HSEL General Competition Rules

5/14/24 Patch Notes: 2.1 changed to "Community Guidelines", with "Liability" now under section 2.1.1. 

1. Definitions

1.1. Participants   

1.1.1. School Organization Players

Students currently enrolled in their school's organization and on the roster to participate in a current High School Esports League. Players can participate in official and open events with their respective schools. 

1.1.2. Free Agent Players

Students participating on an Unofficial Organization during a High School Esports League "open" event. These students do not need to attend the same school or be enrolled in the same (or any) team to participate in an Unofficial Organization Roster.  Free Agents may only participate in open (non-official) events or Community Events.

1.2. Staff

1.2.1. Organization Administrator

Organization Administrators are teachers or other verified and current faculty members who oversee the operations of the school’s team and act as a point of contact between the school and HSEL Administrators. 

1.3. Organization and Rosters

1.3.1. High School Organizations

High Schools that have had a verified staff member create an Organization that is approved in the HSEL community. These teams are composed of students attending the same school. All schools must provide a valid NCES ID number upon registration to participate in official events. Schools without an NCES ID may apply for an exemption but need to demonstrate accreditation or that they are on a path to accreditation.

Students must be actively working towards a diploma from the school in order to be added to the Organization roster. Part-time students may participate as long as they exclusively attend the school.

Students who attend a high school without an Organization registered with HSEL may request to participate on a school's team within the same district. Please direct this request to the support team. Homeschooled Students and Virtual Schools

Homeschooled students may participate with the Organization of a registered high school as long as they reside within the same school district. 

Virtual Schools will be allowed to participate if they have a valid NCES ID, demonstrate accreditation, or demonstrate they are on the path toward accreditation. All participating students must be enrolled full-time and working towards a diploma from the Virtual School. For team games, all virtual school members on the same roster must reside in the same state or within a 75-mile radius of a school campus or office. After-School Programs, Career Centers, Vocation Tech, etc. 

After-school programs, Career Centers, Vo-Tech institutes, etc. are permitted to form an Organization as long as the team represents exactly one school campus or district, and that organization does not already have a registered Organization (i.e., exactly one Org per NCES ID). The program in question must be hosted in the local region of the school district. The program must be able to provide a list of students, their schools & NCES IDs, and proof of enrollment of all students upon request. Lan Centers

LAN Centers may provide avenues for high school Organizations to compete in official events--such as providing equipment to use-- but are prohibited from organizing their own Organization(s). 

1.3.2. Rosters

A group of students from the same Organization participating in a specific game during an HSEL event. The size of a roster will vary depending on the event entered.

1.3.3. Unofficial Organizations

An organization formed of students from different high schools competing in an HSEL "open" (Community Events and Summer). Unlike School Organizations, unofficial teams do not have a Faculty Administrator. The Organization's creator handles invitations, roster creation, and registration. Rosters created within an unofficial team compete in the same divisions as school teams during open events. Unofficial Teams are not permitted to participate in official HSEL seasons (Fall, Winter, and Spring).

1.4. Matches

1.4.1. Official Match

An official match is any match taking place during any HSEL Major or Open event. Preseason, Qualifiers, Regular Season, Playoff, and Final matches all qualify as official matches.    

1.4.2. Unofficial Matches

Any match that takes place outside of any HSEL Major or Open event. These matches include but are not limited to HSEL Community Events. 

1.5. Tournaments

1.5.1. Event Tiers

    • "Premier" is the upper echelon of the High School Esports League competition. Only the top 16 schools (per region) will qualify for a pre-scheduled round-robin season. Only official HSEL Organizations are allowed to register for qualifiers and compete.
  • TIER 2 - MAJOR 
    • A Major tournament (Fall/Spring) is an HSEL tournament in which only official HSEL Organizations are eligible.
    • HSEL Intramural competitions are events focused on casual play and student development. They are intended for schools and students seeking a low-stakes, structured scholastic gaming experience. These events are not "tournaments"; there are no playoffs, there is no traditional winner, and there are no prizes. Only official HSEL Organizations can register for Intramural competitions. 

1.5.2 Event Divisions

HSEL may divide tournaments into divisions based on factors such as geography, regional population, school classification, school enrollment, or skill level. These factors will be included in the tournament overview. In most cases, the Organization administrator will self-select the participant(s) into the appropriate division.

In the case where the Organization administrator selects their participants’ division, HSEL will make efforts to detect and correct mistaken registrations as quickly as possible prior to matches being played. If a participant is found in the incorrect division, HSEL may (at its sole discretion) move the participant to the correct division. Note: changing divisions will remove all associated matches and results. To ensure competitive integrity and prevent abuse, HSEL may manually adjust a participant’s record after moving them to the correct division.

1.5.3. Wild Card

The Wild Card applies to any game that is both in Tier 1 (Premier) and Tier 2 (Major), where certain participants in both tiers compete against each other for a Nationals spot. 

1.5.3. HSEL Nationals

Top teams from the Fall and Spring Premier/Wild Card Tournaments will be invited to participate in an end-of-year competition to decide on a national champion. 

1.5.5. Open Tournament

An open tournament is a tournament run by the High School Esports League, the participants of which may be players that satisfy eligibility requirements. Teams for an open tournament may contain players that do not currently belong to an Organization or belong to the same school (unofficial Organizations).

1.5.6. Community Events

HSEL Community Events are free and open to all high school students in the HSEL community. Unofficial Organizations can compete in community events.  

1.6. Event Stages

Events may consist of multiple stages, each with specific rounds and varying rules, including match length. It's important to note that the regular season and playoffs are entirely separate stages.

1.6.1. Registration

Organizations wanting to participate in tournaments or events will need to register through the Generation Esports Competition Platform.

1.6.2. Regular Season

The regular season stage is the main stage of a competition. During this stage, players/teams compete for the highest placements to move on to the postseason (playoffs/finals).

1.6.3. Playoffs

The playoff stage is a bracket competition among the highest-placed rosters/players from the regular season leaderboard. The size of the playoff pool varies depending on the game being played and the number of active participants. 

1.6.4. Finals

The Finals stage of the competition is the last match in the bracket. A separate match will be held to determine the third and fourth-place teams, these matches will be scheduled at the same time as the finals. 

1.7. Match Format

1.7.1 Best of X (Series Length)

In a “Best of” match, teams/players play a series of games until a winner is decided. The match winner will be the first team/player to reach the required amount of game wins. HSEL “Best of” Matches may consist of the following settings.

  • Best of 1
  • Best of 3
  • Best of 5
  • Best of 7

For the specific match format for your game, please consult the specific HSEL rules page for your game. 

1.7.2 Queue System

The queue system is a matchmaking tool used for Training Grounds, Major preseason & regular seasons, Premier qualifiers, and any additional specified event/stage described in a tournament's overview. 

Read about the queue system here: QUEUE SYSTEM 101

2. General Tournament Rules

2.1 Community Guidelines

  1. All members (students, organization administrators, etc.) will contribute to a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone involved in this community.
  2. Do not accuse others of breaking a rule in a public chat or any other public setting. Contact our support team instead.
  3. During an ongoing match dispute, all participants (students and org admins alike) are expected to accommodate any request(s) from tournament admins in a timely and respectful manner that upholds the ideals of item #1.  

2.1.1 Liability

All participants are expected to know and uphold the rules while associated with the High School Esports League. Participants will not receive refunds or compensation for their inability to play as a result of incurring a penalty due to a violation of High School Esports League rules and regulations. Participation in official tournaments constitutes acceptance of these rules. 

2.2 Administration List

  • David Stone - Commissioner 
  • Neal Doolin - Director of Platform Operations
  • Jake Taylor - Client Support Manager

2.3 Rules & Rulings 

2.3.1. Admin Interpretation & League Interests

The final interpretation of rules and regulations rests with the HSEL Administration. At all times, HSEL admins may act with the necessary authority to preserve the best interests of the league. This power is not constrained by the lack of any specific language in this document. HSEL admins may use any form of punitive actions at their disposal against any entity whose conduct is not within the confines of the best interests of the league. A participant's ignorance of the rules will not be considered as a factor in any ruling. 

2.3.2. Finality of Decisions 

All decisions regarding the interpretation of rules, player eligibility, scheduling and staging of the league, and penalties for misconduct, lie solely with HSEL administration, the decisions of which are final. HSEL administration decisions with respect to these Rules cannot be appealed and shall not give rise to any claim for monetary damages or any other legal or equitable remedy.

2.3.3. Rule Changes 

The rules in this article --and any game article-- may be amended, modified, or supplemented by HSEL administration to ensure fair play and the integrity of the league. Major changes to this document will be communicated, however, these rules may be updated at any time without formal notification. However, the High School Esports League will use its best efforts to provide reasonable notice to the Organization's Administrator via email prior to any significant rule changes.

2.4. Confidentiality

The content of emails, support tickets, or any other correspondence with High School Esports League administration is deemed strictly confidential information. The publication of such material is prohibited without express written consent from the High School Esports League.

2.5 Match Broadcasting

All broadcasting rights of the High School Esports League are owned by High School E-Sports League Inc (doing business as "Generation Esports"). This includes, but is not limited to: IRC Bots, audio streams, video streams, match recordings, or television broadcasts.

2.5.1. Award of Broadcast Rights

The 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 be arranged with High School Esports League administration or broadcasters prior to the start of the match. The High School Esports League reserves the right to play, broadcast, and distribute all match recordings during a High School Esports League tournament.

2.5.2. No Right of Refusal

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

2.6 Player Details and Eligibility

2.6.1 Enrollment

All students participating in a High School Esports League Tournament must be currently enrolled in high school (grades 9-12) and at least 13 years of age. Homeschooled students are welcome to participate with a local school Organization in their district of residence as long as they meet the grade/age requirements. 

2.6.2. Grade Point Average

All participating students in a High School Esports League tournament must be on-pace to graduate and in good standing with the school. HSEL suggests that schools use the same GPA and attendance requirements for participation as other extracurricular and athletic activities 

2.6.3. Home Country

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

2.6.4. Proof of Enrollment

When requested by High School Esports League administration, Organization administrators are required to submit information to verify their students' enrollment. This information includes, but is not limited to, full name, anticipated graduation year, and a document from the following list:

  • A school ID from the current year that includes the player’s name
  • An email a school administrator, counselor, or registrar verifying their enrollment status

Prizing may be withheld from any participant without enrollment verification. Participants may be suspended from play without enrollment verification.

2.7. Participant Accounts

2.7.1. Clean Game Accounts

The High School Esports League defines a "clean game account" as an account that has not received any form of long/short-term game suspension or ban in the past 365 days and is clear of vulgar or inappropriate content. 

Short Term suspensions or bans can include, but are not limited to: 

  • Suspensions lasting less than one month’s time
  • Chat restrictions
  • Gameplay lockouts lasting 2 weeks or more 
  • Ranked mode access restricted

Players serving short-term game account bans/suspensions are prohibited from participating in High School Esports League events –even on alternate game accounts– until the suspension/ban is over.

Long-term suspensions or bans can include, but are not limited to: 

  • Permanent game accounts bans or VAC bans for any reason
  • Suspensions/bans lasting for longer than one month’s time (30 days or more)

Players serving long-term suspensions/bans are prohibited from participating in all High School Esports League events –even on alternate game accounts– for an entire calendar year.

Players are required to notify their Organization administrator if they receive any length of suspension or ban. Team Administrators are required to notify HSEL Administrators of their student’s suspension or ban. Failure to comply on either part may result in disciplinary action against the player or team. Tainted Accounts

During an official match, if a player’s account receives any form of game ban, the match will immediately conclude, and the opposing player/roster will be awarded the win.

2.7.2. Game Connections

All players taking part in High School Esports League tournaments are required to have an active game account for the tournament they’re participating in connected to their Generation Esports account. All game connection information shown on a Organization's roster must match the names used in-game. Mismatching display names (gamertags) that cannot be verified by HSEL staff will not be allowed to participate in an official match and must not be present in a game lobby.

If a player’s display name does not match what is shown on their roster, immediately suspend play, inform the other team of the discrepancy, and reach out to an HSEL Administrator through the Support Live Chat service for assistance. Name discrepancy reports will not be accepted after a match has been completed. 

In certain cases, players with mismatching names may be permitted to correct their Game Connection name after an HSEL staff member has verified that both names in question are tied to the same game account, using a unique account identifier (such as Steam ID, Epic ID, Riot Sign-On ID). These identifiers must be directly accessible to HSEL staff; email screenshots are insufficient.

All game connections associated with a user at any point during a competition or event are subject to rule 2.7.1, the clean account rule. Game Account Ownership

Game accounts used in official tournaments must belong to the student participating using that game connection. At no point in time may players share accounts with each other or use an account of another person, regardless of if they are in the tournament or not. School-Purchased Game Accounts

Schools may create accounts or purchase game licenses for their students participating in a tournament if they do not already have an active one. These accounts will be considered the students’ personal game account and may only be used by one student each. These accounts and licenses may not be transferred to another student upon the previous student’s graduation or leaving the Organization, as this would be against any publisher’s Terms of Service or End User License Agreement.

2.7.3. Participant Profiles

All player names or profiles are prohibited from including:

  • Gang Affiliation
  • Drugs (including alcohol and tobacco)
  • Sexual Material
  • Offensive Material
  • Politically Charged Symbols/Images
  • Slander of The High School Esports League, Generation Esports, their staff, or participating schools and students

2.8. Organizations

2.8.1. Organization Names and Roster Names

All Organization names and roster names must reflect the name of the High School participating in the tournament. Team names cannot be changed after the season officially begins.

2.8.2. Player Counts

Rosters are required to have the minimum player count (as stated in each game’s rule set) present on the roster at all times once a season begins. This does not include players that are pending to be placed on the roster. Rosters may not have more than double the minimum player count on the roster at any time. For example, For example, Rocket League 3v3 rosters may include up to 6 players (3 starters and 3 substitutes). Official matches may not begin if a roster cannot actively field the minimum player count. 

2.8.3. Roster Participants & Changes 

Players are prohibited from simultaneously participating on more than one roster for the same game in a specific tournament.

Roster changes may be made at any point during or in between seasons except during the time a roster has queued for their match, during live matches, or once the playoffs have been seeded.

Note: if a player is on a roster when it queues (even if the player themselves did not queue), the same player will not be able to queue with another roster in the same tournament at a later time during the same week

2.8.4 Roster Changes

Roster changes may be made at any point during or in between seasons except during the time a team has queued for their match, during live matches, or once the playoffs have begun. 

2.8.5. HSEL Premier Participants

  • A participant (player/roster) currently competing in Premier may not concurrently compete with a different roster for the same game/format in any other HSEL event, including, but not limited to HSEL Intramural and HSEL Majors. 
  • School Organizations with a participating HSEL Premier roster are permitted to “promote” a student currently competing on a Majors/Training Grounds roster for the same game to the Premier roster. Once a promoted student has played at least two Premier matches, they will be considered an official member of the Premier roster and can no longer concurrently participate in Majors or Training Grounds events for the same game.
  • Multiple participants (rosters/players) from the same school Organization may play in the qualifiers, but only one participant from each school Organization may qualify for HSEL Premier regular seasons. If multiple rosters would qualify from one school, only the participant with the highest leaderboard placement at the conclusion of the qualifiers will advance.

Any Premier participants found in violation of rule 2.8.5 will be removed from all HSEL competitions for the remainder of the season.

2.9. Prizing

All prizing will be distributed once all Organizations that have earned it submit the necessary information needed to verify the eligibility of the players on the Organization and all pending payments are completed. If a team or player is missing any required criteria for verification or payment, the prizing will be held for 30 days after the conclusion of the applicable HSEL tournament. If an Organization or player fails to provide the required information or payments within those 30 days, they may forfeit all prizes from the tournament. Prizing will generally take between 3-6 weeks from completion of the tournament to be fulfilled.

The High School Esports League reserves the right to withhold or revoke prizing from any School, Student, Organization, or User who violates the official tournament rules or for any reason determined by the High School Esports League. This includes situations where a playoff match is forfeited. If an Organization or user chooses to forfeit a playoff match, the High School Esports League may decide to withhold or revoke any prizes that would have been awarded to that Organization or user. This action is taken at the discretion of the High School Esports League.

For prizing questions or concerns, please email prizing@generationesports.com.

2.9.1. Scholarships 

All scholarships are fulfilled through the Video Games and Esports Foundation https://www.vef.gg/. Organization admins will be contacted by a VEF representative to gather information on the relevant students shortly after the end of a tournament. Read more about scholarships here. 

2.10. Withdrawal

Teams may withdraw from a tournament until their first official match during the regular season. Once a team chooses to withdraw from a tournament, they will not qualify for refunds or receive compensation for their withdrawal. Only Organization Administrators may submit a request to withdraw a player or team from a tournament.

After the first game of the regular season has been played, teams will not be permitted to withdraw from a tournament. Teams wishing to no longer participate after the first official match may stop queuing or playing matches for the remainder of the tournament. 

2.10.1. Refund Policy

No refunds will be offered, all services are sold as-is. The High School Esports League assumes no responsibility for purchases. A grace period of 48 hours after purchase will be offered for disputed circumstances. The High School Esports League reserves the right to refuse or deny registration and to cancel registration under certain circumstances. 

2.11. Matches

2.11.1. Match Results

Major & Training Grounds: Matches must be reported by the winning team immediately after their game's completion. Players/teams are encouraged to document proof of match results in the event that they are needed to verify the legitimacy of a match score report. Match reports must include the best-of-series score, and all results must be reported by 11:59 PM on the match day. After this, matches will be locked, and their scores will not be editable.

Premier (Brawlhalla & Rocket League): In addition to standard score reporting, the winning participant must send screenshots of each map/game scoreboard using the “Contact Support” link below the score submission box. Format as follows: 

  • Email address - [Organization Admin/Captain’s email address]
  • Community - HSEL
  • Subject - Premier Score Report
  • Description - Copy/paste the match page URL 
  • Attachments - Upload all screenshots for each map/game scoreboard

Note: We have enabled the reporting of goal differential for HSEL Premier Rocket League match pages, so that these may be used as tiebreakers if necessary. Match Scheduling and Forfeits

Majors & Training Grounds: There are no pre-determined matchups until playoffs (Majors only). HSEL sets games on specific days, along with multiple queue windows for participants to choose from. On match day, participants will use the Queue System at their chosen time to receive an opponent. 

Premier: Round Robin regular season matches may be rescheduled to any point during the regular season up until the start of the final week if agreed upon by both teams in the match chat and requested via a support ticket. Teams are not in any way obligated to accept a reschedule request. 

  • All participants are expected to be on time for their scheduled –or rescheduled– match. A grace period of 15 minutes will be given past the match time before HSEL will approve a no-show forfeit. 
  • HSEL Premier is intended for established and structured scholastic esports Organizations. With this in mind, players/rosters that receive two no-show forfeits during a season will be removed from the tournament and deemed ineligible for that season’s Wild Card.

All Events: Any potential match forfeit first needs to be approved by an HSEL Administrator. Forfeit wins reported without prior approval are subject to dismissal. 

2.11.2. Match Interruptions and Live Issues

Teams are required to contact an HSEL Administrator if they experience issues delaying or interfering with their match as they are occurring. Examples of match interruptions or lives issues are

  • Technical Difficulties
  • Opponents not responding in Match Chat
  • Incorrect Players or Game Connections
  • Use of Incorrect Game Settings

In the event of a lobby restart, the game lobby must be recreated in a manner identical to the original (with respect to bans, character selection, side selection, etc.). 

2.11.3. Match Disputes

Match disputes must be submitted within 24 hours of a match’s conclusion during the Regular Season. Scoring disputes must be submitted within 1 week of a match’s conclusion. During the Makeup Week, Season Playoffs and Finals, all disputes must be submitted on the day of the match. Sufficient and undoctored evidence, including, but not limited to, screenshots, match recordings, match replays/demos, or stream 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 should be submitted at the following link: https://help.generationesports.com/hc/en-us/requests/new 

2.11.4. Makeup Matches

Participants who have missed matches during the regular season may make use of makeup queue windows. Participants who have played all of their regular season matches are locked from participating in makeup rounds.

2.11.5. Playoff Qualification

Participants must compete in and complete 75% of their Regular Season matches (if that number is a decimal, it will be rounded up) in order to be considered for playoff qualification. Participants who do not meet this requirement will be removed from qualification consideration regardless of their final record. Unplayed & Unreported Matches

Any match that a participant misses, as well as any match that has not been reported, will result in the match being counted as a loss against the participant's record at the end of the regular season. For example: going 4-1 in a regular season where 6 matches are offered will result in a final record of 4-2. 

2.11.6. Playoff Seeding

For all tournaments, postseason matches will be seeded depending on the tournament size and number of players/rosters actively participating in the regular stage at the discretion of the High School Esports League administration. Participants will be seeded into the playoffs based on their leaderboard standing after 2.11.5 is applied. Leaderboard & Tiebreakers

All HSEL competitions utilize the standard Generation Esports tiebreaker logic. Click the link below for more information.  

Tiebreaker Logic for Leaderboards


2.11.7. Playoffs and Final Matches

  • Playoffs/finals are manually seeded; players will not use the queue system*.
  • You may only reschedule a playoff match if you meet all of the following criteria: 
    • Your opponent agrees to the new time in the match chat on the Generation Esports platform. Note: your opponents are under no obligation to accept a reschedule request. 
    • You notify and receive approval from HSEL admins for the new time here.
    • The match score is reported before midnight Pacific Standard Time the day prior to the next round (i.e. reschedules must not impede the bracket from advancing).
    • Finals matches cannot be rescheduled.
    • Your opponent must agree to the rescheduled time in match chat on the Generation Esports platform or the default time will remain.

2.11.9. Multiple Game Series Mid-Series 

In a multiple-game series, participants may take one break of up to 10 minutes each hour between games if needed. Any additional breaks between games must be agreed upon by both participants in the match chat. Substitutions

This rule only applies to games which require two or more players. In a multiple-game series, teams may substitute players in the match between games/maps, provided that all players are on the roster for the match. Substitutions must be declared before any new banning or drafting procedure begins for the next game/map. Substitutions are not permitted for solo competitions.

2.12. Communication

2.12.1. Team Communication

Participants must utilize the match chat on the match page on the Generation Esports application to communicate with their opponents.

2.12.2. Outside Communication

Players/teams may not have any communication with any outside sources, with the exception of HSEL Administration, while live gameplay is in progress, including, but not limited to: coaches, teachers, match spectators, and substitutes. Players and teams may only have communication with outside sources during the grace period between games in a series or unless otherwise outlined in game-specific rules.

2.13. Spectators

Spectators are permitted in game lobbies for the sole purpose of streaming their school team’s match to the school’s social channel(s) or for recording the match. Spectators streaming or recording the match may not be a competitor on the roster, unless otherwise specified in the game-specific rules.

At the end of the match:

  • If streaming – the stream’s VOD must be immediately shared with the other team in the match chat.
  • If recording – an unedited copy of the recording must be uploaded and shared with the other team within 24 hours.

In the case of a game having a solo spectator position, streaming rights will be given to the home team. 

Additional spectating rules vary from game to game and can be found within Section 3 of the game-specific rulesets.

2.13.1 Student Streaming

Students may stream to their personal social channel(s) if they are participating in the match. The match may only be streamed from the student’s in-game point of view and should have at least a 3 minute delay set to prevent possible incidents of stream sniping.

Students may not at any time stream another player or roster’s match on their personal channels.

2.14. Peripherals

2.14.1. Controllers

Controllers used in official matches must not be modified in any way, including but not limited to trigger mods, sensitive buttons, custom thumbsticks, and thumbstick tension modes. SCUF Controllers and Xbox Elite controllers are permitted as long as none of the attachments are used during gameplay.  For fighting games, all standard fight sticks and controllers are permitted. Any hardware with macro functions or on-the-fly profile switching is strictly prohibited.

Controllers may be used for PC games provided that they meet the requirements above, are an officially supported controller, 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.

All peripherals are subject to inspection by HSEL Administration at any live/in-person event.

2.14.2. Keyboard and Mouse

Participants may use a keyboard and mouse on a console as long as the tournament supports crossplay between console and PC players. The use of a keyboard and mouse for a console-specific tournament is prohibited. 

All peripherals are subject to inspection by HSEL Administration at any live/in-person event.

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. Refer to Section 2 of the tournament-specific rule page for information on its supported platforms. 


2.16. Software Agreements

All participants are required to agree to, follow, and abide by any and all software agreements necessary to operate any game, service, and/or launcher that is necessary to facilitate a competition (e.g. Terms of Service, Terms of Use, End User License Agreements, and/or any other similar documents).


3. Online Tournament Additional Rules

3.1. Equipment

The High School Esports League will not provide any equipment, license, or online access during an online tournament. The High School Esports League is not responsible for any internet or power issues affecting players/teams.

3.2. Online Connection

The High School Esports League recommends (but does not require) that all participants play over an ethernet connection to reduce the lag they may experience in online matches.

3.3. Weather and Other Emergencies

Participants should only queue for matches when it is safe to do so. During the regular season, makeup match queues are provided to account for unavoidable circumstances such as weather or schedule conflicts.

In the event of forecasted inclement weather (or other emergencies) during a scheduled (non-queue) match, participants should notify both HSEL Administration and their opponents as early as possible so that contingency plans can be formed.


4. Rule Violations

4.1. Cheating

The use of any third-party program, application, or illegally modified hardware that gives one or more participants an unfair advantage will be considered cheating. Examples include programs or applications that assist with aiming (aimbot), provide vision through walls (wallhack), provide otherwise unknown information (radar hack), automatically click or keypress (triggerbot, external macro), modify audio or visual information (e.g. preventing a player from being blinded or deafened, or modifying volume on audio cues). This list is not comprehensive.

Players who are found to be cheating will be immediately disqualified from all tournaments they currently compete in until their conclusion and beyond at the discretion of the High School Esports League administration.

4.1.1. Programs

The use of the following programs is considered cheating:

  • Multihacks
  • Wallhack
  • Aimbot
  • Triggerbot
  • Colored Models
  • No-Recoil
  • No-Flash
  • Sound changes
  • Macros

This list is not comprehensive; other programs may be deemed cheating if they are found to be giving a player or team an unfair advantage. Players who are found to be cheating will be immediately disqualified from all tournaments they currently compete in until their conclusion and beyond at the discretion of the High School Esports League administration.

4.1.2. Bugs/Glitches/Exploits

The exploitation of any bugs/glitches that give a player or team an unfair advantage and are disallowed by the game’s developer are prohibited from use in official matches. The following are some examples of prohibited exploits:

  • Glitches that modify ability timers
  • Champion/hero appearance (or swapping) glitches
  • Accessing illegal or out-of-bounds locations

This list is not comprehensive. The use of any bug/glitch/exploit that provides an unfair advantage is expressly prohibited, and their use will result in consequences. The final determination of fairness lies with HSEL Administration.

4.1.3. Additional Acts of Disruption

Other attempts to disrupt a match (or conspiring to do so) will also be considered cheating.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Intentionally delaying the start of a game or match
  • Intentionally and deliberately teaming up in a “free for all” game
  • Disconnecting with the intent of resetting a game
  • Voice-communication spam in lobbies where teams can communicate
  • Sabotaging equipment 
  • Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks

4.1.4. Third-Party Tools 

The use of any third-party tools is prohibited in official tournaments. The list of third-party tools includes, but is not limited to: 

  • VR Audio Programs
  • Third-Party Graphic Drivers
  • Overlay Modifications 
  • Custom Skins
  • Custom Overlays
  • UI Modifications  

4.2. Doping

The use of performance-enhancing drugs is prohibited.

4.2.1. Prohibited Substances

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

4.3. Betting

No participants may be involved in any form of betting or gambling, associate with bettors or gamblers, or provide anyone information that may assist betting or gambling, either directly or indirectly, for any High School Esports League matches or competitions.

4.4. Match Fixing

Match fixing is defined as the act of arranging the outcome of a match prior to or during play, and is expressly prohibited. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Intentionally losing matches
  • Offering/accepting any form of compensation to influence the outcome of a match
  • Negotiating or deciding the results of a match before, during, or after its completion
  • Negotiating or deciding to play a match in a specific way (examples: players will all select random characters; all players will move to a specific area)

4.5. Unsportsmanlike Conduct

4.5.1. Definition

All participants in High School Esports League competitions are expected to act towards each other in a respectful, sporting manner. The High School Esports League understands that the competitive environment may produce mild banter between participants, but all participants are expected to show respect towards their opponents in both victories and defeats.

4.5.2. Inappropriate Language

All participants in High School Esports League 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 or pseudo-profanity (replacing letters in profane words or phrases)
  • Instructing others to self-harm
  • Slurs referring to race, ethnicity, culture, gender identification, game presence, religion, political affiliation, military service, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or any other generally protected category
  • Sexual comments or innuendos
  • Drug/alcohol references

4.5.3 Insults & Harassment

Insulting and/or harassing any participants, Organization members, Organization administrators, and/or HSEL staff is prohibited in any method (in-game, match chat, or unofficial channels such as social media or Discord).

The High School Esports League aims to make esports and gaming accessible and inclusive to all groups of students and the marginalization or harassment of any person or group of people will not be tolerated.

4.5.4 Other Unsportsmanlike, Targeted Behaviors

  • Sharing or revealing another participant’s personal information (“doxxing”)
  • Directed abuse or harassment towards a specific participant
  • Excessive taunting, especially targeting one or more specific players (for example, crouch-spamming near, jump-spamming near, or intentionally shooting at an eliminated player’s model)

4.5.5 Incorrect Match Results

Intentionally reporting incorrect match results will result in disciplinary action from the High School Esports League administration. 

4.5.6 Coercion or Deception

Any attempt to mislead or deceive other participants or members of the High School Esports League administration is prohibited and will result in removal from all competitions.

4.5.7 Public Accusations

Publicly accusing a player or Organization of violating the rules will not be tolerated. If you suspect another player or Organization has committed a rule violation, please file a match dispute as soon as possible so HSEL staff can open an investigation.

4.6. Knowledge of Rule Breaking

Disciplinary action will be taken against players who have knowledge of teammates or other participants violating the official tournament rules and do not report the violations to High School Esports League Administrators.

This includes but is not limited to having knowledge of:

  • Hacking
  • Abusing Exploits
  • Using Prohibited Peripherals
  • Using Prohibited Scripts/Binds
  • Depiction/Coercion of another team or player
  • Match Fixing

If you have knowledge of a teammate or other player violating the rules, please submit a report here. 


5. Eligible Regions

The following regions are permitted to participate in all High School Esports League online events.

  • United States of America
    • All states and territories of the United States of America are permitted to participate in High School Esports League online events.
  • Canada
    • All provinces of Canada are permitted to participate in High School Esports League online events.

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