The Overall High School Competition Rulebook can be viewed here.

The PlayVS Madden Leagues are being run by PlayVS, EA is not the operator of these events.

Introduction and Purpose

These Official Rules (“Rules”) of the PlayVS High School Esports League apply to each of the teams who have registered and met the requirements for the 2022-2023 school year, as well as their head coach, assistant coaches, vice principals, athletic directors, Starters, and other members.

Madden NFL 23 is a PlayVS sponsored league.

Table of Contents

  1. Game Rules

  2. Player Equipment

  3. Match Process

1. Game Rules

1.1 Definition of Terms

1.1.1 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.

1.1.2 Match. A set of games that is played until one team wins a majority of the total games (e.g., winning two games out of three “best of three”) or the maximum number of games are completed (e.g., two games in a “best-of-two”). Each team will receive win or loss tallies in a league format or the winning team will advance to the next round in a tournament format.

1.1.3 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 1.5 Game Format below for more details.

1.1.4 Season. Scheduled league play that will occur over an approximately three-month period of time.

1.2 Roster Requirements

Each team is required to maintain, at all times during the season, one coach, and one player in the starting lineup (“Starters”). For the avoidance of doubt, Starters and Substitutes are subject to the same roster eligibility requirements. No individual may simultaneously hold two or more of the roles listed above.

The Starters are considered collectively as the “Starting Roster.” The Starting Roster will not be required to be on-site for every official game that the team participates in unless dictated by the school’s administration, district, and/or athletic association.

The Starting Roster will be displayed on www.playvs.com. The Starting Roster on the PlayVS website will be considered the most up to date roster that could be applied within a reasonable time. Roster eligibility is at the discretion of League Officials.

All players associated with a school are considered collectively as the "Complete Roster."

A player is only allowed to compete for the school that he or she is enrolled in. A player will not be allowed to compete for more than one school simultaneously and therefore cannot be listed on the roster of more than one school. To verify that these players are officially enrolled at their school, each player must be verified by the team's coach or another member of the faculty. For the avoidance of doubt, the verification of a player is an agreement to a summary of some key terms of the Rulebook needed by the league to verify eligibility and confirm agreement by player and team.

1.2.1 Substitutions

The solos format of the PlayVS high school competition for Madden NFL 23 will not allow substitutions.

1.3 Game of Record

A game of record (“GOR”) refers to a game where both players have loaded in and which has progressed to a point of meaningful interaction between opposing teams. Once a game attains GOR status, the period ends in which incidental restarts may be permitted and a game will be considered as “official” from that point onward. After the establishment of GOR, game restarts will be allowed only under limited conditions (see Section 7.4 of the High School Competition Rulebook). Examples of conditions which establish GOR:

1.3.1 Any player kicks the ball off.

1.3.2 The clock ticks for at least one (1) second.

1.4 Stoppage of Play

If a player intentionally disconnects without notifying a coach 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 coach. Coaches should communicate any disconnections or pauses inside PlayVS’s Match Lobby chat.

1.4.1 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.

1.4.2 Player Pause.

Players may only pause a match immediately following any of the events described below, but must signal a head coach immediately after the pause and identify the reason. Pause requests must be communicated in the match’s all chat and in PlayVS's Match Lobby Chat and may only be called as long as there are no team engagements at the time of the request. Acceptable reasons for a Player pause include:

  • An Unintentional Disconnection (section 1.1.1 above)

  • A hardware or software malfunction (e.g. monitor power or peripheral disability or game glitch)

1.4.3 Duration of the pause.

In the event that a Player pause will run longer than 10 minutes then please contact a League Official by reaching out to PlayVS directly to report the situation.

1.4.4 Player illness, injury, or disability by default is not an acceptable reason for a Player pause. In the event that a pause does occur due to one of these reasons, then the pausing team must alert their coach of the pause. The coach will contact a League Official immediately and report the issue and reason for the pause. The League Official will review the information and determine if the pause will be approved or be considered an Unauthorized Pause (covered in section 1.3.7). The League Official may approve or extend the pause in order to evaluate the identified player to determine whether the player is ready, willing, and able to continue playing within a reasonable period of time.

If the League Official determines that the identified player is not able to continue playing within such a reasonable period of time, then the identified player’s team shall forfeit the game unless a League Official, at their discretion, determines that the game is subject to a different outcome.

1.4.5 Other unacceptable pause reasons but not limited to the following:

  • Lag or high ping. Latency issues should be resolved in-between games and follow the breaks between games guidelines covered in section 7.5.1 Break Duration of the High School Competition Rulebook.

  • Suspected foul play. Game must be completed first and contact support afterwards. Please follow the guidelines for reporting a player suspected of cheating covered in section 12.1.1 Unfair Play of the High School Competition Rulebook.

1.4.6 Resuming the Game.

Players are not permitted to resume the game after a pause until clearance from the coaches is issued and all players are notified and ready at their stations, which will be contingent on each coach confirming through PlayVS Match Lobby chat that both teams are ready to resume play.

1.4.7 Unauthorized Pause.

If a player pauses or unpauses a game without permission from the coaches, it will be considered unfair play and penalties will be applied at the discretion of League Officials.

1.5 Game Format

1.5.1 Preseason

This phase consists of each team enrolled in the league competing in one official practice week. Preseason matches between each team will be played in a Best of Three (BO3) format. The team to win two matches will be declared the winner. In the event that a single team reaches two wins before the start of a third game, then a third game will not be played. Results of this match will not be recorded however this match is required in order to properly test equipment and player game connections.

  • Team Size: 1 vs 1

  • Format: Best of Three (Bo3)

  • Settings

    • Fatigue: On

    • Injuries: Off

    • Even Teams: On

    • Quarter Length: 5 mins

    • Game Skill: All-Madden

    • Accelerated Clock: 20 secs.

    • Weather: Off (Clear)

  • Game Options: Players may adjust the below Gameplay Helpers in the Madden NFL 23’s main Game Options menu.

    • Auto Flip Defensive Play Call: On (Default)

    • Defensive Ball Hawk: On (Default)

    • Defensive Heat Seeker Assist: On (Default)

    • Defensive Switch Assist: On (Default)

    • Coach Mode: Off (Default)

1.5.2 Regular Season

This phase consists of each team within a state, each playing a weekly match in a league format against opponents within their region. Ranking in the league will be determined by each team's win-loss ratio.

Regular season matches between each team will be played in a Best of Three (BO3) format. The team to win two matches will be declared the winner. In the event that a single team reaches two wins before the start of a third game, then a third game will not be played.

  • Team Size: 1 vs 1

  • Format: Best of Three (Bo3)

  • Settings

    • Fatigue: On

    • Injuries: Off

    • Even Teams: On

    • Quarter Length: 5 mins

    • Game Skill: All-Madden

    • Accelerated Clock: 20 secs.

    • Weather: Off (Clear)

  • Game Options: Players may adjust the below Gameplay Helpers in the Madden NFL 23’s main Game Options menu.

  • Auto Flip Defensive Play Call: On (Default)

  • Defensive Ball Hawk: On (Default)

  • Defensive Heat Seeker Assist: On (Default)

  • Defensive Switch Assist: On (Default)

  • Coach Mode: Off (Default)

1.5.3 Regular Season Tiebreakers

The ranking of the teams will be determined by the standings of Wins and Losses. Tiebreakers are covered in Section 5.3 of the High School Competition Rulebook. More information about Tiebreakers can also be found here

1.5.4 Playoffs

These teams will compete in a single-elimination tournament until only two (2) teams remain. Each match will be a Best of Three (Bo3). The team to win two matches will be declared the winner. In the event that a single team reaches two wins before the start of a third game, then a third game will not be played.

  • Competition Type: Single-Elimination Tournament

  • Team Size: 1 vs 1

  • Format: Best of Three (Bo3)

  • Settings

    • Fatigue: On

    • Injuries: Off

    • Even Teams: On

    • Quarter Length: 5 mins

    • Game Skill: All-Madden

    • Accelerated Clock: 20 secs.

    • Weather: Off (Clear)

  • Game Options: Players may adjust the below Gameplay Helpers in the Madden NFL 23’s main Game Options menu.

  • Auto Flip Defensive Play Call: On (Default)

  • Defensive Ball Hawk: On (Default)

  • Defensive Heat Seeker Assist: On (Default)

  • Defensive Switch Assist: On (Default)

  • Coach Mode: Off (Default)

1.5.5 Finals

This match consists of the top two teams from each league as decided by Playoffs. The Finals will be a single Best of Three (Bo3) match. The team to achieve two game wins will be awarded the match win and will be declared the League Champion. In the event that a single team reaches two game wins before the start of a third game, then that game will not be played.

  • Team Size: 1 vs 1

  • Format: Best of Three (Bo3)

  • Settings

    • Fatigue: On

    • Injuries: Off

    • Even Teams: On

    • Quarter Length: 5 mins

    • Game Skill: All-Madden

    • Accelerated Clock: 20 secs.

    • Weather: Off (Clear)

  • Game Options: Players may adjust the below Gameplay Helpers in the Madden NFL 23’s main Game Options menu.

  • Auto Flip Defensive Play Call: On (Default)

  • Defensive Ball Hawk: On (Default)

  • Defensive Heat Seeker Assist: On (Default)

  • Defensive Switch Assist: On (Default)

  • Coach Mode: Off (Default)

2. Player Equipment

2.1 Supported Equipment

Players must compete using a PlayStation 4. A PlayStation 5 console with PlayStation 4 compatibility may be used as long as a copy of Madden NFL 23 PS4 is used and is not upgraded to the PS5 edition. Any team found in violation of this rule will receive a forfeit for all matches.

2.2 Equipment

A player on the Starting Roster must have access to school-provided equipment or must be permitted by the school to provide their own equipment in the following categories:

If playing on a Playstation 4 “PS4”:

  • Playstation 4

  • Monitor/Television

  • Headsets and/or Earbuds and/or Microphones

  • Table and Chair

  • Playstation 4 Controller

  • Playstation Plus Subscription

  • Copy of Madden NFL 23 for Playstation 4

If playing on a Playstation 5 “PS5”:

  • Playstation 5

  • Monitor/Television

  • Headsets and/or Earbuds and/or Microphones

  • Table and Chair

  • Playstation 5 Controller

  • Playstation Plus Subscription

  • Copy of Madden NFL 23 for Playstation 4 for the Playstation 5

3. Match Process

3.1 Pre-Match Setup

3.1.1 Equipment Setup. Restart all consoles at least one hour before scheduled matches and test each game client by loading into a private game lobby.

3.1.2 Technical Failure of Equipment. If a player encounters any equipment problems during any phase of the setup process, the player must alert and notify a coach and a League Official immediately.

3.1.3 Technical Support. Coaches must be available to assist with the setup process and troubleshoot any problems encountered during the pre-match setup period.

3.1.4 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.

3.1.5 No opponents. Teams may not start a match without opponents present and ready.

3.2 Match Lobby Setup

3.2.1. Before the match, PlayVS will designate a home and away team. The home team is responsible for running the match.

3.2.2. Add your opponent on the opposing team as a friend so you’re able to invite them to the match.

3.2.3. From the PlayStation home screen, navigate to the Friends section and find "Search". Look for the username your opponent has listed on their PlayVS Account in the Match Dashboard. Once you’ve found them, send them a friend request.

3.2.4. Create Lobby

  • Add your opponent as a Playstation friend

  • Start Madden NFL 23

  • Select “PLAY WITH FRIENDS”Exhibition”

  • Select “Online Head-to-Head”

  • Select “Play a Friend”

  • Select your opponent and create the lobby with the settings in 3.2.5.

3.2.5 Lobby Settings

  • Settings

    • Fatigue: On

    • Injuries: Off

    • Even Teams: On

    • Quarter Length: 5 mins

    • Game Skill: All-Madden

    • Accelerated Clock: 20 secs.

    • Weather: Off (Clear)

  • Game Options: Players may adjust the below Gameplay Helpers in the Madden NFL 23’s main Game Options menu.

  • Auto Flip Defensive Play Call: On (Default)

  • Defensive Ball Hawk: On (Default)

  • Defensive Heat Seeker Assist: On (Default)

  • Defensive Switch Assist: On (Default)

  • Coach Mode: Off (Default)

3.2.6 Invite your opponent to the match

3.2.7 Select teams and play. Players may choose a different NFL team for each game they play or continue to use the same team. Both players can also choose the same team.

3.3. In Game Match Protocol

While in game, players must adhere to the restrictions:

  • Onside Kicks: Onside kicks are not allowed in the first half. A Competitor may attempt an onside kick at any time in the 2nd half.

  • Excessive Offsides: Neither the offense nor the defense should purposefully go offsides with the intent of delaying the game nor exhibiting unsportsmanlike conduct. Intent is at the sole discretion of League Officials.

  • Improper Audibles: Competitors may not audible out of the QB Kneel, Wildcat, Field Goal, or Punt formations.

  • Custom Playbooks: Competitors may not use custom playbooks for any PlayVS Madden NFL league. A custom Playbook is any Offensive/Defensive Playbook that consists of plays from multiple teams.

  • Example: You can switch to a pre-established rulebook such as how someone playing with the Dallas Cowboys can use the New York Jets Offensive Playbook and the Baltimore Ravens Defensive playbook. You can not have either an Offense or Defense playbook composed of multiple team's plays or custom created plays. Keep in mind the teams listed can be any teams and not limited to the ones listed above in the example.

3.4. Post-Game Process

3.4.1. The player of the team who won the match will share the results of each game and any screenshots with their coach.

3.4.2. The coach of the team who won the match is responsible for inputting the match results in “Mission Control” within 1 hour of the last game played.

Important: By default, rulebooks overrule game day protocols. Please reach out to support if you find conflicting information.


V 1.0 - 2022//2023 - Summary of Fall ‘22 Changes -AK

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