Frequently Asked Questions will be added and updated here!
Q. Wait. Are you just trying to get kids to play video games at school?
It will never be the intention of the Iowa High School Esports Association to just get kids to play video games at school. Instead, it is our purpose to give students a community, doing something they are confident in, who have never had a community before. We want to celebrate every positive thing our students do for our schools and give all students access to that opportunity.
The Mission statement of the IAHSEA is: To support safe and competitive environments for Iowa high school students while promoting team building, communication and critical thinking through esports programs. These programs will provide an opportunity for more students to feel connected to school as well as provide future opportunities in the fields of technology and esports.
We mean this mission statement and suggest you use this to guide your student program as well.
Q. Alright. I am on-board. How do I start this up for my school?
Schools in the IAHSEA have put together documents that walk you through how they created their programs. Click on the links below!
Q. How do we get administration, school board, and parent approval/support?
The goal of extracurricular activities is to make students feel more connected to school as well as teach skills like teamwork, communication, and problem solving. This should be the focus when pitching esports to these groups. Esports is avenue to get students not usually involved in other activities to participate and be involved more with the school. Lastly, most students wanting to join an esports program are already playing the games. With a school program, we are providing the students an opportunity to compete with other students as well as provide guidance and supervision to make it a positive learning experience. With this supervision it allows the opportunity to teach students how to properly represent themselves online.
Q. What are the equipment requirements?
Equipment requirements vary greatly between titles. It is recommended each school find out what titles students are interested in playing. Then the school and look up the requirements for specific titles. Here a list of requirements for each game IAHSEA currently supports:
Q. Where do we get the money to start and maintain an esports program?
Money for an esports program is very dependent on the school and the goals of the program being created. Depending on your schools inventory, an esports program can cost the school $0. If the school has a computer lab capable of running free games (which the IAHSEA plans on offering every season), the coordinator is a volunteer, and the school decides to only participate in online matches (no travel), the program can operate on a $0 budget. This is not the recommended model due to program sustainability, but is an option many schools use for the first few years to demonstrate the value to the district.
When convincing a school to invest in the program, what is beneficial about computers used to play games is that they are high performance computers. Media production, streaming, and virtual reality (creating and viewing) are all handled very well by gaming computers. These are also areas of technology students should have the opportunity to explore and learn about. Gaming computers can greatly enhance the classes school districts are already offering as well as provide new opportunities for students to learn. Outside of investing in computers and equipment, the district would be investing in students that have traditionally not been connected to the school.
Having the additional uses for your computers also provides more opportunities for grants, booster supports, and fundraising.
If you have more specific questions, please reach out to us at:
Q. Can we participate in other leagues while in IAHSEA?
Teams/students may compete in other leagues while being a member to the IAHSEA, but they may not compete in games concurrently with the IAHSEA. During the fall season teams/students may not participate in Smash Ultimate, Overwatch or DOTA 2 in another league. Teams/students are allowed to participate in other titles the IAHSEA is not offering during the current season through another league.
Q. What are the seasons and how long does the season last?
We currently offer a fall and spring season. The length of season will mirror the athletic seasons. 8 weeks with 4 additional weeks for the postseason for teams that qualify.
Q. How much is registration for a season?
There is no registration fee. All that is required is a school approved coordinator.
Q. Is it esports, eSports, or e-sports?
The AP Stylebook has it listed as esports or Esports.
Members of the Planning Team are here to help! We assembled some of our stories on how each of our teams started up for you to see what might work for your school: