Most school clubs and sports are cancelled this fall - but not NASEF!!

Join us in a virtual or hybrid model, whatever works best for your community.

NASEF recognizes how important clubs are to students in promoting belonging, social-emotional health and curricular engagement for students in schools and community-based organizations. Esports provides a perfect opportunity for students to build community and friendships, play, and learn in a hybrid model or even completely virtually.  

NASEF will support you with tournaments, coaching, clinics, webinars, and curriculum! Outlined below, GMs will find key questions to consider, tools to use, and resources to explore when planning for NASEF clubs operating in a hybrid or virtual environment.

GMs: remember to keep it fun! Students are especially passionate around connecting with peers for play and competition, so ensure that there is ample time for students to connect in these ways. For information about games for student engagement, check out the NASEF-Reviewed Games List.

Questions to Consider When Planning

A club isn’t a club without members!  Not only is it important to re-engage members from the prior year, but it’s important to bring in new voices and perspectives by recruiting new members.  What this looks like will vary widely from school to school or organization to organization and you will want to leverage existing communication channels.

Key Questions to Plan Around:

  • If you have a returning club, do you have contact information for last year’s club members?  How will you re-engage members from the prior year?
  • What are the existing channels of communication that you can leverage for your school/organization?  Does your school/organization have a communications director that may need to grant access to these channels?
  • How will you connect with new students to the school/organization organization?

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Regular club meetings are vital to the organizational success of any club.  Club members will need a space where they can discuss club business, vote on issues where appropriate, and plan the year together.  Because so much of communication is nonverbal, it is recommended that clubs use some form of videoconferencing software in alignment with school or organization requirements. 

Key Questions to Plan Around:

  • How will you notify members of scheduled club meetings?
  • How will you set and communicate the agenda with club members?
  • How will you set norms around how members engage during a virtual meeting?
  • How can you enable members with diverse access to technology to participate?
  • Will you record meetings for those that cannot attend?  If so, what are your school/organization’s guidelines on recording members?
  • How might you leverage the varying interests and skills of members?

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Clubs provide students with a sense of belonging by promoting connection with peers with shared interests.  Clubs operating in a blended or virtual space will need to purposefully plan a structure that enables and promotes informal and formal social interactions between members.  Whatever tool(s) selected should be able to support informal conversation around new games being released, as well as formal club interactions such as team practices for those that choose to engage in competitive play.

Key Questions to Plan Around:

  • What are your district/organization guidelines around social platforms?
  • What platforms will be most accessible to and already being used by your members (e.g. will work with their technology devices and network access)?
  • Can the platform or tool you select also serve to facilitate other club functions such as sharing scheduled activities or organizing competitive play?
  • Who will moderate club member interactions on any social platform(s) selected?
  • How can you empower student leaders to support the communication with the club?
  • How can you organize and share information about your club roster and member interests (in accordance with your school/organization’s privacy guidelines)?
  • What kinds of activities can your club host virtually to engage with and connect members?

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The success of a club depends heavily on how engaged its members are in team activities.  To promote active participation, members need to know what opportunities are available to them.  Plan on having multiple ways to spread the word to reach as many members as possible.

Key Questions to Plan Around:

  • What existing communication channels does your school/organization have that you can leverage?
  • Who in the club will be responsible for keeping the club’s activities calendar up to date?  Who is responsible for planning activities?
  • Can the platform or tool you select also serve to facilitate other club functions such as promoting social connection or organizing competitive play?

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NASEF club members have wide ranging interests as they relate gaming and esports.  Those interests are tightly connected to the numerous roles and careers within the esports industry, as described by NASEF’s Esports Ecosystem.  Students who are interested in career areas like shoutcasting or journalism may need some additional learning opportunities and experiences to gain confidence and expertise throughout the year. NASEF’s Beyond the Game challenges offer a wonderful opportunity for students to practice real-world skills, compete for scholarships, and meet working professionals who can discuss their careers and provide ideas and insights.

Key Questions to Plan Around:

  • Where do your students' interests lie?  Do you have in-house experts who can lead mini-trainings?
  • What resources already exist to support students?
  • Do you have any local experts you can connect with and what format would they prefer?  Does that align with your district/organization’s policy for software platforms?

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