1.1.1. School Team Players
Students currently enrolled in their school's team and on the roster to participate in a current Middle School Esports League. Players can participate in both the Major and Challenge tournaments with their respective schools.
1.1.2. Free Agent Players
Students participating on a Unofficial Team during an Middle School Esports League Challenge Tournament. These students do not need to attend the same school or be enrolled in the same (or any) team in order to participate on a Unofficial Team’s Roster. Free Agents may only participate in the Open tournaments.
1.2.1. Team Administrator
Team Administrators are teachers or other faculty members who oversee the operations of the school’s team and act as a point of contact between the school and MSEL Administrators.
1.3. Teams and Rosters
1.3.1. Middle School Teams
Middle Schools must be registered with MSEL to form Esports teams, which are composed of students attending the same school. All schools must provide a valid NCES ID number upon registration in order to participate in official tournaments. Part time students may participate as long as they exclusively attend the school. Students who attend a middle school without a team registered with MSEL may participate on a team of a school within the same district.
184.108.40.206. Homeschooled Students and Virtual Schools
Homeschooled students may participate on a team of a registered middle school as long as they are within the same school district.
Virtual Schools will be allowed to participate as long as they have a valid NCES ID, and the students are full time students working towards a diploma from the Virtual School. Students currently attending other schools along with the virtual school will not be permitted to play on the virtual school’s team.
220.127.116.11. After School Programs
After school programs are permitted to form teams as long as the team represents exactly one school campus or district, and that organization does not already have a team (i.e. exactly one team per NCES ID). The after school program must be hosted in the local region of the school district. Any after school program must be able to provide a list of students, their schools & NCES IDs, and proof of enrollment of all students upon request.
18.104.22.168. Lan Centers
LAN Centers may provide avenues for middle school teams to compete in tournaments, but are prohibited from organizing their own teams in the Major tournaments.
A group of students from the same middle school team, participating in a specific game during a MSEL tournament. The size of a roster will vary depending on the tournament entered.
1.3.3. Unofficial Teams
Teams formed of students from different high schools competing in an MSEL Challenge Tournament. Unlike School Teams, unofficial teams do not have a Team Administrator, invitations, roster creation and registration are handled by the team’s creator and captain. Rosters created within an unofficial team compete in the same divisions as school team during open tournaments. Unofficial Teams are not permitted to participate in MSEL Major (Fall and Spring) tournaments.
1.4.1. Official Match
An official match is any match taking place during any MSEL Major or Open tournament. Regular Season, Playoff, and Final matches qualify as official matches.
1.4.2. Unofficial Matches
Any match that takes place outside of any MSEL Major or Open tournament. These matches include, but are not limited to, Scrimmage (Scrim) matches and HSEL Community Events.
1.5.1. Major Tournaments
A Major tournament (Fall/Spring) is an MSEL tournament in which the players must form a roster with other players enrolled in their school team.
1.6. Tournament Stages
Tournament stages are the designated rounds in which differing rules such as match length, new player/team registration, and match scheduling take place.
Teams wanting to participate in tournaments or events will need a school official to register through the Generation Esports Website.
1.6.2. Regular Season
The regular season stage of a tournament, which may also be referred to as the “Group" stage, is the main stage of a tournament. During this stage, players/teams compete for the highest placements to move on to the postseason (playoffs, finals, and grand finals).
The playoff stage of the tournament is a single elimination tournament among the highest placed rosters/players from the regular season. The size of the playoff pool varies depending on the game being played and the amount of active participants. Playoff tiers may include the per-quarterfinals, quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals/3rd place match.
The Finals stage of a tournament is the final match in the previous single-elimination bracket that consists of two teams.
1.7. Match Format
1.7.1 Best of X
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 MSEL rules page for your game.
1.8 Time Zone
The official time zone of the Middle School Esports League is the Eastern Time Zone, designated (UTC -5), or 5 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time. All Middle School Esports League broadcasts, announcements, and web pages regarding Middle School Esports League competitions and scheduling will always display time in the Eastern Time Zone unless otherwise stated.
The games that are currently offered by the Middle School Esports League are:
- Rocket League by Psyonix for PC, PlayStation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch
- Knockout City by EA Games for PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch
- Chess by chess.com for PC and Mobile
- Minecraft by Mojang for PC
- Pokemon Unite for Nintendo Switch
Please note that all titles and platforms on this list may not be available as competitions at all times at the discretion of Middle School Esports League administration.
2. General Tournament Rules
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 inability to play as a result of incurring a penalty due to violation of High School Esports League rules and regulations. Participation in official tournaments constitutes acceptance of these rules.
2.2 Administration List
- Connor Alne - League Commissioner
- Nevin Horne - Community Leader
- Cory Heysham - Tournament Expert
- Mariusz Lis - Head of Customer Support
- Jacob Taylor - Customer Support Agent
- Jeremy Broomhall - Customer Support Agent
2.3 Rule Changes
The Middle School Esports League reserves the right to add, remove, or otherwise amend all rule sets without prior notice. However, the Middle School Esports League will use its best efforts to provide reasonable notice prior to any significant rule changes.
2.3.1. Admin Interpretation
The final interpretation of rules and regulations rests with the MSEL Commissioner, Tournament Lead, and designated Generation Esports Administrators. All administrative decisions are considered final.
The content of emails, support tickets, or any other correspondence with Middle School Esports League administration is deemed strictly confidential information. The publication of such material is prohibited without express written consent from the Middle School Esports League.
2.5 Match Broadcasting
All broadcasting rights of the Middle School Esports League are owned by Middle School Esports League, LLC. 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 Middle 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 Middle School Esports League administration or broadcasters prior to the start of the match. The Middle School Esports League reserves the right to play, broadcast, and distribute all match recordings during a Middle School Esports League tournament.
2.5.2. No Right of Refusal
Players and participants cannot refuse to have their matches broadcasted by a Middle School Esports League authorized broadcast, nor can they choose what manner in which the match will be broadcasted.
2.6 Player Details and Eligibility
All students participating in a Middle School Esports League Tournament must be currently enrolled in middle school (grades 5-8). Homeschooled students are welcome to participate with a local school team in their district of residence, as long as they meet the grade and age requirements.
2.6.2. Grade Point Average
All participating students in a Middle School Esports League tournament must be on-pace to graduate and in good standing with the school. It’s suggested 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 Middle School Esports League administration, players are required to submit all requested information for verification, including, but not limited to: full name, contact details, date of birth, school address, proof of enrollment, and grade point average. Legal documentation of this information may be requested. When requested, players must provide proof of enrollment in the form of any of the following:
- A dated school report card
- A school ID from the current year that includes the player’s 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.
2.7. Participant Accounts
2.7.1. Clean Accounts
The Middle School Esports League defines a clean account as an account that has not received any form of game ban in the past 365 days (not including competitive mode cooldown penalties), is clear of vulgar or inappropriate content, is at least 15 days old (exempt for the first 2 weeks of each event), and owns a valid account for a Middle School Esports League discipline that will be used for tournament participation. Players who have unclean accounts are prohibited from participating in all Middle School Esports League events, even on alternate accounts.
2.7.2. Game Connections
All players taking part in Middle School Esports League tournaments are required to have an active game account for the tournament they’re participating in connected to their Generations Esports account. All game connection information shown on a team’s roster must match with the accounts in game. Players using different accounts or those not officially on the roster are prohibited from playing in matches. Only one account connection is allowed per game, the use of alternate accounts is prohibited. All account connections are prohibited from being changed after the team has participated in its first match of a tournament’s regular season.
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
2.8.1. Team Names and Roster Names
All team names and roster names must reflect the name of the Middle School participating in the tournament. No two teams participating in the same tournament may use the same team name. Team names cannot be changed after the season officially begins.
2.8.2. Player Counts
Teams are required to have the minimum player count (as stated in each game’s rule set) present on the team at all times once a season begins, or they may face automatic match forfeitures. This does not include players that are pending to be placed on the team. Teams may not have more than the maximum of double the minimum player count minus one on the roster at any time. For example, Knockout City rosters may include up to 5 players (3 starters and 2 substitutes). Single player rosters may not have more than the minimum required players on their roster.
Players are prohibited from participating on more than one roster for the same game in a specific tournament, regardless if the game is offered on multiple consoles.
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. Roster changes are prohibited for single player and partnered (duo) game tournaments.
All prizing will be distributed once all teams that have earned it submit the necessary information needed to verify the eligibility of the players on the team 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 Middle School Esports League tournament. If a team or player fails to provide the required information or payments within those 30 days, they may forfeit all prizes from the tournament. Prizing will take between 3-6 weeks from completion of the tournament to be fulfilled.
Generation Esports reserves the right to revoke or change prizing if the minimum number of 32 tournament registrants is not reached. For prizing questions or concerns, please email email@example.com.
Teams may choose to withdraw from a tournament up 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 Team 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.
2.11.1. Match Times
Each week, teams will choose one day and time from the available schedule to participate in their match. Team members will join a team lobby on Generation Esports and queue for the match once all participating members are present. The system will match their team against another team based on similar leaderboard standings and the available teams currently queued. Both teams will play their game immediately and in accordance with the game’s rules. The winning team must immediately report the outcome of the match.
The queue lobby will open at the designated time, and will close five minutes later. In the instance of a match not being found, teams will be awarded a bye win and will be moved into a priority queue for the remainder of the tournament.
22.214.171.124. Playoffs and Final Matches
During the playoffs (including finals and grand finals), special rescheduling rules are in place. Without prior approval of Middle School Esports League administration:
- Playoff dates will not be rescheduled
- Pre-quarterfinal, quarterfinal and semi final matches may have their times rescheduled, but not their dates
- Final matches may not be rescheduled
2.11.2. Contacting Opponents
Communication will begin once teams have been matched together through the queue. Teams must use Match Chat on the Match Page to communicate and share information regarding the setup of their match.
2.11.3. Match Results
Matches must be reported by the winning team immediately following the completion of their game. 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 of the match day. After this, matches will be locked and their scores will be uneditable.
2.11.4. 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 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 Middle 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://highschoolesportsleague.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new
2.11.5. Unplayed Matches
Any unplayed Regular Season match will be treated as a sweep loss against the player’s/roster’s overall match record at the end of the Regular Season.
126.96.36.199. Make Up Matches
Rosters who have missed matches during the regular season may make use of make up queue windows, typically offered during weeks 7 and 8 of Major Tournaments. Make up windows are only for rosters who have missed regular season matches. Teams who have played all of their regular season matches are prohibited from participating in make up rounds.
2.11.6. Playoff Qualification
Teams must compete in and complete 75% of their Regular Season matches in order to be considered for playoff qualification. Teams who do not meet this requirement will be removed from qualification consideration regardless of their final record.
2.11.7. 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 Middle School Esports League administration. Teams will be seeded into the playoffs based off their overall match record during the regular season. If a tie occurs between multiple teams, a tie breaker system will be run in order to determine the placement of the tied teams.
188.8.131.52. Tie Breakers
The tie breaker system will be run as a tiered protocol that will be used if multiple teams finish the regular season with the same overall record.
- Wins. (Forfeit wins and bye wins are scored as a full series undefeated win)
- Head-to-head record. (If the two tied teams have played each other, their match record against each other is compared)
- Overall game win percentage. (e.g. winning a match 3-0 is better than 3-2)
- Higher opponents’ game win percentage. (e.g. it is better to beat an opponent who consistently won 3-0 than 3-2)
- Fewer forfeit losses.
- Fewer bye wins.
- The team which had a higher number of wins before their first loss.
- If the first loss is received after the same number of wins, then the team which lost to the stronger opponent (as defined by game win percentage) will be ranked higher.
2.11.8. Multiple Game Series
184.108.40.206. Breaks Between Games
Teams may have up to a 10 minute break between each game in a multiple game series if they wish to do so.
In between matches in a multiple game series, teams may substitute a player on their roster for a player currently in the match. Substitutions may only be made in team games; they are prohibited in solo and duo(partner) games. In games with a drafting period before a game, substitutions can not be made after the draft has begun.
Substitutions may only be made in team games; they are prohibited in solo and duo (partner) games. Teams may substitute a player on their roster for a player currently in the match between games in a multiple-game series. For games with a drafting period before the game begins, substitutions can not be made after the draft has begun.
2.12.1. Team Communication
Players/rosters must communicate with their opponents through the match chat on Generation Esports. Third party tools such as Discord and social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc) are prohibited from being used when attempting to communicate with opponents.
2.12.2. Outside Communication
Players/teams may not have any communication with any outside sources, with exception of MSEL Administration while their match is in progress, including, but not limited to: coaches, teachers, match spectators, and substitutes. Players/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.
Please refer to the rule page for your specific game for their spectator rules.
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 are 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.
2.14.2. Keyboard and Mouse
Participants may use a keyboard and mouse on 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.
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.
3. Online Tournament Additional Rules
The Middle School Esports League will not provide any equipment, license or online access during an online tournament. The Middle School Esports League is not responsible for any internet or power issues affecting players/teams.
3.2 Online Connection
The Middle School Esports League recommends all participants play over an Ethernet connection to reduce the amount of lag they may experience in online matches.
4. Rule Violations
The use of the following programs is considered cheating:
- Colored Models
- Sound changes
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 Middle School Esports League administration.
The exploitation of any bugs/glitches that give a player or team an unfair advantage and are unallowed by the game’s developer are 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
- Outback Top of Red Tent Plant in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
- Champion/Hero Swap Glitches
- Ability Timer Glitches
- Illegal/Out-Of-Bounds Spots
The above list of bugs/glitches/exploits is not comprehensive. The use of any bug/glitch/exploit that is deemed illegal by Middle School Esports League administration will result in punishment for the player/team that used the exploit.
4.1.3. 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 are not limited to:
- DDoS Attacks
- Disconnecting with the Intent of Reseting a Game
- Mic Spam
- Sabotaging Equipment
- Intentionally Delaying the Start of a Game
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
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.
4.2.2. 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.
4.3. Using Alcohol or Drugs
The use of alcohol or illegal drugs, including tobacco and cannabis, during an official match is prohibited and will be punished.
No participants 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 Middle School Esports League matches or tournaments in general.
4.5. Match Fixing
Match fixing is defined as the act of arranging the outcome of a match prior to it being played or during its play. Examples of match fixing include, but are not limited to:
- Intentionally Losing Matches
- Offering/Accepting Any Form of Payment to Influence the Outcome of a Match
- Negotiating or Deciding the Results of a Match Before, During, or After Completion
4.6. Unsportsmanlike Conduct
All insults occurring in connection with the Middle School Esports League will not be tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Profane Insults
- Slurs relating to Race, Ethnicity, Culture, Gender Identification, Game Presence, Religion, Political Affiliation, Military Service, Age, Disability or Any Other Protected Category
- Offensive Behavior
- Targeted Attacks
- Sharing/Revealing Personal Information
- Directed Abuse/Harassment Against a Specific Person
The Middle School Esports League aims to provide a respectable environment for Esports while facilitating competition. Therefore, friendly trash talk and banter is allowed.
4.6.2. Inappropriate Language
All participants in Middle School Esports League or Generation 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
- Sexual Innuendos
- Drug/Alcohol References
Harassment of players, teams, team administrators, and MSEL staff is prohibited, both in game and on official and unofficial channels/social media sites.
4.6.4 Public Accusations
Publicly accusing a player or team of violating the rules will not be tolerated. If you suspect another player, or team has committed a rule violation, please file a match dispute as soon as possible so MSEL staff can open an investigation.
4.6.5 Incorrect Match Results
Intentionally reporting incorrect match results will result in removal from MSEL Tournaments.
Any attempt to mislead or deceive other participants or members of Middle School Esports League administration will be penalized.
Any attempt to manipulate a match or outcome through threats or intimidation of other participants or members of Middle School Esports League administration will result in removal from MSEL Tournaments.
4.7. 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 Middle School Esports League Administrators.
This includes but is not limited to having knowledge of:
- 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.
4.8. Tainted Accounts
During an official match, if a player’s account receives any form of game ban, the match will immediately conclude, and the player’s opponent will be awarded the win.
5. Participating Regions
The following regions are permitted to participate in all Middle School Esports League online events.
5.1. United States of America
All states and provinces of the United States of America are permitted to participate in Middle School Esports League online events.
All provinces of Canada are permitted to participate in Middle School Esports League online events.