Tournament Rules: How to Join or Host a Tournament - APPLICATIONS OPEN

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Kevin Garrett

is a competitor
is a Top Tutor Alumnusis a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Site Staff Alumnusis an Artist Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis the Smogon Tour Season 12 Championis a Past SPL Champion

Simulator Tournament Applications: OPEN

Wi-Fi Tournament Applications: OPEN

Welcome to the Smogon Tournaments Forum!

This thread is required reading for those of you interested in hosting or joining a tournament. It will have everything you need to know to be a successful tournamentgoer. It's important that you know all the rules because there are repercussions to not following them. Take a few minutes to read through this so that never happens to you.


The first thing you need to do when you are looking to host a tournament is getting approval from a Tournament Director. Here are the steps necessary to follow in order to get your tournament approved.
  • Check to see if tournament applications are open or closed. If they are open, then you can apply to host a tournament.
  • Send an application to a Tournament Director via PM with a summary of your tournament including special rules, standard clauses, and anything else you deem important for us to know. It is best if you format it with what you intend the sign-up OP to look like so there is nothing left out. Do not send it to more than one Tournament Director.
  • After you have submitted your tournament application, the Tournament Director you sent your application to will notify you that it has been received and will go through an approval process between all of the Tournament Directors.
  • If your tournament was approved, the Tournament Director you sent your application to will notify you that your tournament has been approved. There will be instructions for when to begin your tournament.
  • If your tournament was not approved, the Tournament Director you sent your application to will notify you that your tournament has not been approved. You will not be allowed to send in an application again for the tournament you requested. Doing so can result in consequences.
Since we often have a significant number of tournaments running at once and tournament applications being submitted, we have devised a Queue system that allows us to order tournaments for when we feel they are appropriate to run. We break tournament applications down into three categories that will be sent into the Queue system if they are approved. The description of the categories are listed below.
  • Type A is a tournament that simply plays out the rules of a standard/accepted metagame. Examples would be an "Ubers" tournament or an "ADV OU" tournament. These are "competitive", and can also extend into team tournaments (Team Trials) or tournaments of higher prestige (Sneak).
  • Type B is a tournament that takes the rules of a standard/accepted metagame but adds some sort of niche/twist to them or slightly changes them. An example is FUK DRAGON or Gauntlet. These are for the most part "competitive" as they still appeal to the competitive player.
  • Type C is gimmick tournaments or tournaments where the rules are completely nonstandard or play in some format where you need to make a new team every round. Examples are StreetPKMN, Mono or Wyoming. These are "non competitive" in the sense that they do not always appeal to the competitive player, but are still enjoyable meanders from standard play.
The Queue split will serve the purpose of identifying the needs of the tournament forum at any given time (Old Gen tournaments before SPL, OU tournaments when the tiers change, etc). The "Priority" Queue will hold a maximum of 3 tournaments and will be primarily for Type A tournaments. The "Standard" Queue will hold a maximum of 6 tournaments and will be primarily for Type B and C tournaments.

Both Queues will be updated in the Tournament Listing thread.

There are a number of responsibilities placed on the host to ensure a tournament will be successful. Failure to adhere to any of the rules will result in a warning and being banned from hosting future tournaments on Smogon. Here is a list of requirements you will need to fulfill while you are hosting your tournament.
  • For each round of your tournament, list the rules for your tournament and a link to this thread. In addition, you will post the name of the tournament director who you sent your tournament application to.
  • 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 nickname join your tournament. A list of members banned from joining tournaments is listed at the below.
    • If a player becomes close to/or becomes banned during a tournament, do not disqualify the player who is close to being banned. Substitute a banned player, only in round one, or at anytime if you are hosting a team tournament. Players whose status become negative during your tournament does not make you break the rules.
  • All non-official 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 randomize amongst the remainder of signups for the last 37.5%.
  • All non-official tournaments must keep their sign-up threads open for a minimum of 36 hours.
  • Tournaments on Smogon are generally random pairings. However, we have now started allowing Swiss Format tournaments and Round Robin. Swiss needs to be extremely strict though, and Round Robin is meant to be kept small. Here is a bracketmaker for random pairings.
  • When you post a round, be sure that all of the participants in a tournament have their usernames spelled correctly.
  • Every round must have a deadline. This way your tournament will finish in a timely fashion.
    • The maximum length for an individual tournament round is two weeks, unless they have longer deadlines explicitly approved by a Tournament Director.
  • The rules of a tournament cannot be changed in the middle of a round or in between rounds without the approval of a Tournament Director.
  • If players are not completing their battles, contact them via the Smogon PM system, or any other contact method.
  • If there are a lot of incomplete battles, allow for a deadline extension. Do not make it too long, and avoid giving them if at all possible.
    • The next round must be posted a maximum of 24 hours after the deadline (with extensions if applicable).
  • Disqualify players fairly.
    • If two players are trying to complete their match and there are not many matches left to complete your round at the deadline, move their match into the next round next to their following opponent.
    • If one player is very active while another is not, disqualify the inactive player.
    • If both players are inactive, flip a coin.
    • If a situation cannot be handled, ask a Tournament Director to help make a decision for you.
Here is a list of standard clauses used in Smogon Tournaments for reference. These rules apply to all tournaments under all circumstances, unless otherwise approved by a Tournament Director.
  • Species Clause: A player cannot have two of the same pokémon on their team. For example, a player cannot have two Koffing on his or her team.
  • Sleep Clause: A player cannot put two or more different opposing Pokémon to sleep using attacks that induce sleep to opposing pokémon.
  • Evasion Clause: A player cannot increase their Pokémon's evasion stat with a move that specifically increases evasion. Items or indirect boosts do not break this clause.
  • OHKO Clause: Players cannot use Horn Drill, Guillotine, Sheer Cold, or Fissure in any of their Pokémon's movesets.
  • Battle Timeout: If a player exhausts the timer, he/she loses.
Finally, there are some additional rules and regulations for hosts of Wi-Fi Tournaments. Here is a list of of responsibilities for those of you hosting a Wi-Fi Tournament.
  • Do not let members who are on the Wifi Blacklist in Smogon's Wi-Fi forum join your tournament. That goes for both battling and trading.
  • Prizes in Wi-Fi are allowed.
    • Be sure that you can follow through with your prize offered.
    • If your prize is a Pokémon, be sure that you can send it to a person via their Friend Code.

If you are playing in a tournament you also have a set of rules to follow. Failure to comply with the rules will result in a warning. Repeat offenders will be in danger of being banned from playing in tournaments. Here is a list of responsibilities you have as a player in a tournament.
  • Read and understand all of the rules of a tournament before joining. If you do not understand a rule, ask the tournament host.
  • Make sure that you are capable of participating for the entire time. Should there be any problems participating, and you need to drop out of the tournament, contact the tournament host and your opponent. Only drop out if you have a valid reason for doing so.
  • If you are in the tournament and at any time change your username, notify the tournament host and your opponent immediately. This solves hosting problems and player contacting issues.
  • Get your match done on time. The tournament host has a lot of things to keep track. It is an additional job for the host if they have to track you down. Read this thread for How to schedule a battle.
  • Do not stall or freeze the timer.
  • Be a good sport. Nobody likes a spoil sport.
  • Decisions made by the tournament host are final. Unless it is a crucial and possibly unjust decision, then contact the Tournament Director listed in the thread for their help. If the Tournament Director decides it’s worth looking into, then they will make a call.
  • You may only use Pokémon, movesets, items, etc. that are available on the Smogon University server unless otherwise stated by an individual tournament's specific rules.
  • Do not give advice to players during their tournament battles.
There are a few additional rules you should know if you are playing in a Wi-Fi tournament. Here is what you need to know.
  • If you are on the Smogon Wi-Fi Blacklist, you are not allowed to join a Wi-Fi tournament.
  • Send a Smogon forum PM to your opponent at the beginning of each round to exchange Friend Codes.
General Philosophy on Glitches

Adhering to cartridge mechanics in the simulator is the program writer's responsibility and duty. The players have a duty to attempt to win within the confines of the game presented to them (simulator, not cartridge).

With that said, we have decided to compile an exhaustive list of all aspects of the simulator game that do not function as the cartridge does. This list is under continuous development.

From this list, we will ban glitches that we feel make the game unplayable or "break" the game, as judged subjectively by us. All other glitches will be fair game, since given the list we are creating, there are simply far too many that can be used in too many situations to change the game. It would be impossible to regulate them all.

List of Glitches currently banned

Tournament Directors (Simulator)
Earthworm (head)
Kevin Garrett

Tournament Directors (Wi-Fi)

Special Event Hosts (contact for anything relating to these events)
Official Smogon Tournament - Earthworm
Smogon Tour - Bloo / Kevin Garrett
Smogon Frontier - Kevin Garrett
World Cup of Pokémon - pending
Smogon Premier League - Synre
Battle of the Week - Iconic / Bloo

Banned from creating a tournament list
Sikh Assassin
L E A V E1
Aeroblacktyl (1 year from 17th Feb 2012)

Banned from joining a tournament list
Aeroblacktyl (1 year from 17th Feb 2012)

We hope this guide helps you if and when you host or join a tournament in the future on Smogon. If there is anything that does not make sense, feel more than free to contact a Tournament Director. You can send a PM through the Smogon PM system, or join us on IRC. You'll more than likely find at least one of us.

Thank you,
The Tournament Directors
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