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10/08/19- Update on Participation in Esports with KHSAA

October 9, 2019 eSports Blog Updates

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As the KHSAA heads into its second year of offering an Esports program, we have worked collaboratively with the Kentucky Department of Education as well as the Kentucky Center for School Safety to enact a directive from the Board of Control for 2019-20.
 
After you have read the material and are ready to complete the permission form, you may do so on the school login site at https://schools.khsaa.org/es101-esports-school-permission-form/.
 

Each of you has a login on this site. Contact Communications Director Joe Angolia at the KHSAA (jangolia@khsaa.org) for specific Esports questions. Contact Rob Catron at the KHSAA (rcatron@khsaa.org) if you are having issues with logging in.

As we reviewed year one of this project, it was determined by the Board of Control in consultation with our partners at KDE and KCSS that we needed to ensure we had informed consent from each Principal for each school to proceed. While we respect the great work many of our coaches have done, we must also recognize the unique position Kentucky’s schools are in with their K-12 data network. In addition, the unique needs placed on each school as a result of Senate Bill 1 from 2019 cannot be ignored and therefore, game content must be reviewed. This informed consent might take some time, and should likely be done collaboratively with your coach/sponsor to ensure that all are on the same page.

Please understand, this is not intended to have a chilling impact on participation. But as we go forward with this project, it is important that we all be on the same page.

To begin with, you will be asked to attest to three foundational conditions prior to participation –

  • That you and your school understand the Department of Education’s foundational concerns with DDoS attacks (see for a summary explanation), and the consequences by stating that your school understands that a DDoS attack is a KY Felony, and understands and acknowledges that if a school coach or student is determined to be involved directly or indirectly in such an attack or is part of launching a DDoS attack against their opponent’s school location before/during/after their esports competition to try to slow/disrupt their opponent’s KY K-12 Internet connection during the competition or after, then that is a cause for immediately removing that entire team & school from being permitted to use the KY K-12 Internet network to play esports for a minimum of 12 months;
  • That esports is not to be practiced or played during prime time instructional hours on the KY K-12 Internet Connection; and
  • That esports practice or play will not be permitted to alter or turn on/off any cybersecurity settings on the KY K-12 Internet Connection without specific approval from the Office of Education Technology at the Department of Education.


We have worked closely over the past few months with PlayVS, the company that has the exclusive rights to esports gaming in our member schools through our contract with the NFHS Network. We have posted important material on the KHSAA website at https://khsaa.org/sports/sports-activities/esports/ related to all three games offered by PlayVS. While we are disappointed additional games are not being offered, it is important that we work together to ensure the optimal experience for all involved.

The three games are Rocket League, League of Legends, and Smite. There is an information brochure for each of the games that has been prepared by PlayVS at

As you would likely predict, these brochures are very supportive of and promotional for, each of the three games.

In addition, you would be HIGHLY advised to review other material and game examples to make an informed decision to ensure that you are fully informed. For Rocket League, go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=what+is+rocket+league. For League of Legends, go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=what+is+league+of+legends and for Smite, go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=what+is+smite.

However, there are several additional cautionary notes we have been asked to share with each of you in consultation with our partners at KDE and KCSS. As a result, you will be asked to make individual decisions regarding participation in each game.

For Rocket League, you will acknowledge that you have read the material from PlayVS.
For League of Legends, you will acknowledge that you have read the material as well as several other provisions from the Principal on behalf of the school, including –
  • I have read the written information provided by PlayVS regarding the Esports game “League of Legends” that is provided at https://khsaa.org/esports/playvs/leagueoflegends/What_is_League_of_Legends.pdf;
  • I am aware of the concepts used in this game. I am aware that this can be categorized as a combat/battle game and have viewed the informational video at https://youtu.be/-157HBpPZ24;
  • I have viewed the trailer for the game at https://youtu.be/8fwwGCr1-po
  • I am aware that there are as many as 100 different types of weapons used in this game that can be used against an opponent’s character, minions, and Towers and that likely none of these weapons, were they real, would be permitted in a K-12 school;
  • I am aware that in the game “League of Legends,” the scoreboard is tracking “kills” within the game, and that total will be displayed on the scoreboard.
  • I am aware that this game may contain “skins”, or costumes or images simulating people that some would term provocative, particularly the female characters; and
  • I have reviewed the video examples of this game and am aware of the integration of the actual action included in the game as the student participants would be compelled to shoot/slice/bomb their opponent’s characters, minions and towers.

For Smite, if you are interested, you will acknowledge that you have read the material as well as several other provisions, including other acknowledgments from the Principal on behalf of the school such as –

  • I am aware of the concepts used in this game. I am aware that this can be categorized as a combat/battle game and have viewed the informational video at https://youtu.be/Ti6sgNNAPFY;
  • I have viewed the trailer for the game at https://youtu.be/xUJSWSTB8Qg
  • I am aware that there are as many as 100 different types of weapons used in this game that can be used against an opponent’s character, minions, and other representations and that likely none of these weapons, were they real, would be permitted in a K-12 school;
  • I am aware that the basic character types are a Hunter, Mage, Assassin, Warrior, and Guardian, all of which play those roles to damage those around them in order to prevail;
  • I am aware that in the game “Smite,” the purpose is to take out the opponent in one of five modes, Arena, Joust, Seige, Assault and Conquest; and
  • I am aware that this game may contain “skins”, or costumes or images simulating people that some would term provocative, particularly the female characters.

Lastly, you will be asked to attest to several final details, including-

  • That you have received written permission of the Superintendent of my school district to enter into this agreement.
  • That you have notified and received the consent of the school council to proceed or do not need such permission in this situation, and finally,
  • That you do or do not desire to participate.

We realize this process may seem cumbersome, but this is a new frontier for many of you and for us along with KDE and KCSS. We must all proceed with necessary caution as we go forward.

Communications Director Joe Angolia (jangolia@khsaa.org), as well as IT Director Rob Catron (rcatron@khsaa.org), should be able to address any additional concerns you may have.

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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 280 member schools both public and non-public. The KHSAA awards 215 state championships to 51 teams and 164 individuals in 13 sports and 6 sport-activities, funds catastrophic insurance coverage for its more than 106,000 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.

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