Rulebook

Foreword

This code of rules governs the gameplay of The Media League during the 2014-15 season. Note that these rules may be updated during the season.

These rules are designed to maximize artistic achievement as well as fun and fairness in Media League gameplay. As long as all participating players and coaches respect the discipline of these rules, the creative vitality of The Media League will thrive.

Any questions about these rules or their interpretation should be sent to the Media League Commissioner at commissioner@themedialeague.com

Official Media League Rules

2014-2015 Season

Players

All Media League Players must be registered high school students and may only play for the Media Team of the school they attend.

Players must be selected by and added to teams by the Team Coach, who may do this before or during the season at his/her discretion.

To be eligible to play for a team a student must register at www.themedialeague.com website as a Player.

Any student at a participating school is eligible to try out for the school team.

Players contribute actively to team success by viewing, sharing, rating and otherwise promoting Game Media.

Teams

Only high schools, or schools that include high school grades, may enter a team in The Media League.

Participating schools may enter one team only per season in The Media League.

Teams may have any number of players, but all players should be encouraged to contribute to submitted media. Students who don’t intend to contribute to a team’s entries should register as fans.

Teams can join The Media League at any time during the regular season or after the playoffs.

Coaches

Each participating team must have at least one volunteer Coach, typically a teacher at the participating school.

Teams may have several Coaches

To become a Coach a teacher must register on the website as a Coach and accept the Coaching responsibilities, which are:

  • Selecting the team members
  • Coordinating the team's gameplay
  • Publishing game media to the website
  • Selecting one or more Assistant Coaches (optional)

Assistant Coaches are students who assist the Coach. They have two areas of responsibility:

  • Promoting the team within the school community
  • Ensuring the integrity of the team’s fanbase (see 4.6)

Fans

Fans are students at participating schools who register as Fans of their team on the website.

Fans may only be fans of their school team.

Fans may contribute actively to team success by viewing, sharing and rating Game Media.

Fans may rate, view, share and comment on any media uploaded by any team not competing in their division. Only Fans, Players and Coaches may do these things.

Fans must be verified students at the participating school. Verification must be done by the Coach or (preferably) the Assistant Coach. Verification occurs on The Media League website.

Should any team be found to have verified Fans who are not registered students at their school, this team will be penalized. Repeat infractions may result in expulsion from the league.

Spot checks will be performed occasionally by the league office to ensure that all teams comply with rule 4.6

Boosters

Boosters are supporters of participating teams who are not Players or Fans, such as alumni, parents, friends and relatives, community members or other teachers.

Supporters register as Boosters on the website.

By registering as a Booster using one of the popular social networks, supporters help to promote their team and directly increase their team’s score by increasing how widely their favorite teams’ media is distributed.

There is no limit to the number of Boosters that a team may have.

Games

Games are the basis of gameplay. There are regular season games and playoff games.

Each game is a fixed duration (1st of the month to the last day of the month) and has a single theme that is posted in advance.

There will be 6 games in the 2014-15 regular season. Each team may upload 3 original media works to each game. These are its ‘Game Media’. Each piece of Game Media must address in some way the game theme. Game Media from all teams is entered into the competition by the team’s coach, who must promote it from the team sandbox. Teams may publish their game media at any time during each game.

Media

Game media may be uploaded in a range of media formats supported by the league are PNG, JPG, GIF, PDF, MP3 and popular video formats. If media is not in one of these formats it is not eligible to become game media.

Game media may consist of work in any creative field, including, but not in any way limited to, freehand or digital drawings, analogue or digital animations, videos, songs, instrumental musical performances, music videos, creative writing, spoken word, dance, rap, sculptures, dramatic monologues and short dramatic films.

All media uploaded by players and coaches must be original creative work produced by one or more members of each team, except when remixes or mashups are specifically requested as part of gameplay.

Game media that is found to be in contravention of 7.3 may and likely will be unpublished at the discretion of the league, with the loss of all points associated to that individual piece of media.

Teams and team members explicitly assign to The Media League the non-exclusive universal right to publish their original work on the website and in ancillary promotional contexts.

All ownership and copyrights for all game media published to and by The Media League by any and all teams and players remains the exclusive property of the authors and creators of these works as per the Terms of Service.

Any uploaded media that is deemed by the League to be hateful, abusive, derogatory or otherwise unfairly attacking of the integrity or well-being of any private individual, or that is libelous of any organization, may be removed from the site without notice. Any score associated with such media may be revoked and any user uploading such media may be sanctioned or banned.

Divisions & Conferences

Conferences

Each team will be placed in a Conference based on the size of its student population at the beginning of the season.

The two conferences are Energy and Spirit. The distinction is between those participating schools with larger student bodies vs those with smaller student bodies.

Half of the teams in the league will be in the Energy Conference and half in the Spirit Conference.

Divisions

Each participating team will also be assigned to a Division of between 5 and 10 teams at the beginning of the regular season.

Divisions are subsets of Conferences. As such, all teams in each division will play in either the Energy or Spirit Conference.

At the conclusion of the regular season the team with the most League Points in its division is named Division Champion and gains automatic entry into the Playoffs. (for more on League Points see 10.3)

Teams that join the league during the regular season will be assigned to a Division and Conference by the league.

Playoffs and Championships

At the conclusion of the regular season, all Division Champions will be eligible for the playoffs.

‘Wild Card’ playoff spots will also be awarded in each conference to a yet-to-be-determined number of teams with the most League Points, excluding Divisional Champions, within each conference.

The playoff teams from each Conference will be placed in a Playoff bracket and each will play in a Semi-Final game.

Based on the scores of that game, the three highest-scoring teams from each Conference will move on to the Championship Game.

Within each conference, the team with the highest score in the Championship game will be declared the Conference Champion.

The team with the overall best score in the Championship Game will be declared the League Champion for 2014-15.

The League Champion, Conference Champions and Division Champions will all receive pennants and will be recognized on the Media League site.

Scoring

Media League scoring is divided into 3 distinct kinds:

Scores for individual pieces of game media

  1. Individual pieces of game media are scored based on the average quality rating (out of 5 stars) each receives as determined by all registered Fans and Players who rate it on the website.

Social Scoring

The Social Scoring Bonus reflects the degree of virality a team’s Game Media achieves as well as the degree of participation in The Media League by its registered fans and players in a given game. Specifically, Social Scoring Bonuses are based on the following elements for a given team in a given game:
  • Total views of that team’s game media (3 pieces max)
  • Total shares of that team’s game media by fans, players and coaches from other divisions
  • Total number of ratings of extra-divisional game media by that team’s fans and players
  • Total number of shares of extra-divisional game media by that team’s fans and players
A team’s Social Score in a given game results in a ranking relative to all the other teams in its division. In other words, if you have a higher Social Score than any other team in your division you rank first. If you have a lower Social Score than any other you rank last.

Each ranking accords with a Social Scoring Bonus multiplier between 1.0 and 1.25.

The team ranked first in Social Scoring in a given game is awarded a 1.25 multiplier bonus. This means that the sum of their Game Media ratings (e.g.. 3.26 + 4.10 + 3.98 = 11.34) is multiplied by 1.25 to yield a score of 14.175. If a team ranks last in social scoring it receives a 1.0 multiplier bonus (in other words, no bonus at all.) And the teams that fall between first and last get incrementally more valuable bonuses between 1.0 and 1.25.

Game scores

  1. I. A team’s game score is determined by adding the individual ratings of each of its game media entries (maximum 3) and multiplying that sum by its Social Scoring Bonus. This number is then multiplied by 5333.3, resulting in a maximum score of 100,000 points.

League Points that determine divisional and conference rankings throughout the season

  1. At the conclusion of each game, each team in each conference is awarded a number of League Points based on its place in the division standings for that game.
  2. The winning team in each division receives League Points equal to the number of teams in that division. For example, if there are 7 teams in the its division, the team with the highest score in a given game in its division will receive 7 points. Whereas, the team with the worst record in each division in that individual game will receive a single point.
  3. At the conclusion of each regular season game every team that has uploaded media as part of that game receives a minimum of 1 League Point. If a team skips a game it receives 0 League Points for that game.
  4. League Points are aggregated over the season and reflected in the League Standings throughout the season.
  5. At the conclusion of the regular season, the team with the most League Points in each Division wins the Division Championship and is named Division Champion
  6. Wild Card playoff spots are also determined based on League Points. (see 9.2)

Fair Play & Respectful Participation

Respect for all Players and for each individual creative work uploaded to the league is a cornerstone value of The Media League. Scorn, obscenities, mockery and other forms of blatant hostility and disrespect by any Player or Fan towards another Player or his/her creative work will not be tolerated and may result in individual or team sanctions. Repeat infractions may result in expulsion from the league and penalties applied to the team.

Playful (and even competitive) commentary and friendly banter is acceptable but each Fan or Player must ask themselves if they would welcome the comments they are leaving themselves, and if the answer is no, should refrain.

The league encourages any individual who feels that another player has made inappropriate comments to use the ‘Report Abuse’ button so the comment can be reviewed and appropriate steps taken if necessary.

Should any team be found to be attempting to ‘hack the system’ through the use of ‘bots’ or any other tools that run counter to the spirit of the game, the offending team may be disqualified from league play.

Although we are providing a competitive league, we believe strongly in the inherent value of all creative expression and we encourage all participants to do their best and to take pride in their creative work regardless of whether they receive high scores or not. We are proud of all our players, and we will always value your creative effort, your creative inspiration and your creative vision much more than your score. We hope all players will do the same.