General Game Play Rules:
- All matches are played in Doubles format
- Pokemon above Level 50 will be brought down to 50 for the match while those below 50 will stay as-is
- Players choose 4 of their 6 registered Pokemon after team preview
- Pokémon must meet all three of the following conditions to be eligible for use:
- Pokémon must be found in the Coastal Kalos, Central Kalos, or Mountain Kalos Pokédex (Full list can be found here)
- Pokémon must have been obtained in Pokémon X or Y (identifiable by a blue pentagon on the stats screen)
- Mewtwo, Xerneas, Yveltal, and Zygarde are banned
- Species Clause: No two Pokémon can share the same Pokédex number.
- Item Clause: No two Pokémon can hold the same held item.
If you’d like to read about specific situations that may arise or just so you know every detail before the events, keep reading below or download the PDF!
This section contains tournament rules specific to the Pokémon video games. All attendees are expected to comply with the applicable sections of these rules while attending a Play! Pokémon tournament
1. Game Versions
Only legitimate versions of Pokémon X or Pokémon Y can be used in Play! Pokémon tournaments. This includes downloadable versions of Pokémon X or Pokémon Y. Players are restricted on which region Game Cards they can use, based on the country where they are playing.
- Players at European events may only use European Game Cards.
- Players at North American events may only use North American Game Cards.
- Players at the World Championships may only use Game Cards that are legal in their home markets.
1.1. Game Systems
Players may use any system in the Nintendo 3DS™ family of systems during the competition. This includes the Nintendo 3DS™, Nintendo 3DS XL™, and Nintendo 2DS™. Players are responsible for bringing a charger that is compatible with their system.
- Players at European events may only use systems in the European Nintendo 3DS™ family.
- Players at North American events may only use systems in the North American Nintendo 3DS™ family.
- Players at the World Championships may only use Game Cards and systems that are legal in their home markets.
2. Team Restrictions
Players may only use Pokémon that are legal for the tournament format. Players are responsible for ensuring that their team adheres to any restrictions set forth by the tournament format and this document.
2.1. Illegally Manipulated Pokémon
The use of external devices, such as a mobile app, to modify or create items or Pokémon in a player’s party is expressly forbidden. Players found to have Pokémon or items that have been tampered with will be disqualified from competition, regardless of whether the Pokémon or items belong to that player or were traded for. POP recommends players only use Pokémon that they have raised themselves and items that they have received through normal game play. It is always the player’s responsibility to have legal Pokémon and items during the competition.
A player’s Battle Box may be checked at any time for illegal Pokémon. Any Masters Division player who fails this check may be immediately disqualified and be unable to participate in the tournament.
2.2. Trainer and Pokémon Names
Players are responsible for using appropriate names for their Trainer character and any Pokémon placed in their Battle Box. Players must avoid the use of obscene or otherwise offensive words or phrases when naming their Trainer or their Pokémon.
3. Battle Box Team Registration
Before the first round of a tournament, Battle Box team registration may occur. All players must set up their Battle Box, including all Pokémon and held items they intend to use, before they register for the tournament. This Battle Box will then be locked by a member of the tournament staff. After the Battle Box has been locked, players are not allowed to change their Pokémon or items at any time during a tournament. In addition, after the Battle Box is locked, players may not select “Cancel Participation” unless they intend to drop from the tournament.
4. Time Limits
Tournament staff is responsible for running a timely event. To assist in this effort, POP has established guidelines for time limits during various portions of the event. Players may take notes at any time during their match but must begin each match with a blank sheet.
4.1. Pre-game Time Limit
Players will have 90 seconds to view their opponent’s team and select their Pokémon.
4.2. Mid-game Time Limit
Any mid-game effects, such as selecting a move or retreating Pokémon, are to take place within the 45 seconds allocated per turn.
4.3. Match Time Limits
Single-game matches will be 15 minutes. For best-of-three matches, each game in the match will be 15 minutes.
5. Technical Issues
Over the course of a tournament, a player’s game connection may become disrupted in a number of ways.
5.1. Single Frozen Game State
If one player’s game system is stuck in an unfixable frozen game state and it can be determined which player’s Game Card or system is responsible for the frozen state, the player whose game system is frozen will receive a game loss.
5.2. Double Frozen Game State
If both players’ game systems are stuck in an unfixable frozen game state and it cannot be determined which player’s Game Card or system is responsible for the frozen state, both players will receive a tie for that game.
5.3. Game State Disruption
Players should attempt to fix any game disruption by checking their 3DS systems and making sure they are aligned properly. If issues persist, contact a judge for immediate assistance. If consistent disruptions are determined to be due to actions on the part of a player, the judge may issue an appropriate penalty as outlined in the Pokémon Penalty Guidelines.
6. Match Resolution
A player wins by making his or her opponent’s final Pokémon faint.
- If the player’s final Pokémon used Selfdestruct, Explosion, Destiny Bond, or Final Gambit, and both players’ final Pokémon faint as a result, the player who used the move loses that game.
- If a player’s final Pokémon used Double‐Edge, Volt Tackle, Flare Blitz, Take Down, Submission, Brave Bird, Wood Hammer, Head Smash, Struggle, Head Charge, or Wild Charge, or was holding Life Orb, and both players’ final Pokémon faint as a result, the player who used the move wins that game.
- If both players’ final Pokémon faint due to a weather condition, such as Hail or Sandstorm, the player whose Pokémon faints last wins the game. This includes the effects of Perish Song.
- If a Pokémon’s Ability (such as Rough Skin, Aftermath, Liquid Ooze, or Iron Barbs) or held item (such as Rocky Helmet) results in each player’s final Pokémon fainting, the player whose Pokémon had the Ability or held item wins the game.
A player who selects “Run” during a battle will count as the loser of that game, whether selected intentionally or not.
Should the time limit expire before a player makes his or her opponent’s final Pokémon faint, the winner of the game is determined based on the criteria below.
- Remaining Pokémon
- If one player has more remaining Pokémon than the other, that player wins the game.
- If both players have the same number of Pokémon remaining, the result of the game is determined by average percentage of HP remaining, as described below.
- Average Percentage of HP Remaining
- If one player’s team has a higher average percentage of HP remaining, that player wins the game.
- If both players’ teams have the same average HP remaining, the result of the game is determined by amount of HP remaining, as described below.
- Amount of Total HP Remaining
- If one player’s team has a higher total HP remaining, that player wins the game.
- If both players’ teams have the same total HP remaining, the result of the game is a tie.
6.2. Sudden Death
If a game ends in a tie during the single-elimination portion of an event, a single Sudden Death game is played to determine the winner of the match. Players are required to gain an advantage in number of remaining Pokémon over their opponent. Tournament staff will evaluate the game at the end of each turn to determine if an advantage has been gained. After each turn has been completed, the tournament staff will determine the number of Pokémon that each player has remaining.
- If both players have the same number of Pokémon remaining at the end of the turn, the game continues for another turn.
- If a player has more remaining Pokémon than his or her opponent at the end of any turn, that player wins the game.
6.3. Determining the Outcome of a Best-of-Three Match
Use the following criteria, in order, to determine the outcome of a match that is unresolved after any given game has ended. After one of the criteria has been met, none of the others are applied.
- The players proceed to game 2.
- If the winner of game 2 also won game 1, that player wins the match. If the winner of game 2 did not win game 1, players proceed to game 3.
- The winner of game 3 wins the match.
Pokémon Video Game Tournament Formats
Pokémon Organized Play supports several tournament formats for sanctioned play of the Pokémon video games. This document covers each of the approved formats and their variations. Tournaments that do not use one of the formats described here may not be sanctioned.
7. Standard Format Style
All sanctioned Pokémon video game tournaments require players to assemble a team of Pokémon, with items, prior to the start of the event. The standard format style for all Play! Pokémon tournaments is Double Battle.
7.1. Double Battle
In Double Battles, each player selects four Pokémon from his or her party of six to battle with. At the start of the battle, players send out the first two Pokémon in their party, making a total of four Pokémon on the battlefield. Game play continues until a player makes all four of his or her opponent’s Pokémon faint.
8. Standard Team Construction Rules
When building a team for a Play! Pokémon tournament, all players must adhere to these standard construction rules.
- A player’s team cannot contain two Pokémon with the same Pokédex number.
- Each Pokémon on a player’s team can hold an item, though no two Pokémon may hold the same item.
- A player’s team cannot contain two Pokémon with the same nickname.
- A player’s team cannot contain a Pokémon nicknamed with the name of another Pokémon (for example, an Unfezant named “Pidove”).
- Pokémon may only use moves that have been learned through one of the following methods:
- By leveling up
- By TM or HM
- As an Egg Move, through breeding
- From a character in the game
- A move already known by a Pokémon received at an official Pokémon event or promotion
9. Sanctioned Format
Pokémon Organized Play supports one format for sanctioned play: Standard. Sanctioned events are listed on the POP website, and the results are reported to POP after the event concludes.
9.1. Standard Format
The Standard format is the standard tournament format for Play! Pokémon video game events. This format will be used at all premier events unless specified otherwise. The Standard format for the 2014 season will use the following restrictions:
- Only Pokémon X and Pokémon Y Game Cards or downloadable versions are permitted for use.
- Players may use Pokémon from the Central Kalos Pokédex from #001 to #150, Coastal Kalos Pokédex from #001 to #153, or Mountain Kalos Pokédex from #001 to #147.
- Pokémon must be placed in the Battle Box.
- Pokémon are allowed to Mega Evolve.
- Pokémon above Level 50 are permitted, but they are auto-leveled down to 50 for the duration of battle.
- Players may use Pokémon with Hidden Abilities.
- Players may use items that have been officially released via Pokémon X, Pokémon Y, the Pokémon Global Link, or an official event or promotion.
9.2. Kalos Native
Pokémon used in the Standard Format must be native to the Kalos region in Pokémon X or Pokémon Y. A native Pokémon is a Pokémon that is hatched or caught in Pokémon X or Pokémon Y. Pokémon that have been transferred to Pokémon X or Pokémon Y via Pokémon Bank or Poké Transporter are not native.
10. Unsanctioned Fun Formats
The formats listed below are intended as a fun, alternate way to play the Pokémon video game and are not recognized as sanctioned formats. These formats are great for Leagues, casual gatherings, or side events. The official rules for these formats are included here to help provide consistency for cases when your Tournament Organizer or League Leader decides to run an unsanctioned event using one of these formats.
10.1. Single Battle
The Single Battle format is the basic battle format, where two Pokémon battle one-on-one.
10.2. Triple Battle
The Triple Battle format allows each player to send out three Pokémon at a time, with one Pokémon in the center and the two remaining Pokémon to its left and right. Pokémon are limited as to which opposing Pokémon can be affected by moves based on where they are positioned on the battlefield.
10.3. Rotation Battle
In this format, each player sends out three Pokémon at a time, with one Pokémon to the front and two Pokémon to the rear. Only the Pokémon in the front can attack. Before they attack, players have the option of rotating the team, allowing one of the Pokémon in the rear to move to the front and the Pokémon in the front to move to the rear.
***NOTICE: TOURNAMENT DIRECTORS HAVE THE OPTION TO USE ANY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING FORMATS: SINGLE ELIMINATION, DOUBLE ELIMINATION, AND ROUND ROBIN.***
Game Prizes Information:
- 1st – $25 Best Buy Gift Card