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SBR Recommended Rule List: Brawl

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is laughing at you
May 4, 2005
SBR Recommended Ruleset
Super Smash Brothers: Brawl (singles and doubles)

The following list was created by members of the Smash Back Room (SBR). Each rule was debated and voted upon in separate topics. While it is always up to the Tournament Organizers (TO) to determine the rules that best fit their tournaments, we recommend these rules be used as a base guideline to new and experienced TO's alike.

General rules:

  • 3 Stock
  • 8 minute timer
  • Items are set to "off" and "none"
  • All sets with the possible exception of winner's finals, loser's finals, and the championship are best of 3 matches (best of 5 and above is recommended for any "finals" matches)
  • In the event of a dispute, controller ports will be selected by Rock-Paper-Scissors
  • No player may choose a stage they have already won on in that set unless agreed upon by both players.
  • In team matches, the ports will be determined in a 1221 fashion; whoever wins the RPS will choose first, then the opposing team will get their ports, and then the teammate of the RPS winner will get the last port.
  • If the timer runs out, the victor is determined first by stock and then by percentage.
  • Metaknight's Infinite Cape glitch is banned.
  • If a game ends with Bowser doing his suicide klaw and it ends in sudden death, the sudden death will be ignored and that game will count as a win for Bowser.
  • You are responsible for your own controller and name tag. Any malfunctions or errors that occur are your responsibility, so bring an extra controller if possible and always check to make sure you're using the correct settings BEFORE a match is played. If a match is to be restarted due to controller functions, it must be agreed upon by both parties.
  • Any action that can prevent the game from continuing (i.e., freezing, disappearing characters, game reset, etc.) will result in a forfeit of that match for the player that initiated the action. You are responsible for knowing your own character, and must be wary about accidentally triggering one of these effects.
  • Stalling is banned.

Stalling: The act of deliberately avoiding any and all conflict so that one may make the game unplayable. Running away from an opponent to reach a better position is not stalling, while doing an infinite grab endlessly against a wall is. Any infinite chain grabs most end quickly after 300% has been reached so as to prevent excessive stalling.

Set format (In Order of Procedure):
1. Opponents choose their characters for the first match *
2. Opponents start the stage striking procedure
3. Each player may announce one stage to be banned for counterpicks of the set
4. The first game is played, using the stage chosen during step 2
5. The loser of the previous match announces the next match's stage from either the Starter Stage List or the Counter Stage List
6. The winner of the previous match chooses their character
7. The loser of the previous match chooses their character
8. Repeat steps 5-7 for all proceeding matches
*Double blind character selection may be called for the first match

Stage Lists

TOs must move stages from the starter/counterpick into either the starter or counterpick categories and must move stages from counterpick/banned into either the counterpick or banned categories.

Stages in the Starter/Counter and Counter/Banned list did not receive 2/3 majority, and therefore you are given the option to put those stages in either category, as we did not come to a consensus on it.

The SBR Recommended rule list uses the stage striking system. In this system, players take turns striking stages from the starter list until only one remains; these stages are not banned and can be counterpicked later in the set. There must be an odd number of starter stages.

Final Destination
Yoshi's Island

Castle Siege
Lylat Cruise
Pokémon Stadium 1

Distant Planet
Frigate Orpheon
Green Hill Zone
Jungle Japes
Luigi's Mansion
Pirate Ship
Pokémon Stadium 2
Rainbow Cruise
Yoshi's Island (Pipes)

Green Greens
Mario Circuit
Port Town Aero Dive

Big Blue
Bridge of Eldin
Flat Zone 2
Hyrule Temple
Mario Bros.
Mushroomy Kingdom I
Mushroomy Kingdom II
New Pork City
Rumble Falls
Shadow Moses
Spear Pillar
The Summit
Wario Ware

Additional Rules for Double's Play
  • Life Stealing is allowed
  • Set team attack to ON
  • Hanenbow may be moved from Ban to Counterpick for Doubles

Optional Rules

Some rules were discussed in the SBR but were not deemed to be important enough to consider staples to a rule set, or were considered to be too intrusive to be common. We recommended you include any of the following optional rules you deem to be necessary and modify them as needed.

  • Port slob picks: On a player's counterpick, that player may opt to redo the port selection process with that player or team picking their port first.
  • Resolving Ties: Any games ending in time running out should always be decided by stock, and then percents. If percents are the same or both players die simultaneously, there will be a 1 stock overttime or the sudden death will be played out. The TO needs to decide which of these will be used before the tournament. Bowser's suicide klaw is exempt from this rule.
  • Color Blind rule: Should a player have a color-based disability, he or she may request in a teams match to have a specific color for their team. This is so characters such as Lucario or Sonic can be granted the blue team so that there is not unnecessary confusion.
  • Wiimotes and Classic Controller users should know to take the batteries out of their controllers after finishing a set; not only will this save battery life, but it prevents accidental intereference and delay for tournament matches.
  • Pirated copies of Brawl or modded Wii consoles will not be used for tournament matches.
  • The Mages DQ rule: After a match has been called, if a player is two minutes late he will receive a warning. At 4 minutes late, he will be given a loss for the first game of the set. After six minutes, he will be given a loss of the entire set.
  • It is recommended to have a station set up specifically for Gamecube controllers; this prevents intereference from wiimotes in future matches, whether intentional or accidental. This is a great way to make sure the finals go smoothly. Alternatively, you could make a station for wiimotes only, but it is recommended to have a GC only station.


  • This list is not meant to be copied and pasted, but instead copied and adjusted to fit each tournaments situation (time limits, regional philosophies, etc.).
  • Some of these stages (Port Town, Skyworld) have been traditionally banned. Many of these stages had very fierce debate, the stages position on each list is only indicative of the end result of each debate. Some of these results have been quite surprising. Many of these stages that many banned immediately were put into the counterpick category because the SBR could not see any evidence for banning the stage rather than general distaste, which is not an adequate reason for removing a stage from the game.
  • The SBR debated heavily over rule enforcement but decided such decisions are currently too broad to be stated within this recommended rule list. It is recommended a system be in place to deal with disqualifications for players who are late or absent from matches (the Mages DQ rule is a good starting point) and for those who violate the rules. There is a list of optional rules that have been added for your ease of use.
  • Players are responsible for knowing the rules. No more than the previous match should be replayed in the event of a rule violation and it is recommended that any disputes be brought promptly and quickly to the TO's attention.
  • For larger tournaments pool play should precede double elimination bracket play.
  • Wireless controllers should be discouraged because of interference, unreliability (battery life), and time hindrance; it is not advisable to ban them as many new players use them and banning their control scheme makes it difficult for them to participate.
  • The semi-final and championship sets should be in at least best of 5 format.
  • Drugs and Alcohol should be prohibited at most tournaments due to minor involvement and potential legal issues.
  • Any rule-list that closely follows this guideline may include a note in its opening post (suggested beneath the tournaments title in smaller font) that reads "SBR Certified".
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