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HSTL: Rules of The Family

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Requirements for Participation

  • You must be able to operate AIM and the "brutopia" anti-cheat version of Nestopia 1.39 that is available in the download section of tecmobowl.org.
  • Your internet connection must be fast enough to keep Nestopia at 60 FPS.
  • You must complete the amount of games required by deadlines, and failure to do so can and will result in consequences outlined in the HSTL Deadlines and Consequences thread.

Game Rules

  • POSITION LIMITATIONS: RBs can play RB, WR or TE without restriction.  WTs (WRs & TEs) can play RB, WR or TE... BUT THEY MAY NEVER RUN THE BALL FROM THE RB POSITION.  Any player may run the ball on reverses, however.  As to which players are classfiied as RBs, and which are WTs... these were defined during the draft.  Although some WTs occupy RB slots on the original ROM (and therefore during the Draft as well to maintain roster balance), and vice versa for RBs... all WTs in the RB slots were specially marked as WTs, and RBs in WT slots were specially marked as RBs on the HSTL-28 Draft document.

    "When crossing over the line of scrimmage WITHIN the restricted circle with a DL, before making a play on the ball carrier, you must first bump or grapple with an opposing player who is not the ball carrier. There are no restrictions on DL when the offense is in the shotgun or when crossing over the line of scrimmage OUTSIDE the restricted circle."


  • FOURTH MAN DOWN: Use of fourth man down on PATs is LEGAL.  HOWEVER... use of fourth man down on FGs is ILLEGAL.
  • ONSIDE KICKS: Onside kicks are legal at any point in the game.
  • TACKLING IN END ZONE: Please do not intentionally tackle players in the end zone after the play has ended. The reason for this is that the statistics for that play will be erased if the offensive player happens to fumble.
  • RECORD ALL GAMES: RECORD ALL GAMES (via NSV, twitch or some other source), save the state, and upload the state to DYNASTYphile. Winner is responsible for uploading the state.
  • DESYNCS: In the event of a game desyncing, the owners involved need to man up and sort it out. If they can't, the commissioner will make a determination about what should be done. Generally speaking, the game ought to be replayed from the point of the desync if possible.
  • NO QUITTING / NO ASSHOLES: Do not quit, give up, forfeit, or throw any HSTL league game. Always compete to win, and always strive to maintain the integrity (standings, statistics and general well-being) of this great league.  Do not skip the coin toss unless there is mutual agreement to do so.  After the game, if you lose, you must allow a reasonable amount of time for your opponent to get a save state and snap of the game summary screen.  Don't be an "asshole" in-game either, which can be defined in a variety of ways, but for now shall remain the sole discretion of the commissioner to interpret and enforce.  Remember though, in case you ever need to file a complaint, to ALWAYS RECORD... for without video proof it's far less likely any action will be taken on your behalf.
  • CHEATING: No collusion between owners.  No using turbo.  No using the play-picking program.  However, the Conditions Checker program is permissible.  If you are new and don't know about this program, you might be interested in learning more about it (allows you to see the conditions of all players, offense/defense, on both teams on a seperate side window)... it can be downloaded somewhere on this website.
  • CONSEQUENCES OF CHEATING: If the league finds you guilty of CHEATING, then the first offense is a 2-season boot.  The second offense if a lifetime ban.
  • COMPLAINTS: If you think your opponent has broken any of the game rules, please register your complaint with them first.  If a just conclusion is not reached between the two contestants, or if the violation affects the result of the game, then you may file a complaint AFTER THE GAME with the commissioner by sending him a PM.  Cases of game rule violations will be dealt with on a game-by-game basis; possible penalties may include, but are not limited to, a forced replay or forfeited win.


  • Original TSB players are drafted each new season in a multi-round, timed snake draft.  The number of rounds often varies season to season (15-30), depending on the format of drafting, e.g., individual players or tandems.
  • Draft order will be a lottery system, broken into tiers based on the owner's prior record and reputation.  Once draft order is determined, the 1st Round will then consist of each owner in succession selecting their draft position (e.g. #1, #12, etc.) for the remainder of the snake draft. 
  • Following the draft, OL may be aligned in any way after the draft. DL may be aligned in any way as well. LBs can play any LB position. DBs can play any DB position. RB, WR and TE are interchangeable but only RBs can receive direct hand offs (not counting reverses).
  • The time posted by your name is when you may make your pick. The following time posted by the next person picking is your deadline. As long as ALL the people before you have picked, you may pick before your posted time.
  • If you know you are going to not be able to post when your pick is due, the only guaranteed way to get the pick that you want is to post a list on the pinned threat atop the draft forum. If you would like to take your chances, you may also have someone else post for you or send someone a PM letting them know who you want.
  • If you miss your pick, either the Commish or Draft Czar/Helpers will make an auto-pick for you at a time they feel is appropriate.
  • Once you've posted, you may not retract your pick, unless no one has picked behind you.
  • For near simultaneous posts from someone whose pick is up and from someone who is behind in the draft, post order will determine who gets what.
  • See the DRAFT FORUM for more details and rules about drafting.


  • There is no trading allowed during or after the draft.


  • 12 teams make the playoffs: 3 division winners and 3 wildcards from each conference.
  • We will adhere to the NFL's Tie-breaking Procedures.  In the event that some games are unplayed, and this affects the playoff race... the commissioner will weigh various factors (such as effort to play the games) to determine who will advance to the postseason.
  • There is a one-week deadline to get in each playoff game. If neither owner is making an effort, both are out of the playoffs.

Replacement Owners

  • Replacement owners must play at least 8 games with their team before they are eligible for the playoffs.

HSTL Bans / Standing Demerits

  • Rob / rmm1976 (turbo): eligible to return Season 30
  • Zach (turbo): eligible to return Season 30
  • Bob / bdubs (turbo): eligible to return Season 30
  • Neerrm (backgames end of season): 2 demerits upon return
Edited by manYo

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Rules which received significant editing or outright changes:


  • edited the positional limits section to hopefully make it more clear as to who is allowed to run the ball (RBs only), and who is not (all WTs)
  • changed the lurching rule to that which was agreed upon by league vote
  • changed the draft sequencing process to that which was agreed upon by league vote
  • added a link to the NFL's tiebreaking procedures to determine playoff teams
  • deleted the points system for determining playoff teams (commissioner discretion instead, in the event of unplayed games... wanted to leave that open for now)
  • replacement owners must have at least 8 games in to be playoff eligible

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Bump for rules reminder. These are solid and will be enforced with a heavy slapping hand. The Farm League will be nurtured to ensure we always have the most competitive, sportsmanlike talent available for our great league. Thanks guys.

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