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Home > Pokémon Event Questions > Preparing for a Pokémon TCG Tournament
Preparing for a Pokémon TCG Tournament
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This guide is designed for players both new and old, to help you prepare for your upcoming TCG tournaments.


Event preparation:
Below are tips and resources to better help you prepare for your tournament before it even starts.


  • Before you can even attend an event, you need to make sure that you are registered for an event. Before registering for a tournament on, you need to make sure you have set up your profile completely and accurately. If it is not, you will be delayed in registering for your event and may not even be able to register due to the high demand for events. If you need assistance creating your profile, please check out our article on “How do I edit my profile?


  • Get familiar with event deadlines and requirements before you attend the event by going to your Player Dashboard, selecting the event you registered for, and reviewing the Tournament Milestones on your Player Tournament Dashboard. Here you find your confirmation, your deck list submission deadline, and when round one of your tournament starts. You will be using this page throughout your event.



Step 1: After going to the Player Dashboard, select the event you registered for.


Step 2: On your Player Tournament Dashboard, review your Tournament Milestones for important event information.


  • Before submitting your decklist, ensure that the deck you plan to use during the event is utilizing the correct tournament format.


  • Make sure to submit your decklist to before the submission deadline (which can be found in your Tournament Milestones for the event).
    • For more information about submitting your deck list, please make sure to read the article “Submitting your Pokémon TCG Deck List”.
    • You can submit any number of new lists prior to the submission deadline, but you must play the most recent list you have submitted when the submission window closes.


  • It is good practice to use card sleeves on your deck for tournament play. We recommend starting the tournament with fresh sleeves, as well as bringing a spare packet in case you need to change them during the tournament.
    • The type of sleeves you use are very important! To make sure you use the correct type of sleeves for the event please review section 5.2.2 Card Sleeves found in the Play! Pokémon Tournament Rules Handbook.


  • Make sure you have the following materials for playing; damage counters, special condition markers, “special” markers (GX/VStar markers), and a randomizer. These are required for the event and are part of a player’s responsibility, which can be found in the Play! Pokémon Tournament Rules Handbook under section Player Responsibilities.


  • It goes without saying that it is to a player’s benefit to make sure they read the Play! Pokémon Tournament Rules Handbook in its entirety to ensure that rules and/or rulings are followed throughout the event.

While at the Event:

Below are tips and resources to better help you prepare for your tournament before it even starts.


  • Before the start of the event, make sure to have your Player Tournament Dashboard up on your mobile device. This is where you will be updated as the tournament progresses.


Step 1: After you login to, click the dropdown menu button found on the top right corner of your screen.
Step 1: After you login to, click the dropdown menu button found on the top right corner of your screen.


Step 2: Select Player Dashboard after the dropdown menu appears.


Step 3: Select the event you are participating in.


  • During Swiss rounds, you will be assigned a table and opponent for each round. You will be able to find your opponent and table by going to your Player Tournament Dashboard as described above. An announcement will be made at the tournament when the next round pairings have been posted online. If you lose cell service in the hall, organizers often post paper pairings so you will be able to find your opponent and table for that round.
Here is what pairings will look like on your mobile device when you go to your event page on your Player Tournament Dashboard. Note: Make sure to refresh your web browser when a new round has been announced.
Pairings for the entire tournament are found in your Player Tournament Dashboard by clicking on the View pairings link.
  • Make sure to count the cards in your deck before and after each game/match (if time permits) to ensure you have a complete deck. During large tournaments, cards are dropped, forgotten at tables, or accidentally taken by opponents. Not having all the cards listed on your deck list when the judge staff performs a deck check will result in a penalty. So do what you can to prevent that.


  • Make sure your deck’s sleeves are in decent condition. If you feel that a sleeve is damaged or worn, do not hesitate to replace that sleeve during the tournament. Note: if you replace a sleeve and it looks different than the other sleeves because of how worn the rest of the deck is, it is highly recommended that you change the sleeves of the entire deck in order to avoid a possible marked card penalty.


  • At the end of each round, you and your opponent will fill out the match slip that was placed at your table. The match slip is where you will mark and confirm your match results that will be handed to “paper team/scorekeepers” in order to report your match results. DO NOT FORGET TO COMPLETELY FILL THIS OUT AS NEGLECTING TO DO SO MAY RESULT IN TOURNAMENT DELAYS.


This box is where any penalties or time extensions will be marked by the judge, but is also where you and your opponent may keep track of your game wins. This is not necessary for the scorekeepers, but may help keep track of your games in a “Best of 3” match. You may use the checkboxes, but leave the lines next to them blank for the judges.
At the conclusion of the match both players will need to agree on the winner by the winner of the match circling WINNER under their name. If the match ends in a tie, then the “TIE” in the center box will need to be circled instead of “WINNER”.


In order to confirm the results and be able to hand in the match slip, both players will need to initial above their name, below the area that says “Initial below:”. Failure to do so will result in tournament delays and possible penalties.


Once everything has been filled out accurately at the end of your match, it is the match winner’s responsibility to return the slip to the paper team/score keepers at the designated area.

  • When the rounds are announced, but before the start of the announced round, it is the player’s responsibility to ensure that the result entered the previous round was correct. If it is not, it is the player’s responsibility to go to the designated scorekeeping area to let the staff know the result for the previous round was entered incorrectly. It is recommended that you stay in that area until it is resolved in case staff have questions you may need to answer. You will be able to review your match results on your Player Tournament Dashboard under pairings.


  • If at any point before the end of the tournament you would like to stop participating, you are allowed to “drop” from the tournament without penalty. You will need to notify the tournament staff at the scorekeeping area and answer any questions they may have before confirming your “drop” from the tournament.
  • If you achieve 19 points during day 1 of a Regional Championship tournament, you are eligible to continue on day 2. Day 2 of the tournament eliminates any players that had less than 19 points by the end of day one or placed lower than than the top 32 players (if there were less than 32 players that met the 19 point threshold). The results from day 1 will be posted at the conclusion of day 1 and should be reviewed for any possible discrepancies immediately. Once it is finalized, the standings are considered final.
  • If for any reason you question a play during your match, have questions about an interaction, or feel uncomfortable for any reason (including the need to use the restroom during a match), please call for a Judge immediately, as they will be able to best assist you. If you are an experienced player and you may know how the judge may rule or fix the situation, DO NOT take it upon yourself to fix it, call a judge immediately.
    • If you do not like how the Judge ruled a penalty when you called them over, you are allowed to appeal to the Head Judge. Every judge is supposed to ask you if you would like to request this at the end of every ruling. If they forget, please know that this is available to you.
    • If you do not like how the Head Judge ruled when called over for an appeal or if they were the one that handled your call, DO NOT argue with them. If you disagree with them, their ruling is FINAL, but you can submit a support ticket to and notify them of your situation in detail. Arguing with a judge may result in a penalty.
    • If you noticed that during the event you received a ruling by accident, please notify the judge staff immediately so that they may be able to rectify the situation promptly.

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