A dedicated ESPNHS POY team manages the Gatorade Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the award program's three-pillar criteria.
Gatorade State POY award winners are evaluated and selected on the basis of:
Athletic Achievement: Production and individual impact in prep competition, as well as at the club, national or international level, if applicable. Athletic assessment includes statistical production, honors, skill-set evaluation, leadership ability, overall impact on team success and historical context of accomplishments.
Academic Excellence: Review of GPA and class rank, as well as standardized testing scores, academic honors and distinctions.
Exemplary Character: Overall sportsmanship, but also membership and participation in humanitarian/public service organizations and activities that demonstrate commitment to high character and community.
State Player of the Year award winners constitute the pool from which a Gatorade National Player of the Year winner is subsequently chosen in their respective sports. Each sport's pool of state winners is comprehensively evaluated relative to one another based upon athletic achievement, academic excellence and exemplary character.
The 12 national winners represent the nation's best all-around high school student-athletes and become eligible for Gatorade Male and Female High School Athlete of the Year, awarded annually in conjunction with ESPYs Week.