1. New to the forums? Check out our Mentorship Program!
    Our mentors will answer your questions and help you become a part of the community!
  2. Welcome to Smogon Forums! Please take a minute to read the rules.

Tournament Rules and General Guidelines

Discussion in 'Tournaments' started by Bloo, Jan 9, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Bloo

    Bloo
    is a Tutoris a Tournament Directoris a member of the Site Staffis an official Team Rateris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis an Administratoris Smogon Frontier's Pike Queenis a Past WCoP Winnerdefeated the Smogon Frontier
    Head TD

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,731
    Simulator Tournament Applications: OPEN

    Welcome to the Smogon Tournaments Forum! This thread lists rules that all who wish to participate in Smogon's tournaments must follow, and also acts as a guide to acceptable practices within the forum. Please make sure you read through the entire thread at least once.

    Signing Up for a Tournament

    Before getting into this, it should be noted that signing up to play in a tournament is a commitment to playing. If you don't think you will be bothered to build the required teams to play, or you are going on a holiday in a week, please do not sign up. Tournaments will generally take a couple of months to finish, to give a general idea of the amount of time you may need to dedicate. You are expected to log in at least once every couple of days and preferably daily, and should be available for battle reasonably often. If you are only available for a few hours a week, live tournaments such as the Smogon Tour are more suitable. If you sign up to tournaments and repeatedly fail to play your matches, you risk being given a Warning and / or banned from playing in tournaments.

    Signing up for a tournament is extremely simple. All you have to do is read the first post to make sure you understand the rules, then post saying "in" or that you want to join. If the tournament requires you to do something else like submit teams before the first round, you should try to do that as soon as you can. If you have any questions, you may either post them in the thread or contact the host privately.

    Note that Smogon's hosting rules require most tournaments to accept the first 62.5% of players that sign up, and then randomize the remainder of the players, so if you posted before someone that got in and you didn't, this is the most likely reason why. The reason for this is that basically every tournament uses a number of participants that results in no byes and either two or three players in the final round (32, 48, 64, 96, 128, 192, 256, 384, or 512), and for tournaments that fill up quickly, we don't want to eliminate the chance of participating for those in unfortunate timezones.

    Even if you don't get into a tournament, if the host is efficient and willing to do it, you could ask to be substituted into the tournament if someone drops out or goes missing. If you missed out and are interested in joining, simply post in the current tournament thread or send the host a PM stating that you would like to be a substitute if possible.

    Playing in a Tournament

    Once you have signed up and the host posts Round 1, it is strongly recommended that you contact your opponent immediately by sending them a VM on their profile, or a PM if you prefer (though this makes it more difficult for the host to track who is more active). Let them know when you think you will be ready to play, your timezone (assuming you set it when you joined, it should appear at the bottom of every page on the forums), and maybe your availability if you know what that will be. For a more detailed description of what is recommended, there is a guide that details How to schedule a battle. Try to respond in a timely fashion whenever your opponent contacts you. If someone misses a scheduled time and the match is in danger of going uncompleted by the deadline, the host will nearly always award the win to the player that showed up, so scheduling a battle is a sure way to avoid being eliminated by inactivity. Don't be lazy!

    Here are some rules we enforce for players in tournaments. There is a good chance you will receive a Warning or potentially be banned from tournaments if you fail to adhere to these:
    • If your user name undergoes a change, it is your obligation to report the change to the hosts of any tournaments you are participating in, as well as your opponents in those tournaments.
    • Avoid dropping out of a tournament midway through unless you have a good reason for doing so. People that repeatedly drop out of tournaments without good reason may be punished.
      • If you do have to drop out, you must notify the host and your opponent.
    • Endeavor to complete your battles before the deadline of each round. If we notice a pattern of laziness, we may decide to punish you.
    Pre- and In-Battle Rules

    These rules explain what you aren't allowed to do before and during a battle, and what standard rules must be followed.

    Definitions of Standard Clauses: (these clauses apply across all Smogon tiers)
    • Sleep Clause: If a player has already put an opposing Pokémon to sleep using a sleep inducing move and that Pokémon is still sleeping due to that sleep inducing move, the player cannot put another opposing Pokémon to sleep using a sleep inducing move.
    • Species Clause: A player cannot have two of the same species of Pokémon on their team, based on the National Pokedex Number. For example, a player cannot have two Koffing on his or her team.
    • Evasion Clause: Players cannot use Double Team or Minimize in any of their Pokémon's movesets.
    • OHKO Clause: Players cannot use Horn Drill, Guillotine, Sheer Cold, or Fissure in any of their Pokémon's movesets.
    • Timer Clause: If a player exhausts the timer, he/she loses.
    Definitions of Other Clauses
    • (Standard in VGC tournaments) Item Clause: No two Pokémon on a player's team may hold the same item at the beginning of a battle.
    • (Standard only in RBY) Freeze Clause: If a Pokémon on a player's team is frozen and another Pokémon on that player's team would become frozen, it does not become frozen.
    • (Standard only in Smogon's fifth generation tiers) Moody Clause: A player may not use a Pokémon with the ability Moody.
    • (Standard in fourth generation VGC tournaments) Self-KO Clause: If a player uses a recoil move to cause a draw, that player wins. If a player uses Explosion, Selfdestruct, Destiny Bond, or Perish Song to cause a draw, that player loses. If a draw would be caused by a hold item or ability that causes recoil to the opponent, the player that controls the Pokémon with the hold item or ability wins.
    Disconnections and Timer Clause: In live tournaments with short time constraints such as the Smogon Tour, if a player disconnects or times out, the opponent may take the win. In other tournaments, if a player disconnects and contends that they could still win, the optimal solution is to recreate the exact situation the disconnection occurred at during the battle. If this is not feasible due to unreasonable battle length, highly improbable circumstances, or some other reason, the player who did not disconnect may choose to rematch with either the same teams or (the option to use) new teams. Timing out is still classified as a loss, unless the reason for timing out is a disconnection. If there is any suspicion that a disconnect was carried out deliberately to take advantage of this rule in any way, we reserve the right to exercise a harsh punishment.

    Simulator Glitches: Any battle mechanics not properly implemented in the simulator used for a tournament battle are fair game, unless explicitly banned by that tournament's rules. Illegal movesets that are not restricted by the simulator fall into this category as well. However, this does not include faulty tier scripts; for example, if there was a bug in the BW OU tier script that allowed you to use Drizzle and Swift Swim on the same team, taking advantage of this would result in disqualification in that battle. If a game breaking glitch is discovered, we will make a blanket tournament ban on that glitch via an announcement in the Tournaments forum until it is fixed.

    Ghosting: The player in a tournament battle should be the one making their own decisions. Do not tell a player what move to make in a tournament battle (i.e. do not "ghost" them), and do not make your moves based on another person's suggestions. If we are made aware that someone playing a tournament battle is making some of their moves based mainly on the suggestions of someone else, punishments may be handed out to both parties involved.

    Identity: Pretending to be another player in relation to a tournament battle is strictly prohibited. Do not try to impersonate or play as another player.

    Rule Breaking: If a player breaks a rule during a battle, they are disqualified from that particular battle. If it was a single battle in a series, they will still have the opportunity to play the rest of the series.

    Draws: If a battle ends in a draw in an elimination tournament or another tournament format that is unable to handle draws, there should be a rematch between the players with the option for both players to change teams.

    Forfeiting: A player may forfeit their battle during or after the battle, as long as the result has not been confirmed by the host. If a player forfeits before a battle commences in the first round of a tournament, they are eligible for substitution if appropriate. We highly recommend that you do not forfeit your tournament battles just because you got lucky, but we do not enforce this.

    Host / Tournament Director Decisions: The host may make a judgment call on the outcome of a battle with a disputed result, even if one player has broken the rules. If you believe the host has made an unjust decision, you may inform the Tournament Director responsible for the tournament of the situation and request that they make a final call on it.

    Sportsmanship: If a player displays exceedingly poor sportsmanship before, during, or after a tournament battle, they may be disqualified or otherwise punished.

    Hosting

    Hosting a tournament here on Smogon is one of the greatest ways to increase your involvement within the community. Some individuals believe hosting is as simple as updating a few match results, posting new rounds and calling it a day, but there is much more to it than that. Decision making is an important aspect of tournament hosting, and in addition to simply updating match results, you will almost always be required to make judgment calls regarding player activity, coin flips, and substitutions, among many other things. This may sound daunting at first, but once you get your get feet wet and overcome the hurdles presented by the busy first rounds, it tends to be smooth sailing onwards. Once your tournament comes to a close and a winner is crowned, you'll be wanting to do it all over again! Not so fast, though. Before hosting a tournament, there are a few things you must do. The following sections will help you become familiar with what is expected of you when hosting a tournament. Upon reading, you will also come across some handy tips and tricks related to tournament hosting to ensure that your tournament will run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

    Before applying to host a tournament, you should check if tournament applications are open or closed. If they are closed, it's likely because there are enough tournaments lined up in the tournaments listing queue, making additional applications unnecessary. Once the queue decreases in size sufficiently and ongoing tournaments start to finish up, tournament applications may be opened again, allowing you to submit an application to host a tournament.

    Tournament Ideas

    While we generally permit any kind of applications as long as they involve playing Pokemon on simulators (or over Wi-Fi for Wi-Fi tournaments), there are some guidelines you can follow to increase the chances of your tournament being approved by the tournament directors.
    • If you are new to the forums, you may want to lurk for a while to look at how the tournaments section works and look at the different types of tournaments that have been hosted in the past.
    • Standard Type A tournaments (see Tournament Listing and Queue) are generally permitted a few months after a previous tournament of the same tier was hosted, assuming it is a relatively popular standard metagame. The standard format for Type A tournaments is best-of-three, single elimination, but other formats will be given consideration if you can justify using them.
    • Many ideas for non-standard tournaments have been done before, but if the ideas made good tournaments in the past, they can be hosted again. We generally allow sequels to previous Type B and C tournaments, as well as Type A tournaments with special formats, to be hosted about one year after the previous rendition. If the previous host is still around, you may want to ask them whether they are planning to host it again before you apply.
    • Make sure you are not proposing a tournament of gigantic scope, and avoid excessive complexity. Unless you are a well known figure in the community, we probably won't allow you to host a 10 player per team tournament, for example. If you do want to host a complex tournament and can provide good justification for doing so, you are free to apply.
    • A general rule is that the more team building and work a player has to put in, the less activity your tournament will get. If you are using a non-standard format that requires players to build a new team during every single round, your idea had better be good enough to justify it and keep the interest of players.
    • If you have an idea that you want to get feedback about before you apply, we recommend you come onto IRC and talk about your idea in #pokemon, or PM one of the tournament directors if we are online (double-click on a user to open a PM window with them on IRC).
    Submitting Applications

    Once you have an idea down, go to the Tournament Applications forum to post a thread (Note: Threads in this forum can only be viewed by the author, the Tournament Directors, and Super Mods+. The details provided in your threads are private from the public). The application should outline the details of your tournament, including any special rules and clauses, and other information you deem important for us to know. The application should preferably be formatted in the same manner as your intended OP. The Tournament Directors will deliberate the status of the application in the thread. After posting the thread, do not reply unless prompted by the Tournament Directors. If your idea is approved, congratulations! The Tournament Directors will give you instructions in the thread for when to begin your tournament. If your tournament was not approved, the Tournament Directors will provide a brief explanation as to why it was not approved. Do not let this discourage you from sending further applications in the future. However, do keep in mind that you will not be allowed to send in an application again for the tournament you requested.

    There are a number of responsibilities placed on the host to ensure a tournament will be successful. Here are some general rules, tips, and recommendations that will hopefully help make your tournament a success. Failure to adhere to any of the rules will result in a warning and being banned from hosting future tournaments on Smogon.

    The sign up thread & subsequent rounds

    Sign up threads must last for a minimum of 24 hours to give people from varying time zones a chance to sign up for your tournament. Two or three days is a normal length of time to keep your thread open for registration, and you should generally keep to that length unless you are close to reaching 64, 96, 128, or 192 players. If you have 104 players and sign ups begin to die down after a day or so, you probably will not reach 128 players. If this is the case, close the sign ups, make the tournament 96 man, and post round 1 (read the First Come, First Serve section below to see how you should determine who gets admitted into your tournament). If you are very close to one of these numbers and you want to get your tournament started as soon as possible, you may want to ask people on IRC or the Smogon server to join in order to fill the last few places. You should not give out byes in order to reach a good number, but if you feel it is necessary, contact a Tournament Director and explain why, and we may grant you permission.

    For each round of your tournament, including the sign up period, list the rules for your tournament, a link to this thread, and the username of the Tournament Director you sent your application to at the top of your post. Do not let members who are banned from joining tournaments, are banned from the forum, or have a status of “I Could Be Banned!” under their username join your tournament. If a player becomes banned or close to being banned during a tournament, you do not need to disqualify them. If your tournament is currently in Round 1, you may substitute them out, but otherwise you should allow them to finish competing.

    You may sign up to play in your own tournament, but only if your tournament does not require you to be given any kind of submission by the players (e.g. battle logs, teams, tournament-related choices).

    First Come, First Serve

    All tournaments that don't have a specifically approved sign up method will use First Come, First Serve for the first 62.5% of the players, and then the host must select the last 37.5% from the remainder at random. Here is a table to help you understand how this works:

    [​IMG]

    To get your player list:
    • First, make a list of players that signed up for your tournament. Some hosts like to maintain a list in the first post for the duration of the sign ups to lessen the effort required to post round 1 later (example).
    • Check the table above to see how many players are given entry automatically via First Come, First Serve (the first 62.5%).
    • Copy and paste the remainder of the list into random.org's list randomizer, and take the appropriate number of players from the top of the list to fill the remaining entry slots. The rest of the players can be put into a list of potential substitutes.
    • You are now ready to generate your pairings.
    Pairings and Tournament Format

    We tend not to use seeded brackets and instead stick with generating each round's random pairings as the previous round finishes. This is a simple to understand method and helps to avoid scouting of known future opponents. Here is a bracketmaker for generating random pairings. When you post a round, be sure that all of the participants in a tournament have their usernames spelled correctly.

    Deadlines and Extensions

    This is an extremely important point. No-one likes a tournament that drags on for ages. In order for your tournament to finish in a timely fashion, each round must have a strict deadline. The maximum length of a round is two weeks, unless longer deadlines are explicitly approved by a Tournament Director. However, not every single round will need two weeks to finish. Usually, round one takes the longest to complete, so setting a two week deadline for the first round of your tournament is acceptable. Later rounds, however, should preferably be a week or so long, to encourage participants to complete their matches sooner and get the tournament moving. This partly depends on the format of your tournament. For example, if it is one that requires the players to team build in every round, you can give slightly longer deadlines. Deadlines may be extended at the host's discretion when necessary, such as in cases where many battles are incomplete. Try to avoid making a habit of doing this, and restrict any extension you do give to a maximum of three days. One way to avoid a few uncompleted matches from holding up the entire tournament is to post the next round with a couple of uncompleted pairings (e.g. (Player1 vs Player2) vs Player3).

    Activity and Disqualifications

    As a host, it is part of your responsibility to ensure your tournament’s participants are actively trying to do their matches. If a player has shown little to no activity in attempting to get their game completed, you have the right to substitute them out for another player. If the overall activity in your tournament is low, it may be in your best interest to send out private messages to the participants in your tournament in order to find out why their activity is low. Eventually, you will most likely have to make activity judgment calls with a few pairings, unless each round of your tournament has a 100% match completion rate, which is rarely the case. In order to make the fairest call possible, here are some guidelines:
    • Browse through your tournament thread to see if a player has made any activity posts. If provided, look for the reason they gave for making said activity post. Activity posts will prove helpful in making an activity decision with a pairing.
    • Typically, if someone misses a scheduled time, the person who missed the scheduled time will receive the activity loss, while the person who showed up to the scheduled time will receive the activity win. Only in the case where someone clearly refuses to schedule another time for no apparent reason should the match not be declared in favor of the person who showed up.
    • Players commonly use visitor messages as a form of communication when scheduling battles. Make sure to look at the profiles of your tournament's participants to check for message exchanges between players.
    • If user x sends a visitor message to user y and user y fails to respond completely, then it is reasonable to give user x the activity win, especially if user x has made activity posts.
    • If during exchanges between user x and user y user x takes a long time to reply while user y responds promptly, awarding the win to user y may be reasonable, depending on the circumstances.
    • What if user x and user y both make activity posts and show equal amounts of activity through their visitor messages but ultimately fail to complete their match? Well, if that's the case, you may move their match into the next round next to their following opponent. If user x and user y fail to complete their game even after the granted extension, you may flip a coin to decide who advances. If you don't want to or cannot extend the deadline, you may also flip a coin to determine who is awarded the win at the original deadline.
    • If user x and user y show no evidence of activity through visitor messages or activity posts, then they may be communicating through PM. If that's the case, you may send a PM to both players to find out what the situation surrounding their game is. If user x replies while user y does not, you may give user x the win. If both parties fail to respond, you may flip a coin to decide who advances. If you do not have time to PM the users (i.e. the deadline has already arrived) and have been given no indications of activity, you may also flip a coin.
    • If a situation cannot be handled, ask a Tournament Director to help make a decision for you.
    Activity not only pertains to players, it also pertains to hosts. Hosts are expected to maintain high levels of activity from start to finish. A host can show they care about the well being and activity in their tournament by updating match results and making substitutions quickly, as well as posting to encourage players to complete their games before the deadlines arrives. If a host lounges and shows little activity, not only does it inconvenience players, a Tournament Director may also find a replacement and potentially ban said host from future hosting.

    Follow these guidelines and you will be well on your way towards becoming a well-known and respected tournament host!

    Tournament Directors

    Below you will find a list of the current Tournament Directors for both simulator and Wi-Fi tournaments. Should you have any tournament-related questions, please don't hesitate to contact a Tournament Director. Additionally, if you ever have the urge to submit a tournament application, whether it be for simulator or Wi-Fi, send them to one of the respective Tournament Directors listed below.

    Simulator
    • Head TD Bloo
    • Oglemi
    • Eo Ut Mortus
    • Ciele
    • M Dragon
    • Aldaron
    • McMeghan
    Wi-Fi
    • Ditto
    Official Tournaments

    Smogon's official tournaments are held at least once annually and are defined as tournaments which award the winner(s) with a profile trophy. They run according to the Major Tournament Schedule. Current hosts are listed to the right of the tournaments; contact them if you have any questions about the tournament.
    Other Events

    These events generally occur once a year and are given sticky threads.
    Below you will find the list of banned hosts / players for the simulator tournaments section. For Wi-Fi, see the Wi-Fi blacklist.

    Banned from Hosting Tournaments

    Banned from Joining Tournaments
    • Alexander - Until August 1st, 2015
    • HellPowna - Until January 15th, 2015
    • Leftiez - Until October 15th, 2014
    • Maxeo - Until October 15th, 2014
    Trophies

    Trophies are awarded to the winner or winners of Smogon's Official Tournaments as well as The Pokemon Company International's Video Game World Championships. These trophies appear below the username in the postbit alongside badges, although they do not carry the same privileges that badges do. However, they are highly coveted and prestigious due to the extremely competitive nature of these tournaments. Check out the Badge & Trophy FAQ for all the current trophy holders.

    [​IMG] Official Smogon Tournament - An annual best-of-three, single elimination Standard OU tournament in the current generation. Usually reaches 512 competitors and is largely considered the most prestigious tournament in online competitive Pokemon.

    [​IMG] Smogon Tour - Designed to test competitors across a variety of metagames, this tournament involves playing the three most recent generations' OU tiers. It is hosted over the course of several weeks during which players compete in live tournaments to accumulate points. The 16 players with the most points after 9 weeks make the playoffs where they duke it out in three generations to determine the champion.

    [​IMG] Smogon Frontier - A Standard OU tournament where players challenge Frontier Brains, a collection of the best players among Smogon's staff members, and try to defeat them to win their frontier symbol. Those skilled enough to win 12 symbols earn the green trophy.

    [​IMG] World Cup of Pokemon - One of Smogon's oldest and most prestigious team tournaments. Players team up with fellow countrymen and face off against other teams in Standard OU in the attempt to bring glory to their nation. After a preliminary round of divisional play, the top 8 countries are matched up head-to-head based on their success in the opening round. Each member of the winning team, including substitutes, earns a blue trophy. Note that the WCoP trophy is not permanent unlike other trophies; only the current WCoP champions hold the trophy.

    [​IMG] Smogon Premier League - The second of Smogon's two major team tournaments. Players are drafted in a live auction and then compete against other teams each week. Nearly every one of Smogon's officially supported metagames, past and current, are represented in this tournament. After 9 weeks, the top 4 teams battle it out in the playoffs to determine the SPL champions. Each member of the winning team, including substitutes, earns a red trophy. Note that the SPL trophy is not permanent unlike other trophies; only the current SPL champions hold the trophy.

    [​IMG] Official Smogon VGC Tournament - An annual best-of-three, single elimination VGC tournament utilizing the current ruleset outlined by The Pokemon Company International. Nearly analogous to the Official Smogon Tournament, this is Smogon's most prestigious VGC tournament and attracts hundreds of competitors.

    [​IMG] Smogon Grand Slam - A multi-tier competition that's comprised of 5 separate tournaments: the Ubers Open, the UU Open, the RU Open, the NU Open, and the LC Open. Players score points based on how well they do in each tournament, and the top 8 players make the playoffs where they face off in a best-of-five in the aforementioned tiers.

    [​IMG] TPCI's Video Game World Championships - The Pokemon Company International, a corporation owned by Nintendo, hosts the Pokemon Video Game Championship Series each year. The series is made up of regional tournaments held in person around the world in which thousands of players compete. Smogon recognizes the achievements of those who win the series' World Championships by awarding them with a white trophy.

    Tournament Listing and Queue

    The Tournament Listing contains a compendium of tournaments, hosts, and winners that you can find browsing the tournaments section. It is updated usually at least once every two weeks, but usually more frequently. The first section of the thread contains the queue of upcoming tournaments which are approved but have not yet been posted. If the date or event the tournament is waiting upon has been decided by the Tournament Director who updates the thread, it will be listed alongside the tournament. Otherwise, they are listed as TBD (to be determined). The second section contains currently active tournaments, and lists the current round alongside the tournament and host. The third section contains a comprehensive list of past tournaments and their winners, and is an easy way to locate the final thread of any past tournament that ended from 2006 onwards.

    The queue is split up into three sections: Type A, Type B, and Type C. Type A represents a standard rules tournament with no twists involved other than perhaps the format of the tournament, e.g. BW Ubers Tournament -- a plain BW Ubers tournament. Type B is for tournaments that have a small but interesting twist on a standard rules tournament, and may test a different set of battling and team building skills than usual, e.g. The Gauntlet -- a tournament where having as many Pokemon alive at the end of a battle as possible gives an advantage in future battles. Type C is for tournaments that are much different to a standard rules tournament and will most likely require you to build new teams and play in an unusual format, e.g. The Wyoming Tournament -- a tournament where your entire team is decided nearly completely at random.

    We generally try to process Type A tournaments quicker than the other types, to allow for more of them in the long run -- after all, people should be able to test their skills in the metagames that they have honed their skills in. Type B and C are treated basically the same, and the distinction between them merely serves as an indicator of what to expect when participating.

    Useful Links

    Bracketmaker by Sarenji (input list of players)
    Bracketmaker by Alaka (input pairings with bold bbcode tags around winners)
    List Randomizer
    Coin Flipper
    Tournament Listing
    Major Tournament Schedule
    How to schedule a battle
    Wi-Fi Tournaments Rules
    Tournaments Home Page
    Smogon Tour Site
    Smogon Frontier Site
    World Cup of Pokemon Site
    Battle of the Week Site
    Smogon Premier League Site
    Live Wifi Tournaments Site
    Informal Tournament Engine
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2014
    Ash_F2D and Heist like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)