League Rules

Southwest Michigan Scholastic Esports League General Rulebook

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Revised: 10/2020

What is the Southwest Michigan Esports League?

The Southwest Michigan Esports League is a collaboration between Berrien RESA, REMC 11, Lake Michigan College, and local districts to facilitate a competitive league for high school clubs to participate in.  Local districts will create teams with faculty advisors to compete in scheduled matches against other local teams. For Fall 2020, matches will be played remotely from each school.  The following rules will guide fair play for all participants and may be changed without notice by the league advisory group.

League Roles

League Official:  

A member of the Southwest Michigan Scholastic Esports League advisory group.  Members of this group will be listed in addendum A. The advisory group makes any changes in league rules and other decisions that may arise during league play including penalties. Members representing local districts will be required to recuse themselves regarding situations involving their local district.


A Southwest Michigan Scholastic Esports League participant is any person directly associated with a club or team. This includes players, managing staff, and school faculty.


A player is any participant that plays in an official match. All players must be currently enrolled as a high school student and meet eligibility requirements.


A captain is a student member of the current active roster that may be asked to make decisions for the team.


A coach is any participant that interacts with another participant with the intention of improving their skill.  Coaches may be fellow students or adults and teams are not required to have one. Coaches may not communicate with a team after the picks and bans phase during a match. 

Club Administrator:  

The club administrator or faculty advisor is a school faculty member that is in charge of the club and serves as the point of contact for team business.  The club administrator will follow the rules of the local district on top of league rules.


Anyone physically present or watching online is classified as a spectator.  Spectators should demonstrate good sportsmanship and are there to watch only and should never interfere or distract players or officials during matches.

Club Setup


A club is a group of participants belonging to a school partnered with the Southwest Michigan Scholastic Esports League and NASEF. All club members must be players that are currently attending the partnered school which the club belongs to.  Club members may include students that prefer content creation on twitch or announcing instead of competing. Local districts can manage these additional positions within each club.


A team is a group of players on one roster.  A club may have more than one team participating in the league.  Teams will need to register their roster at the start of the regular season and students should not move between teams during the season.  Limited substitutions for the active roster will be allowed on a limited basis. No two teams participating in the same season may use the same team name and will be reserved on a first come basis. Team names cannot be changed after the season officially begins.

Active Roster: 

The members of a team currently representing the team in a match.  All other team members are substitutes. The active roster may change between matches but not games in a series. Team coaches or advisors may decide how the active roster is filled for each match but should be consistent in how that decision is made.   


Members of the team that play on the practice squad and may be called on to join the active roster based on gameplay improvement or necessity if a team member is unable to play.

Practice squad:  

Teams may create practice squads of other participants to play against in practice scrimmages.  These participants may be other students including middle school students if the local district allows it.


Any team member must be eligible by grade and attendance as determined by local districts to be on the active roster.  Local districts will set an eligibility requirement equal or greater to the requirements for NASEF or other sports within their district. Faculty advisors will be required to check eligibility weekly.  

Match Setup

Official Match:  

An official match is any match that takes place during a Southwest Michigan Scholastic Esports League event for the purpose of scoring the matchup.  This may consist of one game or a best-of series.


Games will be decided in coordination with NASEF and the local advisory committee. Schools always reserve the right to participate in the games of their choosing.


A home/away designation will be given to each match and may assign “home” teams duties like creating the game lobby.

Match Times:  

Matches must be played at the time that is posted on the season schedule, unless a rescheduled time has been previously decided upon by both teams and the league is notified of the change. Teams may reschedule the match to be played anytime before the next scheduled game.  For example, if Tuesday is Match day then anytime before the next Tuesday including Monday would be acceptable. The Southwest Michigan Scholastic Esports League will not force a match reschedule upon any team in the regular season. Teams will have a 15 minute grace period after their scheduled match time to get the required amount of players into the server/lobby and start the match. If a team fails to join or fails to produce the required amount of eligible players by the time the grace period ends, the other team may request a forfeit win.

Contacting Opponents:  

In order to attempt to contact opponents for an official match, it is the responsibility of the advisor or another assigned participant to exhaust all possible methods of contact. These methods include but are not limited to phone/text, email messaging, Discord messaging, and in-game messaging. Teams must provide evidence that they made attempts through all possible methods to contact opponents to discuss an official match before they will be able to claim a forfeit win.  All faculty advisors will receive contact information for the other teams to facilitate this contact.

Match Results: 

Matches must be reported by both teams immediately following the completion of their match. Teams will document proof of match results in the event that they are needed to verify the legitimacy of a match score report. A screenshot will be sufficient for these purposes.  Match reports must include the map score(s) and all results must be reported by 11:59 PM of the next day. Team coaches or advisors should email proof to esports@berrienresa.org.

Regular Season: 

The regular season consists of scheduled matches between teams.  Depending on how many teams register this may be round robin format or group play that ends with a postseason championship match. Once the regular season begins, new teams will not be permitted to join the league until the next registration stage.  During this stage, teams compete for the highest placements to move on to the postseason.


The postseason stage of the league, which may also be referred to as the “Playoffs” stage, will be a bracket made up of the highest placing teams from the regular season. The initial size of the postseason will depend on the tournament size and number of teams actively participating in the regular stage. Rounds of the postseason may consist of pre-quarterfinals (sixteen teams), quarterfinals (eight teams), and semifinals (four teams). The postseason stage also includes the 3rd place decider match.  Later rounds of the postseason may require teams to compete in-person at an arena location.


A series of official matches that culminate in a championship match where a tournament winner is declared.  This is a separate event from regular season play although regular season standings may be used for seeding.  Official rules for each tournament will be released to teams before registration begins. Tournament participants may be required to compete in-person at an arena location.

Match Broadcasting:  

All broadcasting rights of the Southwest Michigan Scholastic Esports League are owned by Berrien RESA. This includes but is not limited to: IRC Bots, audio streams, video streams, match recordings, or television broadcasts. Affiliated streamers, official school Twitch pages of participating teams, and match participants are authorized to stream matches, but the Southwest Michigan Scholastic Esports League reserves the right to use, distribute, and modify all parts of the stream indefinitely.

Participant Profiles: 

A player’s name in-game must match the name that they have registered with on the team roster. All participants names or profiles are prohibited from including:

  • Gang Affiliation
  • Drugs (including alcohol and tobacco)
  • Sexual Material
  • Offensive Material
  • Politically Charged Symbols/Images
  • Slander of anyone


Game Lobby:

The “home” team should create the game lobbies. The lobbies should be created with the following settings:

  • Name – “SWSMEL – (Team A) vs (Team B) Game (Game #)”
  • Team Size –  Game dependent
  • Password – To be chosen by the home team captain
  • Allow Spectators – None UNLESS the match is being streamed by the league or a team has an officially allowed spectator

The order in which players join the lobby and enter the draft is not regulated by the league. Any matches played in a series on an incorrect map or game type will not count toward the series and must be replayed.

Outside Communication:

Teams may have communication with a coach only during the drafting portion of the match.  Any communication from coaches or spectators after drafting is considered cheating.

Stoppage of Play:

The game may only be paused for the following reasons:

  • Player drop
  • Player disconnect
  • Server crash
  • Technical issues

Pauses may not be called during player versus player combat. A team must give a reason to their opponent immediately before or after the match is paused via the /all command in chat. Each team will have 5 total minutes of pause time per map. Consent from both teams must be given before the match is unpaused.  Players may communicate about the game and strategy during a pause but that is not a reason to call a pause. Teams that use a pause during a game must report that pause to the league administration with their score report for that match. Abuse of the pause command will be penalized and can result in match forfeiture.


A game may only be restarted within the first 2 minutes of the game for the same reasons as a pause but not after contact has been made with the opposing team. A game may only be restarted once per team per match.

Code of Conduct:

It is expected that all participants, including students, club admins, and school faculty read and uphold the rules outlined in this document prior to participating in any competition. All NASEF rules apply and will be enforced.


Penalties are punishments given to any participant(s) that violate Southwest Michigan Scholastic Esports League rules and regulations. Penalties are given on a case-by-case basis at the full discretion of the Southwest Michigan Scholastic Esports League advisory group. Penalties include but are not limited to: match overturns, player/team/club suspension, player/team/club disqualification, or partial/full deduction of prizes. Penalties are not mutually exclusive and may be given in combination at the full discretion of the Southwest Michigan Scholastic Esports League.


Cheating of any sort will not be tolerated and will incur harsh penalties.  This includes, but is not limited to, the use of bugs, glitches, exploits, or hacks.

Acts of Disruption:

Players acting on and/or conspiring to cause any disruption to the match will also be treated as cheating. Acts of disruption include, but are not limited to: 

  • DDoS attacks
  • Disconnecting with the intent of resetting a game
  • Mic spam
  • Physically damaging player equipment.
  • Intentionally delaying the start of a game

Graphics Drivers, Overlays, or Similar:

Any modification or change to the game done using outside graphics solutions are not permitted and may be considered cheating. Any 3rd party overlays (as in those that are not included with the game/platform) are prohibited from use in official matches. Usage of 3rd party services to assist in actions such as picks/bans, build guides, or strategies during an official match is strictly prohibited.

Custom Data:

Only official skins may be used in-game. Any skin, sprite, GUI, crosshairs, sounds, and models downloaded by a third party are not allowed. Crosshairs may only be edited with the settings in the game.


The use of performance-enhancing drugs is strictly prohibited and will be punished appropriately.

Prohibited Substances:

The List of Prohibited Substances and Methods created by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is valid for all Southwest Michigan Scholastic Esports League events. The full list can be found at http://list.wada-ama.org/. An unprescribed use of these substances is considered doping.

Prescribed Medication:

If a player has an active prescription for a substance included in the WADA list, they must notify and provide proof to the faculty advisor to present to the league administration prior to the start of the season. 

Using Alcohol or Drugs:

The use of alcohol or other drugs, including tobacco and cannabis, during an official match is strictly prohibited and will be punished severely and a report will be made to the school and local authorities of any infringing player.


No participants may be involved in any form of betting or gambling, associate with betters or gamblers, or provide anyone information that may assist betting or gambling, either directly or indirectly for any matches or tournaments in general. Any individuals found to be in violation of this rule will be disqualified immediately.

Match Fixing:

Match fixing is defined as the act of arranging the outcome of a match prior to it being played or during its play. Match fixing is strictly prohibited and all individuals involved will face, at a minimum, a 1 season suspension.


All participants are expected to uphold a universal level of sportsmanship while participating in league events. Those who fail to behave in a sportsmanlike manner will face penalties at the discretion of the league administration.

Rule Violations:

Violating any of the listed rules in this document will result in punishment for the offending participant/team/club.

Inappropriate Language:

All participants in Southwest Michigan Esports League events are prohibited from using inappropriate language in all text and voice channels, regardless of context. Inappropriate language includes but is not limited to:

  • Excessive Profanity
  • Pseudo-Profanity (i.e. replacing letters in profane words or phrases)
  • Racial/Ethnic/Cultural Slurs
  • Politically incorrect terms
  • Sexual innuendos
  • Drug/alcohol references


The excess posting of senseless, harmful, or offensive messages on any platform directed at or referencing Southwest Michigan Scholastic Esports League, Clubs, teams, sponsors, or a participant is considered spamming and will not be tolerated. Abusing the in-game text and voice chat functions will also not be tolerated.

Intentionally Delaying:

Intentionally delaying a match with the intent to time out the opposing player/team may be penalized.

Witch Hunting:

Witch hunts, or accusing someone publicly without basis will not be tolerated. If you suspect another player or club of any rule violation you should contact a league administrator privately and as soon as possible so an investigation can be opened.

Incorrect Match Results:

Reporting incorrect match results will not be tolerated and will be considered cheating. If you report the incorrect results of a match on purpose or by accident and do not contact the league administration so that they can be fixed, penalties will be assessed.


Any attempt to mislead or deceive other participants or members of Southwest Michigan Scholastic Esports League administration will be penalized.

Tainted Accounts:

At any point during an official match, should a player’s game account receive any form of game ban or restriction due to a violation of the game terms of service, the match will immediately conclude and a win will be awarded to the team that did not have the offending player.

Addendum A:

Current Advisory Group members:

Ian Haight, Member

Kevin Clark, Member

John Phillips, Member

Joe Rommel, Member

Tonya Snyder, Member

Cameron Furney, Member

Ben Rimes, Member

Jeff Yauchstetter, Member

Greg Younger, Member

Kyle Kelly, LMC Liason

Nathan Wonderly, Member

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