Choosing Sides: When both players are at the game console, they must come to an agreement which side of the machine they will play on (who will sit on 1p and who will sit on 2p). If an agreement cannot be reached, a game of paper-scissors-rock will determine who gets to pick their side.
Choosing Characters: There are 3 methods for choosing characters: Standard Selection, Double Blind Selection, and Side and Character Courtesy. If the players do not discuss the method of character selection, it should be understood that the Standard method is being used. If the players cannot come to an agreement on the method of character selection, the judge will apply the double blind method.
- Standard Selection: Both players choose their characters whenever they want. This is a free for all. Players pick who they want and go. Once either player chooses a character, neither is allowed to request that the Double Blind Selection method be used.
- Double Blind Selection: Either player must explicitly ask for the Double Blind Selection method before either player chooses a character. When a player request Double Blind, the player on the left side (1p) decides which characters and modes (e.g. Ultras) they will choose and whispers his selection to the Tournament Organizer. The Tournament Organizer then signals the player on the right (2p) to pick his characters and play modes. Once the player on the right (2p) has finished, the Tournament Organizer makes sure the player on the left (1p) sticks to his original choices.
- Side and Character Courtesy: As a courtesy, the player who received his choice of which side to play on (1p vs 2p) can elect to choose his character first. This is strictly a courtesy. A player is in no way required to do so.
Playing the Match: Once sides and characters have been chosen, the players should begin the first Game in the Match. The following rules go into effect once a Game ends:
- The Match is over when either player wins the required number of games.
- Once a player has won the required number of games, the winner of the Match should report the result to the Tournament Organizer.
- If there are still Games to be played, the player who lost the Game has the option of switching sides (1p vs 2p) for the next Game.
- The player who won the game does not have the option of switching sides. He must stay on the same side if the loser does not want to switch.
- The player who won the last Game is required to keep the same characters. The Winner of a game may change his or her Ultra Combo setting, but such change must be made before loser picks character.
- The player who lost the last Game is allowed to choose whatever characters, and Ultra Combos they wish.
Reporting Rule Violations: At some point during the tournament, a player may violate either the tournament rules or the rules for a particular game in a tournament. The following rules apply toward rectifying rule violations.
- It is the responsibly of the players in the Match to detect all Match Rule violations and report them to the Tournament Organizer immediately.
- ALL non-gameplay rule violations must be reported to the Tournament Organizer before the Game starts (e.g. the winner switching the characters after winning one Game in a Match).
- Players are not allowed to stop a Game in progress to address a non-gameplay related rule violation. Stopping a Game in progress to report a non-gameplay rule violation will result in the forfeiture the round on the part of the person stopping the game.
- The only time a player is allowed to stop a Game to report a rule violation is when that violation occurs during the middle of the match.
- Stopping a Game in progress to erroneously report a rule violation automatically results in the forfeiture of the round by the player who stopped the game.
- Rule violations must be reported at the time they occur. Otherwise, they will be ignored.
- A Tournament Organizer is allowed to report any rule violations on behalf of a player.
- If a Tournament Organizer stops a game to mis-report a rule violation, the Game is replayed with both players picking the same characters, order, and side. No one is disqualified.
- The only people allowed to stop a Game to report a violation are the Tournament Organizer and the players.
- If a player accidentally or intentionally stops his game for any other reason, he will be forced to forfeit the round. Examples include accidentally pressing the start button on his controller to pause the match, unplugging his or his opponents joystick, etc. If the game cannot be restarted from the exact point of interruption, the player is forced to forfeit the Game.
- Match interruptions beyond the player’s control (e.g. the game crashes or freezes) will be dealt with directly by the Tournament Organizer. All best attempts will be made to resume the round from where it left off. If that cannot be accomplished, the Game will be replayed with both players picking the same characters and modes.
Reporting Equipment Failure: Video game hardware has a tendency to break down during tournaments. Buttons or joysticks will occasionally break down in the middle of a match, leaving the player on the broken side at a significant disadvantage. The following rules will be used in the event of a breakdown.
- In the event of an equipment failure, they player has the option to stop the Game in progress to obtain a replacement.
- If a Game is stopped in progress, the reporting player must forfeit the current round.
- New equipment must be immediately available. If replacement equipment cannot be obtained in a timely manner, the player must continue to play on their current equipment or forfeit the Match.
- Once replacement equipment is obtained, the player is given the rest of the round to configure their buttons and test the new equipment. If the player gains an undue advantage by doing so (e.g. charging an abundance of super meter), they must forfeit the Game.
- A player may opt to switch out equipment between Games at no penalty. When this occurs, the player will be given ample time to configure his buttons before the next Game begins.
- There will be no ties in any tournament. Anyone refusing to play any Match (including the finals) will be disqualified and forfeit all rights to any titles or prizes they might have otherwise earned for that tournament.
- A draw match as determined by the game must be replayed, unless the game awards the draw to a player.
- Inevitable Defeat rule is in effect. This is defined as when a player has legally won the round or match (i.e. landed a move that will kill the opponent) but pauses the game before the game awards the round won icon, will still be awarded the win. The most common occurrence of this rule is when Player 1 lands a super on Player 2, but the super animation is a grab and the damage isnʼt awarded till the final hit connects, but the opponent has legally lost the round. If there is a dispute over whether the move would have knocked out the other player, a tournament official will unpause the match, see the result of the action, and proceed from there. If the attack does not kill the opponent, then the mid game pause rules are in effect.
- Collusion of any kind with your competitors is considered cheating. If the Tournament Organizer determines that any competitor is colluding to manipulate the results or intentionally under performing, the collaborating players may be immediately disqualified. This determination is to be made at the sole discretion of the Tournament Director. Anyone disqualified in this manner forfeits all rights to any titles or prizes they might have otherwise earned for that tournament.
- Tournament Organizer has a zero tolerance policy toward violence, threats of violence, intimidation, and other forms of thuggery. Any threat of violence, extreme intimidation, or violence of any kind will result in an immediate and lifetime ban.
- Gambling is prohibited in and/or around the event hall. Any player that gambles on the property will be immediately ejected from the tournament, and may be banned.