PlayVS Expands Scholastic Esports in the Southeast with Renewed Commitments from Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, and Virginia
In partnership with the AAA, GHSA, KHSAA, and VHSL, PlayVS will bring the community, camaraderie, and competition of scholastic esports to over 1,500+ schools across the Southeast
LOS ANGELES (September 19, 2023) — PlayVS, the leading scholastic and amateur esports platform in North America, has renewed its partnerships with the Arkansas Activities Association (AAA), Georgia High School Association (GHSA), Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA), and Virginia High School League (VHSL) ahead of the 2023 Fall Season. Together with PlayVS, these organizations have brought the community, camaraderie, and competition of scholastic esports to nearly 50,000 students and 1,300 schools across the Southeast and look to reach even more with these renewals.
PlayVS’ publisher partners include 2K, Activision Blizzard, EA, Epic Games, Nintendo, and Psyonix. In tandem with the AAA, GHSA, KHSAA, and VHSL, PlayVS will provide schools with structured, competitive, and rewarding experiences across the most popular gaming titles, crowning official state champions in Rocket League, Super Smash Bros.™ Ultimate, & Madden NFL & NBA 2K.
Esports is one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S., given that 90% of teens play video games. The Southeast region is one of scholastic esports’ earliest adopters, with GHSA first partnering with PlayVS in 2018, followed by AAA, KHSAA, and VHSL in 2019. Since the start of the partnerships, esports adoption amongst the four Southeast states has exploded, with more than 120 state champions crowned and student participation levels surpassing Cross Country, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, and Volleyball in every state.
"As we extend our partnerships with the AAA, GHSA, KHSAA, and VHSL--some of our earliest supporters--we can take a moment to reflect on the incredible growth we’ve achieved in the Southeast and the positive impact we’ve created on so many students,” said Jon Chapman, CEO of PlayVS. “Our long-term partnerships are a testament to our commitment toward making esports, and their many benefits, accessible to every student.”
Esports create an incredibly positive impact on participants, helping foster character growth alongside socialization and STEM skills. They are co-educational, safe, and more inclusive than traditional sports while removing barriers to student engagement: About half (45%) of participants report that esports was their first experience participating in an extracurricular activity.
“Activities are a fundamental part of student development, and PlayVS provides students with another way to learn essential skills like teamwork and problem-solving amongst their peers,” said Lance Taylor, Executive Director, AAA. “Over the past four years, we have seen esports programs truly enrich students’ lives, not only through the camaraderie it fosters, but also career opportunities. We look forward to the continued partnership with PlayVS and can’t wait to see how we can continue to grow in the future.”
"We are excited to continue our partnership with PlayVS in order to provide more students in Georgia with the opportunity to experience all the benefits that scholastic esports competition has to offer," said Dr. Robin Hines, Executive Director, GHSA. “In the last several years, we have seen esports engage a diverse array of the student population who have been able to learn valuable skills such as teamwork, socialization, and leadership. We look forward to what the future of the partnership with PlayVS will bring in giving a fun and competitive environment for our students."
"Esports represents a great opportunity to be involved in representing your school, especially for those who don’t play traditional sports,” said Julian Tackett, Commissioner, KHSAA. “As a state that was in on the ground floor of this national project, we are pleased to extend our agreement into the future and assist in the continued evolution of this fantastic program. PlayVS has been the right partner with the right electronic infrastructure and relationships to ensure continued smooth operations and grow this invaluable opportunity for our students.”
"Our ongoing relationship with PlayVS stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment to providing innovative ways to inspire greatness and career exploration among Virginia’s high school students,” said Shawn Knight, Assistant Director, VHSL. “The esports platform not only offers an engaging and inclusive space for students of all backgrounds but also cultivates essential skills and provides new scholarship avenues. We look forward to continuing to advance our mission together by providing a fun and competitive space for our students.”
Information on PlayVS’ Fall 2023 high school season can be found here. Schools looking to compete with PlayVS have until September 22, 2023, to register.
PlayVS (pronounced Play Versus) is North America's leading high school esports platform. We are a single community where players come together to compete, fans gather to spectate, and coaches manage their programs. PlayVS is the official high school esports partner to the NFHS Network, the Special Olympics, and state and regional organizations in the U.S. and Canada to offer officially sanctioned high school esports leagues. To learn more about PlayVS, visit https://playvs.com/
The mission of the Arkansas Activities Association is to promote the value of participation in interscholastic activities in the AAA member schools and to provide services to the schools in a fair and impartial manner while assisting and supporting their efforts to develop thinking, productive and prepared individuals as they become positive, contributing citizens modeling the democratic principles of the state and nation.
Founded in 1908, the Georgia High School Association is a voluntary association of 407 public and 56 private high schools (grades 9-12). The objective of the organization is the promotion of education in Georgia from a mental, physical, and moral viewpoint, to standardize and encourage participation in athletics, to promote sportsmanship, and to develop an appreciation for and a study of music, speech, and other fine arts through Region and State competitions. A member of the NFHS since 1928, the GHSA currently conducts championship events in 11 sports for boys, 15 sports for girls, and five co-ed sports and activities.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association was organized in 1917 and is the agency designated by the Kentucky Department of Education to manage high school athletics in the Commonwealth. The Association is a voluntary nonprofit 501(c)3 organization made up of 290 member schools, both public and non-public. The KHSAA awards 229 state championships to 59 teams and 178 individuals in 13 sports and six sport-activities, funds catastrophic insurance coverage for its more than 109,000 rostered member school student-athletes, provides coaching education and sports safety programs for more than 12,000 coaches and licenses and facilitates the distribution of training material for over 4,000 contest officials.
The Virginia High School League (VHSL) is an alliance of Virginia’s public and approved non-boarding, non-public high schools that promotes education, leadership, sportsmanship, character and citizenship for students by establishing and maintaining high standards for school activities and competitions. VHSL maintains eligibility and standards for play in 27 sports, 14 for girls and 13 for boys, and in 12 academic activities and sponsors 162 team championships in sports and 27 team championships in academic activities. Nearly 174,000 students participate in VHSL athletic activities and more than 22,000 in academic activities.
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