June 2020 - 16

Student-Athlete Sports, 175 colleges and universities are
members of the National Association of Collegiate Esports
(NACE) and offer officially recognized varsity esports
programs. These schools have coaches and offer partial or
full-ride athletic scholarships.
So the next step has to be reaching the high school
levels, right? Not according to the coaches polled in our
2020 survey. Sixty-nine percent of coaches believe esports
should not be a sanctioned high school sport. Though
that is still the majority, that number has decreased
significantly from a year ago, when 80% of coaches said
esports shouldn't be sanctioned in high school.
Though teenagers - the same teenagers coaches
deal within their respective sports - are the target
demographic for esports, nearly 60% of coaches said
they are indifferent to the sport, with 22% saying they're
detrimental to education and have no place in our schools.
One coach went as far as to say that " gaming is leading
to the demise of high school athletics. It keeps them from
trying something new. "
On the flip side of the argument, another coach was
looking on the brighter side of esports - marking the
connections between esports and typical athletics.
" Strategy, training, technical things are all involved with
esports and I believe it will be sanctioned sometime in the
near future. "
But echoing the overall sentiment of indifference,
most coaches saw esports as both advantageous and
disadvantageous.
" They can be a great tool if used correctly, but students
already spend too much time playing video games, and a
sanction would just encourage students to do it more, " one
coach said.
Should esports be sanctioned in
high school sports?
What Has Coaches
Concerned?
Coach & Athletic Director asked high
school coaches to tell us what issues weigh
on their minds. Here's what concerned
them the most, ranked by the percentage
of coaches who said they were at least
moderately concerned by the subject.
2020
rankings
1. Sport specialization 90%
2. Team funding
3. Club/Travel
Team Issues
4. Finding Qualified
Assistants
5. Increased
Workload/
Expectations
6. Participation
7. Fundraising
8. Combative/Abusive
Parents
9. Social Media Issues
with Athlete/Coach
10. Pressure To Win
11. Opponents
Cheating
12. Job Security
13. Rule Changes
14. Pressure from
Administrators
2019
ranking
1
88.5% 2
80.5% 5
76.5% 3
74%
74%
72%
6
4
9
70.5% 7
70.3% 8
44.5% 10
42.3% 11
34%
13
29.4% 12
29%
14
Homeschoolers on the Home Team?
Unlike esports on the high school level, coaches
What Best Describes Your Opinion of Esports?
were much more split on the topic of having homeschooled
children play in their respective hometown
schools. Roughly 59% of coaches surveyed said they
should be allowed to participate in public school
athletics while a little more than 40% said they should
now be allowed.
The tight margin practically mirrors the 61/39 split from
the 2019 survey.
The argument for allowing homeschooled students to play
in public school sports is fairly simple - those families pay
16 JUNE 2020

June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of June 2020

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