MHSAA adding video games as an extra curricular activity

Don Hinton wants all students to get involved & be proud of their schools.

CLINTON, MS (WLBT) - Students in Mississippi will soon be able to represent their schools in a unique way, because the Mississippi High School Activities Association is announcing a new extracurricular activity.

When you think of the MHSAA, you think of sports that are played on a field, such as baseball or football. But MHSAA is now adding an indoor activity, with a focus on hand-eye coordination.

Sixty schools have agreed to the pilot program that starts this month.

Students no longer have to be the quarterback or the big hitter on the baseball team, they can now play FIFA and MADDEN to represent their schools.

Don Hinton, the executive director of MHSAA, says this is something they’ve wanted to do to include all the students.

“For us to have a seat at the table, to give input and say ‘hey, this is what we feel like our kids need to be playing and the way they should be utilizing their time.’ From a participation stand point, it’s been as much too about those kids that do this, that don’t play sports. And they have an opportunity to participate,” said Hinton.

Outside of high school, competitive gaming is a money-making profession.

The winner of the Madden Championship title can win up to $1.255 million.

The Madden Tournament winner at the Redwood Tournament is set to make $700,000.

Still, some people may not take competitive video gaming seriously. But Hinton says it’s an activity and it’s something students can be proud of.

“It fits. We have speech and debate, we sit and we stand. There’s not a lot of physical activity in that," said Hinton. “But they wear that school t- shirt down the hall because they’re good at something, and this might be that thing that they’re good at.”

They’re also planning to add bass fishing and chess to the activities.

Copyright 2019 WLBT. All rights reserved.