Brad Williams 0

Establish a GHSA managed, coach advised, sanctioned esports program utilizing an alternative to PlayVS

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In just a few short years, we have seen esports take off in Georgia high schools and provide numerous benefits for every type of student. While we know student athletes want and need esports as an option, coaches feel the current platform is letting everyone down (students, coaches, parents, GHSA, etc).

Some of the current failings:

  • There is no accountability for coaches (some teams are student led with a coach “figure head”)
  • Team no-shows with no communication/forfeits are rampant. Not only is this a waste of time for teams that show up, but some schools are trying to build a program that involves streaming matches for stakeholder and fans. No-shows and forfeits are hard to explain and hurt the retention of viewership.
  • Here at the end of the 2021 season a policy was introduced that if teams had not played a match from the regular season they could agree to a 1-1 tie. This would give each team a game win and definitely has affected the standings in other states with teams climbing rankings without actually playing games.
  • Teams from around the country had game issues not resolved and outstanding support tickets for most of the season. Communication and transparency is lacking.
  • In collegiate Overwatch, a three-way tie for playoffs was decided by a coin flip instead of a method with more merit and less luck.
  • PlayVS has clearly stated rules with no consequences stated for failure to violate rules. For example, a school recently used an unrostered ringer against a GA team. This is prohibited, but no consequence or penalty is clearly stated/enforced.
  • PlayVS representatives (supposed to be our direct line of communication to the company) have had a high turnover rate (one school just started Fall 2020 and is already on their third different rep) and are seemingly assigned at random (Two schools that are ten minutes from each other in Columbia County have different representatives).

These are just a few examples of many we can pull from just the 2021 Spring Season alone. If you go back to previous seasons, most of the above complaints still apply.

In alignment with the mission of GHSA, we want to create a standardized high school esports program designed by Georgia centered around the mental, physical, and education advancement of participating GA athletes. This program shall aim to be a standard for state sanctioned esports around the country in it's promotion of well-being and sportsmanship as aligned with the mission statement of GHSA.

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