Tournament Rules and General Guidelines

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Luigi

If two trainers' oo's meet, they have to battle!
is a Tutoris a Tournament Directoris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor
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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.

Tournament Hosting guide can be found by clicking on Munchlax


Scheduling guide can be found by clicking on Scizor


How to play in Smogon Tournaments

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. Let them know when you think you will be ready to play, your timezone, and maybe your availability if you know what that will be. 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. Check this thread for more information on this subject.
    • 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 only in RBY and GSC) 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 BW and ORAS) Swagger Clause: A player can not use the move Swagger
  • (Standard only in ORAS and SM) Endless Battle Clause: Players cannot intentionally prevent an opponent from being able to end the game without forfeiting.
Self-KO Clause and Ties
  • Self-KO Clause is an antiquated concept that is not used in Smogon tournaments. The one exception to the rule is if the tournament is live (weekly Smogon Tour, Suspect Tours, etc.). For all standard tournaments here this rule does not exist. It Does Not Exist.

    If both Pokemon faint simultaneously in DPP, ADV, GSC, or RBY, the game is ruled as a tie. Tied games do not count as played games in overall standings and will be expected to be replayed within the round's initial deadline. Similarly to this, tied games do not count towards the total number of games played in "best of X" series. In other words, if a tournament includes "Bo3" RBY, what is really being played is "first to two wins" RBY.

    However, ties simply don't exist in later generations. The developers removed ties from BW and have not added them back since. There's a lot of inconsistency with the mechanics of their tiebreaking system but Smogon follows them to stay true to the cartridge. The main ones are listed below:

    Note: The following list is for SM, XY, and BW, and not for DPP, ADV, GSC, or RBY

    Self-KO Moves (Destiny Bond, Explosion, Final Gambit, etc.):
    Attacking Pokemon Loses

    Offensive Recoil (Life Orb; Double-Edge, Flare Blitz, etc.):
    Attacking Pokemon Wins

    Defensive Recoil (Rocky Helmet; Iron Barbs, Rough Skin):
    Attacking Pokemon Wins (SM)
    Attacking Pokemon Loses (XY and BW)

    Passive Damage (Status, Weather, etc.):
    Faster Pokemon Loses

General Tournament Rules

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 will be given the win, unless the player that timed out was in a position where they couldn't possibly lose. In other tournaments, if a player disconnects and contends that they could still win, the battle will be recreated by the Tournament Directors from the point of interruption. 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.

Cheating: Cheating in it's various forms is entirely prohibited. Players found to be cheating will suffer Tournament Bans and be infracted accordingly. Some forms of cheating may lead to the match that the cheating happened in being replayed, while others don't. What consists of cheating can be found later on in this thread, though it is always up to TD discretion. Repeated offenders are always treated more harshly, as are people in positions of power such as Tournament Directors and Managers. Admitting to cheating might get your punishment reduced by up to 25% of it's length. We reserve the right to offer immunity to a cheater in exchange for information regarding cheating.

Timer: The timer is always on during tournament games. The rules for what happens in case of a disconnection can be found here.

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. You may request that your opponent log on to their main account to confirm that they are who they claim they are, and they must comply.

Draws: If a battle ends in a draw in an elimination tournament or team tournament, there should be a rematch between the players with the option for both players to change teams.

Throwing: Losing on purpose to benefit your opponent is strictly forbidden, and will lead to the person throwing being Tournament Banned. What constitutes throwing is up to the Tournament Directors' discretion.

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.

[NEW] Player Agreements: Players are allowed to make agreements about their game before it happens, as long as it doesn't break the rules of the tier that the game is happening in, for example agreeing to "No Snorlax GSC OU" is acceptable, but agreeing to "Celebi allowed GSC OU" isn't. The players are not allowed to agree to play a different generation than what they were paired up in, nor a different game. It should also be noted that this is all entirely based on honor, Tournament Directors would not hand out a loss to a player that agreed not to bring Snorlax and then brought it.

Server: All tournament battles should be played on the Smogtours server. If a valid reason is provided and both players agree, playing on the Main server is acceptable, though know that you risk a recreate not being possible should either player time out. Playing anywhere else is unacceptable.

Forum Bans: Users banned from the forums will be disqualified from any tournaments they are in, except under exceptional circumstances. More information can be found here.

[NEW] Playing on a Proxy: Any user playing on a proxy is subject to being disqualified from tournaments, if their behaviour is suspicious.

Playing before the round is up: Any game played before the round is officially posted doesn't count. The only exception to this is explained here.


Cheating

Tournament Bans: Anyone found to be guilty of cheating as defined below will be tournament banned for the appropriate length of time. Being tournament banned means immediate disqualification from all tournaments you are currently in, the inability to join any new tournaments or post in the tournament forum for as long as the tournament ban lasts, a 2 point infraction and a red Custom Title that demarks you as tournament banned.

Ghosting: Ghosting is defined as giving any piece of advice to someone playing a game. Any form of direct advice is considered ghosting. A player should be able to make their own decisions based on what they observe by themselves. Asking for suggestions or affirmation adds an unfair dynamic and greatly reduces the chances of making mistakes. Our tournaments are designed to be tests of individual skill, not the skill of one player with the support of others providing suggestions or preventing bad plays. Playing a game while in a voice call with someone else will always be treated as ghosting of the highest severity.

The punishment for ghosting is a Tournament Ban that can range anywhere from 3 months to 1 year, depending on a series of factors.

Note that all of this applies to the Smogtours lobby, as such no suggesting of moves or speculation on the sets of either players will be tolerated.

[NEW] Leaking Teams: Giving someone's intended team to their opponent is strictly forbidden. If this is found to happen any games that were compromised by counter teaming of this sort will be nullified, and the proper course of action will be taken depending on the tournament. If a team gets leaked to you, it is your duty to tell a Tournament Director, if you fail to do so you are complicit in the cheating.

The punishment for leaking is a Tournament Ban that can range anywhere from 3 months to 1 year, depending on a series of factors.

Collusion: Any attempt to get your opponent to throw or forfeit is unacceptable and will be met with a 3 month Tournament Ban for both the person requesting the throw and the person that threw.

Impersonating: Impersonating someone in a tournament game will get you Tournament Banned for 1 year, letting someone impersonate you in a tournament game will get both involved parties Tournament banned for 1 year.

Falsifying Results: Claiming to win a battle you didn't win will be punished by a 1 year Tournament Ban. Always be prepared to prove that a game happened.

DDOS'ing: Any attempts to tamper with someone's internet connection during a tournament battle will be punished with a permanent Tournament Ban.

Joining a Tournament More than Once: You may only join each tournament once. Signing up to a tournament multiple times by using other accounts will get every account disqualified, the alternate accounts forum banned and the main account Tournament Banned for 1 year.

Joining Tournaments on Alts: Even if you only join with 1 account, joining a tournament on an alt is not allowed and will be punished with a 3 month Tournament Ban.

Team Tournament Rules

Being a Team Cancer: If a player signs up and is picked for a team tournament they are expected to a show a minimum level of activity, and to contribute to their team's success. If the managers of a team believe their player is acting improperly they may get in contact with the TD team about it, and if they can prove their player is behaving in a way that we define to be "cancerous" the player in question will be Tournament banned for 3 months and banned from joining team tournaments for 1 year. Should this happen in SPL the team will be compensated with a free pick + half the value of the player (if before round 1) or with the ability to sellback that player at midseason.

Manager Conduct: Managers in team tournaments are held to a higher standard than players when it comes to upholding the rules, as such any cheating done by a manager will be punished more harshly than the same crime would if committed by a player. More specifically, managers found to be cheating will be exempt from participating in the next 2 iterations of the tour they cheated in, as well as never being allowed to manage again. There are also certain types of cheating that wouldn't result in punishment for a regular user, but would if a manager did it, such as offering ghosting or drafting an alt on purpose.

Regular users that have been tournament banned are also not allowed to manage for 2 years after their tournament ban expires.

On the ruling of calculations and other timesavers:

Player-requested calculations and other objective timesavers* are allowed. The driving force behind allowing objective timesavers is that these actions require only minimal effort and/or the information is publicly available and easily accessed by the player in the context of the battle. The act of giving other players this information is largely considered negligible and only exists to save time.​
* It is incredibly important to understand that only objective timesavers that provide trivial information are allowed. There are ways that players can provide seemingly OK information that implies a move, thought process, or a route of action; this is not allowed and is considered ghosting.​
If you're not sure if an action is acceptable or not, look at this list:​
Requesting that a teammate do a calculation for you to save time: Allowed​
Doing a calculation that was requested by the player: Allowed.​
Linking the player a RMT of the team they are facing: Allowed.​
Linking the player a public replay where their opponent uses the same team they are facing: Allowed.​
Pointing out that their timer is low: Allowed.​
Asking about a mechanic: Allowed.​
Answering an objective question about mechanics: Allowed.​
Doing any calculation that was not requested by the player: Not Allowed.​
Speculation of any kind, such as (this Landorus has to be scarf): Not Allowed.​
Linking the player a private replay where their opponent uses the same team they are facing: Not Allowed.​
Suggesting moves of any kind: Extremely Not Allowed.​
General Information

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.



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, which also provides a link to the Tournament specific forums where your questions may be answered. Current hosts are listed to the right of the tournaments; contact them if you have any questions about the tournament.
 
Last edited:

Luigi

If two trainers' oo's meet, they have to battle!
is a Tutoris a Tournament Directoris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor
Moderator
#2
All new tournament-wide rules will be announced in this thread, to start things off:

Playing on a proxy:
We've had many cases of playing on proxies lately and while we understand that in some situations the use of a proxy may be necessary, it makes it extremely hard for us to determine whether someone is a legitimate player or an alt.

So from now on, if we detect suspicious proxy activity on an account, we reserve the right to disqualify that account from any tournaments it is participating in. This does not mean that any use of proxies is completely banned, merely that if we are reasonably certain someone is using them to circumvent the rules, we can act on it.
 
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