Kentucky’s high school athletic association has banned Fortnite from varsity esports among its members, calling shooter video games inappropriate in a school setting and saying its esports partner never consulted with their officials before adding it to this season.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reported on Monday that the commissioner of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association emailed school officials this weekend, regarding news that a national esports partner, PlayVS, would begin offering Fortnite in competition. “There is no place for shooter games in our schools,” Julian Tackett, the KHSAA commissioner, wrote.
Tackett told KHSAA members that he and other states’ officials did not know about PlayVS adding Fortnite to a lineup that includes League of Legends, Rocket League and Smite. League of Legends and Smite are multiplayer online battle arenas, or MOBAs, and Rocket League is a variation on soccer played with cars.
Joe Angolia, the KHSAA’s director of communications and primary contact for esports there told Polygon that his organization only learned of Fortnite’s addition after a member school emailed him with a notice that it would be adding the game to its competition schedule. Angolia said school esports officials logged into their PlayVS portal to find a solicitation to register Fortnite teams and begin play.
PlayVS and Epic Games announced their partnership on Jan. 22, saying they were creating the first Fortnite esports league for college and high school competitors. The Washington Post later reported that PlayVS considers its Fortnite competitions to be a “national club league” whose schools are participating “separate from their respective state associations.”
“We’ve had to fight to get esports to the point it is right now,” Angolia told Polygon. ‘We had people that were concerned about the games we were offering, and whether they were suitable for schools. Then we […] worked with our partners, with our…