MORTON — Morton High School will not have an eSports team. At least not this school year.

The School Board voted 5-1 Tuesday to postpone a decision on whether it should accept the administration's recommendation to form an eSports team on a one-year trial basis.

Board members said they'll most likely wait until the Illinois High School Association decides on whether it will sanction eSports starting in the 2020-21 school year following an exhaustive study that will include input from medical doctors.

Three people — two students and a parent who owns a gaming business — spoke in favor of Morton forming an eSports team before the board made its decision.

And Craig Anderson, executive director of the IHSA and a Morton resident, spoke to the board and answered questions about the IHSA's eSports study.

One of the biggest concerns expressed by board members was the probable use of the League of Legends video game by the Morton team. The game, which is rated as acceptable for teens, is played by the majority of the 70 high school eSports teams in Illinois and is the game of choice in 12 states where eSports is sanctioned by associations like the IHSA.

"I want to see us have an eSports team, but I struggle with our district endorsing this game," said board member Kevin Austin.

Superintendent Jeff Hill said the rewards of Morton forming an eSports team would have been worth the bit of risk the school district would have taken.

"In this case, one of the rewards would have been us connecting with a group of students who generally aren't involved in their school," he said.

"We want our students to be involved in as many extracurricular activities as possible. These activities are an extension of the classroom and can help them in whatever they plan to do after high school."

Other rewards, Hill said, would have been instilling leadership, teamwork and collaboration skills in the eSports team members through the video games they'll be playing.

Nearly 90 students had expressed an interest in joining Morton's eSports team, Hill said, and about 60 attended an information meeting last week.

Board member Bart Rinkenberger cast the lone no vote on tabling the eSports team decision.

"With privilege comes responsibility," he said in explaining why he thought the team would have been beneficial for team members.

Earlier this summer, the Dunlap School Board similarly tabled a decision on forming an eSports team at Dunlap High School.

Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or stevestein21@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.