Splatoon™ 3 Rulebook

The 2023 - 2024 Splatoon™ 3 Rulebook for High School leagues

Updated over a week ago

The Overall High School Competition Rulebook can be viewed here.

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 2023-2024 school year, as well as their head coach, assistant coaches, vice principals, athletic directors, Starters, Substitutes (collectively “Team Members”), and other members.

Table of Contents

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 group of series (or "sets"). The winning team will either receive a win tally in a league format or 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.

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

1.2 Roster Requirements

Each team must maintain one coach and a full “Roster” of starting players on the PlayVS platform at all times during the season. It is recommended that a team also maintain “Substitutes”, or alternate players, on the “Bench” in the event that a rostered player is not available on match day. For the avoidance of doubt, starting players and substitutes are subject to the same roster eligibility requirements at the sole discretion of League Officials.

In Splatoon™ 3, each team may have a maximum of eight (8) players, broken down into four (4) starting players on the Roster, and four (4) substitutes on the Bench. No individual may simultaneously hold two or more roles as listed above. All players and coaches are expected to be present physically or virtually for all official PlayVS matches.

In the event that a player on the starting roster cannot compete in the match, and there are no available Substitutes, competition may continue without that player as long as it does not put the opposing team at a disadvantage.

Players on the bench may be used for any match their team is competing in within their assigned league. Eligible substitutes for a match will be displayed on the Bench tab of the team’s roster card. Only the players shown on a team’s Bench can be used as substitutes in an official PlayVS Match. Both the Roster and Bench must be finalized prior to the Roster Lock Date.

A player is only allowed to compete for the school that they 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 the Rulebook needed by League Officials to verify eligibility and confirm agreement by player and team.

1.3 Game of Record

A game of record (“GOR”) refers to a game where all eight players have loaded 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).

1.4 Game Format

1.4.1 Preseason

This phase consists of each team enrolled in the league competing in the official preseason weeks. 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: 4 vs 4

  • Roster Submission: Team rosters must be submitted with substitutes in place if needed before the start of the Match.

  • Best-of-5 Games

    • The first team to win 3 out of 5 games will win the match. Any remaining games in the series will not need to be played.

    • In the event one of the above game modes is deactivated by the publisher, play should continue in the intended game order. Circling back to the top of the order in the event the series goes to Game 5.

  • Game Mode Order

    • Game 1 - Turf War

    • Game 2 - Rainmaker

    • Game 3 - Splat Zones

    • Game 4 - Tower Control

    • Game 5 - Clam Blitz

  • Additional Game Settings Applied
    There are two alternate settings that should stay off (set to off by default)

    • Recon On/Off: OFF (Default)

    • Primary Gear Abilities Only: OFF (Default)

  • Weapons & Gear

    • Weapons/Gear: Anything a player has unlocked may be used, except that Splatfest Tees are not allowed to be worn. Any player wearing a Splatfest Tee may result in an automatic loss for their Team at PlayVS’ discretion.

1.4.2 Regular Season

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

  • Team Size: 4 vs 4

  • Roster Submission: Team rosters must be submitted with substitutes in place if needed before the start of the Match.

  • Best-of-5 Games

    • The first team to win 3 out of 5 games will win the match. Any remaining games in the series will not need to be played.

    • In the event one of the above game modes is deactivated by the publisher, play should continue in the intended game order. Circling back to the top of the order in the event the series goes to Game 5.

  • Game Mode Order

    • Game 1 - Turf War

    • Game 2 - Rainmaker

    • Game 3 - Splat Zones

    • Game 4 - Tower Control

    • Game 5 - Clam Blitz

  • Additional Game Settings Applied
    There are two alternate settings that should stay off (set to off by default)

    • Recon On/Off: OFF (Default)

    • Primary Gear Abilities Only: OFF (Default)

  • Weapons & Gear

    • Weapons/Gear: Anything a player has unlocked may be used, except that Splatfest Tees are not allowed to be worn. Any player wearing a Splatfest Tee may result in an automatic loss for their Team at PlayVS’ discretion.

1.4.3 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.

1.4.4 Playoffs Brackets Playoff eligibility requirements and bracket information can be found in section 5.2.3 Playoffs of the High School Competition Rulebook.

1.4.5 Playoffs Format

This phase consists of the top teams from each league and is limited to two Splatoon™ 3 teams per qualifying school.

These teams will compete in a single-elimination tournament until only two (2) teams remain. Each match will be a Best-of-Five (BO5).

Rosters with starters and substitutes must be submitted, “locked,” one week prior to the playoff phase.

Teams with missing results and/or forfeits in more than 2 matches will be disqualified from the playoffs.

  • Competition Type: Single Elimination Tournament, Top 2 teams remain

  • Team Size: 4 vs 4

  • Roster Submission: Starters & Substitutes locked one week prior to the playoff phase.

  • Best-of-5 Games

    • The first team to win 3 out of 5 games will win the match. Any remaining games in the series will not need to be played.

    • In the event one of the above game modes is deactivated by the publisher, play should continue in the intended game order. Circling back to the top of the order in the event the series goes to Game 5.

  • Game Mode Order

    • Game 1 - Turf War

    • Game 2 - Rainmaker

    • Game 3 - Splat Zones

    • Game 4 - Tower Control

    • Game 5 - Clam Blitz

  • Additional Game Settings Applied
    There are two alternate settings that should stay off (set to off by default)

    • Recon On/Off: OFF (Default)

    • Primary Gear Abilities Only: OFF (Default)

  • Weapons & Gear

    • Weapons/Gear: Anything a player has unlocked may be used, except that Splatfest Tees are not allowed to be worn. Any player wearing a Splatfest Tee may result in an automatic loss for their Team at PlayVS’ discretion.

1.4.6 Finals Format

This match consists of the top two (2) teams from each league as decided by Playoffs. The team to achieve three game wins will be awarded the match win and will be declared the League Champion.

  • Team Size: 4 vs 4

  • Best-of-5 Games

    • The first team to win 3 out of 5 games will win the match. Any remaining games in the series will not need to be played.

    • In the event one of the below game modes is deactivated by the publisher, play should continue in the intended game order. Circling back to the top of the order in the event the series goes to Game 5.

  • Game Mode Order

    • Game 1 - Turf War

    • Game 2 - Rainmaker

    • Game 3 - Splat Zones

    • Game 4 - Tower Control

    • Game 5 - Clam Blitz

  • Additional Game Settings Applied
    There are two alternate settings that should stay off (set to off by default)

    • Recon On/Off: OFF (Default)

    • Primary Gear Abilities Only: OFF (Default)

  • Weapons & Gear

    • Weapons/Gear: Anything a player has unlocked may be used, except that Splatfest Tees are not allowed to be worn. Any player wearing a Splatfest Tee may result in an automatic loss for their Team in Sponsor’s discretion.

1.5 Stage Selection

Teams may choose any stage during stage selection, as long as they fall within the appropriate game mode for the current game round. If the incorrect game mode is selected for a round, players should send the game back to the lobby before play begins and choose the correct game mode.

Lobby leader is in charge of ensuring that the correct Game Mode + Stage is selected for each Game Round before starting the game.

1.5.1 Stage Pick Order

Game Mode

Stage Selection

Turf War

Stage 1 Pick ➤ Home Team

Rainmaker

Stage 2 Pick ➤ Loser of Stage 1

Splat Zones

Stage 3 Pick ➤ Loser of Stage 2

Tower Control

Stage 4 Pick ➤ Loser of Stage 3

Clam Blitz

Stage 5 Pick ➤ Loser of Stage 4

1.6 Substitutions

1.6.1 Qualifying Substitutes

All verified players enrolled on a team as part of the bench are eligible substitutes for any Splatoon™ 3 team match throughout the regular season. They will be displayed under the "Bench" section of the team management page. In the event of an emergency, a team will be given up to 30 minutes to find an immediate substitute for a game. If a replacement cannot be found then the team will forfeit the game in which that player was competing. League Officials will determine if an event qualifies as an emergency. During playoffs, substitutes must be assigned to one team for the entirety of the playoffs phase.

1.6.2 Substitution Window

Players may be substituted before the match starts, and in between game rounds before the start of the next game round.

To correctly substitute a player, Coaches MUST change them on their dashboard from the Substitute pool to an Active Player on the team BEFORE the start of the match/next game round. Once a player is confirmed to be substituted on the dashboard by both teams, the match can continue with the substitute in place.

2. Player Equipment

2.1 Equipment

Each 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:

2.1.1 Nintendo Switch System & Monitor/Television

2.1.2 Headsets and/or Earbuds

2.1.3 Table and Chair

2.1.4 USB to Ethernet Adapter

2.1.5 One Pair of Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers, Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, or any Nintendo Switch compatible controller with no turbo mode availability.

2.1.6 Active Nintendo Switch Online membership

2.1.7 Splatoon 3 game

For the avoidance of doubt, each team is required to acquire four (4) Nintendo Switch systems, four (4) controllers, four (4) Splatoon™ 3 games, and four (4) Nintendo Switch Online memberships. Equipment may be acquired through the school or, if permitted by the school, by players supplying their own.

2.2 Supported Equipment

Players must compete using an official Nintendo Switch system in all PlayVS games. PC or laptop and tablet use are not permitted. Any team found in violation of this rule will receive a forfeit for all matches in which PCs, laptops, or tablets were used.

2.3 Internet Connection & Latency

Teams are expected to be connected to an internet connection using a wired connection method with their Nintendo USB to Ethernet Adapter. Using a wireless connection method or internet hotspot can lead to latency issues while competing in an online arena environment.

If latency issues exist during a match and a team is found to be using a wireless connection method, League Officials may require a restart, reschedule, or issue a loss for the game, set, or match.

2.4 Internet Connection Disputes

In the event that a match is affected by internet connection issues, please review and complete the steps in the IT Troubleshooting For Gameday Issues Help article.

If the steps provided do not resolve your connection issues, submit a support ticket with the type of connection issue you are running into along with the requested screenshots from the article above.

Once connected with a representative, a PlayVS Admin will be sent to your match lobby chat to confirm the information submitted and address the situation. All disputes are addressed on a case-by-case basis, and rulings may require a restart, reschedule, or a loss for the game, set, or match.

If a single team’s connection issues persist throughout the season, matches may be resolved at League Officials discretion to ensure the season continues to move forward.

3. Match Process

3.1 Pre-Match Setup

3.1.1 Equipment Setup. Restart all systems 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 let the coach and players of both teams know who is responsible for hosting the match, setting up the games, and inputting the results.

3.2.1a Prior to creating a lobby, all players need to be added to the host’s Nintendo Switch friends list. From the Nintendo Switch home screen, press up to access the "User Profiles". Navigate to your account and select "Add Friend". Select "Search with Friend Code" and enter the Friend your opponents have listed on their PlayVS Accounts. Once you’ve found them, send them a friend request. The lobby leader must add all of the opposing players to ensure that they can join the lobby. Please Note: Do not skip this step, as adding players after lobby creation will cause a connection error for everyone already in the lobby and cause the lobby to close.

3.2.2. Home players will then open the Splatoon™ 3 game on the Nintendo Switch system

3.2.3. Home players, as designated by PlayVS in the match lobby, will create the match by following the steps below.

  1. From Splatsville, press the X Button to bring up the menu, then select Lobby in the Stage section.

  2. Once in the Lobby, press (L) button to create a Private Battle.

  3. Press the Y button to Create a Room.

  4. Choose Yeah! to continue without a password.

  5. Once the lobby has been created hold the Y button until a pop up notification shows that the game has broadcast the lobby invite to your Switch friends.

  6. There are two alternate settings that should stay off (set to off by default)

    1. Recon On/Off: OFF (Default)

    2. Primary Gear Abilities Only: OFF (Default)

  7. The home team will be responsible for creating each match of the series and will create them in the following order.

    1. Turf War

    2. Rainmaker

    3. Splat Zones

    4. Tower Control

    5. Clam Blitz

  8. Once the Room is created, all other players need to Join the Room.

  9. Player 1’s name should now say Joinable in the Private Battle screen. Select the name.

  10. Select Yeah! to enter Player 1’s Room.

  11. When all Players are in the Room, have Player 1 select All Set!

  12. Have Player 1 select a team for each character, then select Looks good.

  13. Have each player select Ready again to begin the match.

3.3 Game 2 and Onward Setup

3.3.1. Home players will take a screenshot of the victory screen using the “Capture” button on the controller.

3.3.2. Players will make gear changes if needed before the start of the next game.

3.3.3. Teams will follow the Game Mode and Stage selection process outlined in section 1.5 depending on the game round they are on.

3.3.4. Players will ready up and the next game will begin.

3.4 Post-Game Process

3.4.1. Players 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.

3.4 Match F.A.Q.

3.4.1 Spectating

In order to avoid giving any team an advantage, spectators should be removed from spectating unless both Coaches have agreed to allow for a spectator by following section 7.7 Match Spectating from the High School Competition Rulebook.

3.4.2 Game Disconnection

If a player disconnects from the online match during a game, the arena lobby will close. The disconnected player must indicate the reason for the disconnection in match lobby chat within 5 minutes, or risk a loss for the set. For all disconnects, please provide a screenshot as proof of when the disconnection happens.

Rosters are locked for each set once the game begins and a “Game of Record” has been established according to section 1.3. If the disconnected player, or their coach for the team, has not shared any updates in match lobby chat within the 5-minute window, please pause the match and submit a ticket to the Customer Experience team immediately for further assistance.

3.4.3 In-Game Content Updates

Splatoon™ 3 is a live service multiplayer game which may release new and/or updated content while the season is occurring.

Any characters, items, or game modes currently disabled in-game by Nintendo will not be available for use during official PlayVS matches. All PlayVS matches will occur on the most up-to-date patch, and any available characters, items, or game modes as listed in section 1.5 are eligible for use in PlayVS matches unless otherwise stated by League Officials.

3.4.4 In-Game Requirements To Join.

Players must have completed the in-game tutorial and played at least one (1) online initial turf war match in order to get the prompt to create a Player ID and join custom lobbies. If a player has not completed these in-game steps, they will be unable to join a custom lobby as needed to participate in a match.

4. Post-Match Process

4.1 Results

If the match is completed using PlayVS Match Assistant tool, then results will be recorded at the conclusion of each game using the tool.

In the event that the PlayVS Match Assistant could not be used, then the match results would need to be submitted manually within 1 hour of match completion. Players should take screenshots of the match results and share those with their coaches.

In the event of an error, coaches must contact PlayVS directly.


Version 1.0 // 2023 - 2024

V1.1 // 9/8/2023 - Updated 3.4.1 Spectating

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