioned Esports

The Alaska School Activities Association added esports as an activity to its high school roster of sports. The inaugural playing season, which began running in September, will last until next week. Playoffs will take place in January.

The addition of esports as a sanctioned activity took place in April with the caveat that playing not include any "first-person shooter games." The association entered into an agreement with Play Versus (PlayVS) to coordinate the seasons, which includes three gaming options: League of Legends, Rocket League and Smite.

As part of the structure, each school that participates needs to have an esports coach onsite for all matches. Schools can run as many teams as they want to. (Rocket League uses teams of three, while Smite and LoL run teams of five.) The participation fee for each student is set at $64 for the season.

Interestingly, classifying schools for the sake of competition may be done based not on the size of the school but on its internet speed, according to reporting. "Among some of our concerns are schools with faster broadband capabilities would eventually have some competitive advantage over those with slower internet speeds," Bill Strickland, executive director, said.

So far, dozens of high schools are offering esports to their students in the state. The next season begins in February 2020.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.