So my friend, I get that the point of this topic is about sandbagging and rules being unclear.
I understand it is not very fun to login and play TF2 and get smashed by experienced/better players. I get that, however I do want to mention one specific thing on the topic of Sandbagging. As a concept it was born out of a massive desire from people in the community complaining about losing because "This team had a Higher level Scout".
This is a competitive league, we're playing competitive games, the objective of the game is to win, the reason teams might sign up is ultimately, to win. Nobody signs up to lose. Some people may care more about having fun, having close games than actually challenging your potential to be the best player in the division or the best team, I do not have any issue with this, just that if you think a league should be designed specifically to prevent sandbagging then you should just not play competitive TF2 and play in house PUGs or Lobbies.
There can only be so many teams in the Top divisions, I know I have spent a ton of time in the Top Divisions and a ton of time just outside it, plenty of times there have been players good enough to play at the top level within the right structure in 1 or 2 divisions lower, but these players prioritised fun over competition, but they are not allowed to compete at a lower level because they are "Too good?".
Leagues made moves to stop sandbagging specifically, to be honest I personally am astounded people sign up to competitive gaming leagues and not want to play against the best. I was (and still am) a Middie, trying to be the best I can be, I used to sign up to Cups and play highest level we were allowed because I wanted to play better players and improve.
Sandbagging is an overblown issue made up by people who are not good at the game and have no desire to improve, they just don't enjoy losing. Well guess what, that's gaming, nobody likes losing, I hated playing Sev7n most because they toasted us most the times we played, we all want close games and if you're not good enough, you'll get toasted - but if you sign up to a competitive league and don't expect to play against better players then you're living in a fantasy world. Tell me what is the point of competitive TF2 when people don't want to compete but rather play vs someone they know they can beat. Everyone can be beaten if you try hard enough, people who complain about it I bet you a sum of money they don't work as hard to be as good as the person crushing them in the game. I bet they don't sit there studying Demos of better teams, seeing what they do that makes them better. I'd actually rather these people don't even play the game, yes the game has been slowly shrinking but when I watch a TF2 game it's still of a very high standard mechanically, even if the scene is about 4x smaller than it was back in 2010, it's a ton better. Understand if you sign up to play in a league, you're signing up to get smashed. I knew that everytime I registered my team, I know a thing or two about being wrecked 5-0 in 10 minutes.
I am not advocating let Top level players go into Open and win every game 5-0 in 6 minutes. There should be measures in place to prevent the NEW players from being purposely targetted by higher skill groups that prefer to just roll worse players than test themselves competitively. At some point though, as a "New player" you got to climb and test yourself. You are NEW until you play your first game, then you're no longer new, simple as this. Also it's obvious but you should not allow a much better team to play together a skill level lower when the previous season they were doing well at a skill level above, these are common sense rules - However if you did allow such a thing, it has to be because there are so many good teams at a High level already, it is a great opportunity for the lower level teams to play the best - You only become better when you play against better, it's a rare opportunity.
But in the case of 1 former Invite or Premiership player off-classing isn't the same as a team delibrately going down. What this does will create a sort of economy of free agents, people can't drop down a level to find a new team to grow with because they're too good but cannot get on another team. Or force teams to disband before the season even starts.
Somewhere everyone forgot what they were actually doing was playing competitive TF2. I am glad I don't play anymore, but if I did, I have more experience than almost every player on ETF2L, even at a high level and if I played Demoman tomorrow in Div 3, majority, if not all of the players would be better than me. Experience isn't an edge, otherwise Pele and Maradona would still be playing football.