Membership in the league is available to any BZFlag player who has an understanding of the league rules, is competent enough to follow them and has not previously had his membership revoked. In order to be eligible for membership, a player must be registered at the BZFlag Bulletin Board (http://forums.bzflag.org) and must establish a user account on the league website (http://leaguesunited.org) by logging in at least one time. Upon changing his callsign, a player must log in to the league site again to update his callsign before playing any match. Players are considered to be league members upon being added to the league "spawn group" on the BZFlag Bulletin Board, which allows playing and talking privileges on league match servers. A player may have only one account on the spawn list, and must not allow other people to play using his account. A player may renounce his membership by contacting an administrator and requesting to be removed from the spawn list. Administrators are not required to remove and re-add a player from/to the spawn group for the player's convenience or if such requests are unreasonably frequent.
A player may be a member of one league team (having a membership on more than one team or maintaining any kind of control over a team while being a member of a different team is prohibited). Any player may start a new team. A team leader is responsible for inviting new members to the team, or configuring the team to be open for anyone to join. A player may leave a team (reassigning leadership or disbanding the team first, as necessary) at any time. A disbanded team may be revived by an administrator upon the request of at least two former members or a former leader, and the requesting member will be assigned as the new team leader.
Matches are held on official league match servers. All official match servers are listed on the league website. Multiple map styles are available for use in league matches. Matches consist of official matches (between two league teams, with the result recorded and used for team rankings) and funmatches (between two arbitrary groups of players, with the result not counted or recorded). Official matches are never between teammates of same team. Simply put, you cannot play against your own teammates in an official. A match may be 15, 20, or 30 minutes in length (excluding pauses). The match length may be set before the match starts by using the "/timelimit" command. The winner of a match is the team which captured the flag more times than the other team by the end of the match. When a team captures their own flag on the opposing team's base, that point is counted for the opposing team. If both teams score the same number of points, the match is a tie.
A match begins when all players on both teams signal that they are ready and a player initiates the “/official” command (or “/fm” in the case of a funmatch). Matches are strictly voluntary, and no player shall be compelled to match any unwanted opponent nor to agree to any match conditions. All players should rejoin the server prior to or during the countdown, and must not spawn until the countdown has ended. The game timer may be paused when necessary by initiating the command “/pause”, and may be resumed by the command "/resume". Players should not move their tanks when a match is paused, or should re-take their positions prior to resuming the match. If the match must be terminated prematurely, it should be ended with the “/finish” command if it is an official match and the result is to be entered, or “/cancel” otherwise. A match should only be paused for reasonable interruptions or when it is otherwise necessary. Unnecessary or excessively frequent pausing of a match may cause the match to be forfeited by the perpetrating team upon review by the administrators.
An official match must have at least two players from each team present to begin, but may have more (up to the server limit of players for each team), and one team may have more players than the other if the opposing team agrees to this. Any changes to the players participating in the match require the agreement of all players still involved in the match. Any official match where players are added, removed, or substituted during the match shall be counted as official as long as the changes in participants are agreed to by all other participants. A player who joins a match at any time other than the match beginning shall selfkill upon spawning, except when joining immediately after a capture, or upon substituting another player (the substituting player may take the original player's position). Players joining as "2 in", both players selfkill on joining.
If one or more of the original match participants leaves before its conclusion, the remaining participants may agree to allow another member of his team to fill his spot in the match. They may also agree to change the number of players on each team in order to even the teams, to continue the match with uneven teams, or to postpone the match until any future time. If they do not agree, then if the team which has lost a player was in the lead (or if the match was tied, and the team losing a player stands to gain points from a tie being entered), the match shall be cancelled. Otherwise, the match shall be forfeited, and the score at the time when the player left shall be entered.
Oct 1 brought the support for new match types and Elo ratings tied directly to players. With this, there is the introduction of new official match types:
- Team vs Team (TvT)
- Team vs Mixed (TvM)
- Mixed vs Mixed (MvM)
- Official matches (whether mixed or not) are never between teammates of same team. Simply put, you cannot play against your own teammates in an official.
- In a mixed official, once the match begins, players cannot change colors unless EVERYONE agrees to balance teams. Teams should be decided beforehand to avoid issues.
- To avoid misunderstandings & conflicts from those too 'hot to trot' for mixed officials, communication must be CLEAR that it's a mixed official. Players be sure to check the chat and countdown timer message. It will state whether it's fm or official. Stands to reason if it's a mixed official and you don't want that, go obs!
When a match is over, it must be entered on the league website. The server should announce that the match results were automatically entered. In the event of automatic reporting being unsuccessful or incorrect, the winning team (or the team gaining points in the case of a tie; i.e., the lower-ranked team) is responsible for reporting the match results to an administrator, who will then enter or correct it on the league website. A match which is manually reported shall include the names of the teams involved, each team's score, the date and GMT time when the match ended, that map style which was used and the length of the match.
Players are encouraged to use the latest version of the BZFlag game client version available for their operating system. However, any client version which is compatible with the protocol version used by official league match servers may be used. An exception is if the league administrators announce on the league discussion forum of the BZFlag Bulletin Board that a specific outdated client version is no longer allowed, which may be due to any sufficiently compelling reason.
Clients used in any league match must be official BZFlag project binaries or built from official BZFlag project release or development code without modifications. Any client modification must be approved by the league administrators prior to use, and will be listed in the WHITELIST section of the rules.
Players must not intentionally use any software or hardware program or tool which degrades the performance of their client or the quality of their network connection, or which masquerades the player's identity. Additionally, players must not manipulate any in-game setting nor use any in-game feature while a match is in progress in order to intentionally alter the behavior or consistency of game simulation (for example, using client commands to cause a freeze or stutter, or altering the FPS limit during a match).
The purpose of league rules is to preserve a friendly and comfortable playing environment. Players who do not observe and follow all league rules shall be subject to disciplinary action by being temporarily suspended from league membership, or by having their membership permanently revoked for serious offenses. Players who repeatedly or habitually do not comply with the rules will be subject to extended or indefinite suspensions, or permanent revocation of membership.
Upon observing or receiving complaint of player misconduct, league administrators have full discretion whether to impose a suspension on the player (and what the length of that suspension may be), to warn the player or to take no action, as they deem appropriate. Players are reminded that the league administrators come from a variety of backgrounds, and every person may view a situation from a different perspective. Disciplinary action may be taken against a player immediately by any administrator present, or upon review and discussion after the conduct is brought to the administrators' attention.
In addition to the rules enumerated here, any conduct which is clearly inappropriate or malicious toward the league or its players may subject the perpetrator to disciplinary action.
Prohibited conduct is listed below with the corresponding guidelines for how long of a suspension an offender may expect to receive for the offense the first time:
Match disturbance - anything that interferes with a match (whether fm or official) the player is not involved in, such as joining and playing in a match uninvited, pausing or ending the match, sending unsolicited private messages to a match participant or excessive talking in public chat (1 - 7 days)
Player harassment - persistent, provocative, offensive, derogatory, annoying or otherwise harassing comments made to or directed toward another player (1 - 7 days)
Profanity - using obscene, explicit or offensive language, including acronyms or obfuscations, in public chat, or in team chat or private message to a player who might be offended by it (1 - 7 days)
Cheat accusations in public (1 - 7 days)
Cheating on other servers - using any client modification or external program or tool to gain an unfair advantage while playing on any server other than league match servers (6 - 9 months)
Cheating in the league - using the above methods, or manipulating game simulation during a match, on any official league match server at any time (indefinite suspension - permanent revocation)
Any setting possible to set through the options menu in the standard BZFlag client is allowed to be changed through the options menu.
The following options and settings are allowed to be changed by editing the config file:
- Adding, deleting and modifying key mappings
- Editing the bzflag config file to modify the color of tanks
- Editing the bzflag config file to modify the shots on radar
- Editing the bzflag config file to modify the number of radar zooms and provide different zoom levels
- Modification of radar size (the maximum radar size is 30)
- Modification of mouse box size
- Modifying fpsLimit to values not lower than 30 (30 is the default); limiting the FPS through other means (GFX settings) to values below 30 FPS is also not allowed
- If your hardware is only capable of delivering less than 30 FPS it is okay, but in that case we suggest you decrease graphical details to gain the maximum FPS possible
Graphics & sounds
- Deletion or modification of cloud, mountains and explosion textures
- Modification of the teleporter fog color via source code as long as the transparency is not affected
- Modification of textures provided that the alpha channel of the texture is not modified; exceptions are textures for bullets, laser and thief, where modification of the alpha channel is explicitly allowed
- Deletion or modification of any sound
- There are no restrictions on mouse speed, mouse acceleration and USB polling rates (gaming mice are allowed)
- Any input device recognized by BZFlag, especially any mouse, trackball, joystick and keyboard
- Any input device that needs change of the client code to be recognized, or the requires the use of self developed drivers or tools, has to be reviewed and explicitly allowed by the league admin staff
- Any input device driver that came with the input device and using all the features it provides; the following additional drivers are also allowed:
- Mac OS X - mousezoom, USB-Overdrive, imousefix and mousefix
- Microsoft Windows - Logitech Setpoint
- Additional drivers and tools only after they have been reviewed and approved explicitly by the league admin staff