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Super Smash Bros.™ Ultimate Rulebook
Super Smash Bros.™ Ultimate Rulebook

The 2023 - 2024 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Rulebook for High School leagues.

Updated over a week ago

The Overall High School Competition Rulebook can be viewed here.

Introduction and Purpose

These Official Rules (“Rules”) of the PlayVS High School Esports League apply to each of the teams who have registered and met the requirements for the 2023-2024 school year, as well as their head coach, assistant coaches, vice principals, athletic directors, Starters, Substitutes (collectively “Team Members”), and other members.

1. Game Rules

1.1 Definition of Terms

1.1.1 Game. An instance of competition that is played until a winner is determined by one of the following methods, whichever occurs first: (a) completion of the countdown timer or objective achieved, (b) Team Surrender, or (c) Team Forfeit.

1.1.2 Set. A series of games. The winning player will receive a win tally in favor of their team for the match.

1.1.3 Match. A group of series (or "sets"). The winning team will either receive a win tally in a league format or advance to the next round in a tournament format.

1.1.4 Phase. A section of scheduled league play that comprises a season. There are four distinct phases: preseason, regular season, playoffs, and finals. Each phase has its own league format

1.1.5 Season. Scheduled league play that will occur over an approximately three-month period of time.

1.2 Roster Requirements

1.2.1 Roster Submission

Team members must be eligible to compete on behalf of their school as listed in Section 2 of the High School Competition Rulebook.

In Super Smash Bros.™ Ultimate, each team may have a maximum of six (6) players, broken down into three (3) starting players on the Roster and three (3) players on the Bench. No individual may simultaneously hold two or more roles as listed above. All players and coaches are expected to be present physically or virtually for all official PlayVS matches. Both the Roster and Bench must be finalized before the Roster Lock Date, as listed in Section 3.3 Roster Submission.

1.2.2 Substitutions

Substitutions must be made prior to confirming competing players within the Match Assistant, and only the confirmed players may compete in the match. In the event Match Assistant is unavailable, rosters and substitutions must be confirmed before the start of Game 1 in the first Set, unless otherwise approved by a League Official and stated by a PlayVS Admin in Match Lobby Chat.

Players on the bench may be used for any match their team is competing in within their assigned league. Only the players shown on a team’s Bench before the start of the match can be used as substitutes in an official PlayVS Match.

If a player on the starting roster cannot compete in the match and there are no available Substitutes, competition may continue without that player as long as it does not put the opposing team at a disadvantage.

1.3 Game of Record

A Game of Record (“GOR”) in Super Smash Bros.™ Ultimate is established under the following conditions:

1.3.1 Game timer reaches the end of the countdown and states “GO”.

Once GOR is established, game restarts will only be allowed under limited conditions, as listed in Section 7.4 of the High School Competition Rulebook.

1.4 Stoppage of Play

1.4.1 Directed Pause

At any time, League Officials may order the pause of a match at the sole discretion of League Officials. Teams may complete the current game and finalize the results.

1.4.2 Player Disconnection

If a player disconnects from the online match during a game, the arena lobby will close. The disconnected player must indicate the reason for the disconnection in the match lobby chat within 10 minutes or risk a loss for the set. Please provide a screenshot for all disconnects as proof of when the disconnection happens.

If the disconnected player can return within the 10-minute window, the game must be recreated to the state at which the disconnect occurred, including the stock count. The lobby must be set up once more with the same fighters and stage selected, and once in-game, players can jump from the stage to reduce their stock count, if necessary (damage percentage will not be reset). Once the game is reset, the match should continue.

If the disconnected player, or their coach for the team, has not shared any updates in match lobby chat within the 10-minute window, notify PlayVS Support immediately for further assistance.

1.5 Match Format

Match Format: Best-of-Five (“Bo5”) Sets

Set Format: Best-of-Three (“Bo3”) Games

Mode: Smash

Team Size: 3 Players


  • Game Style: Stock

  • Stocks: 3

  • Time Limit: 8 minutes

  • Final Smash Meter: Off

  • Damage Handicap: Off

  • Items: None (All Off)

  • Stage Hazards: Off

  • Spirits: Off

Each team will compete in a match of Bo5 Sets, where each player will compete in a set of Bo3 games. The winner of each game will be determined by the player that reduces their opponent's stock count to zero. If the in-game timer expires before either player's stock count reaches zero, the game will trigger Sudden Death immediately (automatically setting both players to one stock with 300%) to determine the winning player.

The winner of the set will be determined by the player to win two games first. The winner of the match will be determined by the team to win three sets first. If a single team reaches two games wins, or three set wins, first, then the additional games and/or sets will not be played.

Unless otherwise stated, this format applies to all four phases within a PlayVS season: Preseason, Regular Season, Playoffs, and Finals.

Teams will select one of their starting players to compete in each set. For example:

  • Set 1: Team A Player 1 vs Team B Player 1

  • Set 2: Team A Player 2 vs Team B Player 2

  • Set 3: Team A Player 3 vs Team B Player 3

  • Set 4: Team A Player 1/2/3 vs Team B Player 1/2/3

  • *Set 5: Team A Player 1/2/3 vs Team B Player 1/2/3
    *player competing in Set 5 must not have competed in Set 4

1.5.1 Preseason

This phase consists of each team enrolled in the league competing in official practice matches. The results of this match do not impact a team’s standings. However, this match is strongly recommended to properly test equipment and player game connections.

1.5.2 Regular Season

This phase consists of each team competing in a season format against opponents within their region. Ranking in the league will be determined by each team's win-loss ratio.

1.5.3 Playoffs

This phase consists of eligible teams competing in a single-elimination tournament until only two teams remain. Winning teams will advance to the next round of the Bracket while losing teams will be removed from the competition.

Playoff Eligibility, Bracket, and Tiebreaker information can be found in section 5.2.3 Playoffs of the High School Competition Rulebook. More information about Tiebreakers can also be found here.

1.5.4 Finals

This phase consists of a final match between the top two teams from the league as decided by the Playoffs. The Finals will follow the same format as mentioned above in Section 1.5.

1.6 Special Rules

1.6.1 Stage Selection

Players will go through a stage striking process before each game in their set to determine the stage played. The list of available stages is outlined below. Only stages listed in Section will be allowed during PlayVS competitions. Stage List

The Maps available for play are listed below. No maps outside of this list can be played as part of an official PlayVS match. Omega and Battlefield variations of these stages are not allowed.

Starter Stages: These are the only stages allowed for Game 1 of a set.

  • Battlefield

  • Town & City

  • Pokémon Stadium 2

  • Smashville

  • Small Battlefield

Counterpick Stages: These stages are added to the stage pool ONLY in Game 2 and onward of a set.

  • Final Destination

  • Kalos Pokémon League

  • Lylat Cruise Stage Pick Order Game 1

Stage Strike Order (Only Starter Stages)

Home Player ➤ Strikes 1 stage from the list

Away Player ➤ Strikes 2 stages from the list

Home Player ➤ Strikes 1 stage from the list

Remaining Stage is chosen for play Stage Pick Order Game 2 and Onward

Stage Striking Order (Starter + Counterpick Stages)

Winner of Previous Game ➤ Strikes 2 stages from the list

Loser of Previous Game ➤ Chooses stage to play from remaining list

1.6.2 Mii Fighters

Mii™ Fighters must use their default costumes (though players may select any color for their Mii™) and must use a Guest Mii™. Any player who declares their intention to compete using a Mii™ Fighter must communicate their Mii™ Fighter Setup in match lobby chat so that their opponents are aware of the move selection before going into game.

Mii™ Fighters should be named after the combination of special moves chosen, listed in the format “XXXX.” Each X is a number between 1 - 3 which will designate the special ability chosen in each slot from top to bottom when assigning special abilities to the Mii™ Fighter.


  • Player A chooses “Mii™ Fighter - Brawler”.

  • Player A chooses the following Special Abilities from Top to Bottom

    • Neutral Special : 1 Shot Put

    • Side Special: 2 Burning Dropkick

    • Up Special: 1 Soaring Axe Kick

    • Down Special: 3 Counter Throw

  • Mii™ Fighter’s Name should be then set to: 1213

    • This will allow the opponent to know what moveset to expect from that Mii™ Fighter when facing them.

  • Player A communicates in Match Lobby Chat that he is using a 1213 move set spread so that their opponent is aware.

Any combination of moves may be used, but any movesets that any player may want to use during a set must be created before the set begins (up to a limit of three Mii™ Fighters)

1.6.3 Free Strikes

A winning player will be provided an additional "free strike" to remove any stage(s) that their opponent has previously won on in the current set.

If a winning player does not take advantage of a "free strike" during their stage striking step, then those stages will remain available for stage selection. Losing players are always eligible to select any stage from the stage selection list.

1.6.4 Stage Music & Broadcasting Matches

Many stages in Super Smash Bros.™ Ultimate have unique music that is protected by the publisher’s copyright guidelines. To avoid violating these copyright guidelines, all broadcasted matches must have the in-game music levels reduced to zero (0) in the in-game Options.

2. Player Equipment

2.1 Equipment

Each player on the Starting Roster must have access to school-provided equipment or must be permitted by the school to provide their own equipment in the following categories:

2.1.1 Nintendo Switch System & Monitor/Television

2.1.2 Headsets and/or Earbuds

2.1.3 Table and Chair

2.1.4 USB to Ethernet Adapter

2.1.5 Nintendo GameCube controller adapter

2.1.6 Nintendo GameCube controller, Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controller(s) or Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, or any Nintendo Switch compatible controller with no turbo mode availability.

2.1.7 Active Nintendo Switch Online membership

2.1.8 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game

For the avoidance of doubt, each team is required to acquire one (1) Nintendo Switch system, three (3) controllers, one (1) Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game, one (1) USB to Ethernet Adapter, one (1) Nintendo Switch Online membership. Equipment may be acquired through the school or, if permitted by the school, by players supplying their own.

2.2 Supported Equipment

Players must compete using an official Nintendo Switch system in all PlayVS games. PC or laptop and tablet use are not permitted. Any team found in violation of this rule will receive a forfeit for all matches in which PCs, laptops, or tablets were used.

2.3 Internet Connection & Latency

Teams are expected to be connected to an internet connection using a wired connection method with their Nintendo USB to Ethernet Adapter. Using a wireless connection method or internet hotspot can lead to latency issues while competing in an online arena environment.

If latency issues exist during a match and a team is found to be using a wireless connection method, League Officials may require a restart, reschedule, or issue a loss for the game, set, or match.

2.4 Internet Connection Disputes

In the event that a match is affected by internet connection issues, please review and complete the steps in the Internet Troubleshooting For Gameday Issues article.

If the steps provided do not resolve your connection issues, submit a support ticket with the type of connection issue you are running into along with the requested screenshots from the article above.

Once connected with a representative, a PlayVS Admin will be sent to your match lobby chat to confirm the information submitted and address the situation. All disputes are addressed on a case-by-case basis, and rulings may require a restart, reschedule, or a loss for the game, set, or match.

If a single team’s connection issues persist throughout the season, matches may be resolved at League Officials discretion to ensure the season continues to move forward.

3. Match Process

3.1 Pre-Match Setup

Teams must adhere to Section 6.2 Pre-Match Setup as they prepare to join their match.

3.2 Match Setup

3.2.1 Create Lobby

  • Home Team:

    • From the Main Menu, select “Online” > “Smash” > “Battle Arena” > “Create Arena”

    • Set up the Arena with the Settings found in Section 1.5 Game Format

    • Set an Arena Password and share that with the Unique Arena ID in Match Lobby Chat

  • Away Team:

    • From the Main Menu, select “Online” > “Smash” > “Battle Arena” > “Join Arena”

    • Enter the Arena ID and Password provided by the Home Team

3.2.1 Set & Game Setup

Sets during a PlayVS best-of match will be played consecutively during match day. Teams will confirm their starting roster for the match and then indicate which player is competing in Set 1. For set 1, the player selections are blind and cannot see their opponent's first player selection.

For Sets 2 and onward, the winning team from the previous set will indicate which of their remaining players will compete in the upcoming set. The losing team from the previous set will have a counter-pick when selecting players and indicate their competing player after the winning team has indicated their player for the set.

Should a match go to Set 4, the rosters will be reset, and any of the players who competed in a previous set are eligible to be chosen to compete in Set 4. The player counter-pick process will remain, and the losing team will have a counter-pick and select their competing player after the winning team.

Should a match go to Set 5, teams can choose either of the two remaining players to compete in Set 5. Again, the player counter-pick process will remain, and the losing team will have a counter-pick and select their competing player after the winning team.

If the PlayVS Match Assistant is unavailable, all setup information must be shared using Match Lobby Chat.

3.3 Match F.A.Q

3.3.1 Spectating

As spectators may cause network latency issues for players, spectators are not allowed to use the in-game spectating tools during PlayVS matches according to section 7.7.2 Spectating Latency from the Competition Rulebook.

3.3.2 In-Game Content Updates

Super Smash Bros.™ Ultimate is a live-service multiplayer game that may release new content patches with new and/or updated fighters and stages while the season is occurring.

Any fighters or stages currently disabled in-game by Nintendo will not be available for use during official PlayVS matches. All PlayVS matches will occur on the most up-to-date patch, and any available fighters or stages listed in section 1.6 are eligible for use in PlayVS matches unless otherwise stated by League Officials.

4. Post-Match Process

4.1 Results

If the match is completed using PlayVS Match Assistant tool, then in-game statistics and results will be recorded at the conclusion of each game using the tool.

In the event that the PlayVS Match Assistant could not be used, then statistics will not be tracked, and the match results would need to be submitted manually within 1 hour of match completion. Players should take screenshots of the match results and share those with their coaches.

In the event of an error, coaches must contact PlayVS directly.


V 1.0 // 2023/2024

V 1.1 // 9/15/2023 - Updated Section 1.6.1 for Clarity

V 2.0 // 1/17/2024 - Reformatted to match PlayVS Resources Style Guidelines
V 2.2 // 3/5/2024 - Removed Section 1.6.3 Sudden Death and updated Section 1.5 Match Format to clarify in-game processes

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