Become a Pokémon Professor

Professor ProgramPokémon Professors work at tournaments and Pokémon League events as judges and organizers. They are among the most dedicated Pokémon fans and have demonstrated a thorough understanding of Pokémon games and of organized play. Professors have a desire to share their knowledge with others and to help the game grow.

We're looking for anyone who wants to have fun while providing a great opportunity for players in their neighborhood. Knowledge and love of the Pokémon universe are certainly a bonus, but if you have a passion for helping out your community and a knack for hosting events, we're hoping you'll join our ranks. Pokémon Professors are expected to adhere to the Spirit of the Game and the Professor Core Values.

Potential Professors must complete several steps to join the program. The first thing aspiring Pokémon Professors need to do is decide how they would like to volunteer their time. A Professor can choose from three areas of expertise: Organizer, Trading Card Game Judge, and Video Game Judge.

Once they know which certification they will start with, aspiring Professors will submit an application. The application covers basic contact information, info about your qualifications, and details that will help us decide whether you will be a good fit for our program. Once you have finished the application, you will immediately move on to your certification exam, which will show us that you have the basic knowledge and skills needed for your chosen role.

Finally, to protect our players and guarantee that Play! Pokémon events are placed in the best possible hands, we run a background check on organizer candidates whenever possible.

Once they are approved, new Professors will be asked to volunteer for a minimum number of events each year. Professors can earn higher ranks in a particular area or expertise, or they can become certified for multiple roles! The chart below gives a basic overview on Professor Ranks and certifications.

Basic Rank Professor

Stage 1 Rank Professor

Stage 2 Rank Professor

Organizer Certification skill sets

Registration, new player sign-up, age divisions, basic reporting, venue details

Handling late players, common TOM issues, event disruptions, staff issues

Major bystander/player disruptions, major TOM issues, staff issues

TCG Judge Certification skill sets

Basic deck construction, Pokémon intro concepts, game setup, game resolution, intended activities

Basic problem-solving, best-of-three game resolution, card reprints and errata

Major problem-solving, rewinding/fixing game state, identifying cheating, judge training

VG Judge Certification skill sets

Basic team creation rules, game setup, basic penalties, basic understanding of in-game tiebreakers, basic understanding of common ROM check flags

In-depth understanding of in-game tiebreakers, in-depth understanding of ROM check flags, basic understanding of how to troubleshoot game registration and mid-match game glitches

In-depth understanding of how to troubleshoot game registration and mid-match game glitches, knowledge of move priorities, ability to communicate these issues clearly to players

Minimum activity to retain role or qualify for the next rank

Staff at least 6 events per year in certification-appropriate role

Staff 8 events at approved venues per year, 4 of which must be Premier Events, in certification-appropriate role

Staff 12 events per year, 8 of which must be Premier Events, in certification-appropriate role

Do you think you've got what it takes to become a Pokémon Professor? If you're at least 18 years old, then log in to your Pokémon Trainer Club account to choose your first certification and take the exam to find out!

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