Introduction and Purpose
These Official Rules (“Rules”) of the PlayVS Youth Program Esports League apply to each of the teams who have registered and met the requirements for the 2023-2024 year, as well as their adult sponsors, Starters, Substitutes (collectively “Team Members”), and other members.
The 2023-2024 year will be divided into two halves (“Seasons”).
Each season will consist of three phases
an optional preseason
a required regular season
playoffs, which will be at the conclusion of the regular season.
The schedule can be found on the PlayVS website.
These Rules apply only to official PlayVS sponsored events and not to other competitions, tournaments or organized esports. Additional rules may be released regarding Playoffs.
Play Versus, Inc. has established these Rules for the competitive play of esports in order to unify and standardize the rules used in esports competitive play.
These Rules are designed solely to ensure the integrity of the system established by PlayVS for the organized play of esports and a competitive balance among the teams that play at the youth level. Standardized rules benefit all parties who are involved in esports, including the teams, players, and adult sponsors. Additionally, the field of esports competitions is still relatively new and changing rapidly. Thus, these Official Rules will evolve in real-time to keep pace with those changes.
These Rules do not restrict competition for players. The terms of engagement between players and teams are left to each of the teams and its players.
Table of Contents
1. Acceptance of Official Rules
Each participant must agree to these Official Rules, Codes of Conduct, and the PlayVS Terms of Service to participate in PlayVS Youth Program Esports. You may accept these Official Rules by any one of the following methods:
1.1.1 Registering to participate in a PlayVS league.
1.1.2 Participating in any match that is part of a PlayVS league
2. Team Member Eligibility
2.1 Student Enrollment
No team shall be considered eligible to participate in any youth program esports game until all players are enrolled at the same school.Exceptions will be determined by League Officials, which are solely defined as PlayVS league staff members. This shall not, however, prevent teams from allowing un-enrolled students to participate in practices.
To be eligible to compete for an esports team, each player must satisfy all requirements outlined in section 2.2.
2.2 Participation Eligibility
2.2.1 Age. Each player must be 13 to 18 years of age.
2.2.2 Competitive Eligibility. Each player must have a PlayVS account and an active game account in the esport in which they will be competing. Each player must be eligible to play with no current suspensions or bans issued by PlayVS League Officials or the game's Publisher. Players may only play on the account connected to their PlayVS settings.
Once an in-game account is used in a PlayVS Match, the game account may not be disconnected and must be used for the remainder of the season unless a change is requested by a PlayVS Admin.
3. Roster Rules
3.1 Roster Requirements
A Team's Roster on the PlayVS Platform may not fall below the required minimum, however in the event that a player on the starting roster cannot compete on game-day, competition may continue without that player as long as it does not put the opposing team at a disadvantage.
Roster requirements for each esport can be found in the Overwatch Rulebook (Youth Program).
3.2 Adult Sponsor
Each team will be required to have an adult sponsor who will be considered the official adult sponsor for the team. It is suggested that each team designate an adult sponsor for official matchday communication. The adult sponsor will be listed on www.playvs.com. The adult sponsor cannot be a starting player, substitute player, or active player. Additionally, an adult sponsor must be 19 years of age or older and may not be enrolled as a student in a high school.
The adult sponsor will be required to be virtually present and available during their team’s matches in case of any required communication with the opposing team. Adult sponsors are expected to be able to be reached for any questions on the PlayVS platform’s Match Lobby Chat.
The adult sponsor can only represent one school. The adult sponsor may be affiliated with another school, however, the eligibility of that adult sponsor will be at the discretion of League Officials and be determined on a case by case basis. If the adult sponsor is unable to supervise a game, the adult sponsor must assign an interim adult sponsor to be present virtually in their place. The interim adult sponsor must abide by all rules outlined in this rulebook. If an adult sponsor is not present virtually, then the team is subject to penalties, including, but not limited to, forfeiture.
All adult sponsor expectations for the season as well as match day can be found in our “Coach Expectations” article.
3.3 Roster Submission
All starting players must be registered to a team and must have title specific accounts connected before scheduled matches are to begin. Players may only compete for one team per competitive title in each scheduled week, including substitutions. Substitutes will be located in the ‘Bench’ player list. Adult sponsors must verify enrollment and all other player requirements by match day. In the event that an adult sponsorelects to modify the Starting Roster, the adult sponsor must change their Starting Roster on www.playvs.com.
All non single player rosters will be locked one (1) week before the start of their league’s Play-Offs. Once rosters are locked, coaches will be unable to add any players to their starting roster or bench.
Substitution Rules for each esport can be found in their respective rulebooks.
3.5 Player In-Game Names
In-game names may include upper-case letters, lower-case letters, numbers 0-9, underscores, or single spaces between words only. In-game names may not contain vulgarities, obscenities, or offensive language. In-game names must be unique.
All in-game names must be approved by the adult sponsor in advance of use in play. In-game names found to be in violation of rule 3.5 will be required to be changed at the expense of the account owner.
All in-game names linked to specific game title accounts must match at match-time between the information found on the PlayVS platform and in the game client/lobby. Failure to verify this could result in a match dispute and a possible loss if PlayVS officials are unable to verify the identity of that player.
3.6 Team Names
Team names may only contain letters, numbers, and single spaces between words. Team names may not include punctuation or special characters and must not be over 15 characters long. Team Names may not contain vulgarities, obscenities, offensive language, or be worded in a way to confuse or imply ill-intent towards another team. Team Names may not be changed during the Season unless approved by a PlayVS Admin. PlayVS reserves the right to update a team name at anytime if the name itself violates PlayVS Code of Conduct.
4. Player Equipment
Equipment requirements for each esport can be found in their respective rulebooks.
5. League Structure
5.1 Definition of Terms
5.1.1 Game. An instance of competition that is played until a winner is determined by one of the following methods, whichever occurs first: (a) completion of the countdown timer or objective achieved, (b) Team Surrender, or (c) Team Forfeit.
5.1.2 Set. A series of games that is played until one player wins a majority of the total games (e.g., winning two games out of three “best-of-three”). The winning player will receive a win tally in favor of their team for the match.
5.1.3 Match. A group of sets that is played until one team wins a majority of the total sets (e.g., winning two sets out of three “best-of-three”). The winning team will either receive a win tally in a league format or advance to the next round in a tournament format.
5.1.4 Phase. A section of scheduled league play that comprises a season. There are three distinct phases: preseason, regular season, and playoffs. Each phase has its own league format, see section 5.2 for more details.
5.1.5 Season. Scheduled league play that will occur over an approximately three-month period of time. Each season will consist of three phases: (a) an optional Preseason, (b) a required Regular Season, and (c) Playoffs, which will occur at the conclusion of the Regular Season and will lead into a championship.
5.2 Phase Details
This phase consists of each team enrolled in a league competing in up to two official practice weeks. Preseason match formats between each team will be dependent on the esport title teams are participating in. Results of this match will not be recorded however this match is strongly recommendedin order to properly test equipment and player game connections.
For Preseason Matches teams will join the Preseason Queue. Teams that successfully complete 1 Preseason match without forfeiting their last preseason match will be placed into the PlayVS Smart Scheduling system in order to receive a Scheduled opponent for Week 1 of the Regular Season. Teams that do not complete a match during Preseason will not receive a forfeit, but will need to use the PlayVS Match Queue for their first Regular Season Match.
5.2.2 Regular Season.
This phase consists of each team competing within a league in a season format against opponents within their league. Seasonal match formats between each team will be dependent on the esport title teams are participating in. Ranking in the league will be determined by each team's win-loss ratio. Wins and losses from each match will be added to each team’s regular season standings.
188.8.131.52 Playoff Eligibility. Teams with missing results and/or forfeits in more than two (2) Regular Season matches will not be eligible for playoffs. These teams may still compete through the rest of the regular season but will not be seeded into the playoffs bracket.
Playoff bracket sizes will be established based on predetermined breakpoints set by PlayVS League Officials. These breakpoints are set in order to provide a competitive experience while allowing more teams to participate based on total Playoff eligible teams within a given league. Given that the number of eligible teams meets/exceeds the designated breakpoint, that league’s bracket size will increase to the next threshold. Team Breakpoints are as follows:
*Ex: A league with 43 Playoff Eligible teams will have a bracket size of 16.
Only a maximum two (2) eligible teams per school can make playoffs. If both teams from the same school make it to the Semi-Finals in the Playoff bracket, they will be paired up against one another regardless of which side of the bracket they are currently on. The Playoff bracket will be adjusted accordingly before the Semi-Finals match day without affecting the match day schedule.
Qualifying teams will compete in a single-elimination tournament until only two (2) teams remain. Playoff match formats between each team will be dependent on the esport title teams are participating in.
This match consists of the top two teams from each league as decided by Playoffs. The finals match format will be dependent on the esport title teams are participating in.
League match formats per phase for each esport can be found in their respective rulebooks.
5.3 Regular Season Tiebreakers
The ranking of the teams will be determined by the standings of Wins and Losses
In the event that multiple teams are tied in the standings in the conclusion of the Regular Season, the teams tied will be seeded by the following differentiation process:
Match Performance (This looks at the number of match wins and ties)
PlayVS Score (How early you win and how often you win as well as strength of your swiss schedule)
Series Performance (This looks at the number of series wins and then considers series losses)
Game Performance (This looks at the number of game wins and then considers game losses)
Coin Flip/Lotto (Random selection on who goes based on numbers of teams tied)
More information about Tiebreakers and Standings can be found here.
6. Match Process
6.1 Match Day Protocols
On Match day adult sponsors will be expected to have their team ready to play by their league’s regular match time regardless of their opponent’s status. If the team’s match page shows an opponent as ‘TBD’, a new opponent will be found and assigned during match time in order to ensure a match is still played.
Failing to show up during the expected match time or within the thirty (30) minute grace period after will result in a forfeit. Adult sponsors will be required to use the match page’s “Queue System” if their opponent is shown as ‘TBD’ in order to find their opponent for the day.
6.1.1 Match Reschedules. The only time a match does not need to be completed at the posted match time is if a reschedule request has been made using the PlayVS platform. The reschedule request must have been accepted by both teams before the original match day and time.
6.1.2 Match Forfeit In the event that a scheduled match opponent forfeits a match ahead of the scheduled match time, that team will receive a forfeit loss, and the team that has not forfeited will receive a new opponent via the PlayVS “Match Queue”.
In the event that the scheduled match opponent forfeits after match start time, that team will receive a loss, and the team that has not forfeited will receive an automatic win for that day.
6.1.3 Player Commitment. Participating players/teams are expected to be available for the full match length estimate of two (2) hours. A match may begin as late as thirty (30) minutes after the initial start time. If a player/team is unable to participate for the full estimated match time, League officials may rule against their team in any disputes during the match in which the situation stems from player/team availability.
6.1.4 Grace Period. All matches are expected to start within thirty (30) minutes of the originally scheduled match start time. Teams should try their best to start at the shown match start time but we understand that things may come up that delay that start. If a team fails to show up and begin to play within thirty (30) minutes of the scheduled start time, they will be subject to possible penalties from league officials such as an automatic loss for the match. If a team is using the “Match Queue” feature, the grace period begins at the original match schedule time, not at the time at which you are paired with the opposing team. Teams using “Match Queue” are expected to be ready to play as soon as an opponent is found.
6.2 Pre-Match Setup
Any official communication between teams before match day should be done through the PlayVS Match Lobby Chat.
Adults Sponsors and Players are encouraged to join Match Lobby Chat using the PlayVS platform thirty (30) minutes before their scheduled match time. This will allow for teams to communicate their readiness or any delays to each other ahead of time. Additionally, Match Lobby Chat should be used for any communication needed between the team’s players as required by their individual esport title rules.
Adult sponsors will be expected to have their team ready to play each match day during the season as per their league schedule. If an opponent has not been assigned due to any reason, the team must still show up at match time to play. The PlayVS platform will guide the Adult sponsor through the process to use Match Queue to get a new opponent assigned to play during the slotted match time.
Failure to show up at match time and use the queue system (if an opponent is TBD) will result in a forfeit for the team. Byes will be assigned if the match queue system does not find an opponent within thirty (30) minutes of the scheduled match start time. In order to receive a bye, a team must stay in queue throughout the entire time.
6.2.1 Opponent Shown as TBD. If your scheduled match shows your opponent as ‘TBD’, you will be expected to go through the Match Queue process at match time. Navigate to your scheduled match page at match time as normal and follow the instructions displayed for using match queue
6.2.2 Equipment Setup. Restart all consoles/computers at least one hour before scheduled matches and test each game client by loading into a private game lobby.
6.2.3 Technical Failure of Equipment. If a player encounters any equipment problems during any phase of the setup process, the player must alert and notify an adult sponsor and a League Official immediately.
6.2.4 Technical Support. Adult sponsors must be available to assist with the setup process and troubleshoot any problems encountered during the pre-match setup period.
6.2.5 Timeliness of Match Start. It is expected that players will resolve any issues with the setup process within the allotted time and that match will begin at the scheduled time. Delays due to setup problems may be permitted, at the sole discretion of League Officials. All players competing must be in the game lobby to be considered “present”. Teams that are over thirty (30) minutes tardy will forfeit their match.
6.2.6 No opponents. Teams may not start a match without opponents present and ready.
6.2.7 Connected Accounts. Players are required to play on the game account that is linked to their PlayVS Account. Adult sponsors should ensure that their team and their opponents team are playing on the correct accounts on match days. If a player's account does not match or they do not have an account connected at match time, reach out to PlayVS support to investigate further.
6.2. Game Lobby Creation & Post-Game Process
Game Lobby Creation and Post-Game Process steps for each esport can be found in their respective rulebooks.
6.3 In-Game Content Updates
Many of our titles are live service multiplayer games which may release new playable characters, maps, or competitive game modes while the season is occurring. More information on how in-game content updates impact PlayVS leagues can be found in their respective rulebooks.
7. Game Rules
Detailed Game Rules for each esport can be found in their respective rulebooks.
7.1 Definition of Terms
7.1.1 Unintentional Disconnection. A player losing connection to the game due to problems or issues with the game client, platform, network, or console.
7.1.2 Intentional Disconnection. A player losing connection to the game due to player’s actions (i.e. quitting the game). Any actions of a player which lead to a disconnection shall be deemed intentional, regardless of the actual intent of the player.
7.1.3 Server Crash. All players losing connection to a game due to an issue with a game server, PlayVS platform, or venue internet instability.
7.1.4 Unforeseen Uncontrollable Circumstance. Any unplanned or uncontrollable event that results in a player, coach, or team’s inability to attend a match.
7.2 Game of Record
Game of Record definitions, explanations, and applicability for each esport can be found in their respective rulebooks.
7.3 Stoppage of Play
If a player intentionally disconnects without notifying an adult sponsor or league official or pausing, a league official is not required to enforce a stoppage. During any pause or stoppage, players may not leave the match area unless authorized by their adult sponsor.
7.3.1 Directed Pause. League Officials may order the pause of a match or execute a pause command on any player station at the sole discretion of the League Officials, at any time.
7.3.2 Unauthorized Pause. If a player pauses or unpauses a game without permission from the adult sponsors, it will be considered unfair play and penalties will be applied at the discretion of League Officials.
7.3.3 Game Specific Pause Rulings. For specific rules on how to handle or execute pauses please refer to your game title’s specific rulebook.
7.4 Game Restart
The decision of which condition(s) shall justify a game restart is solely at the discretion of League Officials.
7.4.1 Restarts After GOR. The following are examples of situations in which a game may be restarted after GOR has been established.
184.108.40.206 If a game experiences a critical bug at any point during the match which significantly alters game stats or gameplay mechanics.
220.127.116.11 If a league official determines that there are environmental conditions that are unfair (e.g. excessive noise, hostile weather, unacceptable safety risks).
7.4.2 Controlled Environment. Certain conditions may be preserved in the event of a restart of a game that has not reached GOR. If, however, a match has reached GOR, then League Officials shall not retain any settings.
7.4.3 Player Confirmation of Settings. Each team captain shall verify that every player on his/her team has finalized their intended game settings before GOR is established. Any error in verification is not grounds for a game restart after GOR is established.
7.5 Post-Game Process
7.5.1 Break Duration. Teams may take time between games for quick breaks as needed. Breaks between games should not exceed more than five (5) minutes in order to ensure a timely finish. If a team needs more time, adult sponsors may communicate with one another using the PlayVS Lobby chat and agree to a longer break. If a team is attempting to stall the start of the next game they may be penalized by league officials after official review.
7.5.2 Tech Notes. After each game, players will identify any tech issues with their adult sponsor that may require fixing before the next game begins. This will allow their adult sponsor to communicate with the other team on any delays.
7.6 Post-Match Process
7.6.1 Results. Winning adult sponsors will be required to submit match results through the Match Lobby within their PlayVS account.
7.6.2 Disputes. In the event that any member of a team violates the competitive Code of Conduct, or that match results are submitted incorrectly, the reporting adult sponsor may submit an official Match Dispute on the Match Lobby page on any completed match.
Matches are able to be disputed up until one (1) week from the original scheduled match time. Exceptions to the rule are as follows:
18.104.22.168. Disputing Rescheduled Matches. Matches rescheduled outside the original scheduled date must be submitted/disputed immediately upon match completion.
22.214.171.124. Disputing Matches in the Final Week of the Regular Season. During the last week of the regular season, Disputes must be submitted within 24 hours of the time of the completion.
7.6.3 Next Match. Players will be informed of their current standing in the competition, including their next scheduled match through the PlayVS client.
7.6.4 Results of Forfeiture. Matches won by forfeit will be reported by the minimum score it would take for one team to win the match (e.g. 2-0 for best-of-two and best-of-three matches). No other statistics will be recorded for forfeited matches.
7.6.5 Results of Byes. Your team may have a Bye if there is an uneven number of teams in your league. Matches won by a bye will be reported by the minimum score it would take for one team to win the match (e.g. 2-0 for best-of-two and best-of-three matches). No other statistics will be recorded for bye matches.
7.7 Match Spectating
During a match, a team’s adult sponsor may request permission from the opposing team’s adult sponsor to use a game’s in-game spectating feature for the purpose of a stream, broadcast, or VOD review. In order to request permission the adult sponsor must do the following:
State their intent to spectate the match in the PlayVS Match Lobby Chat
State the number of spectator slots they will require
State the purpose of the request in order to ensure it is for a stream, broadcast, or VOD review.
The opposing adult sponsor may then accept the request by clearly stating in the PlayVS Match Lobby Chat that they understand the request and are allowing a spectator(s) to join their match lobby.
7.7.1 Spectating Disaccord. If at any point between games of a match, an adult sponsor or team does not feel comfortable with the opposing team having spectators, they may state clearly in the PlayVS Match Lobby chat that they wish for the spectators to be removed and the reason for their ask of removal. At that time, the request must be honored and the spectators removed before the start of the next game.
7.7.2 Spectating Latency. If adding spectators to a game may cause network latency issues for players, spectators will not be allowed to use the in-game spectating tools during a match.
7.8 Unforeseen Uncontrollable Circumstances
Any team or school that is impacted by situation that is entirely out of their control (ex: inclement weather, real-life threats, etc.) must contact PlayVS as soon as it is safe to do so. A player or coach should submit a ticket to the Customer Experience team and notify League Officials.
PlayVS will request proof of the uncontrollable circumstance to verify the situation, from which League Officials will review all of the information to provide a fair ruling to those impacted.
8.1 Timeliness of Reschedules
All rescheduled matches must be completed within the allowed reschedule time frame shown in the PlayVS product. The date availability will be shown when using the reschedule feature for a scheduled match. Failure to play a match within this timeframe may result in a forfeit for both teams. Exceptions can be made by League Officials in unforeseen unavoidable circumstances.
8.2 Optional Reschedules
Reschedules are optional for both adult sponsors in a match. An adult sponsor with a missing player or malfunctioning console may request a reschedule, choose to play at a disadvantage, or forfeit. Adult sponsors with an opponent requesting a reschedule may choose to accept or decline the reschedule at their sole discretion. Exceptions will be made by League Officials in unforeseen unavoidable circumstances. Some examples include but are not limited to natural disasters, emergencies, or game outages.
8.3 Rescheduled Match Responsibility
Once a match has been rescheduled, it is the responsibility of both teams to be present and ready to compete. Any team that is unable to compete in the rescheduled match will receive a forfeit, regardless of the initial reschedule request.
Preseason matches may not be rescheduled to another day. Slight delays for technical difficulties will be allowed as determined by League Officials.
8.5 Playoffs Reschedules
Teams may only request up to a 24-hour reschedule during Playoffs. If a team is unable to compete during the scheduled match time, or within the reschedule time frame, a forfeit will be applied. If both teams fail to show up for a match or reschedule, they will both be eliminated from the Playoff bracket.
All forfeits are final. Matches that are forfeited at an adult sponsor's request or matches that receive an automatic forfeit cannot be re-played or overturned.
9.1 Application of Forfeits
Forfeits will be applied in the following cases:
9.1.1 No-shows. Teams that are not present within 30 minutes of the match start time will receive a forfeit.
9.1.2 Inability to compete. Teams that are unable to compete due to lack of players or equipment malfunctions must reschedule or receive a forfeit.
9.1.3 Competitive ruling. Teams that engage in any behavior outlined in Section 12 may result in the forfeiture of a match or matches.
9.1.4 Incorrect or ineligible players. Players found to be in violation of Section 2 or Section 3 will result in forfeits for any matches in which they participate.
9.1.5 Lack of adult sponsor communication. Teams that do not communicate in a timely manner, as described in Section 10, with League Officials will be subject to forfeiture of any and all of their teams with open matches.
9.1.6 No adult sponsor available. Teams that do not have an adult sponsor appointed as an adult sponsor available during a match will receive a forfeit for that match.
9.1.7 Playing from home. Teams are allowed to play remotely from home or another location. Teams are encouraged to play from a single location when possible.
10. Timely communications
10.1 Maintain open and frequent communication
Communicate issues with PlayVS League Officials and opponent adult sponsor including player’s change of information, tech issues, reschedule requests, or forfeits. Respond to PlayVS League Officials and/or opponent adult sponsors immediately, and within 24 hours to avoid a forfeit.
10.2 Match Day Point of Contact
Adult sponsors must provide a team point of contact with their current phone number and email, of which all lines of communication must remain open during matches and 30 minutes after match completion. This may include answering calls from PlayVS League Officials and/or opponents during match time and 30 minutes after match completion. The matchday point of contact must be at least 18 years of age and cannot be a student.
10.3 Match Lobby Chat
An adult sponsor from each team must be present and available in Match Lobby Chat on the PlayVS platform throughout the entire match for any communication needed during the match itself. Failure to do this may result in a loss for the adult sponsor’s team.
10.3.1 Established Communication. An adult sponsor from each team must establish communication in the match lobby chat at the beginning of a match. This will allow participants and league officials to establish that an adult sponsor is present for the match as required by PlayVS rules. Failure to do this may result in a loss for the adult sponsor’s team.
10.3.1.1 No Response. Adult sponsors should reach out to PlayVS Support if an attempt to establish communication has been made and there is no response from the opposing adult sponsor. This will allow us to resolve the issue with a League official.
11. Team Management
11.1 Team Enrollment
All teams enrolled by the registration deadline will be scheduled matches for the season. Enrolled teams will receive a match schedule and will be expected to compete in each match.
11.2 Team Enrollment Deadline
The enrollment deadline for teams is outlined in the season schedule. This deadline may vary by league. Teams that are not enrolled on or before the deadline will not be eligible to compete in the current season. League officials reserve the right to make any changes necessary after this deadline has closed.
11.3 Team Unenrollment
Team unenrollment is defined as the removal of a team from the current season. Team unenrollment is not reversible and should be carefully considered before a team is unenrolled. Once a team has been enrolled, the team will forfeit all open and future matches.
11.3.1 Reasons for unenrollment. Teams that unenroll will be required to describe the reason for unenrollment at the time of enrolling.
126.96.36.199 Teams may unenroll at any point in the season for reasons including, but not limited to:
Loss of players, due to relocation, competitive ruling, or lack of interest
Ongoing IT/Network issues
188.8.131.52 League Officials may use team unenrollment as a competitive ruling for reasons including, but not limited to:
Violations of the PlayVS Rulebook or Terms of Service
Failure to meet team eligibility requirements
Repeated failure to appear in matches without communication between the team and their opponents and/or League Officials
11.4 Break Week Designation
During the enrollment process of a team into an esport league, adult sponsors will be required to choose a break week for their team during the season. This is done as a way to help accommodate for different Spring Break weeks in different different locations.
All teams must choose a break week to not have matches scheduled. If a team does not choose a week by the end of their league’s preseason, the system will default to choosing the fourth (4th) week of competition as the break week designation for their school.
12. Player Conduct
12.1 Competition Conduct
12.1.1 Unfair Play. The following actions will be considered unfair play and will be subject to penalties at the discretion of League Officials.
Collusion. Collusion is defined as any agreement among two (2) or more players and/or to disadvantage opposing players. Collusion includes, but is not limited to, acts such as:
Soft play, which is defined as any agreement among two (2) or more players to not damage, impede, or otherwise play to a reasonable standard of competition in a game.
Sending or receiving signals, electronic or otherwise, from a person to/from a player.
Match Fixing. Deliberately losing a game for compensation, or for any other reason, or attempting to induce another player to do so.
Competitive Integrity. Teams are expected to play at their best at all times within any league game and to avoid any behavior inconsistent with the principles of good sportsmanship, honesty, or fair play.
Hacking. Hacking is defined as any modification of the game client by any player, team, or person acting on behalf of a player or a team.
Exploiting. Exploiting is defined as intentionally using any in-game bug to seek an advantage. Exploiting includes, but is not limited to, acts such as game glitches, or any other game function that, in the sole determination of League Officials, is not functioning as intended.
Spectator Monitors. Looking at or attempting to look at spectator monitors.
Ringing. Playing under another player’s account or soliciting, inducing, encouraging or directing someone else to play under another player’s account.
Cheating Methods. The use of any kind of cheating device and/or cheat program, macro functions, or any similar cheating method such as signaling devices, hand signals, etc.
Intentional Disconnection. An intentional disconnection without a proper and explicitly-stated reason.
League Discretion. Any other further act, failure to act, or behavior which, in the sole judgment of League Officials, violates these Rules and/or the standards of integrity established by the league for competitive gameplay.
12.1.2 Profanity and Hate Speech. A Team Member may not use language in or out of the game that is obscene, foul, vulgar, insulting, threatening, abusive, libelous, slanderous, defamatory or otherwise offensive or objectionable; or promote or incite hatred or discriminatory conduct, in or near the match area, at any time. A Team Member may not use any facilities, services, or equipment provided or made available by the league or its contractors to post, transmit, disseminate or otherwise make available any such prohibited communications. A Team Member may not use this type of language on social media or during any public-facing events such as streaming.
12.1.3 Disruptive Behavior / Insults. A Team Member may not take any action or perform any gesture in or out of the game directed at an opposing Team Member, fan, or official, or incite any other individual(s) to do the same, which is insulting, mocking, disruptive or antagonistic.
12.1.4 Abusive Behavior. Abuse of League Officials, opposing Team Members, or audience members will not be tolerated. Repeated etiquette violations, including but not limited to touching another player’s console, body, or property will result in penalties. Team Members and their guests (if any) must treat all individuals attending a match with respect.
12.1.5 Unauthorized Communications. All mobile phones, tablets, and other voice-enabled and/or “ringing” electronic devices must be removed from the play area before the game. Players may not text/email or use social media while in the match area. During the match, communication by a Starter shall be limited to the players on the Starter’s team.
12.1.6 Apparel. Team Members may wear apparel with multiple logos, patches, or promotional language. PlayVS reserves the right at all times to impose a ban on objectionable or offensive apparel:
Advertising any non-"over the counter" drug, tobacco product, firearm, handgun, or ammunition.
Containing any material that is defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, repulsive or offensive, or that describes or depicts any internal bodily functions or symptomatic results of internal conditions, or refers to matters which are not considered socially acceptable topics.
Advertising any pornographic website or pornographic products.
Disparaging or libeling any opposing team or player or any other person, entity, or product.
The league reserves the right to refuse entry or continued participation in the match to any Team Member who does not comply with the aforementioned apparel rules.
12.1.7 Identity. A player may not cover his or her face or attempt to conceal his or her identity from League Officials. League Officials must be able to distinguish the identity of each player at all times and may instruct players to remove any material that inhibits the identification of players or is a distraction to other players or League Officials. For this reason, as well as those listed in Section 12.1.6, hats are not allowed.
12.2 Unsportsmanlike Behavior
12.2.1 Responsibility Under Code. Unless expressly stated otherwise, offenses and infringements of these Rules are punishable, whether or not they were committed intentionally. Attempts to commit such offenses or infringements are also punishable.
12.2.2 Harassment. Harassment is forbidden. Harassment is defined as systematic, hostile, and repeated acts taking place over a considerable period of time, or a singular egregious instance, which is/are intended to isolate or ostracize a person and/or affect the dignity of the person.
12.2.3 Sexual Harassment. Sexual harassment is forbidden. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances. The assessment is based on whether a reasonable person would regard the conduct as undesirable or offensive. There is zero tolerance for any sexual threats/coercion or the promise of advantages in exchange for sexual favors. Any instance of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct aimed at one’s teammate, opponent, team staff, or PlayVS League Official will result in an immediate ban. Teammates who have witnessed the behavior of this nature by another player are expected to immediately report the conduct to their adult sponsor or a PlayVS League Official.
12.2.4 Discrimination and Denigration. Team Members may not offend the dignity or integrity of a country, private person, or group of people through contemptuous, discriminatory, or denigrating words or actions on account of race, skin color, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, financial status, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason.
12.2.5 Game Developer Punishment. If a Team Member is found guilty and punished by the game developer, League Officials may assign an additional competition penalty at their sole discretion.
12.2.7 Criminal Activity. A Team Member may not engage in any activity which is prohibited by common law, statute, or treaty and which leads to or may be reasonably deemed likely to lead to conviction in any court of competent jurisdiction.
12.2.8 Confidentiality. A Team Member may not disclose any confidential information provided by the league or any affiliate of PlayVS, by any method of communication, including all social media channels.
12.2.9 Bribery. No Team Member may offer any gift or reward to a player, adult sponsor, manager, League Official, PlayVS employee, or person connected with or employed by another PlayVS team for services promised, rendered, or to be rendered in defeating or attempting to defeat a competing team.
12.2.10 Non-Compliance. No Team Member may refuse or fail to apply the reasonable instructions or decisions of League Officials.
12.2.11 Match-Fixing. No Team Member may offer, agree, conspire, or attempt to influence the outcome of a game or match by any means that are prohibited by law or these Rules.
12.2.12 Document or Miscellaneous Requests. Documentation or other reasonable items may be required at various times throughout the league as requested by League Officials. If the documentation is not completed to the standards set by PlayVS then a team may be subject to penalties. Penalties may be imposed if the items requested are not received and completed at the required time.
12.3 Association with Gambling
No Team Member or League Official may take part, either directly or indirectly, in betting or gambling on any results of any PlayVS tournament or match globally.
12.4 Subjection to Penalty
Any person found to have engaged in or attempted to engage in any act that PlayVS believes, in its sole and absolute discretion, constitutes unfair play, will be subject to penalty. The nature and extent of the penalties imposed due to such acts shall be in the sole and absolute discretion of League Officials.
13. Adult SponsorConduct
13.1 Competition Conduct
All adult sponsors are expected to:
13.1.1 Be respectful. Be respectful to all players, adult sponsors, PlayVS League Officials, and any other person in contact with the adult sponsor before, during, or after the match time. Adult sponsors must display and model control, respect, dignity, and professionalism to all involved in the sport.
13.1.2 Be responsible. Be responsible for all affiliated teams and players. It is the adult sponsor’s responsibility to manage player behavior and content. This includes all behavior outlined in Section 12.
13.1.3 Maintain equipment. Maintain all equipment affiliated with the team and players, including weekly game updates. Equipment should be inspected prior to each match. Pre-match processes are further outlined in section 6.2.
13.1.4 Communicate. Adult sponsors must practice open and frequent communication. Use appropriate language in any chat or communication channels. Communication guidelines can be found in Section 10.
13.1.5 Be present. Be present for all matches on campus at the scheduled time, or coordinate a substitute adult sponsor to be present.
13.1.6 Follow and enforce league rules. Follow and enforce all PlayVS rules including League Official issued penalties.
13.1.7 No coaching during a live game. Adult sponsors may not speak to or coach their players during a live game.
14. Spirit of the Rules
14.1 Finality of Decisions
All decisions regarding the interpretation of these rules, player eligibility, scheduling and staging of the league, and penalties for misconduct, lie solely with PlayVS, the decisions of which are final. PlayVS 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.
14.2 Rule Changes
These Rules may be amended, modified, or supplemented by PlayVS, from time to time, in order 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. All current and most up-to-date rulebooks will be distributed on the PlayVS website and will have version numbers displayed at the bottom of each page. Reviewing updated rulebooks comes at the responsibility of all adult sponsors and players in the league.
14.3 Best Interests of the League
League Officials at all times 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. League Officials 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.
V1.0 // 2023-2024