ZHL (Zealot Hockey League) Rules (Season 12 major changes highlighted in red text)


Section I: Teams and League Schedule

  • The number of teams will be determined by League Management based upon registration total.
    • Currently: 9 Teams in one conference.
  • Previous team names will be recycled, but Owners will have the option of requesting a change. Requests will be considered and decided upon by League Management.
    • Team location must be a canon StarCraft location.
  • Players will be drafted onto teams by a draft. Players may only play for the team for which they are drafted.
  • There is no maximum roster size.
  • No player may be dropped from a team roster for any reason.
  • The length of the schedule is determined by League Management.
    • Currently: 16 matches per Team.


  • ZHL Teams will be granted unlimited standard reschedules, 2 forced reschedules, and 3 flex reschedules.
  • If over a previously scheduled time slot, the replay must be saved and optionally casted at the next available time.
  • Agreements must be made public via the Forums or Discord.
  • This is how reschedules work:
    • Flexible reschedules can be scheduled to any time and date, including nonstandard ZHL times or concurrent to ongoing ZHL games. You must submit screenshots / replays for the flexible rescheduled series’ result to League Managers. Failure to do so results in forfeit.
    • Regular reschedules are restricted to standard times (between 7pm and 11pm EST) and must have an agreed upon time before the 4 hour deadline.
    • Forced reschedules must be formally requested to the opposing team and League Management at least 24 hours before the original starting time. If the two teams cannot agree upon a time to reschedule, League Management will mediate and schedule an appropriate time.
  • Playoff Reschedules will be allowed under the following circumstances.
    • They have to be scheduled at a standard ZHL time (7pm-11pm EST).
    • Must have League Management approval.

Section II: Owners and League Management

The League Commissioner has the following responsibilities/powers:

  • May remain League Commissioner until a time at which he/she wishes to relinquish power, is impeached, or the season has ended.
  • Must assign between 3 to 8 League Managers (LM) to rule on issues.
  • Must select the Owners for the season. Eligible candidates should indicate their interest in Ownership on the google form.
  • Has the ability to initiate a “League Vote” on issues, without approval.
  • Reserves the right to exercise emergency powers and make changes to the rulebook in the best interests of the league if he and at least 3 League Managers agree with the change. If a majority of the Owners and League Managers combined (more than 50% vote) disagree with a change made in emergency circumstances, the change will be revoked.

A League Manager has the following responsibilities/powers:

  • Make rulings based on his/her best interpretation of the rule book when needed and when he/she is not involved with the situation.
  • Contribute thoughts/ideas to his/her best ability on rulings and decisions for the benefit of the league.
  • Vote in “League Vote” decisions.
  • Initiate a “League Vote” if at least 3 league managers agree that such a vote needs to take place
  • This is how a “League Vote” works:
    • League Managers will vote for or against a League Vote decision, majority wins.
      • In the event of a tie in votes, the Commissioner’s vote wins.
    • Any League Vote that is passed by the League Office which pertains to the punishment of an individual player or a ZHL or ZHPL franchise for breaking a rule, must have sufficient evidence cited in an explanation document written by the League Office, made public via the forums.
    • League Votes can only be brought up by the League Commissioner or 3 League Managers.
    • League Votes are required for all subjective rules and rulebook changes.
    • In case of emergencies (game time events), only a majority of all available League Managers will be needed, to expedite this process.
    • A League Vote concludes after 48 hours, after which votes will be invalid.
    • League votes will be cast privately and made public immediately after the final results have been tallied.
  • Complete tasks appointed by the League Commissioner.

Owners have the following responsibilities/powers:

  • Will be in charge of drafting players to form their teams.
  • Has final authority on the starting lineup for their teams when present.
  • Mandatory designation of at least 1 Team Captain for ZHL.

Team Captains have the following rights:

  • Creating the starting lineup for their teams when present.
  • Act as leader of his/her Team during Owner’s absence.

Transfer of Ownership:

  • If a player within a team wishes to take over as Owner, the current Owner and League Management must both agree to the change. If no agreement between the two can be reached, the Ownership transfer will not occur.
  • If no player on the roster wants Ownership, and the current Owner wants to relinquish control, the new replacement Owner will be chosen by League Management.
  • Any owners who relinquish control will be ineligible to play any more games, in any position, for the remainder of the Season.
  • If an Owner goes out of contact with his team Captains and the League Commissioner for more than 1 week without prior notification of the absence to League Management, League Management has the right to grant a Captain of the team the role of General Manager.

League Commissioner Impeachment:

  • The League Commissioner may be impeached if he/she is found to be incompetent or not acting in the interest of the League. The following are examples of what could constitute grounds for impeachment:
    • The Commissioner is intentionally or unintentionally displaying clear bias for one player or team over another.
    • The Commissioner is disrupting the League Vote process or reporting League Vote results untruthfully.
    • The Commissioner has been unresponsive to League Managers or owners for 7 or more days without prior notice.
  • Impeachment of the League Commissioner is done as follows:
    • First, 6 team owners must agree that the League Commissioner should be impeached. This should be clarified via an Owner Vote, where 6 out of 9 owners must vote to impeach.
    • Second, the impeachment must pass a League Vote, of which the results must be collected and shared by the League Management.

Section III: Punishments & Procedures


  • Smurfing (Any game amount, possible future season ban)
  • Malicious team activity (Any game amount)
    • Any use of Blizzard’s name change ability to have a player’s display name display a name of someone else in the community (Game forfeit)
  • Unsportsmanlike Activity – (Excessive BM, Macro, Autoclicker)
    • Excessive BM pertains only to “all chat” during League matches.
    • The use of any mechanic which automatically performs a function that is otherwise exclusively and directly performed by a player’s body, as intended by developers of the game.
    • The malicious use of any mechanic which increases latency for other players.
    • The use of any mechanic which performs an action that is otherwise impossible to execute.
  • Bitch-Walking (1 game)
  • All punishments must pass the League Vote process.
  • In the event of repeat offenders, game bans may exceed the ranges listed above.


  • For a forfeited game, the winning team receives a rounded goals for based on their average at the time, and the losing team receives 0 goals.
    • All retroactive forfeits must pass the League Vote process.

Section IV: Pre-Draft Player Registration

  • All potential Players must sign up via the league sign-up process.
  • Players will only be eligible to play in league games on the account they signed up with.
  • If a player wishes to change their registered account(s) prior to the draft, they must contact league management.
  • Registration will remain open until the draft deadline. Players who register after the draft deadline will not be eligible to be drafted. Players may elect to lock into specified positions (skater/goalie) during the registration period.
    • If a player plays the opposite role then their team will receive a forfeit for that game.
  • Players may elect to lock into specified attendance during the registration period.
    • Current attendance lock: 8/16 (50%) regular season games for the Zealot Hockey League, and 5/10 (50%) regular season games for the Zealot Hockey Probe League.
    • If they play over their locked attendance % during the regular season then their team will receive a forfeit for that game. (consider: Any games played that put a player over their locked attendance percentage will be forfeit.)
    • Players that attendance lock may only play 2/5, or 1/3 in a playoff series.
    • Attendance locked players may only play a particular opponent one time during the regular season.

Section V: Snake Draft Rules (ZHPL)

  • Owners draft value will be decided upon via League Vote.
  • Trading and/or “skipping” draft picks is not allowed. On an Owners turn to pick, they must select a player to add to their roster.
  • On their turn, Owners will have 1 minute to select a player as their pick for the round. If they have not selected a player after 1 minute, the next Owner’s timer will start, and they will be able to pick. The Owner whose timer elapsed will still be able to make their pick, but the next Owner could potentially pick someone first, and the draft order will continue to advance. Exceptions to this rule:
    • Once during the draft, if an Owner does not or cannot respond to attempted contact, they will be given an additional 5 minutes to make their pick for that round.
    • Twice during the draft, an Owner may request an “extended timer”, which will allow them a total of 2 minutes to make their pick for the round.
    • League Commissioner reserves the right to pause the draft for extenuating circumstances.
    • Owners must select themselves in their owner spot.
  • Draft will continue until all players who registered prior to the draft deadline are assigned to a team.
  • The Commissioner reserves the right to stop delay the Draft at any point in time, and initiate an emergency League Vote to continue or restart the Draft at a future time with a different selection of owners if he/she determines that an Owner is intentionally or unintentionally making choices that will harm the league.

Section VI: Auction Draft Rules (ZHL)

  • Basics:
    1.) The draft format will be a Blind Auction Draft.
    2.) Each team will start with a base of $10,000 before owner value is subtracted from the total.
    3.) League Management will estimate owner value in determining how much cash each team will draft with.
    4.) After a player is nominated, you will have twenty (20) seconds to submit your bid privately to the auctioneer. Pauses will not be permitted after a player has been nominated.
    5.) Each team will be granted two, five minute pauses if they need during the draft, but they must be used before a player is nominated.
  • Draft & Roster:
    1.) Each team is required to draft eight (8) players.
    2.) Owners are required to nominate players that match their designated draft range.
    3.) A team must possess enough money to fill out their roster. (E.g. if your team requires two more players, you must have at least $2 remaining.)
    4.) If a player is automatically nominated because he’s the only remaining player in the draft range, the team will be permitted to make another nomination after.
  • Bidding:
    1.) Each owner will have twenty seconds to submit their bids to the auctioneer.
    2.) If no bid is received in twenty seconds, you will be considered a “no bid.”
    3.) If you wish to not bid on a player, tell the auctioneer “no bid.”
    4.) If a nominated player receives no bids, his minimum draft price will be knocked down the next tier and he will be rebid on. This process will continue until he is finally drafted.
    5.) The final amount received before 20 seconds expires is your final bid. You may not change your bid after 20 seconds.
    6.) In the event of a tie with no money remaining between two or more teams, the nominating team will receive the player (if they bid on the player.) Otherwise, will go to a coin flip.
    7.) If a player’s minimum bid is $1 and receives no bids, the nominating team will receive the player.

Section VII: Lobby and In-Game Rules

The Home team decides what server the game lobby will be hosted under. The Home team will join the lobby as Team 1 (red), and the Away team will be Team 2 (blue).

  • If a game is delayed past its scheduled time, the team responsible for the delay will suffer the following punishments: 10 minutes past scheduled time – loss of right for 1 remake for that game, 15 minutes past scheduled time – forfeit the game.
  • To minimize any form of delay or latency, spectators or bench players of each game will be limited to the two broadcasters, and spectators or bench players must be approved by both teams’ Owners or Captains.
  • Neither casters, nor co-casters, can be kicked by participating teams. Failure to abide by this rule will result in punishment as seen fit by League Management.
  • Teams are allowed one remake per game (two if someone disconnects, until Blizzard fixes the reconnection bug). This may be requested during a pause or during period breaks. Teams cannot change the server upon a remake unless both teams agree to the change.
  • If a player drops during the beginning loading screen, a single “neutral” remake will be exercised. No line-up or server change is allowed by either team.
  • If there is not a caster present after 10 minutes of the game time owners (or team captains if owners are not present) may start the game. They will need to report the game with screenshots and a saved replay.
  • A team must field at least 3 players in order to play. Playing with fewer than 3 players will result in an automatic forfeit.

Section VIII: Trade Rules

  • Trades will be permitted for ZHL and ZHPL until their respective trade deadlines.
  • ZHL trade deadline: Monday, March 12th at 11:59 PM EST.
  • ZHPL trade deadline: Monday, March 12th at 11:59 PM EST.
  • All trades will need to pass a League Vote.
  • A player who has played in all of his team’s games (minimum 5 games to be eligible) may exercise a no-trade clause if he wishes.

Section IX: Probe-Redraft

  • Five players from every probe roster will be designated by their respective probe owners to be protected. Any / all non-protected players will then be placed into a draft pool, whereby, the worst placed team at the time will be granted the first draft position for the Probe-Redraft.
    The Probe-Redraft will take place on Monday, March 12th at 9:00 PM EST.

Section X: Probe League Rules

  • Zealot Hockey Probe League rules are the same as Zealot Hockey League rules, with the only exception being eligibility and playoff format.

Probe League Eligibility – Regular Season:

  • Player Eligibility rules for the Probe League regular season are organized by ZHL draft round:
    • 1st-2nd round: Can never play in Probe League at any position. 
    • 4th-5th round: Can participate in the Probe League regular season, at any position, under the following restrictions:
      • The player cannot be attendance locked.
      • The player cannot be a regular starter.
    • 6th+ round: Can participate in the Probe League regular season, at any position.
    • 1st-2nd round of EUDL cannot skate in Probe League. They may play goalie if they meet the other ZHPL eligibility requirements.

Emergency Free Agents

  • If the Probe team cannot field 4 players, and has no other players online who are eligible for Substitution, they are allowed 1 emergency Free Agent signing.
    • The Free Agent must be approved by a League Manager or the opposing team’s Owner.
    • The Free Agent cannot be on any team’s roster for the current season.

Probe League Eligibility – Playoffs:

  • Probe Playoffs will have 6/7 teams participate, with the quarter and semifinals being Bo3 and the final being bo5
  • Emergency Free Agents: No emergency free agent signings may be used in Probe Playoffs

Section XI: Standings and Playoff Format

  • Each team will be awarded 3 points for a win in regulation time, 2 points for a win in Overtime or Shootout, 1 point for a loss which takes place in Overtime or Shootout, and 0 points for a regulation loss.

ZHL Playoffs:

  • The top 6 teams in the league will be moved into the playoff brackets. In the event of a tie on the standings, please refer to the tiebreaker rules below.
  • The top two teams at the end of the regular season will receive a “bye” in the first round of the playoffs.
  • All rounds in the playoffs will be best of 5 series. The “Home” team in games 1, 3, and 5 of each playoff series will be the team with the higher seed, while the lower seed will be the “Home” team in games 2 and 4.

ZHPL Playoffs:

  • Probe Playoffs will have 6/7 teams participate. In the event of a tie on the standings, please refer to the tiebreaker rules below.
  • All rounds in the playoffs will be best of 3 series, except for the finals which will be a best of 5. The “Home” team in games 1 and 3 (and 5 in finals) of each playoff series will be the team with the higher seed, while the lower seed will be the “Home” team in game 2 (and 4 in finals).
  • Attendance locked players may play in 1/3 or 2/5 games in the playoffs.

Ties in Standings:

  • If two or more teams are tied in points during the regular season, the standing of those teams is determined in the following order (Tie-breaking Procedure):
    1. The fewer number of games played (GP stat).
    2. The greater percentage of points earned in match-ups between all the tied teams.
    3. The greater goal differential (GD stat).
    4. The greater number of games won, excluding games won in the Shootout (ROW stat).
    5. The greater number of games won in regulation (RW stat).
  • In the playoffs, in lieu of shootouts, sudden-death overtime will continue indefinitely until someone scores.

Section XII: Expansion and End of Season

  • At the conclusion of each season, all rosters will be wiped and the league will be completely re-drafted for the new season, following a new registration period.
  • At the conclusion of each season, current League Management must create a forum post looking for Commissioner candidates for the next season of ZHL. After at least 3 days of looking for interested parties, League Management may conduct a final League Vote to approve a new Commissioner from those who have expressed interest in the community. The old Commissioner is not eligible to be selected again.
  • Before the start of each new season, the new League Commissioner and League Managers will decide on the Rules and Regulations for the upcoming season.
  • There will be a break between league seasons, determined by the new League Management.