The Silph League Arena

Sanctioned Event Rules

The "Simple" Version

(This abbreviated version of the Arena Rules has been provided for convenience - but the complete ruleset articulated below should be consulted for any further questions or disputes!)

For tournament play to contribute to Competitors' global rank, it must be 'accredited.' This means it must be hosted by an authorized Silph League member community, it must be played with 'Arena Rules,' and it must be a Ranked tournament, properly conducted and reported through The abbreviated Arena Rules are as follows:

NOTE: No modifications, additions, or subtractions to these standardized rules may be enacted or enforced by Tournament Organizers in Ranked Arena tournaments or the tournament will no longer be accredited and will not contribute to player rank.

  1. No Rule Changes: No modifications, additions, or subtractions to these standardized rules may be enacted or enforced by Tournament Officials in Ranked Arena tournaments or the tournament will no longer be accredited and contribute to player rank.
  2. Team Selection: You may only use the 6 individual Pokémon registered when entering the tournament. Altering the Battle Team in any way after the tournament has begun is forbidden (see 1.1 Tournament Types).
  3. League Selection: All battles must be fought in their designated League.
  4. Three Battles: Opponents will battle three times to determine a winner. The winner may only be determined through the normal progress of the game in play, and in the case of disputes, the in-game Journal and/or video evidence will be used. Opponents may not collude to report outcomes not achieved in battle. Competitors may, however, concede the match or any remaining battles at any point.
  5. Ties: If a battle ends in a draw (i.e. both journal entries show a tie, or both show a loss), that battle is discarded and an entirely new battle should be played. Battles that time-out via the Pokémon GOTM timer do not constitute a draw, and the winner is determined by the Journal entries of the Competitors.
  6. Disputes: If opponents do not agree on a match outcome, journal entries and any available video evidence will be reviewed by a staff member to determine the match outcome.
  7. Technical Issues: If you experience significant technical issues, share this with your opponent as soon as possible. If both agree that it significantly impacted the outcome of a match, it will trigger a rematch of the current battle. The same lead Pokémon must be selected for the rematch, but your opponent decides whether you both may change the remaining two (2) Pokémon or not. If technical issues prevent a successful battle for 10 minutes, or if Competitors disagree on the issue, contact Tournament Staff for assistance.
  8. Professionalism: Competitors are expected to maintain courtesy towards Competitors, Tournament Officials, and Spectators. Harassment (sexual or otherwise), aggression, intimidation, and other inappropriate behaviors should be reported to staff and can result in punitive action.
  9. Free to Play: All accredited matches must be free to play. The venue itself may require an entrance fee (i.e. gaming conventions, etc.), but the Tournament Organizer must not charge for participation. Suggested donations or crowdfunding are acceptable to help cover costs (i.e. venue, prizes, etc.).
  10. Staff Decisions: All staff decisions are final. If your opponent is a staff member, an additional staff member must adjudicate any disputes, unless a tournament has only one staff member. If you feel a staff decision warrants appeal, all evidence and information should be submitted via the Report Misconduct form to be reviewed by the Arena Team.
  11. Spoofing: Competitors who have falsified their GPS location in Pokémon GOTM must opt out of player rank and may only compete in accredited tournaments with an Unranked Arena account.

The Silph League Arena Sanctioned Event Comprehensive Rules


The Silph League Arena (“Silph Arena” or “Arena”) is a community-created player organization that enables thousands of host communities around the world to hold standardized, ranked tournaments during the competitive season. The rules and policies in this document, and any other official Silph Arena documents, are designed to promote fair and consistent gameplay through all Silph League accredited communities, regardless of location.

Competitors, Officials, and Spectators are responsible both for being familiar with and following the most recent version of Silph Arena Rules, as well as any rule set required for a given tournament. This includes following the rules as written, as well as the spirit in which the rules were created. In addition, Competitors, Officials, and Spectators are required to treat each other and all others present in a respectful manner.

Those violating the Arena Rules are subject to penalties appropriate for the level of infraction, up to and including being permanently banned from the Arena.

The Silph Arena reserves the right to alter these rules without prior notice and to interpret, clarify, or otherwise issue official changes through this document and other official Arena documents and communication channels. Additional Arena official documents include Guidelines (or Guides) and Policies. Guidelines are official documents which help to clarify or further specify certain aspects of the Arena Rules, while Policies are formalized Arena stances that apply to specific situations and are required in all cases to be followed.

Tournament Fundamentals
1.1 Tournament Types

Tournament held using the software may be Ranked or Unranked, in addition to those Special tournaments may be held

Unranked Tournaments

Unranked Tournaments are not subject to the rules in this document, but must be designated Unranked upon tournament creation. Ranked tournaments may become Unranked in certain situations including but not limited to: dropping below the number of Competitors required for the selected format to be Ranked, or failure to comply with the rules of Ranked tournaments.

Ranked Tournaments

All Ranked Tournaments are to be run by Silph League Communities who have agreed to uphold The Silph League Arena Sanctioned Event Rules and League Code of Conduct. For tournament play to contribute to Competitors' global rank, it must be 'accredited.' This means it must be hosted by an authorized Silph League member community, it must be played under the Arena Rules, and it must be a Ranked tournament, properly conducted and reported through

No additions, modifications, or reductions of the rule sets for Cups or any other Ranked tournament are allowed by Tournament Officials. Any changes that modify the established rulesets will invalidate the tournament and disqualify the event from contributing to Competitors’ rank.

In all Ranked Tournaments

  • Competitors will bring a team of 6 Pokémon (Battle Team), to be registered before the tournament begins.
  • Only one of each Pokémon species is permitted on each Battle Team. This is determined by having differing Pokédex numbers (i.e. Ivysaur and Venusaur) or differing typing (i.e. Sunny Castform and Rainy Castform).
  • All teams of 3 Pokémon (Battle Parties) used in matches can be any combination of these 6 Pokémon.
  • Once the tournament begins, Battle Teams are locked in and revealed to all Competitors. Altering a Battle Team in any way, including but not limited to powering up, evolving, changing moves including the addition of a second move, purifying, or swapping alternate Pokémon within a species, is forbidden once Battle Teams are revealed (even if a late power-up or evolution would achieve the CP and/or species that was registered).
    • Best Buddies are permitted in Ranked tournaments - however, in any given tournament, only one may be used in its boosted state, and Competitors may only use it at its registered CP. Only one Pokémon can be registered with its Best Buddy boosted CP.
    • A Competitor is permitted to change their buddy during the tournament, as long as it is returned to its registered CP (whether that is its normal CP or its boosted CP) prior to use in any battle.
  • Shadow Pokémon are permitted in Ranked tournaments (unless restricted by a specific Cup's rules) and must be designated as such when a Competitor registers their Battle Team.
    • Multiple Shadow Pokémon may be registered in a single Battle Team, but not alongside their non-Shadow or Purified forms. They are considered the same species, sharing a Pokédex number and typing.
  • Mega Pokémon are not permitted in Open League Ranked tournaments.
  • New mechanics that could potentially be added to Pokémon GOTM such as Z-Moves, Dynamax and/or Terastallized Pokémon will be considered not permitted unless specifically allowed by the Silph Arena.
  • There must be no restrictions to the Pokémon permitted beyond the tournament type’s explicitly-stated rules, such as a type restriction for a Cup tournament. Open League tournaments must not, for example, impose type restrictions.
  • A minimum of 8 Competitors must have started the second round of a Swiss-style format Tournament to remain ranked. A minimum of 4 Competitors must finish a Round-Robin format Tournament to remain ranked.
  • The Silph Arena’s software must be used for all registration, round pairings, and match reporting.

1. Cup Tournament

Cup Tournaments are a special subset of Ranked Tournaments that have unique names, rules, and features, determined solely by the Silph Arena, that must be followed by the Tournament Officials and Competitors. Cups available in the Pokémon GOTM app may be selected by the Arena to serve as Cup Tournaments. To qualify as a valid Cup, the tournament must begin and conclude (last matchup of the tournament reported) within the stated start and end dates. The timezones used for Cup start and end times are the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the Hawaii–Aleutian Time Zone respectively. If a Pokémon GO cup is being used, the start and end dates and times will be announced by the Arena and may align with when it is active in GO Battle League, excluding any time when Ranked Arena play is not available.

Any rule changes that affect ranked play made by the Silph Arena that may arise during or between Cup windows will be publicly displayed on the tournament type’s creation screen and announced through official channels in advance of the changes going live.

Unless otherwise explicitly stated by The Silph Arena, new moves released during a Cup window are allowed for use as long as they fall within the Cup's rules and restrictions. New Pokémon or new Pokémon forms that differ in their typing, moves and/or stats than one that already existed in the game will be considered to be banned unless approved by the Silph Arena.

2. Open League Tournament

Open League Tournaments abide by all Arena sanctioning and must have no additional restrictions on Battle Team selections other than that all battles are fought in the designated League.

3. Special Tournaments

Certain special tournaments may be offered by the Silph Arena with additional or alternative rules that are determined solely by the Silph Arena. These special tournaments may offer additional opportunities to have performance affect a Competitor’s global rank or have their own special rank and classification system. Examples include, but are not limited to, Continental Championships, World Championship Series, Wildcard Tournaments, Silph Factions, etc.

Special tournaments may only be held by the Arena or communities that have been selected and authorized by the Silph Arena explicitly for this purpose.

1.2 Publishing Tournament Information

The Silph League Arena reserves the right to publish tournament information at any time (including during the tournament). This may be done on official Arena channels or in partnership with other organizations or individuals. Tournament information includes, but is not limited to, the contents of one or more Competitors' Battle Teams, descriptions of strategies or play, transcripts, video reproductions, tournament logs, and penalty and suspension information.

Tournaments may be live-streamed or broadcast via replay at any level of ranked competition. However, Tournament Officials, Competitors, and Spectators may not publish tournament information that falls under the umbrella of Hidden Information (see Section 2.6) without express permission from each Competitor. Competitors may decline to appear in such broadcasts with the exception of Special Tournaments (as defined in section 1.1 Tournament Types) organized by the Silph Arena.

1.3 Tournament Roles

The following roles are defined for tournament purposes:

  • Tournament Official: A single individual that may act in any combination of official tournament roles.
    • Tournament Organizer: A Tournament Official that is the lead person(s) in charge of all aspects of the tournament from logistics to advertisement and promotion
    • Tournament Administrator (Admin): A Tournament Official that has full access to a community’s actions through
    • Tournament Staff: A Tournament Official that has limited access to a community’s individual tournament actions through
  • Competitor: A single individual that is registered and competing in a tournament.
  • Spectator: Individuals at a tournament who are not Officials, including Competitors in any match in which they are not playing.

A single individual may act in any combination of official tournament roles. Individuals at a tournament who are not Officials are Spectators, including Competitors in any match in which they are not playing.

In addition, The Silph Arena may have representatives present during any Ranked tournament and, though they are present in official Arena capacity, they do not fall specifically within the above role list. However, they may be called upon for rulings as if they held an official role.

Officials, Competitors, and Spectators are all required to follow the Silph Arena Rules. Failure to abide by these rules is grounds for penalties up to and including individual or community suspension or banning from The Silph Arena and/or The Silph League.

Evidence of misconduct by any individual in any role may be submitted via the Report Misconduct form to be reviewed by the Arena Infractions Team. All relevant evidence and information should be included.

1.4 Tournament Officials

Tournament Officials (Organizers, Admins and Staff) are responsible for the integrity of the tournament, with their duties including but not being limited to:

  • Confirming that all Competitors registered are able to compete in the pairings generated by the software within the stated round time limits.
  • Corroborating that match results are reported to correctly and in a timely manner.
  • Correcting misreported match results.
  • Ensuring that the round time limit (if set forth) is adhered to by all Competitors and other Officials.
  • Adjudicating fairly and consistently, using good judgement in applying the Silph Rules to any given situation and communicating said adjudication to the affected Competitors.
  • Ensuring to the best of their ability that all Silph Rules are followed by all Tournament Officials, Competitors, and Spectators.

Tournament Admins have additional responsibilities, including but not limited to:

  • Creating the appropriate Ranked Tournament on that meets the criteria of the intended tournament and securing a sanctioned join code from the Silph Arena.
  • Ensuring accurate information is reflected on the tournament page on including relevant links and directions for Competitors to coordinate battles.
  • Setting appropriate time limits for rounds when applicable and resetting the Round Time Limit in
  • Accurately selecting the correct tournament format to reflect whether a tournament will be held in-person or remotely.
    • An In-Person tournament has all competitors physically present at one site. They may be in different areas of the site depending on the size and logistics of the tournament but they must be present in person for the full event.
    • A Remote tournament is not required to have any physical site. Remote tournaments are limited to 128 participants.
    • A Hybrid tournament is one that has a combination of Competitors physically present at a site, and those who are only virtually present. Hybrid tournaments must be created as Remote tournaments and consequently follow all Arena rules, limitations, and protocols as such, regardless of the proportion of Competitors participating remotely.

The role of Organizer is generally held by Tournament Admins, but they may elect Tournament Staff to perform this role.

Tournament Organizers have additional responsibilities, including but not limited to:

  • Providing a location for the tournament that meets the tournament's expected needs.
  • Staffing the tournament with appropriate Tournament Officials.
  • Advertising the tournament in advance of the start of the tournament.
1.5 Adjudication

Ranked tournaments require the presence and availability (physical or virtual) of at least one Tournament Official during play to adjudicate disputes, interpret rules, and make other official decisions.

Tournament Officials are expected to be aware of any potential logistical issues, look into possible violations, make rulings on disputes, and apply the Silph Arena Rules in a fair and consistent manner.

These Officials are the judicial authority at any Arena-sanctioned tournament, and tournament participants are expected to follow their interpretations and rulings. Any appeals regarding Tournament Official rulings should be submitted to The Silph Arena Team through a Misconduct Report (see section 2.12).

1.6 Competitors

In addition to following all other Silph Arena Rules, Competitors are responsible for:

  • Behaving in a respectful manner toward Tournament Officials, Competitors, and Spectators.
  • Maintaining their Battle Parties with legal Pokémon selected from their Battle List.
  • Complying with announced tournament start times and match time limits, beginning their match as soon as possible and reporting the outcome as soon as the match is complete.
  • Bringing to an Official’s attention, and if appropriate the Arena Team, to any rules or policy infraction they encounter. This includes, but is not limited to, offers of bribery, wagering, improper game result determination, slow play, and any discrepancies in their tournament match record.
  • Having a single Travelers Card under the same name as their Pokémon GOTM in-game name. Competitors with multiple Travelers Cards should contact The Silph Road at to have the information for two or more cards combined. (see Section 1.9)
  • Registering and playing solely with their own personal account, and entering only one account in a tournament.
  • Refraining from registering in tournaments for any reason other than to participate, including those which they are not eligible to participate.
  • Being physically present for assigned matches during in-person tournaments and being available for assigned matches during remote tournaments in a timely fashion.
  • Ensuring that they have a stable connection and a properly working device, that is supported by Pokémon GOTM, to be used during competition.
  • Accurately marking themselves as Unranked on their Travelers Card if they have ever engaged in GPS manipulation while playing Pokémon GOTM.
  • Being familiar with and abiding by all rules contained within this document.
1.7 Spectators

Any person present (either physically or remotely) while a tournament is in play, who is not in any other category above, is a Spectator. This includes Competitors that are not actively engaged in a match. Spectators are responsible for remaining courteous and passive during matches and other official tournament sections. They may not offer assistance to any Competitor while the tournament is in progress and they may not seek out any Competitor’s hidden information (as defined in Section 2.6 Hidden Information) or share any hidden information they have learned, either inadvertently or intentionally. If Spectators believe they have observed a rule or policy violation, they are encouraged to alert a Tournament Official as soon as possible.

Competitors may request that Spectators not observe their matches in order to preserve their hidden information. Tournament Officials may also instruct a Spectator not to observe a match or matches. Shoutcasters, commentators, and other coverage team members are considered special Spectators. Special Spectators are subject to the rules and responsibilities of regular Spectators as outlined above with one major exception. These special Spectators are allowed to discuss tournament information, including Hidden Information, so long as they cannot be heard by the Competitors.

Any Spectator is permitted to record matches, but must do so in a way that will not be obtrusive to the Competitors and respects both the rules of the venue and the local law. Video taken during a tournament may not be shared with any Competitor while matches are still in progress. This, or any other sharing of Hidden Information, may lead to penalties for 3.3 Outside Assistance to all parties involved.

1.8 Admission & Participation Eligibility

Anyone is eligible to participate as a Competitor in a sanctioned Arena tournament or to authorize their community and participate as a Tournament Official except for:

  • Individuals currently suspended or banned by the Arena
    • Competitors who have opted out of ranking or who were deranked by the Arena are still eligible to participate unless they violate one of the other exceptions below
  • Other individuals specifically prohibited from participation by Silph Arena policies
  • Individuals thirteen (13) years of age and younger who do not have a parent/guardian present
  • Anyone prohibited by federal, state, or local laws, the rules of the Tournament Organizer and/or the hosting Silph League community, or by a venue's management

Ranked tournaments are not required to be open invite, though it is strongly encouraged in the spirit of the Arena.

Tournament Officials may restrict entry to Ranked tournaments for appropriate reasons, including restricting Competitors to a specific community or prohibiting an individual or group of individuals who have violated the community’s rules or otherwise demonstrated behavior not suitable to the Arena. Tournaments may also be restricted by player ranking as long as it is not used as a tool to exclude specific individual Competitors or to manipulate ranking.

Any Tournament Official or Competitor found to be entering or allowing others to enter a tournament in order to manipulate ranking will be subject to punitive action(s) that include, but are not limited to, removal of tournament ranking eligibility, permanent deranking of individual account(s), and loss of accreditation with the Arena. Rank manipulation includes, but is not limited to win-trading, match fixing, creating additional accounts (or using false “guest” accounts) to increase the number of Competitors and/or rounds, and having a Competitor use a Pokémon GO or Silph Road account that they do not own.

The Silph Arena values a diverse and inclusive community where all Officials, Competitors, and Spectators feel respected and welcomed. As such, Tournament Officials may not exclude Competitors based on race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, or other similar attributes or protected groups. Officials found to be discriminating against groups of individuals will be subject to penalties from the Arena, up to and including revoking accreditation.

1.9 The Silph Road Travelers Card & Location

In order for a Competitor’s performance to contribute to their global rank, Competitors must register for Ranked tournaments with their Travelers Card. Competitors without a Travelers Card do not need one to participate in Ranked tournaments but are encouraged to obtain one from before attending an event. If a Competitor does not obtain a Travelers Card before the event, they should be aware that their matches and progression may not contribute to their ranking.

Competitors are only permitted to have one card and it must only be associated with a single Pokémon GOTM account. The name on the Travelers Card must match the trainer name in their Pokémon GOTM account. If a Competitor has multiple Travelers Cards for the same Pokémon GOTM account or needs to correct the name on their Travelers Card, they should use the Name Change Request found in the Edit page of their Travelers Card. Alternatively, they can contact The Silph Road at and provide the link to their Travelers Card(s) and screenshot(s) of their in-game Pokémon Go trainer name.

Competitors with access to multiple Pokémon GOTM accounts may only use the one which matches their Travelers Card. A Competitor with access to multiple Pokémon GOTM accounts cannot compete with additional accounts in the Arena. No Competitor may compete with any Pokémon GOTM account and/or Travelers Card other than their own. Failure to disclose multiple cards may lead to termination of one or all of the accounts. Competitors found to have multiple cards may lead to the termination of one or all of the accounts, even if each account is associated with a unique Pokémon GOTM account. Competitors may only compete ranked with a single account and may not create a new account to compete ranked if they have self-opted out of ranking or have been deranked by the Arena.

Competitors are required to select a country on their Travelers Card which accurately reflects the location where they consistently battle and/or primarily reside. This is a one-time, permanent selection and any Competitor who needs to change their selected country should email Competitors found falsifying their country will receive punitive action(s) and may forfeit their ranked status in the Arena.

Competitors who have not opted out of ranking during the Season must leave their Travelers Card publicly readable for the duration of the Season. If a Competitor hides their Travelers Card (i.e. marks it 'private') they will be deranked for all future Arena participation. Opting out of ranking is intended to be permanent and disqualifies the competitor from participation in both post-season tournaments and some special tournaments.

1.10 Tournament Changes, Cancellation, & Early Conclusion

Prior to the start of a tournament, Tournament Officials may change or cancel a tournament for any reason, with no prior notice, although every effort should be made to keep the registered Competitors aware of any changes when possible.

Tournament Officials found to be cancelling tournaments in order to mitigate personal rank gains or losses will be subject to penalties from the Arena.

Tournaments should only be concluded early for reasons that mean the tournament is unable to proceed and conclude as planned. These reasons include but are not limited to:

  • A Competitor dropping out or being removed reduces the number of Competitors to less than the number required for the tournament to be Ranked.
  • Insurmountable technical problems with the game or tournament system.
  • A change in venue compatibility, such as unsafe weather or closure.
Tournament Mechanics
2.1 Tournament Structure

Ranked tournaments consist of a number of rounds which are mainly determined by the number of Competitors when the tournament begins. Each round contains matches between paired Competitors and the round is complete when all Competitors have reported their match outcomes. Matches consist of a set of battles (or "games") between the paired Competitors. Results from these matches may impact the number of rounds in some formats. The winner of the match will get a point for that round. Individual battle wins are tracked for global ranking, and are recommended to be used as the primary tie-breaker option, followed by Buchholz score and then global rank.

Drawn games (i.e. when both in-game journal entries show a tie, or both show a loss) do not count toward the number of games required to complete a match and an entirely new battle must occur until a battle is won. Battles that time-out via the Pokémon GOTM timer do not constitute a draw, and the winner is determined by the Journal entries of the Competitors.

Tournament Officials may set reasonable time limits on each round within which Competitors will need to start, conclude, and report their matches.

2.2 Pre-Tournament Procedures

Prior to the start of the tournament, Competitors must register their Battle Team on and check in with a Tournament Official to confirm attendance. Competitors are responsible for:

  • Entering the check-in code for a tournament in a timely manner after it has been announced by the Tournament Officials.
  • Accurately entering their Registered Battle Team (defined in section 2.4 Battle Pokémon Registration & Use) with the exact CP for each Pokémon and denoting if it is a Shadow Pokémon when applicable.
  • Making sure the Pokémon that are being registered in the Battle Team have the correct movesets.
  • Keeping up with any announcements and updates from Tournament Staff regarding tournament logistics.

Tournament Officials must confirm the Arena Rules with the Competitors and announce any specific logistics for that tournament (i.e. round time limits). Tournament Officials are responsible for:

  • Making sure the tournament page is updated with accurate and timely information including a link to the platform where tournament discussion and organization will take place.
  • Providing the check-in code to Competitors with a reasonable amount of time before the start of the tournament.
  • Being familiar with and assisting Competitors through the check-in process.
  • Keeping all Competitors apprised of any updates or changes regarding the status of the tournament and any tournament logistics.
  • Checking to make sure all participants that are registered have had sufficient time to check in and update their Battle Teams before closing check-ins and starting the tournament.
2.3 End-of-Match Procedure

Match outcomes must be self-reported by each Competitor immediately after the match is complete via to record the number of battles won and lost. Competitors should not exceed the round time limits that may be set by Tournament Officials (to be communicated to Competitors prior to the start of the tournament).

If there is a dispute between reported match outcomes, Officials will confirm the correct results via the in-game journal and correct on if necessary.

Matches may not end in a draw. Battles that end in a draw (verified by the journal entries) do not count as a win for either Competitor and an entirely new battle must be played. Competitors must play until the required number of wins has been achieved, unless one Competitor has conceded, is disqualified, or is otherwise removed from the match or tournament. No other means may be used to determine the match outcome.

Tournament Officials are responsible for concluding a tournament in a timely manner once the final matchup is reported. Officials found to be failing to conclude a tournament on time may be investigated by the Arena and if they are found to be doing so to purposefully manipulate rankings will be subject to penalties.

2.4 Battle Pokémon Registration & Use

Competitors are required to register their Pokémon selections for their Battle Teams via Registered Battle Teams are defined as the six (6) usable Pokémon that the Competitor plans to utilize as in their current state at the start of the tournament. Once the Tournament Organizer begins the tournament, Battle Teams are locked in and revealed to all Competitors.

Altering a Battle Team in any way is forbidden once Battle Teams are revealed (even if a late power-up or evolution would achieve the CP and/or species that was registered). Altering may include but is not limited to powering up, evolving, changing moves including the addition of a second move, purifying, or swapping alternate Pokémon within a species. If a Competitor registers the same Pokémon across multiple tournaments, they may use a TM to change the moveset of that Pokémon for use in other Tournaments but they must return it to the original state of the reveal before playing in each tournament and failure to do so in all cases is a rule violation, and if done deliberately to gain competitive advantage will be considered cheating (as defined in section 3.1). Best Buddy Pokémon follow the rules stated in section 1.1 Tournament Types.

It is the responsibility of all Competitors to make sure they are using a legal Battle Party during each game of their match. A legal Battle Party is defined as 3 Pokémon from the Registered Battle Team. In the event that a Competitor selects an invalid Pokémon and locks in for a match, or if a Competitor notices their opponent selected an invalid Pokémon in their Battle Party, this information should be brought to their opponent and a Tournament Official immediately. A Tournament Official may issue penalties up to and including a match loss if a Competitor is using an illegal Battle Party.

2.5 Start of a Battle

A battle officially begins when the first Pokémon has been visually revealed in the Pokémon GO™ Battle. If the Battle is cancelled, either by a Competitor or by technical malfunction, before the first Pokémon of either Competitor is revealed on screen, both Competitors have the option to choose new Battle Parties. If there is doubt as to whether the Battle was cancelled before the first Pokémon of either Competitor was revealed on screen, video evidence must be provided by the claiming Competitor as proof. A new Battle Party may be the same as the originally selected, partially different or totally different.

If one opponent gains any knowledge of hidden information (as defined in Section 2.6 Hidden Information) or their opponent’s Pokémon, they are obligated to inform their opponent of what they saw or heard and their own lead Pokémon so that both Competitors enter the battle with the same information. The battle must then be replayed using the same lead, but Competitors may change the two remaining Pokémon in their Battle Party if they so wish.

2.6 Hidden Information

Hidden information refers to information that is not revealed or displayed publicly by either the functionality of Pokémon GOTM battles or the Silph Arena. This includes but is not limited to Battle Parties, battle tactics and strategy, movesets, and IVs on registered Pokémon.

Throughout the tournament, including pre-tournament procedures, Competitors are responsible for making reasonable efforts to prevent others’ hidden information from being revealed.

In order to preserve hidden information, Competitors should refrain from spectating other matches in their tournament until they have completed their final match, unless the Competitors being observed permit it. Competitors must not actively attempt to gain hidden information and should not share information that was inadvertently learned. However, it is the responsibility of each Competitor to protect their own hidden information, and Competitors are not required to inform opponents who accidentally reveal hidden information.

2.7 Battle Team Checks

Officials have the option to perform Battle Team checks (checking for compliance with what is registered on, i.e. Pokémon species and CP) at Ranked tournaments at their discretion but may not require Hidden Information with the exception of moveset and/or existence of a second move which may only be gathered if they can verify that only non-Competitor Tournament Officials will have access to said information during the tournament.

Officials may not require additional information during registration or dispute resolution. Examples of inappropriate information collection include:

  • Pokémon catch locations.
  • Competitor’s Gym map.
  • Proof of travel.
  • Searching downloaded apps or app history.
  • Anything else not within the Pokémon GOTM game.

Excessive searches are not acceptable, even in cases of suspected rule violation(s). If an Official suspects a Competitor has manipulated their GPS but failed to opt out of ranking, any and all evidence (e.g., screenshots of shared images or conversations) should be submitted via the Report Misconduct form to be reviewed by the Arena Team.

2.8 Time Extensions

Officials may pause the tournament to investigate and rule on disputes or other issues and may choose to extend the round time limit if warranted. The tournament may also be paused for reasonable situations such as a meal break for the Competitors in which case they should extend the round time limit to account for the pause.

Competitors may request a time extension due to extenuating circumstances or personal emergencies, and Tournament Officials should do their best to grant these requests. However, Officials should prioritize a timely tournament for the majority of Competitors and may deny a requested extension in order to fulfill that duty.

2.9 Conceding Battles/Matches or Withdrawing from Tournaments

Competitors may concede a match, any remaining battles in a match, or withdraw (“drop”) from a tournament at any time. The decision to do so must not be influenced by any Competitor or Official in any way. Other Competitors, Officials, or Spectators may not imply, suggest, or otherwise require that a Competitor concede or withdraw for any reason.

If a Competitor chooses to drop from a tournament before the tournament has started and the first round pairings are revealed, they are considered to have not participated in the tournament. Once the tournament has started, it will be considered that all Competitors that had a round generated have participated in the Tournament for all ranking and classification purposes.

If a Competitor asks to be removed from a tournament, they should inform a Tournament Official as soon as possible, who should immediately remove the Competitor if allowed by the software in order to avoid unnecessary losses. If the Competitor's request to withdraw is made after a round has begun but before they have battled, they should be informed that they will get a loss adjudicated by dropping and offered the chance to play the match. If a Competitor asks to be removed and a Tournament Official fails to do so, the Competitor may submit an appeal to the Arena Infractions Team by using the Misconduct Form.

The software will automatically issue a match loss if the Competitor is removed before reporting their match. Tournament Officials do not need to make any results changes in the case where a Competitor is being removed after completing their match but before the next round is generated. In the case that both Competitors need to be removed, either by their request or in the event where they both fail to present themselves for a match, the software will automatically issue a double loss in the pairing.

Tournaments Officials may award a match loss (0-3) if the Competitor’s efforts to coordinate their battle within the round time limit are clearly uneven. It is up to the discretion of the Tournament Officials to determine if one or both Competitors attempted to make an effort to coordinate their battle. Tournament Officials should use their best judgement to be fair when assessing the efforts of each Competitor. If both competitors are equally at fault, both should be removed from the tournament.

If a Competitor refuses to play, leaves the tournament before their match is complete, or is otherwise unable or unwilling to complete their match within the stated time limit, it is assumed that they have conceded any incomplete battles, which will be reported as a loss by an Official. In the event of a second offense during the same tournament, the Competitor will be assigned a loss and may be removed from the tournament unless they have specifically contacted a Tournament Official regarding the situation and decided to stay in the tournament. In the event that they would be removed, it must be done before the next round is generated.

2.10 Technical Errors/Malfunctions During Play

In the event that a hardware or software malfunction significantly impacts the outcome of a game, the affected Competitor must bring it to the attention of their opponent as soon as possible, and in any case no later than before starting the next battle. If it is the last battle in the set they still must bring it up as soon as possible, and before reporting the match outcome. Some examples of issues that do not warrant a rematch include standard game occurrences (such as the inability to switch a Pokémon or use a charge move while the fast move animation is still in play), and user error (such as a phone notification disrupting play, low battery, crashes due to insufficient memory, etc).

Both Competitors are responsible for assessing the magnitude of the impact of the malfunction, and if they agree there was a significant impact on the game’s outcome, they may play a rematch of that game. If both Competitors jointly decide to rematch, rather than one Competitor requesting a rematch of the other, they should do so with the same lead Pokémon, but may change the remaining two Pokémon if they choose.

If an opponent disputes the technical issue’s negative impact, or if a Competitor quits the battle before they both agree, video evidence must be provided. Competitors are not required to record their battles but a recording is an obligatory requirement to submit a dispute to the Tournament Officials. Competitors providing video evidence must submit the full length of the played battle in order to provide Tournament Officials with as much information as possible to make a judgement call. The responsibility to provide video evidence falls solely on the Competitor who believes that there was a technical malfunction that significantly impacted the result of their match. If there is no evidence of a malfunction, and opponents disagree on a technical malfunction, the game’s outcome will stand and no rematch is required.

While the Competitor affected by the technical issue must provide their video recording to Tournament Officials, they are not required to share their video with their opponent, as protected by section 2.6 Hidden Information. In the event of an adjudicated rematch or win, the Competitor affected by the technical glitch is required to provide the video to their opponent upon request after the match results have been reported. This footage is protected by section 2.6 Hidden Information until the Tournament finishes and it must only be used for an official Silph Arena appeal. In addition, sharing of the footage to bring a Competitor, an Official, or a group of Officials into disrepute, even after the Tournament has finished, will be understood as Unsporting Conduct (see section 3.5). The opponent not making a dispute is not obligated to provide any video evidence, but they are free to do so if they are willing.

When evaluating a dispute, Tournament Officials are expected to evaluate if the malfunction had a significant impact on the outcome. Using programmatic or script-driven resources to attempt to simulate move-for-move matchups, trying to replay the battle among the Officials or asking the competitors to replay the battle to see who would have won must not be used to determine whether the impact was significant or not. Static resources such as information on Pokémon base statistics and move duration/energy are allowed.

  1. Adjudicating wins

    In the event of a technical issue, Tournament Officials are expected to rule a rematch to be played or the result to stand ("no rematch"). If the affected Competitor had the battle win secured in their favor at the time of the technical malfunction a win may be adjudicated ("DefWin") but only if every single one of the following conditions apply in addition to the existence of the technical malfunction that significantly affected the game:

    • The Competitor that would be adjudicated a win must not have willingly left the battle after being affected by the technical malfunction.
    • The Competitor that would be adjudicated a loss must only have only one (1) Pokémon left and said Pokémon must have been in battle at the moment of the technical error.
    • The Competitor that would be adjudicated a win must either have had enough energy to launch a Charge Attack that would undoubtedly faint the last Pokémon in the opposing team and/or must have undoubtedly been able to faint it with the use of Fast Moves, Charge Moves, or a combination of both with the opposing Pokémon not being able to faint it beforehand.
    • The Competitor that would be adjudicated a loss must not have any possible expected win-conditions left.

    Officials must explain to both Competitors the reasoning behind the ruling in the event they decide to adjudicate a win. Officials must adjudicate consistently when deciding if a win or a rematch should be granted. Competitors are expected to follow the Official's ruling and behave in a respectful manner throughout and after the dispute (see Section 3.5 Unsporting Conduct).

  2. Adjudicating a Rematch

    In the event of a rematch, the opponent of the Competitor requesting said rematch must choose whether the same Battle Party, including the same leads, should be used or whether the same lead should be used but the remaining two Pokémon in the Battle Party may be changed. They should promptly inform their opponent of their choice and failure to do so in a timely fashion will be understood as stalling (as defined in section 3.6). Competitors are not required to replay in the same manner as the interrupted game.

    Modifying a lead Pokémon used in a rematch may result in a game loss from an Official if evidence can be provided. If this modification was made with the intent to gain advantage, the Official may take further action, up to and including removing the Competitor from the tournament.

    If technical errors or malfunctions delay the match outcome from being determined and reported, an Official should be called to investigate and provide a solution. If these delays cause a match to exceed the round time-limit before a winner can be determined, an Official may grant a time extension for another battle to take place or may declare the winner to be the Competitor who had won the most games up to that point.

    Even if a Competitor is not allowed to ask for a rematch based on technical errors after starting the next battle of the match, a dispute may be started based on any Arena Rules violation immediately after gaining knowledge of this situation, no matter if the next battle of the match has proceeded.

2.11 Bluffing

Competitors may "bluff" one or more Pokémon in their registered Battle Team, i.e. registering a Pokémon that they do not possess or intend to use. If a Competitor chooses to bluff, they are still restricted to choosing their Battle Teams from the Pokémon in their registered Battle Party. No other Pokémon may be used in place of a bluffed Pokémon, including a Pokémon with a different CP than registered, or a Pokémon that achieved the registered state after the tournament began (via evolution, power-up, or any other means of altering the Pokémon).

2.12 Appeals to the Silph Arena Team

If a Competitor disagrees with an Official’s ruling, they may appeal the ruling to the Silph Arena with the knowledge that their ruling may not be heard or a decision reached before the end of the season.

Competitors may not appeal before the full ruling is made by Tournament Officials, and the ruling made by the Silph Arena is final. To send an appeal to the Silph Arena, submit a report through the Report Misconduct page.

Tournament Violations
3.1 Cheating

Cheating during a tournament is forbidden. Cheating is defined as actively breaking a rule with the intention of gaining an advantage from the action. Any allegations of cheating must be brought to the Tournament Officials for review. Officials may issue an appropriate penalty and/or submit evidence of misconduct to the Silph Arena Team to be reviewed and logged. The Arena Team may issue further penalties based on the severity of the infraction and any prior infractions.

3.2 Improperly Determining a Winner

Improperly determining a winner is defined as any action or offer of action outside of Pokémon GOTM gameplay used to determine the outcome of a battle or match. The only exception would be if an opponent has conceded, is disqualified, has received a valid penalty of a battle or match loss, or is otherwise removed from the tournament.

Other Competitors, Officials, or Spectators may not imply, suggest, or otherwise require that a Competitor concede or withdraw from any match for any reason.

The result of a match or game may not be randomly or arbitrarily decided by any means, including but not limited to flipping a coin, proxy playing, or playing any other game.

3.3 Outside Assistance & External Resources

Once a tournament begins, Competitors may not receive outside assistance that could potentially lead into a competitive advantage. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Seeking play advice from anyone, whether physically present or not, as no outside advice may be given to Competitors. This includes coaching at any point before, during, and after each match through the conclusion of the tournament. Coaching is defined as receiving information from another Competitor or Spectator that informs a Competitor’s decisions and strategies.
  • Having another Competitor or Spectator piloting their account, whether physically present or remotely, during a tournament. Each Competitor must compete with their own account and that account must match the Travelers Card for that Competitor. If the in game account and Travelers Card do not match, Competitors should follow the instructions in section 1.9 The Silph Road Travelers Card.
  • Refraining from providing any information about Battle Team or Battle Party selections (including movesets) or strategies while the tournament is in progress. This includes both Competitors and Spectators.
  • Using any programmatic, script-driven resource, or AI which provides strategic direction against teams of 3 made from their opponent’s specific Battle Team, including anything which provides advice on team composition, shield usage, charge move selection, or any simulation of move-for-move matchups against your opponent’s Battle Team.

Competitors may reference allowed notes and resources; however, they must complete their match within the time limits provided stated by the Tournament Official. Taking too long to review notes may incur a slow-play penalty. Examples of resources that are allowed include::

  • Type and effectiveness charts.
  • Meta infographics.
  • Pre-calculated reminders of key matchups.
  • Ranked lists of one Pokémon and its aggregated battle scores or ratings against the other eligible Pokémon (i.e. “the meta”).

Assistance provided in regards to accessibility, communication, or any matter linked to special needs a Competitor may have that do not impact game play as defined above is allowed. Whoever is providing such assistance will be considered an Spectator and be bound by the rules of conduct for Spectators (as defined in section 1.7).

3.4 Wagering

Tournament Officials, Competitors, and Spectators, whether physically or remotely present, may not wager or bet on any portion of a tournament, match, or game.

3.5 Unsporting Conduct

Unsporting conduct will not be tolerated at any time before, during, or after a tournament. All Officials, Competitors, and Spectators must behave in a polite and respectful manner. Unsporting conduct toward any Officials, Competitors, or Spectators is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Engaging in behavior, either in person or online, that could reasonably be expected to create a feeling of being harassed (sexually or otherwise), bullied, stalked, shamed, or intimidated.
  • Being argumentative, belligerent, insulting, or aggressive.
  • Violating personal privacy or safety.
  • Failing to follow the instructions of a Tournament Official.
  • Providing false information to the Tournament Officials such as false claims, edited screenshots, videos from another Tournament, or any kind of verifiable false evidence to deceive them into making an illegitimate ruling.
  • Bringing Silph Arena Tournaments or Tournament Officials into disrepute.

Officials must investigate any potential cases of unsporting conduct, take appropriate actions when necessary, and report incidents to the Silph Arena for further review and logging.

3.6 Slow Play

Competitors must organize their Battle Parties and begin their assigned battles in a timely fashion, adhere to the time limits specified for the tournament, and report match outcomes as soon as the match is complete. Stalling gameplay and/or match reporting is not permitted from Competitors or Officials and may result in a battle loss, match loss, removal from the tournament, or additional punitive actions from the Silph Arena.

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