High School League Guidebook

High School League Guidebook



The High School League (HSL) is a free national esports competition for New Zealand and Australian High Schools. 

Each team plays against each other in a 7 week round robin tournament, leading into the Playoffs where the top 8 teams from each division with compete over 3 weeks culminating in a Grand Final.

This is a chance to engage your students in their playing field and use their love for video gaming to build teamwork, social connections, strategic thinking, break down barriers and focus on their course-work.

League of Legends

League of Legends is a fast-paced, competitive online game. 100 million people play League of Legends around the world every month. Two teams of five players compete against each other in an attempt to assault the opposing base. League of Legends offers endless replayability for players of every skill level. League of Legends is an example of a strategic game that can enhance students Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics skills (STEM). This link was reinforced by a recent Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology study that found children who play online games are more successful academically

It is these organisations that will work closely with both school administrators and student run clubs to legitimise esports as part of a school’s athletics or extracurricular program, as well as teach students to build esports communities at the local level.

Internationally, high school and varsity esports clubs are growing in popularity. Examples of these organisations include the High School Star League, Dutch College League and the Collegiate Star League.

Our Mission

The High School League (HSL) aspires to provide high schoolers with a fun, competitive, and rewarding esports experience, similar to traditional high school sports. We promote esports as a positive experience that opens up sports team building, leadership opportunities and self improvement to a wider range of students outside traditional seasonal field and court sports.

There’s a persistent myth that videogames are bad for schoolwork. We are working towards changing that with High School League by ensuring the motivating factor to be eligible is to excel in their school work and having fun with friends – this is paramount.

What we Provide Schools

  • The ability for students to compete in controlled competition in esports as a school team.
  • Sporting events for the community and families of players to watch their team compete against other schools across New Zealand
  • Education of proper etiquette and sportsmanship in competitive environments

What Schools Will Gain

  • Increased interest in school and academic engagement
  • Higher attendance and academic performance from participating students through mandatory HSL requirements
  • Increased self esteem from students who aren’t interested in physical athletics Positive exposure to both the local, and, for the winners, national community

What Students Will Gain

  • A sense of involvement otherwise not available to them Tertiary education scholarships with Computer Power Plus Co-ed interaction in a team setting
  • Build work ethic and apply intellectual and strategic thinking to a game
  • Students will meet like-minded enthusiasts that share interests and passions resulting in an enhanced high school experience


The preceding are also our goals and what we want to achieve through HSL. The competitive events we run, and the social and competitive events school clubs run outside of these should be guided by these goals and our mission.


We value good sportsmanship, respect, honesty and maturity. During online gameplay, tempers may flare, so our administrators work closely with teams and their supporting teacher to ensure the HSL remains a clean and mature environment. We enforce and clearly communicate rules to ensure cheating and dishonesty are mitigated.

Dealing with Controversial Topics and Content

Some games are first-person-shooters or contain violence; games that contain violence, profanity and nudity are restricted in high schools across New Zealand. The HSL definitely agrees that these are topics best left outside of a school environment.

Education and Development

HSL places a focus on education and we do this through ensuring every player is enrolled in school and on schedule to meet their class and NCEA/Cambridge requirements. The onus of is with the club advisor, the designated teacher, to verify with a school administrator.

School Computers

Aligned with our goals and mission, participating students will be encouraged to use school computer labs in order to make this a social activity to promote team building in a healthy competitive supervised environment rather than as individuals in isolated locations.

The HSL is happy to assist any schools needing assistance setting up a school lab for league play, for further information please contact the HSL team at info@lolhsl.com

Creating a Team


To participate teams need a teacher to help organise events, advise students, enforce rules, and introduce esports to the school management.


To assist the Advisor with responsibilities including ensuring team members are aware of when and where matches are being held that that they attend on time. They would also be part of arranging other events where the team members are able to practice for the games and to communicate and to generally have a get together.

Student Team Members

Ideally, Clubs should cater for students that want to play either competitively or socially.

Competitive Level: These clubs are directed around self-improvement and learning; they take on similar characteristics to high school-level sports. Clubs intending to play competitively are encouraged to enter the Premier Division of the HSL.

Social Level : The focus of these clubs is to have as much socialization and participation from the club members and school as possible. Clubs like these focus on more casual and fun events that are inclusive – encompassing all types of gamers, as well as non-gamers. This can be achieved through a combination of gaming and social events. Clubs intending to play at a social level are encouraged to enter the Challenge Division of the HSL.

The competitive aspect also allows the non-competitive players to gather around and summon school spirit, creating a sense of community for your club.

Communication Channels

We suggest schools create a facebook group to post events, meetings, news and receive feedback from your peers. We recommend the club advisor (school staff member) and student captain manage this.

Player and Team Eligibility

All team members must be enrolled in a New Zealand high school as full time students. Team members must be meeting the academic requirements of their classes and NCEA. Abide by Riot’s League of Legends Terms of Use and Summoner’s Code.

  1. Players are ineligible to compete if they meet any of the following criteria:
  2. Players who are currently playing in the Oceanic Premier League are ineligible to play
  3. Players under academic probation or any other school-related disciplinary action are ineligible to play until the action is lifted
  4. Players 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
  5. Only a substitute player from your high school may be utilized to fill the open position.
  6. Players with a current competitive suspension issued by Riot are ineligible to compete, until the suspension is lifted.

Rules and Regulations

Rules, regulations and match day administration details are available at www.lolhsl.com along with frequently asked questions.

Riot Games is also available to provide additional resource support where necessary. To get in touch with their community support team please contact the HSL tournament director by email at matt@lolhsl.com

HSL Code of Conduct

This is the basic code of conduct of any player affiliated with an HSL game, match, tournament or league. If a player is found to be in breach of one of these, please contact your designated teacher. The HSL has a purpose designed ruleset to ensure a fair and honest playing field for all students involved.

1.Be respectful.

2.Be graceful in defeat

3.Do not cheat.

4.Do not use any form of derogatory language.

5.Gambling on any game/match/tournament/league is not permitted.

Competition Format

HSL will see up to 200 High School teams competing from Auckland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Wellington, and Southland. The first HSL competition begins in late February and ends during May. Each team will play against other in a 7 week round robin tournament, leading into the Playoffs between the top 8 teams over 3 weeks culminating in a Grand Final.


Week 1 – 7 Round Robin

Week 8 – 10 Playoffs

Week 11 Final


  • Auckland
  • Bay of Plenty/Waikato
  • Wellington
  • Southland

Capped at 64 teams in Premier Division

Open entry to Challenger Division

Registration website www.lolhsl.com

  • Registration close February 19th 2017
  • Premier Division Begins February 26th 2017
  • Challenger Division Begins February 26th 2017