MORTON — There will be an eSports team at Morton High School after all.
School Board members on Tuesday gave informal, unanimous approval to the formation of an eSports club that will play only E-rated and E-10+ rated video games.
No vote was taken because the eSports item wasn't on the board's meeting agenda. Tuesday's action came two weeks after the board's 5-1 vote to table a proposal to create an eSports team on a one-year trial basis.
Several high school students spoke to the board Tuesday and addressed board members' major concern about forming an eSports team: the use of T-rated video games. A video game rated T (Teens) is for players ages 13 and older. It could have violent content and/or crude language.
The students suggested playing only E-rated and E-10+ rated video games, and board members went along with their idea.
A video game rated E (Everyone) by the Entertainment Software Rating Board is suitable for players ages 6 and older. There could be minimal cartoonish, mild violence and/or minimal mild crude language. A video game rated E-10+ is suitable for players ages 10 and older.
Morton Superintendent Jeff Hill said he was happy with the results of Tuesday's meeting.
"It was a good night on many levels," he said.
"First, the students came up with an idea that was reasonable for everyone concerned. And they said their main reason for wanting an eSports team was the opportunity to compete against other schools, and to learn how to work together as a team."
The district wants as many students as possible involved in extracurricular activities, and now another option is available for them, Hill said.
About 70 high schools across the state and more than 19,500 high schools nationally have an eSports team. About 200 colleges in the U.S. and Canada offer scholarships for eSports, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.
The number of high school eSports teams in Illinois could increase substantially during the 2020-21 school year if the Illinois High School Association sanctions the activity.
An eSports advisory committee is expected to make a recommendation to the IHSA board of directors in the near future.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.