HSL Hearthstone Rules


1. HSL Guiding Principles
2. Player Eligibility
3. Match Scheduling
4. Code of Conduct
5. Penalties
6. Game Settings
7. Match Day

1. HSL Guiding Principles

While High School Star League is a competitive gaming league, the idea of building friendships, experiences, and an inclusive gaming culture forms the heart of our organization. If you are having scheduling issues, please try your best to accommodate the other player so that we can provide a positive gaming experience for all of our HSL players.The following set of official game rules are subject to alteration at any time at the discretion of the High School Star League.

2. Player Eligibility

  1. To be eligible, players must meet the following criteria:
    1. Players must be currently enrolled in their high school as a full-time student, with the following exceptions:
      1. Students with alternative educational arrangements should contact an official HSL Tournament Administrator prior to the match to secure permission to play.
      2. Students in dual-enrollment/concurrent-enrollment programs with a local community college are permitted to compete.
    2. Players must compete for the school they are currently attending.
    3. Players act as their own coordinator and are responsible for scheduling and playing their own games unless the organizer permits otherwise.
    4. Players must abide by the HSL Code of Conduct.
    5. Any player that receives a name change must report it to the Tournament Administrator or may be subject to disqualification.
  2. Players are ineligible to compete if they meet any of the following criteria:
    1. Students under academic probation or any other school-related disciplinary action are ineligible to play.
    2. Students with an account that is banned or suspended at the time of registration, or any time during the season, are ineligible to play until their ban or suspension is lifted.
    3. Faculty, staff, and alumni are not eligible to play.
    4. Players who have lived in a pro-gaming house for one year or more as a pro-gamer are ineligible to play.
    5. The player is not in the designated Facebook group.

3. Match Scheduling

  1. Matches can be scheduled and played any day that works for you and your opponent, as long as matches are submitted to Battlefy by the Friday deadline of that week. Click HERE to see match deadline schedules.
    1. No shows and opponents who failed to communicate a match rescheduling with you reports are due by the same time as above HERE, otherwise you will be submitted as a double loss in the brackets.
  2. Given that the tournament style is Swiss style, matches need to be submitted to Battlefy before the deadline, otherwise players will receive a double loss.
  3. Players must make their best effort to honor reschedule requests from the opposing player. If a conflict arises, contact the tournament administrator.

4. Code of Conduct

  1. Cheating or any other kind of game dishonesty may result in severe repercussions including but not limited to:
    1. Player ban from season
    2. School suspension from season
    3. School expulsion from HSL game division
    4. School expulsion from all HSL divisions
  2. Regarding chat:
    1. Bad manner and deprecation are not allowed.
    2. Examples include, but are not limited to:
      • Racial slurs
      • Remarks on sexual orientation
      • Remarks on gender
      • Negative Remarks mocking players based on skill
      • Remarks on disabilities
      • Remarks on religion
      • Cursing
  3. If you witness a breach in the Code of Conduct:
    1. Do not retaliate in a way that further violates the HSL Code of Conduct.
    2. Screenshot the breach of conduct in question and submit them through the contact form on our website AND notify the Tournament Admin immediately via the Facebook group.
  4. Penalties relating to breaches in the Code of Conduct will be decided on a case by case basis
    1. Egregious violations of our code of conduct may lead to an immediate disqualification from the league.
    2. Repeat offenders will immediately be disqualified, regardless of severity of either reported breach of the Code of Conduct. The HSL expects players to reform their behavior after the initial violation.
    3. Keep in mind that this is a general rule and that any HSL Administrator has the right to recommend disqualification regardless of previous warnings, given an exceptional circumstance. It is at the discretion of the HSL Administrator to modify any of the rules and punishments listed above to enforce fair play between official HSL players in a tournament.

5. Penalties

  1. Players should be ready by the start of their scheduled match. Tardiness will be penalized based on the degree of lateness at the Tournament Administrator’s discretion:
    1. Tardiness will result in further matches forfeited, if a reshedule attempt was not made 24 hours prior to the time of the scheduled match
    2. Players with a higher than average number of forfeitures may be penalized at the discretion of the High School Starleague administrative team.
  2. The following actions will be considered unfair play without exception (do not accuse a player of any type of unfair play without photo evidence):
    1. The use of any settings exceeding the standard and permitted game settings.
    2. Intentionally allowing an opponent to win a match.
    3. Unsportsmanlike or disruptive behavior, such as inappropriate and/or unprofessional actions directed towards another player or a Tournament Administrator.
    4. The use of an in-game bug that is determined by the Tournament Administrator to be unfair.
    5. Intentional impersonation of an Tournament Administrator.
  3. At any time during an official match, a Tournament Administrator may identify and enforce any applicable form of unfair play.

6. Game Settings and Rules

  1. Win Condition: Victory is achieved by the first player to win in 3 separate games.
    1. Both players must bring 4 decks, and announce their classes to their opponent once they load into the challenge screen.
    2. Both players will then load into a game with the deck they ban, and immediately concede to show the 3 classes they will play for the set
    3. Players must have only 4 available decks from their 4 different classes available on loading screen, it is highly recommending that you ask your opponent for a screenshot before the game of their challenge screen
    4. If you win a game, you must choose a different class to play with the next game.
    5. If a player loses, the player may use the same deck as the previous game, without changing any cards, or may choose another hero that they have not won with during that match.
    6. This tournament is run in a Best of 5 Conquest style format.
    7. This means that you CANNOT play both “Zoolock and Handlock” or “Patron Warrior and Control Warrior” or any other combination of decks of the same class in the same match.
      1. To be extra clear, you can not play a different decklist of the same hero in the same match, even if you lose with one decklist.
  2. If any player disconnects during the game, it will result in a loss for that game if they are unable to join in the time alotted by Blizzard’s servers.
  3. Restrictions: This tournament is ran in standard format, which means that only sets of the past two years and the classic may be used. In other words, the sets of Naxxramas and Goblins vs. Gnomes may not be used for this tournament. Any other expansions that are coming will be allowed as long as they follow the “year of the kraken” standard set.
  4. Players are only allowed to have 4 decks in their Custom Deckslots. This rule is in place to remove the possibility of players “teching” cards out and having very similar deck lists.
    1. Players who feel that their opponent has more than 4 decks created in their deck slots may request a screenshot from their opponent of their “Battle a Friend” screen. Players with more than 4 custom decks may be subject to match forfeiture. If your opponent refuses to send a screenshot of their custom decks in the “Battle a Friend” screen without leaving that screen, contact a tournament administrator IMMEDIATELY.
    2. If your opponent requests seeing your decks in the “Battle a Friend” screen, you are required to take a screenshot and send it to them (preferably via imgur). You are not required to share a screenshot of your decklists.
  5. Region: North America
  6. During the match, both players that will be participating must stay online at all times. Any violation of this may result in a forfeiture of a game or the entire match.
  7. The HSL Hearth competition follows all of Blizzard’s Terms of Service and will enforce it in case of violations.
  8. Players may not change the cards of their deck or leave the “Battle a friend” deck selection screen during the duration of the match.
  9. Spectating – It is your responsibility to keep yourself safe from possible cheaters who might spectate your game. Take the necessary precautions to change your settings to not allow

7. Match Day

  1. The default match time for Game 1 is 5pm in the timezone outlined in your Battlefy Group Name every Saturday.
  2. Once in the Challenge / Battle a Friend screen, both players must share the 3 different classes they plan on playing. Once you enter that screen and share decks, you are not allowed to cancel that screen for the rest of the match.
  3. Between games, players are not allowed to leave the Challenge screen and edit their decks. If your opponent does leave the challenge screen, they may be subject to forfeiture of that match.
  4. Players are allowed to switch their decks after losing a game.
  5. Players are not allowed to edit their decks between games.
    1. If that time does not work for you, you may request to reschedule your match by talking to the opposing player.
    2. Rescheduling is a privilege, not a right.
  6. Both players have equal responsibility to contact their opponent, and failure to show and effort to connect can result in match forfeiture.
  7. Do not submit forfeit reports unless you have made contact and set up a match day with the opposing player. There may be penalties for any player who decides to submit a match report saying that the opposing player forfeited when the two players have not gotten a chance to talk.
  8. If you are unable to contact a player, please email us using the Contact form, and we will attempt to get in contact with them through email. Try adding them on Battle.net before emailing us. Also check the Facebook group thoroughly to make sure your opponent is in the group.
  9. After your match, submit a match report on our Match Report page and follow the instructions.

8. Match Reporting

  • After the match has finished, players shall report scores using the form on the HSL website.
  • If reporting an absence, players are required to provide photo evidence of the agreed time (if not default) and screenshots of the opponent’s non-ready status in accordance to the penalties specified in 3.1.
  • Score submissions are due weekly on Sundays 11:59PM PT. Please see the schedule for deadlines. See Penalties for pertinent penalties.

  • See Section 3 (Penalties) for tardiness rules.
  • To claim an absence win, screenshots of relevant conversation and in-game evidence are required.
  • 9. Stoppage of Play

  • If a player queues into a game with a deck that they did not specify they were playing, it is a 2 game loss. One loss is for the infraction of having more than 4 decks in the deck select. The other is for playing a deck they did not tell their opponent about. More serious infractions of this may result in a set loss or disqualification from the tournament.
  • If a player is caught talking to other players about their match in ways of gaining an unfair advantage, they shall immediately lose the set and be reviewed by a tournament administrator for disqualification depending on the severity of the violation.
  • Any form of “win-trading” shall also not be allowed. If a player contacts you asking for a win for whatever reason, inform a tournament administrator immediately.