There are rules in HGC ANZ 2018 which state, inter alia
(b) Teams that participate in any official HGC Australian and New Zealand Finals league (including Preseason Qualifiers, Open Division and Premier) will not be allowed to change any of their Team members at any time during the course of an HGC ANZ Phase.
(e) Players from within a team who has qualified for HGC ANZ Premier via either Preseason Qualifiers or the Promotion process as referred to in section 3.1(c) (“the Qualifying Team) will not be permitted to compete on behalf of any team other than the Qualifying Team for the duration of the Phase for which that team qualified (“the Qualified Phase”).
(f) A Team who attempts to poach a player from a Qualifying Team prior to the conclusion of the Qualified Phase will be penalised. Such penalties may include deduction of points, withdrawal from the league and in the most serious instances, may be banned from competing in future HGC ANZ leagues and tournaments.
The current provision 2.1(e) and (f) are new clauses that were introduced this year to protect teams who have already qualified for HGC ANZ Premier Division from being poached by existing well established and better financed Premier teams. The intention as that we do not want those teams to lose their best players before the season even starts which would severely damages their chances within Premier.
We are advised that Outlaws, a currently qualified HGC ANZ Premier team (qualified by virtue of having finished top 4 in HGC ANZ Season 4 2017) have approached a player that is currently competing in the HGC ANZ Preseason Qualifiers. i.e. a team that has not yet qualified.
The rules referred to above apply to any attempted poaching of a player in a “Qualifying Team”. We understand that there has been some confusion around what constitutes a Qualifying Team. A “Qualifying Team” is defined in clause 2.1(e) as one that “has” qualified for Premier division pursuant to 2.1(f). As Nekomimi does not fall within the definition of a Qualifying Team, we confirm that there has been no infringement of this rule 2.1(f) regardless whether or not the actions of Outlaws constituted “attempts to poach” .
Indeed, if there is an attempt to poach a team that has already qualified then the poaching team would be penalised.
It appears as though many have seized on the words “Qualifying Teams” and misconstrued this term (despite it’s clear definition in clause 2.1(e)) to refer to teams that are in the process of qualifying. This interpretation is inconsistent with the definition of a “Qualifying Team” under rule 2.1(e). Having said that, to alleviate any confusion in the future, we propose to amend the words “Qualifying Team” in 2.1(e) and (f) to “Qualified Team”.
The second issue relates to whether there has been any breach of clause 2.1(b) referred to above. On our review if this matter, there has not been any breach of clause 2.1(b) as there have been no player movements around the Outlaws roster.