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JUST IN: UHSAA to add esports for 2025-26 school year

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The Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) has announced “a groundbreaking decision to officially sanction esports as an activity, marking a significant milestone in the Association's efforts to provide increased opportunities for student engagement,” according to an official news release.

Sent out Monday (April 1) afternoon, the release continued as follows.

“Following a unanimous vote by the UHSAA Board of Trustees on Thursday, March 28, esports has been formally recognized as a sanctioned activity beginning with the 2025-2026 school year. This decision underscores the UHSAA's commitment to adapting to the evolving interests and needs of today's youth while embracing emerging trends in extracurricular participation.

“Starting with the 2025-2026 school year, high school students across Utah will have the opportunity to compete in organized esports competitions under the auspices of the UHSAA. The inaugural season will run from January through April, offering students the chance to showcase their skills in a variety of popular video games while representing their schools with pride.

“’We are thrilled to announce the sanctioning of esports as an official activity within the UHSAA,’ said Rob Cuff, Executive Director of the Utah High School Activities Association. ‘Esports provides a unique avenue for student engagement and competition, and we believe it has the potential to enrich the high school experience for a wide range of students.’

“The decision to sanction esports as an activity comes after careful consideration and collaboration with stakeholders across the state, including educators, administrators, students, and community members. The UHSAA remains committed to ensuring that esports participation aligns with the Association's core values of sportsmanship, integrity, and inclusivity.

“’We believe that esports has the power to bring students together in new and exciting ways, fostering teamwork, strategic thinking, and leadership skills,’ added Cuff. ‘By embracing esports as an official activity, we hope to provide students with opportunities for growth and personal development both on and off the virtual battlefield.’

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“The Utah High School Activities Association looks forward to the positive impact that esports will have on high school communities across the state and invites students, educators, and parents to join in this exciting new venture.”

Esports already exist in many Utah high schools as a club activity. The delay in implementation will allow time for schools to engage appropriate adult supervision and better organize efforts to prepare for sanctioned competitions.