Rural Schools Add Esports Clubs
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Rural school districts in Missouri are adding esports clubs. West County R-IV School District has acquired 14 "high-end computers" through a grant, which will be situated in the high school's industrial technology computer lab, according to local reporting, and used for student competitions.
Technology Director Cory Smith is lining up a regional "conference" to allow his players to compete against other schools in the area, including students attending Mineral Area College. The current roster will cover Rocket League, League of Legends and Overwatch.
The idea grew out of an area meeting among IT leaders, including those from Farmington, Central and Arcadia Valley.
Andy White, the director of technology at Farmington, told reporter Pam Clifton that "he has been working and educating administration on the future of esports, benefits of competitive gaming, organizing events, funding and coordinating with other districts to get the program started."
Eventually, White said, he hopes that the Missouri State High School Activities Association will officially sanction esports. (The organization reported earlier this year that it planned to question its membership about the level of interest in esports on its annual member survey.) "Until then," he noted, esports "will remain a club and accept as many students that are willing to join."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.