1. Introduction and Purpose

These Official Rules (“Rules” or “Ruleset”) of the High School League (“HSL”) apply to each of the teams that have qualified to play in the HSL in 2017, as well as any advisors, team captains, team coaches, roster players (collectively “Team Members”), and other employees. These rules also govern the actions of all HSL officials (“Officials”) and referees (“Referees”). All those involved in the HSL are known as HSL Participants (“Participants”).

These rules are designed to ensure the integrity of the competition facilitated by HSL for the competitive play of League of Legends.

In addition to the rules outlined in this ruleset, the HSL is operated in accordance with the League of Legends competitive ruleset, Global Penalty Index and New Zealand eSport Federation Regulations.

2. Team Eligibility

2.1. Roster Requirements

For a team to be deemed and then remain eligible to compete in the HSL, they are required to meet and uphold all of the following conditions:

2.1.1. Team Roster

Each team is required to submit and maintain, during the course of each HSL split (“Split”):

  • One (1) team captain (“Captain”)
  • Five (5) starting team members (“Starters”), including the team captain
  • Between zero (0) and three (3) substitutes (“Substitutes”)

The combination of a team’s starters and substitutes, including the captain, will be referred to as a team’s “Roster”. Any player on a team’s roster may be referred to as a “Rostered Player”.To add or remove a player from a team’s roster, an amendment form must be submitted to HSL Officials at least five (5) days prior to the first day of the first round they intend to use the player.

All rostered players on a team must be eligible to participate in the HSL in accordance with the conditions laid out in section three (3) of this ruleset.

2.1.2. Team Staff

Each team must, as part of their team application to the HSL, submit one (1) team advisor (“Advisor”) along with their roster. This role must be filled by a teacher of the competing school, who must be employed by the registering school.

2.1.3. Signups

Prior to the beginning of each season, each team that has qualified or is invited to compete in the league, must submit their team roster and team staff, through the medium provided by HSL Officials. For more information on where to begin the signup process, either visit www.letsplay.live or contact any HSL Official by email through hsl@letsplay.live .

2.1.4. Playoffs Rosters

Prior to the commencement of any HSL elimination tournament (“Playoffs”), teams must update their starting lineup, by a deadline set by HSL Officials. These players will be the primary participants for all playoffs matches unless an official substitution is made.

2.2. Substitutions

2.2.1. Substitution during Matches

A team may substitute a player within the course of a match. The team must notify a HSL official and have the substitution approved immediately following the completion of the previous game, no later than 5 minutes after the result of the previous map has been determined.

2.2.2. Substitution during Playoffs

Barring emergencies, teams will be allowed a roster (in total) of 6 eligible players for the playoffs stage. Prior to the beginning of playoffs, the 6 chosen players will be submitted to HSL officials and the roster locked after approval.

In the event of an emergency, a team will be given up to two hours to find a substitute. If an eligible substitute cannot be found within two hours, the team will forfeit. HSL officials will determine of a case by case basis if an event qualifies as an emergency.

2.3. Team eligibility

Should a team qualify for league play in the HSL, each rostered play of the team will be required to provide official proof of enrollment in the accredited high school with which their team is associated with, such as an official statement or transcript from their school.

3. Player Eligibility

3.1. Player Behaviour Check

Each player’s behaviour will be checked upon admission to the league, as well as periodically during the season and playoffs to ensure their behavior when playing in the HSL is professional. If a player fails to meet the standards set forth by this ruleset, they may be sanctioned or disqualified from Heroes competition, at the sole discretion of HSL officials.

3.2. Summoner Names

Players Summoner Names must be approved by HSL Officials in advance of use in play. Name changes are strictly disallowed, unless during the off-season, and must again be approved by HSL Officials prior to use in a HSL match.

3.3. Age

All players competing in the HSL must be enrolled in high school and in the year 11,12 or 13 (Form 5-7). Any requests for players outside of this age bracket to play (starters or substitutes) will be denied.

3.4. Location

The HSL will be based on 5 regions throughout New Zealand:

  • Auckland
  • Waikato & Bay of Plenty
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Dunedin

3.5. HSL Discretion

The HSL reserves the right to make final and binding decisions regarding player eligibility and entry to the HSL.

4. Prizing

TBA

5. HSL Personnel

5.1. Positions

5.1.1. League Official

HSL league Officials (“HSL Officials”) are in charge of ensuring the operation of the league and the enforcement of this ruleset.

5.1.2. League Director

The HSL League Director (“League Director”) is responsible for all league operations. The League Director is entrusted with drawing up and executing the format of the league, and is charged with the oversight of all other HSL Officials.

5.1.3. Referee

HSL Referees (“Referees”) are responsible for making decisions on all match-related issues, questions, and situations which occur before, during, and immediately following a Match or Game. Their supervision may include, but is not limited to:

  • Checking a team’s roster during and prior to a Match.
  • Checking and monitoring player equipment, peripherals and designated HSL match areas.
  • Initiating the start of a Match.
  • Confirming Game and Match results.

5.1.3.1. Head Referee

Out of the appointed Referees in a Match, a Head Referee (“Head Referee”) will be chosen for every Match in the HSL. They will coordinate the operations of Referees, and make final rulings on the match. All rulings made by the Head Referee are final.

6. League Structure

The HSL is operated by HSL Officials (“HSL Officials”, “League Ops”).

6.1. Definition of Terms

6.1.1. Game

An instance of competition on the Summoner’s Rift map that is played until a winner is determined by completion of the final objective (destruction of a nexus), Team surrender, Team forfeit, or an Awarded Game Win (See Section 8.5).

6.1.2. Match

A set of games that is played until one team wins a majority of the total games. The winning team will either receive a win tally in a league format or advance to the next round in a tournament format, dependent on the current League Phase in play.

6.1.3. Split

Scheduled league play that will occur over an approximately four-month period of time. The 2016 season will be divided into two separate splits, the Autumn Series and Summer Series. Each Split will consist of three separate phases, (a) Regular Season, (b) Playoffs, and (c) a Promotion Series. The Playoffs phase will always occur after the completion of the Regular Season, which is then followed by the Promotion Series.

6.2. Phase Details

6.2.1. Regular Season

This phase consists of ten teams, each playing 10 best-of-one matches per split, in a single round robin league format against opponents within their region. Each team will face each of their opponents at least once per split. Sides will be pre-determined and teams will start on the blue and red sides an equal number of times throughout the Split. The winner of each best-of-one match will receive one point, whilst the loser will receive zero points. A team’s total points determine their position on the ladder.

6.2.2. Playoffs

This phase consists of a single elimination tournament among the top five teams from the Regular Season split. Teams 1st through 3rd will be seeded into the bracket according to their bracket, while teams placing 4th and 5th will play for the remaining spot. All matches will be played in a best-of-three format, except the final which will be a best-of-five.

6.2.3. National Qualification

At the completion of each Split’s Playoffs, the team that wins will represent their respective region in a National Tournament.

7. Match process

7.1. Schedule Changes

At its sole discretion, the HSL may alter the order of the matches on a specific day and/or change the date of a HSL match to a different date. In the event of a change in schedule, HSL Officials will notify all affected teams at the earliest convenience.

7.2. Game Arrival

All players for a team’s Starting Roster who are competing in a HSL match must arrive in the game lobby no later than the time specified by HSL Officials.

7.3. Game Version

All HSL Matches will be played on the current game patch available on the Live Service. It is the responsibility of players to ensure their game is updated prior to a Match. Restricting the use of in-game elements will be at the discretion of HSL Officials.

7.3.1. Availability

Champions that have not been available on the Live Service for more than fourteen (14) days will not be available for selection in game. Champions that have experienced reworks will be subject to HSL discretion. HSL Officials will provide a list of available champions for selection prior to the beginning of each week.

7.4. Player responsibilities

7.4.1. Readiness

Prior to the commencement of a match, teams will be required to check in with HSL Officials thirty (30) minutes prior to the scheduled time of match start. Readiness will be confirmed with HSL Referees with each Captain. Readiness includes, but is not limited to:

  • Five (5) Starters with game client patching completed,
  • The configuration of in-game settings for all Starters
  • Completion and submission of individual player checklists
  • Confirmation of a stable connection to the provided Teamspeak server

7.4.3. Lateness penalties

Teams that are not ready at the start of the game are subject to penalties for lateness. For avoidance of doubt, the start of the game is defined as a team entering Summoner’s Rift and their champions being visible on the map.

For every 5 minutes a team is late, they will lose one champion ban. If a team does not arrive after twenty (20) minutes after all three bans have been lost, they will be subject to forfeiture. Intentionally delaying the lobby or game start will still subject the team to the rules set forth in this section. HSL  Referees may apply additional penalties at their discretion.

7.4.4. Team Communication

All team members will be required to join the HSL provided Teamspeak server, and all communication between players must be conducted through this server. Team communications will be subject to recording and HSL Officials and Referees may be present in the channel throughout the play of the match.

7.4.5. Pause Allowance

Teams may pause the game for a maximum of ten (10) minutes over the course of a single game, or twenty (20) minutes over the course of a match. Players will be forced to resume the match after the completion of their allocated pause time, and pausing beyond allowance time will be considered unfair play and penalties will be applied at the discretion of HSL Officials.

7.4.6 4v5 Play

Teams are required to field a full time of five (5) Starters (See Section 2.1.1.) to start a match. If a player unintentionally disconnects during the match, and the team has no remaining pause allowance, a team may continue to play after this pause duration is up to complete the game, or take the option to forfeit the match. Individual game forfeits will not be allowed.

7.4.7. Spectators

Under no circumstances will any spectators be allowed in the game lobby, only HSL Officials and competing players will be allowed into the game lobby.

7.4.8. Streaming

Players are not permitted to stream matches publicly or privately for any reason on any platform or service. Players may locally record gameplay, but must gain the written consent from the HSL League Director to distribute any recordings, publicly or privately.

8. Game rules

8.1. Definition of Terms

8.1.1. Unintentional Disconnection

A player loses connection to the game. This is caused by problems with the PC, game client, network or platform.

8.1.2. Intentional Disconnection

The player’s connection to the game closes due to the player’s own actions (such as quitting the game). Any player’s actions which lead to the game disconnecting will be treated as intentional, regardless of the player’s intent.

8.1.3. Server Crash/Game Crash

All players lose connection to the game due to a problem with venue internet or game server.

8.2. Game Configuration

8.2.1 Game Settings

8.2.1.1 Map: Summoners Rift

8.2.1.2 Team Size: 5

8.2.1.3 Allow Spectators: Lobby Only

8.2.1.4 Game Type: Tournament Draft

8.3. Game Setup

8.3.1. Pick Ban Process

8.3.1.1. Order of Pick Ban Process

Draft order is a snake draft format as follows:

  • Blue team = A, Red Team = B
  • Bans: ABABAB
  • Picks: ABBAABBAAB
  • 8.3.1.3. Side Selection

In the event of a match played in the best of three or best five format, the higher seeded team will choose the side they play for odd numbered games (1, 3, 5). The lower seed team chooses on even number games (2, 4). Each game can be chosen separately. Side choice must be submitted at least 24 hours before the scheduled start of the Match. If no submission is made, selection will default to blue side.

8.4. Game of Record

8.4.1. Game of Record Definition

A game of record (“GOR”) is a game where all ten players have loaded successfully loaded into the game and meaningful interaction has occurred between the two teams. Once GOR status is reached, the game is considered official and incidental restarts are no longer permitted. After GOR occurs, game restarts are only allowed under limited conditions (See section 8.4.2). Examples of meaningful interactions which establish GOR:

  • 8.4.1.1. Any attack or ability hits a minion, jungle monster, enemy structure or champion.
  • 8.1.1.2. Players see a member of the opposing team in game
  • 8.1.1.3. Walking into, getting vision into, or targeting a spell into the enemy jungle by either team. This includes leaving the river or entering brush connected to the enemy jungle.
  • 8.1.1.4. Game timer reaches two minutes (00:02:00).
  • 8.4.2. Restart Protocol

The conditions which justify the decision to restart a game is solely at the discretion of HSL officials. Examples below are for demonstrative purposes and do not comprise a complete list.

8.4.2.1. Restarts before GOR

The following are examples of situations where a game restart may occur if GOR has not been reached.

  • If a player’s runes, masteries or game settings have not applied, then the game is paused while the player changes these settings. If the problem continues then the game may be restarted
  • If a HSL official determines that technical problems have prevented the game resuming in a normal manner, then the game may be restarted

8.4.2.2. Restarts after GOR

The following are examples of situations where a game restart may occur if GOR has been reached.

  • If the game experiences a critical bug which significantly alters game statistics or mechanics.
  • If a HSL official deems that environmental conditions are unfair (e.g dangerous weather, extreme noise or unacceptable safety risks).

8.4.3. Restart Protocol

If a critical bug is encountered within the game which significantly changes game statistics or mechanics then a restart may occur.

Several conditions must be met before a restart may occur. HSL officials must verify the bug and determine it has a critical impact. Whether the bug has damaged the player’s ability to compete is entirely up to the HSL official’s discretion. To be considered verified a bug must be conclusively present and not possibly attributable to player error. The spectator must then be able to replay the instance in question and verify the bug.

If a player believes they have experienced a critical bug they must pause the game and contact a referee immediately. If it is determined the player is reporting the bug late in order to restart at a more advantageous time then no restart will be granted.

If HSL officials determine the bug is critical and verifiable, and the player followed the pause protocol, then the team disadvantaged by the bug will be presented with the option to restart the match. If they accept the game is immediately restarted as per section 8.4.4. An exception to these rules is if the restart occurred due to a champion bug, then game settings will no longer be maintained including picks and bans. This exception applies regardless of GOR status. The champion will be banned in all remaining games of that day unless the bug can be tied conclusively to a specific game element that can be removed such as a skin or item which can be prohibited.

This section applies as long as the pause protocol is followed (See Section 7.4.5.) and does not prevent an HSL official conducting a restart.

8.4.4. Controlled Environment

If a game has not reached GOR status then HSL officials may preserve certain conditions including but not limited to; picks and bans, or summoner spells. If a game has reached GOR then HSL officials shall not retain any settings in the event of a restart.

8.4.5 Player Confirmation of settings

Each team captain must notify a HSL official before GOR is reached of any problems with game settings. These include, without limitation runes, masteries, controls and GUI settings. Once game GOR is reached these settings are considered final and are not considered grounds for a game restart.

8.5. Awarded Game Win

In the event where technical difficulty causes HSL officials to declare a restart, they may instead award victory of the game to a team. If the game clock has reached 20 minutes (00:20:00) then HSL officials may determine that a team cannot avoid defeat to a reasonable degree of certainty. The following criteria may be used to determine an awarded victory, but do not necessarily guarantee an awarded victory. The final decision is made solely by HSL officials.

8.5.1 Gold Differential

The difference in gold between teams is more than 33%.

8.5.2 Remaining Turret Differential

The difference in the number of remaining turrets between is more than seven.

8.5.3 Remaining Inhibitor Differential

The difference in remaining inhibitors between the teams is greater than two.

8.6. Post-Game Process

8.6.1. Technical Notes

Following the completion of a game, HSL Referees will communicate any technical issues that arose during game play. Players will also have this time to identify and solve any technical difficulties with HSL Officials.

8.6.2. Break Period

In Best-of-Three or Best-of-Five matches, teams will be allowed a 5 minute break period, in which they are free to communicate with other team staff, such as their manager and any registered coaches. This break period is not separate from when HSL Referees will deliver technical notes (See Section 8.6.1.).

8.7. Post-Match Process

8.7.1. Results

HSL Officials will communicate and confirm the results of a Match with both teams.

8.7.2. Next Match

HSL Officials will communicate and confirm each team’s next HSL Match, as well as notifying each team of their new position in the League or Playoffs, if applicable.

8.7.3. Post-Match Obligations

HSL Officials will inform players of any and all post-match obligations including, but not limited to, media appearances, interviews or further discussion of match matters.

8.7.4.

Matches won by forfeit will be reported by the minimum score it would take for one team to make the match. No other statistics will be recorded or published for forfeited matches.

9. Conduct

9.1. Competition Conduct

9.1.1. Unfair Play

9.1.1.1. Collusion

Collusion is any agreement involving players and/or any other parties to alter the competitive nature of the tournament. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Intentional misplay, which is any agreement to not damage, impede or otherwise play to a reasonable standard of competition in a match.
  • Creating an arrangement to split prize money and/or other compensation.
  • Sending or receiving signals from another party to and/or from a player during a live match.
  • Deliberately losing a game for any reason, or attempting to induce another player to do so.

9.1.1.2. Competitive Integrity

Teams are expected to play their best at all times in HSL matches, and to maintain behaviour consistent with the principles of good sportsmanship, honesty, and fair play.

9.1.1.3. Hacking

Hacking is any modification of the League of Legends or PVP.net clients, or the use of any external client or device that may lend an unfair advantage to any player.

9.1.1.4. Exploiting

Exploiting is intentionally using any in game bug to seek an advantage. Exploiting includes, but is not limited to; glitches in Champion abilities, glitches in environment interactions, or any other game function that is not functioning as HSL Officials deem as intended.

9.1.1.5. Impersonating a Player

Any attempt to hide identity to play a HSL match as another player or act on their behalf.

9.1.1.6. Intentional Disconnection

An intentional disconnection without an appropriate and explicitly-stated reason.

9.1.1.7. Violation of competitive integrity

Any further act, failure to act, or behaviour which, in the sole judgement of a HSL Official violates these Rules and/or the standards of integrity established by the HSL for competitive play.

9.1.2. Profanity and Hate Speech

Any participant in the HSL may not use language that is obscene, foul, vulgar, insulting, threatening, abusive, libelous, slanderous, defamatory or otherwise offensive or objectionable.

9.1.3. Abusive Behaviour

Abusive behaviour directed at any HSL Officials, opposing Team Members, or live studio members will not be tolerated in any situation. Repeated violations will result in penalties, where any participants in the HSL must be treated with respect at all times.

9.2. Unprofessional Behaviour

9.2.1. Harassment

Harassment in any shape or form is strictly forbidden. Harassment is classified as the repeated, and hostile acts directed at an individual over a long period of time with the intent to isolate and exclude a person.

9.2.2. Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is strictly forbidden. Defined as unwelcomed and unprecedented sexual advances. The assessment is made when a reasonable person would define the actions as undesirable, vulgar, or offensive.

9.2.3. Discrimination

No participant in the HSL may offend the dignity, integrity, or pride of a community, country, person, or group of people through discrimination, stereotyping, or express of contempt based on the race, colour of skin, national origin, gender, religion, or any other opinion, financial situation, sexual orientation or any other reason.

9.2.4. Releasing Information without Approval

Teams will be asked for information, feedback, and documentation for approval throughout the Season of the HSL. This process is entirely focussed on the improvement of the HSL and it’s operations. Team members can disrupt the competitive integrity, and undermine the competitive process. All information released to HSL participants should be considered confidential, unless written consent is given by HSL Officials

9.2.5. Criminal Activity

A Team Member or Team may not participate in any activity that is prohibited by common law which may lead to conviction in any court of competent jurisdiction. Dependent on the form of criminal activity, HSL Officials reserve the right to refuse league entry to any player and/or team.

9.2.6. Confidentiality

A Team Member and/or Team may not disclose any confidential information provided by HSL Officials, regardless of the medium of communication.

9.2.7. Bribery

No Team Member or Team may accept, gift, or offer reward to any participant in the HSL or any HSL Official, for services that undermine the competitive nature of the HSL.

9.2.8. Non-Compliance

No participant of the HSL may refuse to comply with the reasonable instructions or decisions of HSL Officials.

9.2.9. Match Fixing

No participant of the HSL may collude, conspire, agree, or offer to influence the outcome of any HSL match by any means that are prohibited by law or these Rules.

9.2.10. Document or Miscellaneous Requests

Documentation or other reasonable items may be required at certain times throughout the HSL season. If the documentation or items are not returned to the standards set by HSL Officials, then a team and/or players may be subject to penalties.

9.2.11. Association with Gambling

No Participant may take part, either directly or indirectly, in betting on any results of HSL Matches.

Additionally, HSL Staff, Officials, Referees, and all Volunteers may not participate in Gambling on any eSport match, even those outside of the HSL and League of Legends.

9.3. Player Behaviour Investigations

If HSL Officials have reason to believe that a HSL participant has violated the Rules of the HSL, HSL Officials may assign penalties at their sole discretion. If contact is made between HSL Officials and a participant, the participant is obligated to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth. If information is withheld from HSL Officials, the participant and/or their respective Team is subject to penalties (See Section 9.4).

9.4. Penalties

Upon the discovery of any Participant committing any violations of the rules listed above, or the determination that the player has committed any act determined by HSL officials to be detrimental to the operation of the HSL. HSL Officials may, without limitation of its authority, issue one or more of following penalties:

  • Verbal Warnings
  • Formal Written Warning
  • Loss of Side Selection(s) for Current or Future Match(es)
  • Map Forfeiture(s)
  • Match Forfeiture(s)
  • Disqualification(s)
  • Exclusion Penalties

9.5. Right to Publish

The HSL reserves the right to articulate and publish a declaration outlining the reasoning, severity, and result of a penalty administered to any participant of the HSL. Any participant included in the process of penalty which may be referenced in such declaration waives any right of legal action against the HSL.

10. Ruleset Administration

10.1. Finality of Decisions

All decisions regarding these rules and their interpretation, including penalties for misconduct, scheduling, and player eligibility lie at the sole discretion of the HSL. The result of any appeals process will be final and shall not give rise to any claim for monetary damages or any other legal remedy.

10.2. Rule Changes

These rules may be amended, modified or supplemented by the HSL, from time to time, to ensure fair play and the integrity of HSL competition.

10.3. Administrative discretion

HSL officials at all times may act with the necessary authority to preserve the best interests of the HSL. This power is not constrained by the lack or presence of any specific language in this document. HSL officials may use any form of punitive action at their disposal against any entity whose conduct is not within the confines of the best interests of the HSL.

10.4. Headings in this ruleset

The headings in this ruleset are for convenience only, confirm no rights or obligations in either party, and do not alter any terms of these rules.

10.5. Application of ruleset

This ruleset applies to all Participants in the HSL, including, but not limited to, Players, Captains, Coaches, Team Owners, HSL Referees, Volunteers and Casting crew. Participation in any HSL activity constitutes agreement to this ruleset and a commitment to uphold its principles.

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