This is the full text of Reese Handley 2/27/2018 press release.
High Schools throughout the years have had the tradition to hand out school Varsity letters to students who have exceeded in a sport for the school that they attend. The first known varsity letter that was embraced was for Harvard baseball team. They used the Capital H to recognize the players who had played the most and had achieved such an excellence in the sport for their school.
Recently, “Munster High School” implemented varsity letters for its Esports teams. I sat down and talked with Nate on how the Munster High School Esports team went about getting varsity letters for themselves.
Reese:How did you implement Esports in your school?
Nate: Students noticed I had a plush Winston on my projector in my room. From there they asked if I played Overwatch and on what. We just moved on from there. A bunch of the kids were asking me about a lot of games and if I played them. It was at this point they found out I stream and that I play a lot of games.
We started talking and the subject of esports came up. e started talking about League of Legends and how there could be a lot of money from tournaments and how you could make a lot of money being a professional player. That is when I started investigating different ways of introducing Esports into the school.
I was asking about a “tech club” for the school as I noticed there was a lack of technology related activities. Munster Esports grew rapidly from this idea. In fact, the whole thing switched from being a “tech club” into Munster Esports and has different divisions inside of the esports. We do not just have esports teams, we have a video division, we have a social media/marketing side, we have a hardware division and a software division. This allows us to explore more options to us besides just esports.
Reese:Who had the idea of handing out Varsity letters to Esports participants?
Nate:Easy answer. Students.
The real answer is more complex than that however. In our school you can letter in club activities and academic activities. Since we are a club activity, we can offer letters to students if we have Administration approval. Our Administration has been super supportive of our club and the opportunities it allows students that may be missed from other activities. All I had to do after their approval was put together a point system, so we had something in place for students to use to see how to letter and to hold them to “standards” of lettering.
Reese: Is there any difference for the Varsity letters compared to letters handed out to other sports like football or soccer?
Nate:It is a club activity. It will be a club Varsity Letter. In this state the IHSAA (Indiana High School Athletic Administration) officially sanctions sports in the state. Esports is not officially sanctioned, yet. Outside of this designation there is no difference. The esports players can have a Munster High School Letter and Munster High School Letter Jacket along with a esports patch denoting they are esports players. If they letter multiple years they can also earn bars to add to their jacket.
As esports as a whole starts to grow, more schools will accept esports and embrace it as a full sport like baseball or lacrosse. Across our league we have teacher just like Nate who share a passion for Esports as a whole. With many of the teachers expressing the want to provide computer setups to students so more can participate in this spectacular sport.