It’s a sport that nearly 60 million people in the U.S. and Canada take part in, yet it requires absolutely no physical activity. The involved costs range from thousands-of-dollars all the way to zero. And around 32 percent of teens in the U.S. are players (FTSA).

Fantasy sports have seen massive growth in the past few years, with the number of participants doubling from 2009 to 2015. At Carrboro, it’s become a favorite pastime across grades and genders.

Fantasy football the most popular of the fantasy sports. Junior Karl Naomi attributes
its success to the combination of football being such a massive sport—one that “millions of people watch every Sunday, Saturday and is high Friday too with school [football]”— with the monetary benefits and “pride against their friends” that winning a league can earn someone.

One phenomenon that the growth of fantasy sports has brought is an increased interest in the sports themselves. One survey by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association found that 64 percent of fantasy players watch more live sports and 61 percent read more about sports as a result of playing fantasy sports.

Photo courtesy www.beckett.com

Karl Naomi again comments, saying, “I’m definitely watching more intensely when fantasy’s involved.”

When it comes to the success of fantasy sports, sophomore Tommy Holt considers the cause to be slightly different. When asked why they’ve risen to such heights, he alluded to science. “ It is because of the competitive human nature.”

However, the various types of fantasy sports aren’t limited to football and basketball. Junior Sydney Mosteller describes how her “friends like to watch [The Bachelor] together, so we thought it would be fun to enter and compete against each other,” and how the group formed a fantasy Bachelor competition.

The group went all out on the punishment for league-loser Millie McGuire, as Mosteller describes: “Each of us goes to Walmart and picks one article of clothing that’s super ugly, and then [Millie] has to wear the combined outfit to school.”

Rewards, however, can make competing very appealing. After beating CHS junior Joe Zhang in the championship of their football league, Episcopal High School junior Connor Kocis won over 200 dollars.
Clearly, there’s a lot on the line. When it comes to fantasy sports, with their growing popularity they’re just one more activity that students balance in their busy lives—but also one of the most fun.

And with so many ways and reasons to compete, it’s a trend that will continue to grow.

 

About Levi Hencke

contributor
Levi is a junior who likes traveling, sailing, and the Tar Heels. He was born in Denver, CO, but has lived in Chapel Hill for most of his life. CHS is the second high school he’s attended, but by far his favorite.