In partnership with PlayVS, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association announced an expansion of its recognized varsity title offerings to include FIFA 21 and Madden NFL 21 for the upcoming Spring 2021 esports season.

These additions bring the number of sanctioned games to five, joining the KHSAA’s previous offerings of League of Legends, Rocket League and SMITE.

Amid continued COVID-19 concerns, interest in esports has grown as it provides students a safe extracurricular environment in which to compete.

Two of the most popular sports titles in the world, FIFA and Madden feature representations of actual professional athletes on their professional teams.

“We are excited to expand our esports offerings to include more opportunities for student-athletes to participate,” KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said. “Our membership has been quick to accept esports as our most recent sanctioned sport-activity, and we look forward to seeing its participation continue to grow.”

High school FIFA and Madden teams will compete in PlayVS High School leagues for KHSAA-sanctioned varsity competition. Teams will be made up of three players. Teams will play three 1-on-1 matches, and whoever wins the best-of-three series wins. Schools can register an unlimited number of teams.

Top teams at the end of the season will advance to playoffs and compete for a Kentucky High School Athletic Association championship.

The spring regular season starts the week of March 1 with FIFA matches played weekly on Tuesdays and Madden matches on Thursdays.

High schools can sign up now and register teams at PlayVS.com.

To meet the needs of communities, schools and students, teams are allowed to compete remotely in order to maintain social distancing.

The KHSAA strives to give every student the opportunity to be involved in an extracurricular activity by bringing esports programs to high schools, encouraging students’ participation regardless of gender, physical ability or socioeconomic status. Many higher education institutions already compete in esports, with more than 200 colleges and universities offering nearly $10 million in scholarship opportunities.

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