HSL Overwatch Rules

1. HSL Guiding Principles

While High School Starleague is a competitive gaming league: making friendships, forming new experiences, and being involved in an inclusive gaming culture are all concepts that form the heart of our organization. The following rules outline the expectations we set for all of our players. All decisions regarding the interpretation of these rules are final and lie solely with High School Starleague personnel. The following set of official game rules are subject to alteration at any time at the discretion of the High School Starleague.

2. Roster Rules

  1. There may be more than one team per school.
  2. Teams must have a roster of 6-8 players.
  3. A player can only be on one team per season. Switching teams is prohibited at any time during the season. This includes players from teams who have lost or dropped out.
  4. Every team must comprise of at least 3 students from the same school.
  5. Only players on your roster can play in a match for your team.
  6. The Team Coordinator must report any roster changes through the roster change form on our website.
    1. “Roster changes” include the following:
      • In-game name changes.
      • Adding, removing, or replacing players. (Teams may only use this particular type of roster change once per season. Think carefully before finalizing your roster.)
    2. All roster changes must be submitted at least 3 hours prior to a match. Failure to update your roster prior to a match, unless 1) given special permission by an admin or 2) the opposing team is fine with it, will result in an automatic match loss.

 

  1. Player Eligibility
  1. To be eligible, players must meet the following criteria:
    1. Be currently enrolled in a high school or secondary school located in the United States or Canada as a full-time student. The following students should contact an HSL Tournament Administrator prior to the start of the season to secure permission to play.
      1. Players with alternative educational arrangements.
      2. Players in dual/concurrent-enrollment programs with a local community college.
      3. Players residing in Quebec.
    2. Abide by the HSL Code of Conduct.
    3. Abide by the Blizzard End User License Agreement. Violations of Blizzard EULA are violations of HSL policy.
  2. Players are ineligible to compete if they meet any of the following criteria:
    1. Players who are currently playing in any professional Overwatch tournament.
    2. Players under academic probation or any other school-related disciplinary action are ineligible to play until the action is lifted.
    3. Players with an account that is banned or suspended at the time of registration, or any time during the season, are ineligible to play until their ban or suspension is lifted.

 

  1. Team Eligibility
  1. High schools must be located within the United States, Canada, or a U.S. territory.
    1. If your school is located in Quebec, contact an HSL Tournament Administrator before registering.
  2. Teams must include a single designated team coordinator.
    1. Please refer to the Team Coordinators section for more information.
  3. All players on a team must meet all terms defined in the Player Eligibility section.
  4. All players on a team must meet the school enrollment criteria as defined in Rule 3.1, but members of the team do not have to be enrolled in the same institution, given that at least 3 students are enrolled in the same institution.
    1. i.e. A team can have players from multiple schools.
  5. Players may only play for a single team, but multiple teams per school are allowed.
  6. Accounts used in tournaments must belong to the player and must be listed on the roster.
    1. Borrowed and shared accounts are not allowed.
    2. Players may only have one account on the roster.
  7. Please refer to the Roster Rules section for more information concerning the game-specific structure of teams.

5. Team Coordinators

  1. Responsibilities
    1. Team Coordinators do not need to be a player on the team.
    2. Team Coordinators handle all the scheduling and logistics for their team.
    3. Team Coordinators are also the point of contact between their team and HSL Administrators
    4. Team Coordinators must ensure that all members of the associated team are familiar with all HSL Rules, especially the Code of Conduct.
    5. If a Team Coordinator fails to schedule a match, or does not respond upon contact by the enemy team’s Coordinator through Discord for at least 4 consecutive days, that team may be subject to match forfeit(s) or disqualification.
  2. Players are eligible to become Team Coordinators if the meet the following criteria:
    1. Team Coordinators must meet all of the Player Eligibility rules.
    2. Own an active Discord account.
    3. Coordinators are expected to be active in responding to other coordinators/HSL Administrators through Discord.
    4. Team Coordinators may only coordinate for a single team.
      1. School staff/faculty are eligible to coordinate multiple teams, but must contact an HSL Administrator prior to registration.

6. Match Scheduling

  1. The default match time is every Saturday, 5 PM PST.
    1. If your team cannot play on the default date, you are responsible for initiating a reschedule with the other team.
    2. Should two teams agree to play on a date other than the default, and one team does not show up on the new match day, the team that is present with all 6 players may claim a forfeit win.
    3. If two teams cannot agree on an time to play, they must play on the default time and date to prevent receiving a double loss.
    4. If two teams end up not playing their match at all, they will receive a double loss.
  2. Teams have every Wednesday through Sunday to play matches.
  3. All match results must be submitted via the Match Report Form by 11:59 PM PST every Sunday, by the winning team.
    1. Failure to do so will result in a double loss.
  4. Teams will have Monday and Tuesday of each week to review updated brackets. If there are any discrepancies, they should contact administrators through the HSL Overwatch Discord.
  5. The following are clarifications to rescheduling rules:
    1. When teams are rescheduling, both teams must clearly state their agreement to the new time.
      1. Examples of statements that DO NOT constitute agreement include but are not limited to, “at the moment yes,” “maybe,” and “potentially.”
      2. Examples of statements that DO constitute agreement include but are not limited to,  “yes,” “kk,” and “this works for my team.”
    2. Within 24 hours of the scheduled match time, team coordinators that receive a reschedule request are under no obligation to honor it.
    3. Before the period described in 5.2, team coordinators must do try their best and make a good faith effort to honor reschedule requests from the opposing team.
      1. A good faith effort includes but is not limited to: working with your teammates to meet the proposed time, using a substitute player, moving the match time so that a substitute player is available, etc. If a team believes they have not been given a reasonable chance to reschedule before 24 hours, contact a HSL Administrator.

7. Game Settings and Rules

  1. All settings should be left at their default, except as specified here:
      1. Game mode start: Immediately
      2. Competitive rules: Enabled for all gamemodes.
  2. Game Format:
    1. Teams will play 3 games per match. When either team reaches two wins, the match is concluded and the team with two wins declared the victor.
  3. Map Selection:
    1. Maps are not allowed if they have been introduced to live servers the same week that the match is played.
    2. Except when prohibited by rule 1, all maps available in Competitive Play will be available during map draft.
    3. No map may be selected more than once a match.
    4. Map selection shall occur in the following method:
      1. The higher seeded team (lower number) on Battlefly shall select the first map.
      2. The lower seeded team (higher number) shall select the second map.
      3. After two maps, if the score is tied, the loser of the second match shall select the third and final map.
      4. For example: Team A is seed 7, and Team B is seed 42. Team A selects King’s Row as their first map, then Team B selects Numbani for their second. Team A wins King’s, then Team B takes Numbani. Since Team A lost the second match, they are free to choose maps for the third and final match.
  4. Observers/Streamers
    1. HSL Administrators and official streamers are allowed in every match.
    2. A match broadcasted by HSL may not have any outside spectators. Exceptions will be made on a case by case basis.
    3. Outside spectators (non-players) and streamers are only permitted if both teams agree to their presence. Teams who allow spectators or streamers understand that by doing so they waive their right to pursue claims of observer/stream cheating.

8. Match Day

  1. The default match time is every Saturday, 5 PM PST.
    1. If that time does not work for your team, you may request to reschedule your match to an earlier date by talking to the opposing team coordinator
    2. All match results are due on the website no later than 11:59PM PST on Sunday of each week.
    3. Rescheduling is a privilege, not a right.
  2. Whichever team will be taking the blue side should create the lobby at the scheduled time. The opposing team’s captain must be invited immediately, after which they should invite their team and proceed with the match.
  3. Teams must be ready with all 6 members in the room by the start of their scheduled match. Tardiness will be penalized based on the degree of lateness
    1. 15 minutes late: Forfeiture of first game.
    2. 25 minutes late: Forfeiture of two games, which counts as a forfeiture of the entire match.
    3. Teams with a higher than average number of forfeitures may be penalized at the discretion of the High School Starleague
    4. If at least one member of the opposing team is in the game lobby, they must be notified if you’re intending to claim the forfeit win before you start the first game. You also must have all 6 players of your team present in order to claim the forfeit.
    5. If a team does not have 6 players present, they may play short-handed if they so desire.
  4. Teams must join the lobby for the second game immediately after the first game concludes.
    1. Once in the lobby, teams have up to 10 minutes to begin the second game
      1. The 10 minutes based on the lobby queue timer timer. When the timer hits “10:00,” 10 minutes has elapsed
      2. A longer break of up to one hour may be taken, but only if both teams have agreed. This agreement should be screenshotted and saved for if the decision is contested later.
      3. If a team is not ready to play at that point, the other team may elect to take a forfeit win. Make sure that all 6 members are in the room and record the absence as per absence win rules.
  5. If you are a victim of, or witness violations of the HSL Code of Conduct during your match, please follow the procedures outlined in the Code of Conduct.

9. Pause Rules

  1. HSL Administrators can order the pause of a match for any reason. HSL Administrators at a live tournament are allowed to execute a pause command on any player station.
  2. Players can pause the match if any of the following additional conditions are met:
    1. A player has disconnected from the game due to any form of network disconnect or computer crash. A screenshot should be taken for the record showing the player missing from the in-game roster (in case the enemy team argues otherwise).
    2. A hardware malfunction (e.g. monitor, peripheral, etc.) has occurred.
  3. Each team is allowed a maximum of 5 minutes of pause time per map.
    1. Pause times are not cumulative; and reset back to 5 minutes every map.
    2. If a team exceeds the 5 minutes, the opposing team may unpause the game in accordance with rule 9.4
  4. The game will not resume until all players are notified and declared they are ready.
  5. Teams who abuse the pause function may be subject to Code of Conduct penalties based on the severity of the abuse
    1. (i.e. pausing in combat, pausing for reasons unrelated to above.)
  6. If an HSL Administrator does not resume the game after 10 minutes or determines that technical difficulties will not allow for the game to resume as normal, then the administrator may make a decision to restart the game or award a game victory to a team, if the other was on the verge of certain defeat, at the discretion of the Administrator.

10. Stoppage of Play: Reasons and Procedures

 

  1. If an unintentional disconnection occurs after 5 minutes, the game will continue as normal. The crashed player may reconnect into the game as soon as they are able to; pause rules will apply.
  2. If a player intentionally disconnects without specifying a reason, then the game will continue as normal.
  3. If a server crash occurs, then the HSL Administrator will decide either between:
    1. Awarding the game to one of the teams. A game victory will only be awarded in a situation where one team was on the verge of certain defeat (e.g. A team was a few seconds from capping the final point and the enemy team was aced, etc).
    2. Calling for a restart with the same hero picks and map selection.
  4. Should a game be restarted, players are required to keep the same map selection.

11. Code of Conduct

All teams and players are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, in accordance to the HSL Guiding Principles and Blizzard EULA when participating in HSL tournaments. Players that display negative behavior such as harassment, cheating, or dishonesty will be punished according to the Code of Conduct.

  1. Types of Violations
    1. Infractions
      1. Infractions represent the lowest level violation of the Code of Conduct, and include behaviors that could easily evolve into more severe violations.
      2. Examples include, but are not limited to:
        1. Making statements such as “gg noobs” or “gg ez” at the end of a game in all chat
        2. Making statements like “why so bad” or “stop wasting our time” during or after games
    2. Moderate Violations
      1. Moderate violations represent the second highest level of violations, and include behaviors that are unacceptable and will result in team disqualification if repeated.
      2. Examples include, but are not limited to:
        1. The use of profane, homophobic, sexist, or vulgar language in a malicious manner(e.g. “gay”, “dumbf*ck”, “slut”, etc.)
        2. Sexual harassment, catcalling, and other related behaviors.
        3. The use of unauthorized players in a match.
    3. Severe Violations
      1. Severe violations represent the most egregious violations of the Code of Conduct and will result in immediate disqualification of a team.
      2. Examples include, but are not limited to:
        1. Extraordinary use of profane, homophobic, sexist, or vulgar language in a malicious manner, especially by multiple team members(e.g. “nigg*r”, “f*ggot”, “motherf*cker”, etc.)
        2. Teams found to have used unauthorized players multiple times during the season, or during post-season play.
        3. Willful dishonesty when communicating with a HSL Administrator, especially dishonesty relating to rule violations.
    4. Penalties
      1. First Offense – Warning
        1. All infractions will result to a warning to the entire team.
      2. Second Offense – Match loss and 1-week suspension of player(s) involved
        1. All moderate violations will result in the loss of the match that the violation occurred, and the 1-week suspension of all players involved.
        2. If the violation occurred outside of a HSL match, the HSL Administrator will decide how to enforce match loss.
      3. Third Offense – Disqualification of team
        1. Any severe or repeated violations will result in the immediate disqualification of the entire team.
    5. Repeated Violations
      1. Repeated violations will result in escalating punishments one step higher than the initial punishment
        1. For example:
          1. If a team/team member commits an infraction two times during a semester, the team will receive a step 1 followed by a step two penalty.
          2. If a team/team member commits a moderate violation two times during a semester, the team will first receive a step 2 punishment, followed by a team disqualification after the second violation.
          3. If a team/team member commits a moderate violation and a infraction during the semester, the team will first receive a step 2 punishment, followed by a team disqualification after the second violation.
      2. The third violation, irrespective of violation type, will result in the disqualification of the entire team.
    6. Important Notes
      1. An entire team could be disqualified as a result of a single player’s actions; we encourage members to be aware of their teammate’s behavior.
      2. Should a player exhibit negative behavior, the Team Coordinator may submit an additional roster change form. Contact an HSL administrator for more details.
    7. If you are a victim of or witness a violation of the Code of Conduct
      1. Do not retaliate in a manner that would further breach Code of Conduct.
      2. Simply ask the opposing team to stop, and if they persist, disable cross-team chat.
      3. Record the violations using screenshots or video recording.
      4. Report the violation using the match report from on our website.

12. Unfair Play

  1. Unfair play will result in Code of Conduct violations. Unfair play includes but is not limited to:
    1. Severe violations
      • Malicious and intentional impersonation of an HSL Administrator.
      • Intentional use of an in-game bug that is determined by an HSL Administrator to be unfair.
      • Cheating using third-party software.
    2. Severe or moderate violations depending on context
      • Intentionally allowing an opponent to win a match.
      • The use of any settings exceeding the standard and permitted game settings.
    3. Moderate violation or infraction depending on context
      • Unsportsmanlike or disruptive behavior, including, but not limited to inappropriate and/or unprofessional actions directed towards another player, team, or HSL Administrator.
  2. At any time, a HSL Administrator may identify unfair play and enforce a punishment.

Please remember that all decisions regarding the interpretation of the rules are final lie solely with High School Starleague personnel. The official game rules are subject to alteration at any time at the discretion of the High School Starleague.