Dec 15, 2022: 2023 Season Rules Update
As in previous years, we have gone through the rules to polish up minor points and make them easier to read and understand. Some duplicate parts were removed to simplify sections, and some terminology was updated for consistency. We have also made a few updates to the rules based on feedback received over the course of the past Season and from several Focus Groups that were conducted. Additionally, some minor tweaks were make to properly distinguish between categories of official Silph Arena Resources (like rules, guidelines, and policies), unifying Adjudication Levels with the Tournament Types, and clarifying how to handle situations when the start of a battle is canceled, but here are a couple larger changes to note…
TOURNAMENT COMPETITOR LIMITS
Starting in the 2023 Season, in-person tournaments will have no competitor limit. Remote tournaments will continue to be limited to 128 competitors.
Hybrid tournaments (with mixed in-person and remote competitors) are now considered to be a special type of Remote tournament, and follow remote participant rules including being capped at 128 competitors. This is a change from the 2021-2022 Season where the policy was that Hybrids were to be created as in-person tournaments.
USAGE OF NEWLY-RELEASED POKÉMON
To avoid further uncertainty when a new Pokémon, or a new form of an existing Pokémon that differs in typing, moves, and/or stats than the form already existing in the game, is released and could potentially be used in an already announced or ongoing Monthly Cup, it will have to first be approved by The Silph Arena to be used. New mechanics that may be released such as Shadow Pokémon and Megas will follow the same approval requirement. Move updates to existing Pokémon will be allowed unless otherwise stated, but of course move changes can not be made during an ongoing tournament.
ADJUDICATING WINS (DEFWIN)
The biggest Rules change regarding disputes is the introduction to potentially adjudicate a win when a very specific set of circumstances are present. All of the following four requirements must be met in every case for a win adjudication, and the Tournament Official must provide a reasoning for the ruling to both parties.
- 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.
This has been a highly-requested change, but it will require a higher level of responsibility when assessing that one player would have undoubtedly won against the other, so Tournament Officials should review the How-to-Judge Guide and check the latest Known-Issues Guidelines to be current with the latest recommended rulings regarding technical Issues.
BATTLE TEAM CONSISTENCY
We clarified that if a Pokémon is being used in simultaneous tournaments with different movesets, failure to change the moveset back for each tournament is always a rule violation and in some cases it may be considered cheating. We removed rematches as a possibility for an invalid battle party, as it was confusing and caused these cases to be handled very inconsistently. One of the goals of the Arena Rules is to provide standardized tournaments which means that the experience of a competitor in one ranked tournament should be similar to any other tournament they could join. We hope that this change will further accomplish this goal and encourage Officials to read the Tournament Guidelines for direction on dealing with these situations.
CHANGES TO HIDDEN INFORMATION
Based on feedback, we have explicitly added IVs on registered Pokémon as “Hidden Information” in the Rules. This change is consistent with our policy of not allowing Officials to ask for IVs to solve technical disputes and it will give further protection to that key data. In addition, we have updated the material on Battle Team checks and other information that Tournament Officials can gather, and how they must handle that information.
We added a requirement that in the event of an adjudicated rematch or win, the Competitor who had the technical issue is required to provide video to their opponent upon request after the match results have been reported, only to be used for filing an official Silph Arena appeal of the ruling.
Due to situations that happened in previous Silph Arena Seasons, we have added two new conducts that will be categorized and penalized under Rules 3.5 Unsporting Conduct: Providing false information to Tournament Officials to deceive them during a ruling and/or bringing the Silph Arena or Tournament Officials into disrepute. There is no place for unsportsmanlike conduct in the Silph Arena and those kinds of actions will not be tolerated at any time before, during, or after a tournament. If a Competitor disagrees with an Official’s ruling they always have the choice to appeal directly to the Silph Arena with the use of the Report Misconduct form.
OFFICIAL ARENA RESOURCES
Along with the Arena Rules, the Official Arena Resources released throughout the Season 2021-2022 have been updated to comply with the latest Silph Arena Rules. If you’re planning to act as a Tournament Official in the 2023 Silph Arena Season, you should read the following guides:
- Tournament Guidelines: an all-round resource for Tournament Officials detailing many situations that may happen when conducting a tournament from start to finish.
- Known-Issues Guidelines: a comprehensive list of in-game issues with explanation on whether they can be considered grounds for a rematch or not in Silph Arena ranked tournaments.
- How-to-Judge Guide: a document that walks you through the basics of judging and how disputes should be handled from the point of view of a Tournament Official.
While this article highlights key rules changes it does not have a comprehensive list of those changes. It is the responsibility of Competitors, Officials, and Spectators to be familiar with and follow the most recent version of the Silph Arena Rules. Head over to https://silph.gg/rules and take a few minutes to review them, so you’ll be ready to catch the first Wave when the 2023 Season starts on January 1st!