McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC issued the following announcement on Dec. 20.
The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Esports Association (PIEA) announced its official launch today, becoming one of the first high school governing bodies focused solely on esports in the country.
The PIEA is a venture started by several stakeholders, including the Hollinger Family and McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC. The PIEA will provide the oversight and regulatory structure necessary to bring credibility and confidence to the esports industry as a viable high school program. All while ensuring student safety, security is the top priority.
“As esports continues to grow in popularity, the need for actual regulatory oversight tied to academic curriculum is clear,” said Langdon Ramsburg, Chair of McNees’ Esports Practice Group. “Municipal governments and elected school boards are seeking clarity on the benefits of esports to schools across the Commonwealth, as well as how to ensure the safety and academic advancement of its student-athletes. In short, schools are seeking a pathway to purposeful gaming. Guidelines and standards will help encourage more schools to take the leap into supporting esports clubs, ensuring that more students have access to official school esports teams. And this will have significant positive impacts on our state’s public and private schools.”
In addition to announcing its creation, the PIEA is kicking off its regulatory function with the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Esports Championship to be held in March 2020. The tournament, being conducted online and in-person, will crown the very first Pennsylvania High School Esports State Champions in various esports titles. The Pennsylvania Esports Coalition will also provide support to the new entity, especially as it relates to program best practices and integrity standards. To make the league a reality, the PIEA has also partnered with Estars Studios, the leading independent production company for esports and video games in the country, as well as other nationally recognized experts in the industry.
The PIEA has plans to develop an official statewide interscholastic esports league that will provide the structure and path toward an annual state championship in each authorized esports game title.
“Esports is changing lives,” said Kelly Hollinger, a principal of the new venture. “There’s a correlation between esports and STEM and it is creating a pathway to college, ensuring that underserved populations have access to programs and technology. This is one of many reasons why it is imperative that esports at the high school and middle school levels is appropriately regulated.”
The PIEA Board of Directors will be comprised of representatives from educational and esports stakeholders, as well as legislative appointees, high school administrators, and teachers.
Original source can be found here.