1 Definitions

1.1 Participants

An High School Esports League/Varsity Network participant is any person directly associated with the club or team. This includes players, managing staff, and school faculty. Participants playing in official matches must be high school students enrolled in the school affiliated with the club. No participant can have any role in another club at the same time.


1.2 Time Zone

All broadcasts, announcements, and web pages regarding High School Esports League competitions will always display time in the Central Time Zone, which is six hours behind the coordinated universal time (UTC -6). With the exception of our "Schedule" page under the "High School Esports League Majors" tab as on that page all the times follow your timezone.


1.3 Region

For High School Esports League, participants will be split into regions based off of time zones as follows:

  • East

  • Central

  • West

At points, some regions may be combined due to lack of participation from a region. If a region is combined that change can be found on the tournament’s information page. For a full list of states and their assigned regions please refer to section 18.


1.5 Penalties

1.5.1 Definitions

Penalties are given for rule violations within the High School Esports League or Varsity Network. These penalties may come in the form of match forfeits, match overturns, player/team suspension, player/team disqualification, or partial or full deduction or prizes. Each penalty is given on a case to case basis and the severity of said penalty is at the full discretion of the administration member or members assigned to the case.


1.5.2 Match Forfeits

Match forfeits are given when a team fails to provide the required amount of players (as listed in each games’ rule set) at the scheduled time of their match or if they fail to contact their opponent by default time. Receiving too many forfeits could result in personal or club restrictions for future participation.


1.5.3 Suspension Player Suspension

A player suspension can be given to any player that breaks any rule in this rulebook per discretion by the High School Esports League administration. Team Suspension

A team suspension can be given to any team that breaks any rule in this rulebook per discretion by the High School Esports League administration.


1.5.4 Disqualification

Disqualifications are given for the most severe incidents such as cheating, multiple forfeits, or multiple minor offenses. Disqualifications can be issued to either a club, team, or a player. In the case of a team disqualification all or some players may also be suspended depending on the cause for DQ.


1.5.5 Combination Penalties

The listed penalties are not exclusive and may be given in any combination as seen fit by the league administration.


1.5.6 Repeat Offenses

All punishments outlined in this document are applicable for first time offenses. Repeat offenses will usually carry more severe punishments than the ones listed in this rulebook.


1.5.7 Compensation

Clubs, teams, and players are expected to know and uphold the rules before and while participating in High School Esports League events. If a player or team associated with your club is given a punishment neither your club nor the player will receive any refund or compensation for their inability to play.


1.6 Official Matches

The term “Official Matches” refers to any match that takes place during High School Esports League events, both online and offline.


1.7 Disciplines

The games played are:

  • Call of Duty WWII by Activision for the PlayStation 4

  • Counter-Strike:Global Offensive by Valve Corporation for PC

  • DotA 2 by Valve Corporation for PC

  • Fortnite by Epic Games for PC, iOS, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One

  • Hearthstone by Blizzard Entertainment for PC and Mobile devices

  • Heroes of the Storm by Blizzard Entertainment for PC

  • Injustice 2 by NetherRealm Studios for the PlayStation 4

  • League of Legends by Riot Games for PC

  • Overwatch by Blizzard Entertainment for PC

  • Paladins by Hi-Rez Studios for PC

  • Rocket League by Psyonix for PC and the PlayStation 4

  • Smite by Hi-Rez Studios for PC

  • Super Smash Bros. by Nintendo for Wii U

  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege by Ubisoft for PC


1.8 Administration List

  • Mason Mullenioux - CEO
  • Charlie Reilly - COO
  • Aaron Hawkey - CCO
  • Brennan Wright - Production Manager
  • Beau Hughes - Community Manager
  • Elijah Smith - Head of League Rules & Regulations
  • Reese Handley - Head of Content Creation
  • Benjamin LeviloffHead Tournament Organizer


It should be noted that all members of the administration may not be listed in this document as they may have been added to the team following the distribution of this document.


2 General

2.1 Rule Changes

The High School Esports League and Varsity Esports reserves the right to add, remove, or otherwise alter rules without further notice.


2.2 Confidentiality

The content of private information, emails, support tickets, or any other correspondence with league officials are deemed strictly confidential. The publication of such material is prohibited without the expressed written permission from the High School Esports League administration.


2.3 Match Broadcasting

2.3.1 Rights

All broadcasting rights of the High School Esports League are owned by High School Esports League, LLC. This includes, but is not limited to: IRC Bots, audio streams, video streams, GOTV, demos, or television broadcasts. Affiliated streamers and official school Twitch pages of participating teams are authorized to stream matches, but the High School Esports League reserves the right to use, distribute, and modify all parts of the stream indefinitely.


2.3.2 Waiving These Rights

Varsity Esports and High School Esports League has the right to award broadcasting rights to one or multiple matches to a third party or participants themselves. In these cases broadcasts must have been arranged with High School Esports League and Varsity Esports administration prior to the start of the match.


2.3.3 Responsibility

Players and participants cannot refuse to have their matches broadcasted by a High School Esports League or Varsity Esports authorized broadcast, nor can they choose in what manner of which the match will be broadcasted.


2.4  Communication

2.4.1 Team Communication

Players and teams can communicate with their opponent through Discord, Email, and by adding the other players in-game to schedule their match.


2.4.2 Outside Communication

Teams may not have any communication with any outside sources while the match is in progress, including but not limited to coaches, teachers, or substitutes. Teams may only have communication with outside sources during the grace period between matches in a series or unless otherwise outlined in game-specific rules.


2.5 Player Details

When requested by High School Esports League administration, players are required to submit all needed or requested information for verification including but not limited to full name, contact details, date of birth, school address, and proof of enrollment.


2.5.1 Proof of Enrollment

When requested, players must provide proof of enrollment in the form of any of the following:

  • A dated report card

  • A school ID with year and your name

  • An email from a teacher or school administrator using their school email

Players may be suspended from play and prizing may be withheld from the team until proof of enrollment is provided.


2.6 Eligibility

2.6.1 Enrollment

All participants in High School Esports League events must currently be enrolled in a high school (grades 9-12). Incoming freshman may play the summer before they start high school and outgoing seniors may play the summer after graduation. All players must also be over the age of 13 to participate. If it is a combined high school and middle school the participants must be at least 13 years of age to participate. All participants in the same club must be from the same school, unless the student is homeschooled and lives within the school’s district. Proof of homeschool residency may be requested.


2.6.2 Home Country

All participants must reside in the United States of America or Canada.


2.6.3 Professional Status & Amateurism

It is imperative that all students in the High School Esports League must maintain a quasi-amateur status to qualify for league play.This status must have been maintained for one year prior to joining the High School Esports League. Players considered to play on a professional level are not eligible to play in any High School Esports League competition.


The High School Esports League considers professional players as any player who is currently enrolled in the following competitions either on the starting or backup rosters:

  • ESL Pro League (EPL)

  • Esports Championship Series (ECS)

  • League of Legends Championship Series (LCS)

  • Overwatch League (OWL)

  • Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS)

  • Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT)

We also extend profesional status to those whom:

  • Received monetary prizing exceeding $1,000 in tournaments within a year. (Scholarship excluded)

  • Have an active contract with an esports organization or team.

  • Received a salary or income from an esports team or organization within the past 6 months

  • Competition with a professional team

  • Benefit or have been signed with a prospective agent

  • Interrupted or postponed high school education for participating in organized esports.

It is important to note that being a qualified amateur by the High School Esports League does not entitle you to be qualified as an amateur by any other organization. It is imperative that if planning to play collegiate esports that the respective organization’s amateurism rules are followed.


2.7 Accounts

2.7.1 Clean Accounts

Varsity Esports and the High School Esports League defines a clean account as an account who has not received any form of ban in the last year, is clear of vulgar or inappropriate content, is at least 15 days old, and owns a valid copy of an High School Esports League discipline. Players who do not have clean accounts are prohibited from participating in all High School Esports League events, even on alternate accounts.


2.7.2 Game Connections Unregistered Game Connections

At no point in time is any participant allowed to play on an account not linked to their profile on Varsity Esports, nor at any point may a player or account that is not on the roster for a 24 hour grace period before the match play in said match. Doing so may result in an overturn of the match, or a suspension from play. If a player wishes to change accounts during season, they must change it on Varsity Esports 24 hours before the match. The old account will still be considered the player’s for the remainder of the season and will stay on file. If that account receives any kind of ban during the remainder of the season the player will still receive penalties. A player must remain on the roster to be eligible for play in official matches for that roster. Multiple Game Connections

Players may not have multiple multiple game connections for the same game service linked to their account.


2.7.3 Player Profiles

A player’s name in game must match the name that they registered for on the Varsity Esports site. A player's name or profile can not include:

  • Gang Affiliation

  • Drugs (including alcohol and tobacco)

  • Sexual Material

  • Offensive Material

  • Politically Charged Symbols/Images

  • Slander of The High School Esports League, Varsity Esports, students, or its Staff

These rules apply to accounts linking to Varsity Esports or High School Esports League in any way. This includes our Discord communities.


2.8 Teams

2.8.1 Club Affiliation

All teams must be affiliated with a partnered club to participate.


2.8.2 Team Names

Team names may not contain any extensions such as “RL Team”. The team name may only consist of a unique team name. To prevent confusion, no two teams in the same game may use the same team name. Team names cannot be changed after the season officially starts.


2.8.3 Roster Counts

Teams are required to have the minimum number of players per game (as stated in per-game rules) on their roster at all times. Teams may not have more than a maximum of 10 players on any team game roster at any time. Failure to adhere to this at any given time can result in suspension or disqualification.


2.8.4 Multi Teaming

Players may only be on one roster participating within the same bracket.


2.9 Roster Changes

Roster changes may be made at any point in time during or in between seasons, as long as they are made 24 hours before the match is scheduled to be played and the players added are eligible players.


2.10 Prizing

All prizing will ideally be sent out 30 days after the High School Esports League event in question has concluded, but it could take as long as 120 days for the shipment to be completed. If a team or player is missing any required criteria for prizing the prize will be held for 30 days after the conclusion of the High School Esports League event in question. If a team or player fails to provide the required information or payments within those 30 days they forfeit all prize winnings from said event.


2.10.1 Required Criteria

For teams and players to receive prizing all of the following must be provided before winnings are shipped out:

  • Proof of enrollment for all players on the roster including past players.

  • All pending Varsity Esports and High School Esports League payments paid and cleared.


2.11 Withdrawal

Teams who choose to withdraw from the competition during the season will not be allowed to rejoin once the final decision is made and will most likely cause the club to face suspension from play in the discipline for the following season.


2.12 Matches

2.12.1 Match Times

Matches must be played at the default time, unless a rescheduled time has been previously decided upon by both teams. Teams may reschedule anytime before the default match time, but teams should not rely on rescheduling as High School Esports League will not force a reschedule upon any team. Teams will have a 15 minute grace period after their scheduled time to get all of the required players into the server/lobby and start the match. If a team fails to join or fails to produce the required amount of eligible players by the time the grace period ends, the other team may request a forfeit win. Playoff Matches

During the postseason (including Grand Finals), special rescheduling rules are in place:

  • Playoff dates can not be rescheduled

  • Pre-quarterfinal and quarterfinal matches may have their times rescheduled, but not their dates

  • Semifinal and Grand Final matches may not be rescheduled without prior approval of High School Esports League administration


2.12.2 Match Results

Matches must be reported by the winning team immediately following the completion of their game. Match reports must include the map score(s) and all results must be reported by 11:59 pm of the default match day. After this, matches will be locked and their scores will be uneditable. Points will not be awarded for matches whose scores were not submitted before 11:59 PM on the default day. The only exception to this would be if the scores were lost due to a bug in the score reporting system beyond both the team and the High School Esports League’s control.


2.12.3 Match Disputes

Match disputes may be made at any time before the creation of the next round. The High School Esports League will always wait at least 12 hours after the match play deadline before creating the next round to allow teams to review, and if necessary, dispute their reported matches. Teams may not dispute matches outside of the current round. Sufficient and undoctored evidence, including but not limited to screenshots, demo recordings, or VODs must be submitted per the request of the High School Esports league official handling the match dispute before any decision regarding the dispute will be made. All match disputes can be submitted in the following link: http://www.highschoolesportsleague.com/match-disputes


2.12.4 Play Deadline

The play deadline is the latest a match may be played for the current round. Play deadlines are published with the schedule. Teams are not permitted under any circumstances to play or report matches after this time.


2.12.5 Series Lengths

The following series lengths are to be used in the preseason and regular season (before playoffs):

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - Best of 1

  • League of Legends -  Home/Away (2 matches in a series, possibility to tie series 1-1)

  • Overwatch -  Best of 3

  • Hearthstone - Best of 5

  • Rocket League -  Best of 5

  • Smite -  Home/Away

  • Call of Duty -  Best of 3

  • Injustice 2 -  Best of 5

  • Rainbow Six Siege - Home/Away

  • Paladins - Best of 3

  • Super Smash Bros. - Best of 3

  • DotA 2 - Home/Away

  • Heroes of the Storm - Best of 3

  • Fortnite - Best of 3

The following series lengths are to be used in the postseason (playoffs) and in Open tournament grand finals:

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - Best of 3

  • League of Legends - Best of 3

  • Overwatch - Best of 5

  • Hearthstone - Best of 5

  • Rocket League - Best of 5

  • Smite - Best of 3

  • Call of Duty - Best of 5

  • Injustice 2 - Best of 5

  • Rainbow Six Siege - Best of 3

  • Paladins - Best of 5

  • Super Smash Bros. - Best of 5

  • DotA 2 - Best of 3

  • Heroes of the Storm - Best of 5

  • Fortnite - Best of 5

The following series lengths are to be used in Majors/Nationals Grand Finals:

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - Best of 5

  • League of Legends - Best of 5

  • Overwatch - Best of 7

  • Hearthstone - Best of 5

  • Rocket League - Best of 7

  • Smite - Best of 5

  • Call of Duty - Best of 5

  • Injustice 2 - Best of 7

  • Rainbow Six Siege - Best of 5

  • Paladins - Best of 7

  • Super Smash Bros. - Best of 5

  • DotA 2 - Best of 5

  • Heroes of the Storm - Best of 7

  • Fortnite - Best of 7


2.12.6 Multiple Game Series Grace Period

Teams may have up to a 5 minute break between each game in a multiple game series if they wish to do so. Substitutions

Substitutions may only be made during a multiple game series in-between games. Substitutions may only be made in team games (i.e. one player game are prohibited from having any player substitutions). In games with a drafting period before a game, substitutions can not be made after the draft has begun.


2.13 Spectators

Spectators are only permitted in an official match if they meet the following criteria:

  • They are livestreaming the game to the official school Twitch page, or recording the game for release to the school’s official YouTube channel

  • They are a student or faculty of the school for which they are streaming/recording the match

  • They have absolutely no contact of any kind (direct or indirect) with either team other than to ready up prior to a game

Other spectators, including coaches, are not permitted without previous written permission by the High School Esports League staff. Having unauthorized spectators in the server at any point should result in a pause until the spectators are removed from the game. The High School Esports League reserves the right to prohibit spectators of any kind in an official match.


2.14 Controllers

Any controllers used in official matches must be the officially manufactured controllers for the console in question and can not be modified in any way.


Controllers may be used for PC games if and only if they meet the requirements above and the game has native support for the controller in question, i.e. the player should not need to install additional software/drivers for the controller other than those from the manufacturer or included with the game.


Keyboarding on console (the usage of a keyboard and mouse on a console) is strictly prohibited in official matches, regardless of whether or not the game has native support for it.


2.15 Cross-Platform Play

Players may only play on the platform(s) specified for a specific tournament. Doing otherwise may result in disqualification from that tournament.


2.16 Fair Connection Rule

The difference between each team’s average pings can be no greater than 40 milliseconds. Pings must be confirmed by connecting to the agreed upon server and not through 3rd party software. Loss and Choke are not considered valid reasons to change server locations. If the difference in ping is too high, either team may request a server location change or match restart within the first 5 minutes of the match. If teams fail to find a server that falls into the Fair Connection Rule, players should play on the closest option.


3 Tournament Rules

3.1 Tournament Stages

3.1.1 Regionals (Regular Season)

The regional stage for the High School Esports League will run for a specified number of weeks with 2 matches played per week. The format played is a swiss system. Games may have different scoring and will be in game specific rules if applicable.


3.1.2 Regional Finals (Postseason)

The top 5 teams from each region, 6 in the largest region, will move to the regional playoffs in games with three regions. In games with two regions, top 8 teams from each region will move to the regional playoffs. Additional postseason bracket formats will be used as deemed necessary by High School Esports League administration. The format for this stage is played as a single elimination bracket with match formats as specified in the postseason section of 2.12.5.


3.2 Equipment

3.2.1 Online Play

The High School Esports League will not provide any equipment for regular online play. Connection Issues

The High School Esports League is not responsible for any internet issues affecting the team or players.


3.2.2 LAN Events

The High School Esports League will provide computers, monitors, and noise canceling headphones for any tournaments officially run by the High School Esports League. Participants are responsible for bringing their own keyboard, mouse, mousepad, and In-Ear headphones with long enough cables. Our machines do not support PS 2 keyboards or mice.


3.3 Clothing

The players and teams are not required to wear team or club attire at LAN events but it is strongly recommended. Any kind of headwear is forbidden while playing on LAN. Participant clothing may not contain any references of the following:

  • Gang affiliation

  • Drugs (including alcohol and tobacco)

  • Sex or pornography

  • Vulgar or offensive speech

  • Other sports teams or clubs

  • Slander towards High School Esports League or Varsity Esports


3.4 Play Zones (LAN Events)

Unless previously announced, players may not bring or eat food into the practice areas. Smoking is also strictly prohibited at LAN events. Players may bring beverages into play zones but only if in a sealable plastic bottle. Bottles and beverages must be approved by High School Esports League administration prior to entering a play zone with it. All cellular devices must be turned off. While playing your match, you must hand over all cellular devices to High School Esports League administrators. These devices will be returned at the conclusion of the match. Loud noise and offensive language are forbidden.


3.5 Administrators

The instructions of a Staff, Administrator, or Intern should always be followed and obeyed.


3.7 Official Matches

Each team is required to play their official matches.


3.8 Removable Media (LAN)

It is strictly forbidden to connect or in any way use any form of removable media (USB, SD card, External hard drive, etc.) on any tournament computer without prior examination and approval from the tournament administrations.


3.9 Configurations and Drivers

All players must submit their configurations and required drivers prior to attending an High School Esports League offline event. Players who fail to submit configurations prior to attendance must set up their config file on site and play with default drivers.


3.10 Internet Access (LAN)

Internet access is disabled on all tournament computers for all participants.


3.11 Demos and Replays

Demos and replays of official matches must be available if requested by an administrator.


3.11.1 Rights

High School Esports League reserves the right to play, broadcast, and distribute all demos that are recorded under an High School Esports League event.


3.12 Photo and Media Rights

Participants will be required to sign two copies of a release form that they will receive prior to the event. If the participant is under the age of 18 the form must also be signed by a parent or legal guardian. By participating, all clubs grant High School Esports League and Varsity Esports the right to use their name, logo, and other media from their website for any promotional purpose.


3.13 Closing Ceremony (LAN)

Participants must remain in the tournament area for the closing ceremony following the conclusion of the Grand Final.


4 Rule Violations

4.1 Code of Conduct

It is expected that all active participants, including students, club admins, and school faculty read and know the rules outlined in this document prior to participating in any High School Esports League sponsored event.


4.2 Cheating

4.2.1 Programs

The use of the following programs is considered cheating:

  • Multihacks

  • Wallhack

  • Aimbot

  • Triggerbot

  • Colored Models

  • No-Recoil

  • No-Flash

  • Sound changes

The previous list are just example, other programs may be deemed cheating if they are found to be giving a player or team an unfair advantage.


4.2.2 Bugs/Glitches

The exploitation of any bugs/glitches that give a player or team an unfair advantage are strictly prohibited from use in official matches. The following are some examples of prohibited exploits:

  • Pixel Walking in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

  • See Through Smokes in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

  • Coastline Roof Vault Glitch in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

  • Card glitches in Paladins

  • Champion/Hero swap glitches

  • Ability Timer glitches

  • Illegal/Out-Of-Bounds spots

The above list of exploits is not a comprehensive list of all exploits prohibited from use by the High School Esports League in official matches. Any potential exploit used that is deemed by High School Esports League administration to be illegal will result in punishment for the player or team that used the exploit.


4.2.3 Acts of Disruption

Players acting on and/or conspiring to cause any disruption to the match will also be treated as cheating. Acts of disruption include, but is not limited to:

  • DDoS attacks

  • Disconnecting with the intent of reseting a game

  • Physically damaging player equipment.

  • Intentionally delaying the start of a game


4.2.4 VR Audio

Programs that simulate audio in 3D space, such as A3D, are not permitted. The use of such programs will be considered cheating.


4.2.5 Graphics Drivers, Overlays, or Similar

Any modification or change to the game done using outside graphics solutions are not permitted and may be considered cheating. Any 3rd party overlays (as in those that are not included with the game/platform) are prohibited from user in official matches.


4.2.6 Custom Data

Only official skins may be used in game. Any skin, sprite, GUI, crosshairs, sounds, and models downloaded by a third party are not allowed. Crosshairs may only be edited with the settings in the game.


4.3 Doping

The use of performance enhancing drugs is strictly prohibited and will be punished severely.


4.3.1 Prohibited Substances

The List of Prohibited Substances and Methods created by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is valid for all High School Esports League events. The full list can be found at http://list.wada-ama.org/. An unprescribed use of these substances is considered doping.


4.3.2 Prescribed Medication

If a player has an active prescription for a substance included in the WADA list, they must notify and provide proof to the tournament administration prior to the start of the tournament.


4.5 Using Alcohol or Drugs

The use of Alcohol or other drugs, including tobacco and cannabis, during an official match is strictly prohibited.


4.6 Betting

No players, team managers, or staff of attending clubs may be involved in any form of betting or gambling, associate with betters or gamblers, or provide anyone information that may assist betting or gambling, either directly or indirectly for any High School Esports League matches or tournament in general. Any of the listed individuals found to be in violation of this rule will be disqualified immediately.


4.7 Match Fixing

Match fixing is defined as the act of arranging the outcome of a match prior to its being played. Match fixing is strictly prohibited and all individuals involved will face, at a minimum, a 1 season suspension.


4.8 Sportsmanship

All participants are expected to withhold a universal level of sportsmanship while participating in High School Esports League sanctioned events. Those who fail to behave in a sportsmanlike manner may face penalties at the discretion of tournament administrators.


4.8.1 Rule Violations

Violating any of the listed rules in this document is considered unsportsmanlike.


4.8.2 Insults

All insults occurring in connection with High School Esports League or Varsity Esports sanctioned events will not be tolerated. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Profane insults

  • Racial/Ethnic/Cultural slurs

  • Toxic statements

  • Personal attacks

The High School Esports League aims to provide a respectable environment for Esports while facilitating competition. Therefore, friendly trash talk and banter is allowed.


4.8.3 Inappropriate Language

All participants in High School Esports League or Varsity Esports sanctioned events are prohibited from using inappropriate language in all text and voice channels, regardless of context. Inappropriate language includes but is not limited to:

  • Excessive Profanity

  • Pseudo-Profanity (i.e. replacing letters in profane words or phrases)

  • Racial/Ethnic/Cultural Slurs

  • Politically incorrect terms

  • Sexual innuendos

  • Drug/alcohol references


4.8.4 Spamming

The excess posting on senseless, harmful, or offensive messages on any platform directed at or referencing High School Esports League, Varsity Esports, our sponsors, or a participant is considered spamming and will not be tolerated. Abusing the in game text and voice chat functions will also not be tolerated.


4.8.5 Witch Hunting

Witch hunts, or accusing someone publicly without basis will not be tolerated. If you suspect another player or club of any rule violation you should contact a league administrator privately and as soon as possible so an investigation can be opened.


4.8.6 Incorrect Match Results

Reporting incorrect match results will not be tolerated and will be considered cheating. If you report the incorrect results of a match by accident contact an administrator immediately so they can be fixed.


4.8.7 Deception

Any attempt to mislead of deceive opposing players, administrators, or any other person related to High School Esports League or Varsity Esports may be penalized.