• Jennifer Leachman LaPoint

How COMPETE Can Expand the Possibilities in High School Sports

According to a survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations, participation in high school sports declined in 2018-19 for the first time in 30 years.

Granted, the total of just under 8 million participants nationwide is still the third highest ever, but it reflected a drop of over 43,000 high school boys and girls, which is significant.

Of course, there are a variety of factors for the decline, such as fear of injury (particularly concussions in football) or serious injuries already suffered, the cost of kids having to pay to play each sport, and budget constraints that force school districts to either drastically slash or entirely cut athletic programs.

They are all heartbreaking situations, as you never want to have to tell a teen that he or she can’t continue playing his/her favorite sport because of a lack of funds (either the family’s or school’s) or due to serious health risks.

But this is the reality of life in the 21st century, which has been complicated even further these days by the coronavirus pandemic that has caused the indefinite shutdown of competitive sports worldwide, from kids’ rec leagues to the professional level.

As a way to escape this reality, we have come up with an idea that would allow people of all ages to compete in their sport of choice – anywhere, with anyone and at any time.

Through gamification, augmented reality and artificial intelligence, our COMPETE app will be a way for high school sports to continue and even expand in many ways. Imagine…

  • That quarterback who can’t play anymore after suffering a concussion can now compete in passing contests against other QBs in his area or in a state two time zones away just by using a smart football or smartwatch while being filmed with a smartphone.

  • The track & field athlete or cross country runner whose family unfortunately can’t afford the mandatory fee that the school is charging per sport could resume competing in high school meets just by joining a team virtually in the COMPETE app and tracking his/her scores with a smartwatch.

  • A swimmer or gymnast whose district had to eliminate some non-revenue sports (or all sports due to financial issues) can now get back to doing what he/she loves to do, as all individual sports play could be digitized by the COMPETE app so practice performance could now be used for competition.

In fact, COMPETE could allow schools to compete virtually against each other in real time, just with a smartphone while athletes were practicing from home or on campus. For example:

  • The members of a cross country team can record their performances from where they train and the digital scores can be aggregated in the app for their school, creating a way for a high school to still be represented and continue its season of meets vs. rival teams.

  • For a team sport such as basketball, in lieu of a 5-on-5 game, schools can take each other on in free throw and three-point shooting competitions, as athletes can document and aggregate their results from the school gym, a park or their backyards.

  • Non-scholastic sports like water skiing, surfing and skateboarding can become high school sports now, as students from one school can form a team and compete against teams from other schools in any sport, even those that are not typical scholastic sports. COMPETE will even allow teams to build off multiple sports on a team that we never imagined before.

In this age of high school athletes not able to participate for one reason or another, we want to do our part so they can simply experience the joy of competition once again, but we need your help. We need to show investors that more people want this product and which sports. Please go to www.getcompete.com and tell us which sport wants to COMPETE next.

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