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Pokémon Tournament Information
Do you want to compete against other players in the Pokémon TCG or Pokémon video game on a regular basis? Do you enjoy testing your decks or fine-tuning your teams? Chances are you would get a lot out of our sanctioned Pokémon tournaments.
Major changes have been implemented for the 2011-2012 Play! Pokémon season. Check out the news announcement for details on the major changes in store for the 2011-2012 season!
Pokémon Tournament Overview
Pokémon tournaments take place at stores worldwide, and offer a competitive atmosphere where trainers can meet each other in a friendly match, using their own their own 60-card deck or team of six Pokémon. The more competitive Premier Event series offer great prizes and allow players to establish ratings and rankings.
How do I find Pokémon tournaments in my area?
Tournaments take place worldwide, year-round. To find out where you can compete in your area, find a Pokémon tournament near you. If your search turns up nothing, keep checking back—new tournaments are added daily!
How can I become a Pokémon tournament organizer?
Tournament organizers provide a key role in the Play! Pokémon program, and it is easy to get started. If you're an organizer interested in seeing what kind of organized play we have available, learn more about organizing Pokémon tournaments.
Player Rules and Resources
It's easy to play by the rules once you know them. There are general rules to the game, and Pokémon tournaments have their own specific rules. We offer other great resources for new players and the parents of players, too.
All Play! Pokémon Premier events in North America, other than those that use a Limited Format (such as Prereleases), are FREE! Organizers may charge for side events run at these tournaments.
The following Play! Pokémon Premier events are open to all players who would like to attend:
- Battle Roads Tournaments
- City Championships
- States-Province-Territory Championships
- Regional Championships
Some Play! Pokémon events have are invitation only or have other restrictions or requirements to play. Please review the event specific FAQ’s for the following events in order to learn more:
- Pokémon National Championships
- Pokémon World Championships
Players taking part in Play! Pokémon tournaments are grouped by age division. The divisions are:
- Junior Division: Players born in 2002 or later
- Senior Division: Players born in 1998, 1999, 2000 or 2001
- Masters Division: Players born in 1997 or earlier
To participate in the event, you must be a player in good standing and abide by the Pokémon Tournament Rules and all other applicable event rules. Players who are found to be in violation of the rules of eligibility are subject to suspension from Pokémon Organized Play and to the loss of prizes, including, but not limited to, invitations and travel awards.
In addition, players should be aware of the following:
- A player’s deck (for TCG) or team (For VG) must comply with the Modified Format as outlined in the Pokémon Tournament Rules.
- All players are expected to bring their Player ID card, if they have one. If they have not previously been given a Player ID, one can be obtained at the event.
- Players should review the Pokémon Tournament Rules for more information about what to bring to an event.
- Every qualified player must have an updated Pokémon Trainer Club account in order to be eligible for a Travel Award.
Play! Pokémon Premier TCG events are run using the Modified Format and Swiss pairings. See the Tournament Rules for additional information about the Modified and Swiss formats. The number of Swiss rounds run will depend on the total attendance of the event.
After Swiss rounds are complete, there will be a cut to single-elimination finals. The number of players to qualify for the finals will depend on the total attendance in each age group, with a maximum of 32 players playing off in any one division.
Most Pokémon Championship events are operated by independent Tournament Organizers. Please contact the Tournament Organizers for specific information about their venue or scheduling.
Video Game Events
What’s new for Pokémon video game events this year?
Pokémon Organized Play is now sanctioning grassroots tournaments for the Pokémon video games. Tournament Organizers are being provided with all the resources necessary to create officially recognized tournaments worldwide, giving fans a place and opportunity to hone their skills for the Pokémon VG Championship Series.
The Pokémon VG Championship Series is undergoing its most dramatic expansion ever. Players throughout North America will have the opportunity to participate in Regional Championships alongside Pokémon TCG players starting in November 2011. The European events will remain largely unchanged for the 2011-2012 tournament season, though we continue to plan for expansion in years to come.
Championship Points are awarded to players based upon their finish position at Play! Pokémon Championship Series events. Check out the Pokémon TCG Championship Points Structure for more information.
What Can I Do With the Championship Points I’ve Earned?
Championship Points are used to gain entry into high level events, including the 2012 Pokémon World Championships. Check out the Play! Pokémon Event Qualifications document for more information.
What Happens to my Elo Rating Now that Championship Points Are Used for Event Qualification?
Elo ratings will still be maintained on the Pokémon.com website, and may be used to break ties in Championship Points if necessary. The Elo rankings search will still be available for players to see how they stack up against players worldwide.
What are "Best Finish Limits"?
To provide a more even playing field for the largest number of competitors worldwide, we have instituted Best Finish Limits. This means that during an event series, only your Best X (defined here) finishes will count towards your final Championship Points total.
For example, the Best Finish Limit for Battle Roads is 8. If a player participates in 6 Battle Road Autumn events and 5 Battle Road Spring events, only that player’s best 8 finishes from the 11 Battle Roads they attended will count towards their final Championship Points total.
Is There a Limit to How Many Events I Can Play In Per Year?
You can play in as many Battle Road, City Championship, S/P/T Championship and Regional Championships as you wish each year!
Will Video Game Events award Championship Points?
In the 2011-2012 season, Video Game events will award Championship Points, but these points will not be used to qualify players for events. As the Video Game Championship Series expands in the future, Video Game players can expect to see qualifications similar to those being used for TCG events.
Can I Use the Championship Points I Earned at a Video Game Event to Enter a TCG Event?
No. TCG Championship Points and VG Championship Points are considered separate, and cannot be used across event types. This means that players cannot use Championship Points earned at the Video Game Regional Championships to gain entry to the TCG World Championships.
What Are Play! Points?
Play! Points are points you can earn by simply participating in qualifying Play! Pokémon events. These events include Leagues, Tournaments, and Championship Series events. When the program begins in early 2012, you’ll be able to review your Play! Point totals and see where you rank against other Play! Pokémon Members worldwide.
What Are Play! Points Used For?
Play! Points will reward you for what you love—playing Pokémon! As an active Play! Pokémon member, we want to reward you for your dedication and ongoing participation.
Play! Points replace the current Player Rewards program, where players can earn cool Pokémon stuff just for playing. During the season, the most active players will now be able to earn more Pokémon goodies than before.
Pokémon Organized Play will award the title of Player of the Year to the players from each age division with the most Play! Points.
What I Can Earn Specifically With Play! Points?
As we get closer to our official launch in early 2012, we’ll create a Play! Points FAQ that should answer all of your questions about Play! Points, and what you can earn.
What About Events I Play In Prior to the Launch of Play! Points?
When Play! Points goes live in early 2012, every event you’ve played in this season will be counted towards your Play! Point total.
Official Rules for Redeeming Travel Awards to the World Championships
This prize includes a Travel Award for the winner and a travel companion (if winner is under age 18) to the Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championships destination specified in the prize or event listing at www.pokemon.com. Travel award winners will be booked to arrive the day prior to the event check-in date, and will depart the day after the event has ended. Players who are deemed to have excessive estimated travel times may be granted an additional night in advance of the event, at the sole discretion of The Pokémon Company International, Inc.
Click here for details about the World Championships and certain prizes, including scholarships, offered to eligible winners of Pokémon Trading Card Game Championships.
About Play! Pokémon
Play! Pokémon is an international program that promotes good sportsmanship and enjoyment of the Pokémon Trading Card Game and the Pokémon video games through competitive and casual play. Leagues and Prerelease events support a casual and fun gaming environment while preparing players for the challenges of our more competitive tournament series. That series of City Championships, State Championships, Regional Championships, National Championships, and Battle Road events are meant to provide players opportunities to earn great prizes and hone their Pokémon playing skills en route to the pinnacle event of the year, The Pokémon World Championships.
Play! Pokémon is supported by The Pokémon Company International, a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company.