Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the tournament structure for championship events?
- Where can I find information about Travel Awards?
- My child wants to attend their first tournament. What should I expect?
- Can you tell me more about the Scholarships that are awarded at certain Pokémon events?
- I recently participated in a Premier event, and my rating and/or match record is wrong. What should I do?
- I played in a tournament within the last seven days, when can I expect these results to show up?
- Video Game
What is the tournament structure for championship events?
The tournament structure for events varies based on the type of event. For the most up to date information, please see https://assets.pokemon.com/assets/cms2/pdf/play-pokemon/rules/play-pokemon-vg-rules-formats-and-penalty-guidelines-en.pdf
Where can I find information about Travel Awards?
For information about Play! Pokémon Travel Awards, please see Changes to Play! Pokémon Travel Awards information at: https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-news/changes-to-play-pokemon-travel-awards/.
My child wants to attend their first tournament. What should I expect?
Due to the competitive nature tournaments, we recommend that parents discuss the topics of winning and losing, handling the pressures of competition, and good sportsmanship with their children. It is important to be a good sport, win or lose. The Pokémon Company International believes that children should be having fun in the process of competing, regardless of the outcome. First and foremost, Pokémon tournaments should be fun for all who participate, win or lose.
It is also important that players understand their responsibilities in preparing for the event. Players will need a legal deck (the format will be provided well in advance by the Tournament Organizer and noted on the Organized Play website) built to meet the regulations for that event.
If a child is new to the game, or new to tournaments, try to show up early, and have a judge look over the deck prior to the event. Judges will be happy to provide this service for your child, and it will help ensure a pleasant experience. Arriving early will also assure that the Tournament Organizer has time to answer any questions you may have, and better prepare your child for the upcoming event.
It is very important that players listen to the Tournament Organizer and/or judge when they make their announcements at the beginning of the tournament. The Tournament Organizer or judge will outline important points, such as how to report the match scores, where pairing and standing information will be posted, how to call a Judge and other pertinent information at the beginning of the tournament.
Players should understand that, even if they are familiar with this information, they need to listen and not be disruptive. All players should have the same opportunity to learn and understand the rules of play prior to an event.
You can learn more about Play! Pokémon events, at our What is Play! Pokémon page.
Can you tell me more about the Scholarships that are awarded at certain Pokémon events?
Some Play! Pokémon championship series events feature scholarship awards for top finishers. Scholarships are awarded at the U.S. National Championships and the World Championships each year.
Play! Pokémon events are divided into three age divisions, Junior (born in 2005 or later), Senior (born 2001-2004) and Masters (born 2000 or earlier). Any and all competitors in good standing are welcome to compete in championship series events.
Answers to many frequently asked questions, as well as all of the necessary forms for collecting scholarship awards can be found at: Play! Pokémon scholarship awards.
I recently participated in a Premier event, and my rating and/or match record is wrong. What should I do?
Go to Pokémon.com to find the tournament you participated in. Contact the Tournament Organizer of record for the event and report the problem to him or her.
If the issue is related to your record during the tournament, the Tournament Organizer will then contact Pokémon Organized Play to have the record corrected for that match. If the Tournament Organizer does not respond to you within three days, submit a support request at support.pokemon.com, with the subject “Match Record Appeal” and the Organized Play team will do what it can to assist you. Please note that without confirmation from the Tournament Organizer, Pokémon Organized Play may be unable to make any changes to a match record.
I played in a tournament within the last seven days, when can I expect these results to show up?
Player stats are not updated until events are uploaded. Events are due to be uploaded within seven days of the event date. If your stats have still not been updated after seven days, please contact the organizer directly. If necessary, you may also contact us again if you are unable to resolve the issue with your local organizer.
When contacting the organizer, or Organized Play department, please include as much detail about the event as possible including the tournament ID, event date, location and city and state in your support request.
In addition, in order for many of your stats to appear on your profile page, you MUST have a fully activated and consented Pokémon Trainer Club account and have checked "Yes" in the Play! Pokémon Preferences section of your Trainer Club profile.
Why can’t I use a game card from a different region?
Refer to the Video Game Rules, Formats, & Penalty Guidelines for region legality. Some events limit what region-specific hardware is usable due to tournament operation requirements.
How can I tell if my Pokémon are legal for tournament play?
The VGC staff uses special software to ensure that a player's team is legal for competition. This software only scans the Pokémon and items being used for the competition. It verifies that all of their information falls within the parameters of what is possible to achieve through normal game play.
This software is not available to the general public. The only way to ensure that your team is legal for competition is to only use Pokémon and items that you have received through normal game play.
How will you verify that my Pokémon have not been modified by an external device?
We are not able to discuss the extent of verification that will be used during the Video Game Championship series. Additionally, we cannot provide you with any information about checking your own Pokémon by yourself.
As a player you are advised to use only Pokémon that you have raised yourself and items that you have received through normal game play.
How does auto-leveling affect my Pokémon?
During the tournament, all Pokémon are set to Lv. 50 during battle. Their stats are adjusted accordingly. All other aspects of the Pokémon remain the same, including moves known and Evolution.
For example, during a battle, a Lv. 100 Hydreigon that learned Outrage at Lv. 79 would be reduced to Lv. 50 and its stats would be adjusted to what they would be at Lv. 50. Though this would put Hydreigon below the level at which it evolved from Zweilous (as well as below the level at which it learned Outrage), it would remain a Hydreigon that knows Outrage. After the battle, Hydreigon would be returned to Lv. 100 and its stats would return to normal.
Why are some of the cards I bought no longer legal for use in official events?
Only cards that are part of the Modified format may be used in official events. When older cards can no longer be used in official events, it is because they have been rotated out of the Modified format. Pokémon Organized Play has created the Modified format for several reasons.
The primary reason is accessibility. If older sets were not rotated out of the tournament format, new players would have to find cards that have been out of print for five or more years to be competitive. This entry barrier negatively impacts the growth of organized play.
The second reason is creativity. By removing older staple cards from the environment, a player’s deck building skills are challenged by requiring them to find new avenues to victory. If sets were not rotated out of the tournament format creativity would stagnate, and players would begin to grow disinterested because they would feel that they game had nothing new to offer them.
The final reason is balance. As the available card pool grows, the number of possible card combinations increases exponentially. It becomes increasingly difficult for the R&D department to monitor what all of these combinations are, and to prevent combos which have a negative impact on a player’s game play experience.
Prior to the start of the next tournament season, a list of expansion card sets that will be legal for the season will be announced. You can find this list by watching the news at http://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-news/#/play-pokemon-news
Individual cards that are removed from competitive play and card errata are also announced here.
All Pokémon Organized Play Premier Events use the Expanded and Modified tournament formats, as we feel that they are the healthiest formats for players of all skill levels. Pokémon Organized Play also supports the Unlimited format, which allows players to use cards from any set.
If you would like to play in Unlimited tournaments, please contact your local Tournament Organizer to request such events.
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