Mario Kart™ 8 Deluxe Rulebook

The 2023 - 2024 Mario Kart™ 8 Deluxe 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 Set. A series of games. The winning player will receive a win tally in favor of their team for the match.

1.1.3 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.

1.1.4 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.

1.1.5 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 at least four players in the starting lineup (“Starters”). It is recommended that a team also maintain players as Substitutes or Alternates ("Substitutes"). Each team may have a maximum of 8 players which can be broken down to 4 required "Starters" and 4 optional "Substitutes." 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, including any Substitutes that are competing, will be required to be on-site for every official game that the team participates in.

Substitutes are considered collectively as the “Bench.” Players on the Bench may be used for any match in which that team is competing within an assigned league. All eligible substitutes for a league will be displayed under the Bench area of the Manage Teams page. The players shown under the Bench area are the only players that can be used as subs for the selected team within that enrolled league. Any verified player can be enrolled as a substitute through the enrollment process by navigating to the enrollment page, selecting the team, and then switching to the Bench tab and selecting the players you would like to be enrolled into the Bench for the selected team. During the playoffs, substitutes must be locked in as part of the roster lock requirement one (1) week before playoffs begin.

The Starting Roster will be displayed on 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." The "Playoff Roster," Starting Roster plus the bench, must be locked in one (1) week prior to the playoffs.

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 some key terms of the Rulebook needed by the league 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 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). Examples of conditions which establish GOR:

1.3.1 Game timer during the first race reaches the end of the countdown and states “Go”.

1.4 Game Format

Teams each consist of groups of four (4) players. Each team will compete in a match consisting of a best of 3 game series.

Each game in the best of three (Bo3) will consist of six (6) races with the “Teams” setting splitting the two (2) teams into a four (4) versus four (4). The game will keep track of the scores each player contributes to their team depending on the placement within each race. At the end of six (6) races the game will tally up both teams total scores. The team with the highest score will win that game.

The first team to win two (2) out of three (3) games will win the match. If a team achieves two (2) wins before the third game, the third game will not need to be played.

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.

  • Series: Best of 3

  • Game Style: 150cc Team Race

  • Races Per Game: 6

  • Items: Normal Items

  • Computer Players: No COM players

  • Karts and Racers Allowed: All

  • Track Selection: Random

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

1.4.2 Regular Season

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

  • Series: Best of 3

  • Game Style: 150cc Team Race

  • Races Per Game: 6

  • Items: Normal Items

  • Computer Players: No COM players

  • Karts and Racers Allowed: All

  • Track Selection: Random

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

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 Mario Kart™ 8 Deluxe 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-Three (BO3).

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

  • Series: Best of 3

  • Game Style: 150cc Team Race

  • Races Per Game: 6

  • Items: Normal Items

  • Computer Players: No COM players

  • Karts and Racers Allowed: All

  • Track Selection: Random

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

1.4.5 Finals Format

This match consists of the top two teams from each league. The Finals will be a series of Best-of-Five (Bo5) games. The team to achieve three game wins will be awarded the match win and will be declared the League Champion. In the event that a single team reaches three (3) game wins before the start of a fourth game, a fourth game will not be played.

  • Series: Best of 5

  • Game Style: 150cc Team Race

  • Races Per Game: 6

  • Items: Normal Items

  • Computer Players: No COM players

  • Karts and Racers Allowed: All

  • Track Selection: Random

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

1.5 Track Selection

All players in the lobby MUST select “Random” during track selection in order to ensure a Random track is selected during a match. If a player does not select Random and their track is picked, a penalty of 15 points will be taken from the team’s final score for the game round. Screenshot proof of an incorrect track selection must be given to league officials in order to ensure fairness when submitting a dispute for incorrect track selection, as well as a screenshot of the final point result for the game round at the end of the 6th track. For further information on this please refer to section 1.7.1 below.

1.6 Special Rules

1.6.1 Tie-Breaker Resolution

In the case that both teams have equal points at the end of the six (6) races, an additional one (1) race will be set up directly following the conclusion of that game. Both teams will face off in that race and the winner of the tie-breaker is decided by the team with the highest point total at the end of the one (1) race.

1.6.2 Mii Racer

Players may select to play as their Mii™ Racer. All customized Mii characters must follow the PlayVS and Nintendo Code of Conduct, violations will result in penalties applied to your account and the team. This includes anything that can be seen as offensive, vulgar, or bad sportsmanship.

1.7 Game Violation Penalties

1.7.1 Incorrect Track Selection

If a team’s player chooses a track that is not “Random” during the in-game track selection, they may be subject to a point penalty. If the player’s track is chosen by the game for play, teams will continue playing the game as normal.

At the end of the game, with screenshot proof of the incorrect track selection by the player and the game itself choosing that player’s track for play, a team will be penalized by subtracting 15 points from their final team score. This penalty is additive and applied for every instance where the rule was violated during the game.

Repeat violations of this rule may result in further team penalties at the discretion of league officials.

1.8 Substitutions

1.8.1 Qualifying Substitutes

All verified players enrolled on a team as part of the bench are eligible substitutes for any Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 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 must find a replacement substitute within the 30 minute grace period that occurs after the scheduled match time. . 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.

1.8.2 Substitution Window

Players may be substituted before each game starts.

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 game. Once a player is confirmed to be substituted on the dashboard by both teams, the game can begin 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 Compatible Nintendo GameCube™ style controller, Nintendo Switch Joy-Con™ controller(s) or Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, or any Nintendo Switch compatible controller with no turbo mode availability.

2.1.5 Active Nintendo Switch Online membership

2.1.6 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe game

Each team is required to acquire two (2) Nintendo Switch systems, four (4) compatible controllers, two (2) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe games, and two (2) Nintendo Switch Online memberships. Equipment may be acquired through the school or, if permitted by the school, by players supplying their own.

While teams may compete in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe™ with only two (2) Nintendo Switch Consoles, we recommend using four (4) Nintendo Switch Consoles for an optimal competitive experience.

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 Order of Play

A PlayVS Match will consist of a predetermined best of format depending on the current league phase. Teams will be required to play each game until a clear winner has been determined by winning the majority of the games (Example: Winning 2 out of 3 games in a Best of 3). Once a clear winner has been determined, the rest of the games within that match will not need to be played and will not count towards any scoring or tie-breaker systems within the league.

3.2 Pre-Match Setup

3.2.1 Equipment Setup. Restart all systems at least one hour before scheduled matches and test each game client by loading into an online multiplayer lobby

3.2.2 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.

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

3.2.4 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 battle arena to be considered “present”. Teams that are over thirty (30) minutes tardy will forfeit their match.

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

3.3 Match Lobby Setup

3.3.1 Have Your Opponents Add You

From the Nintendo Switch Home screen, press up to access the "User Profiles". On this screen you will find your Friend Code, it begins with SW- (and numbers). Share this code with your team and your opponents in Match Lobby Chat.

After you have shared your code, click into "Add Friend", and then select "Received Friend Requests". Your teammates and opponents will appear here as they send you requests. Accept them.

3.3.2 Start Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Exit your settings to navigate back to the Nintendo Switch home screen. Find and open the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe game.

3.3.3 Create the Lobby

  • For the Home Team Captain, on the Main Menu select Online Play

  • Choose "Friends"

  • Choose "Create Room"

  • When it says "Would you like to create a room" choose yes.

3.3.4 Choose Character and Kart configuration

  • Choose a character

  • Choose your kart frame

  • Choose your kart wheels

  • Choose your kart glider

Once you've confirmed your selections you'll be placed into the game lobby, now wait for all players to join the lobby you have created. Confirm in Match Lobby Chat with your Opponent's Captain that their team is all loaded in and ready to play.

3.3.5 Configure Your Settings

Once all of the players have joined, press the "A" button to access the Match Configuration settings

  • Set 150cc Race

  • Set teams to "Team Game"

  • Items set to "Normal Items"

  • COM set to "No COM"

  • COM Vehicles set to "All Vehicles"

  • Set Race Count to "6 Races"

  • Select "OK"

3.3.6 Setting up Teams

  • The Home team captain will now need to setup the teams.

  • Place all Home team players on the red team

  • Place all Opposing players on the blue team

  • Select "OK" and the match will begin

3.3.7 Track Selection

Each player MUST choose Random from the track selection screen in order to ensure complete fairness amongst all players. Failure to do so can result in a point penalty for the team who committed the violation. Please see section 1.7.1 for more information on point penalties.

3.3.8 Kart selection

All characters and kart configurations are approved for play. Players are allowed to change character and kart configuration between races by pressing the "Y" button while in the lobby between races. Ensure your players do not accidentally leave the lobby!

3.4 Match F.A.Q.

3.4.1 Spectating

As spectators may cause network latency issues for players, spectators are not allowed to use the in-game spectating tools during PlayVS matches according to section 7.7.2 Spectating Latency from the High School Competition Rulebook.

3.4.2 Host Game Disconnect

If the host of a lobby disconnects from the online match during a game, the entire lobby will be disconnected. The lobby will need to be re-made, ideally using a new host from the home team if the initial host has an unstable connection.

If an accurate account of the current game’s point distribution has been screenshotted by a team, it can be used to continue to keep the current race results from the total races that have already occurred. Players should finish out the remaining number of races in their current game and then add up all of the points from the screenshots of the point distribution before the host lobby disconnect, and the new point distribution after the remake.

Example: 4/6 races have been played in a game. Team A has kept screenshots of the results after each race that shows both team’s point distributions. The host of the game disconnects and causes the lobby to need to be remade. Upon the remake of the lobby, the players finish out by playing 2 additional races to add up to the total of 6 required races in a game. Using the screenshots provided by Team A, they tally up the total number of points from the initial lobby and the total number of points from the 2 races in the new lobby. This gives them an accurate total of the point distribution from all 6 races.

If screenshots cannot be used to establish proof of point distribution from a disconnected lobby, then the entire game will need to be replayed from the beginning. We highly recommend players use the Nintendo Switch system’s “Capture Button” after each race to keep proof of score.

3.4.3 Participant Game Disconnect

If a player disconnects from the online match during a game, they will need to reconnect by following the regular match join instructions. Once you have rejoined the game lobby, you will be put back into the race at the start of the next track.

If a disconnection occurs, the game will not keep track of that player’s previous score during the match. We highly recommend players use the Nintendo Switch system’s “Capture Button” after each race to keep proof of score. A coach may submit an accurate score count with screenshot proof for a match in the case of a disconnection.

If no screenshot can be shown as proof of a player’s score before a disconnect, league officials will not be able to take those points into account when deciding a clear winner for the game and instead will use the final point outcome show by the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe game outcome screen at the end of the six (6) race game.

3.4.4 Glitching

The use of any in-game glitches during a PlayVS match will not be tolerated. Any match disputes or submissions involving possible player glitches will need to be backed by video or screenshot proof of the use of a glitch. If a player is found to be using an in-game glitch to gain an advantage during a match, their team will be given a loss for that game and may be subject to further penalties at the discretion of league officials.

3.4.5 In-Game Content Updates

Mario Kart™ 8 Deluxe is a live service multiplayer game which may release new and/or updated content while the season is occurring.

The Mario Kart 8 Booster Course Pass DLC is recommended for all teams but not required. The courses in the DLC may show up during online competition, if 1 or more players in the lobby has them purchased, when players choose ‘Random’ during course selection. Due to this, we recommend that teams get the DLC in order to practice when possible on these courses to best prepare for their races.

Any content 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 included content is eligible for use in PlayVS matches unless otherwise stated by League Officials.

3.5 Post-Match Process

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.

V 1.0 - 2023//2024

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