Over the course of the season, Team Compendium, the PTOs and judges at big events often hear directly from the POP leadership on how the game should be played; those rulings are often put into place for big events, such as National Championships or Worlds. At my Battle Roads, I found myself coaching my players on some of these rulings so that they would be ready to compete in big events. As I travelled this fall, I collected these rulings into a document. This collection was recently submitted to the Rules Team and POP for review. After a few changes, we created the Q/A you find in the document below. Enjoy.
Your discard pile can be organized or sorted, but not separated into more than one pile
Q. Can I separate my discard pile in two stacks to make it easier to count energy?
A. No, you have to have a single neatly stacked discard pile. You may sort or turn cards neatly in that pile if it helps the game go more quickly, but they must all be touching.
Your deck cannot be placed ‘sideways’ but your discard pile can (this one hurt, because I love a sideways deck, but I’ll live!)
Q. I like to keep my deck and discard pile sideways to help me keep them separate from my bench. Is that OK?
A. Your deck must be oriented vertically, to avoid revealing information during handling or cuts. You may turn your discard pile ‘sideways’, to help you distinguish it from your bench.
You can use RPS cards, but you can’t randomize your choice of card (or throw).
Q. Is it OK to roll a dice to randomize my Rock-Paper-Scissors choice?
A. No. R-P-S is a game of strategy. You must not appear to be randomizing your choice by any method.
Your RPS cards MUST have the word rock, paper or scissors printed on them; dice are not allowed at all!
Q. I found some cool cards and dice to indicate my throw in Rock-Paper-Scissors. Can I use them?
A. You may not use dice to indicate your choice, as it is to easy to manipulate the dice while it is covered. The requirements for R-P-S cards are that they must have identical backs, that they clearly say “Rock” or “Paper” or “Scissors” on the front and that all themes on the cards be appropriate for a Pokemon Event as determined by the Head Judge.
RPS should be 1-2-3-throw, not 1-2-throw (again, not how we do it where I’m from, but we’ll adjust!)
Q. Is Rock-Paper-Scissors played by pumping my arm 2 times then throwing my choice, or pumping 3 times then throw?
A. Players should agree on this between themselves before playing. If they can’t agree, the default to be used will be a three-count priming and then the simultaneous throw of the choice, for example, “Rock-Paper-Scissors-Shoot” with the choice thrown on “shoot”.
You can’t use codes or deception in your notes. Your notes must be open/readable by your opponent
Q. Can I take notes in code or make deceptive notes during a match?
A. Per the tournament rules, your notes must be taken timely, restricted to changes in game state and open to review by the other player. Codes hinder both review and timeliness, because you have to explain them to the opponent. Of course, dubious game actions intended to deceive the opponent may earn a disqualification for unsporting conduct (i.e. no deceptive notes).
The rulings above, in our standard Q/A format, have been uploaded to the Compendium LvX. We are still waiting on a batch of card rulings from previous questions; thanks for your patiences. Meantime, we’re beginning to work on Storm Front rulings for the cards that have been previewed by PUI. Also, note that the index in the online version has been fixed so that it accommodates all the current entries; it was previously cut off after entry 200.
P.S. Here’s an example of RPS dice, contributed by Matt & Jeff McDiarmid
As you can see, unless you’re going to randomize your ‘throw’ by rolling the dice (not allowed) it was deemed that the dice is too easy to manipulate while it is covered, and the use of dice to indicate the throw was disallowed.