Old-Schooled League and Tournament Format and Rules

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Qualifying Round
  3. Semi-Final Round
  4. Final Round
  5. Trial
  6. Challenge
  7. Head-to-Head Challenge
  8. Scoring
  9. Tie Breaking


Today Old-Schooled is a run in a league and tournament format. The league is divided into seasons and tournaments are numbered sequentially. Both formats mirror each other but with slight differences in structure. Players compete in a series of challenges. Players are eliminated over the course of the season or tournament until only one player is left, the Old-Schooled champion for that season or tournament.

Each season of the Old-Schooled league or tournament is divided into three rounds: Qualifying, Semi-Final, and Final. During each round each player will participate in a trial made up of a number of challenges. Performance in challenges determines who continues on to the next round. Usually the League Organizer, Don Scherig, will be the official logging scores though others may be designed to accommodate scheduling needs.

League Structure Overview

  1. Qualifying Round
    • Swiss round
    • 5 Solo Challenges (3 for Tournaments)
    • Returning players get 1 veto of a challenge game
    • Challenges announced before the round starts
  2. Semi-Final Round
    • 4 person tournament bracket round
    • 5 Head-to-Head Challenges (3 for Tournaments)
    • Qualifying players get 1 veto of a challenges game
    • Challenges announced before the round starts
  3. Final Round
    • Final tournament bracket round
    • 1 Head-to-Head Race Challenge (Truncated Race for Tournaments)
    • Qualifying players vote on games they want from a list and get one veto
    • Challenge announced before the round starts

Tournament Structure Overview

  1. Qualifying Round
    • Swiss round
    • 3 Solo Challenges
    • Games chosen in advance but kept secret until signups start.
  2. Semi-Final Round
    • 4 person tournament bracket round
    • 3 Head-to-Head Challenges
    • Games chosen in advance but kept secret until the round starts.
  3. Final Round
    • Final tournament bracket round
    • 1 Head-to-Head Race Challenge (Truncated)
    • Games chosen in advance but kept secret until the round starts.

Qualifying Round

The Qualifying Round is a swiss round made up of Solo Trials. Play order is determined randomly, though players may play early if desired. During this round new players can still be added to the league or tournament.

In leagues first the organizer will solict game suggestions. They will then announce a list of games but not challenges for those games.All returning players get 1 veto of a game at this point. After vetos are done the final game challenges are announced.

In tournaments games and challenges are kept secret until signup starts and are usually printed on the signup sheet.

After all players have had their trial the round ends and no new players may be added to the league or tournament. Players are scored for their performance in each challenge according to the scoring section below. After scoring the top four players advance to the Semi-Final round. All others are eliminated.

Semi-Final Round

The Semi-Final Round is consists of two Versus Trials consisting of the top four players from the Qualifying Round. Play order will be random.

In league games games will be presented without challenges and players still participating get one veto of challenge games. After vetos are taken into account a final list of games and challenges will be given. In tournaments the challenges are kept secret until the round starts. The winner of each Versus Trial advances to the Final Round.

Final Round

The final round consists of one Versus Trial consisting of a Head-to-Head Race challenge to be done by the winners of the Semi-Final Round.

During tournaments players have no input on what the final challenge game is and the challenge is kept secret until the round begins. For leagues the game will be selected by the following veto/vote process. The organizer will give the players a list of five games. Both players will veto one game from the list leaving three games. Each player will then secretly vote for two of the remaining three games. The game with the most votes will be the game used for the final challenge. If there is a tie then the organizer will break the tie.

In a tournament the challenge is kept secret until the round starts.

The winner of this last Versus Trial is crowned Champion of the league season or tournament!


Trials are the basis of how the Old-Schooled league functions. Trials come in two varieties, Solo and Versus. Solo Trials involve one player who comes and logs their best performance in each challenge to be scored at the end of the round. Versus Trials consist entirely of Head-Head Challenges with the winner being who wins the best of a number of challenges determined by the round.

For leagues I expect to hold 1-2 trial days a month in a league with 1-2 players taking their trial on each day as time permits. Each round a play order will be listed and updated as the round progresses to give players an idea when they should be ready for their trial. At the beginning of each month I will contact the next 1 or 2 people on the list to schedule their trial for that month. The date and time of the trial will be posted on facebook so that other players may come and watch and, if time permits, complete their own trial after the first trial is done. When possible trials will be live streamed at Furluge’s Twitch.tv channel.

For tournaments all trials will be done on the day of the tournament. Again, look to facebook for announcements. Tournaments might not be live broadcast but are recorded and rebroadcast if possible.


Challenges are what players are up against during their trials in each round. Challenges typically consist of a game and a criteria for scoring a player’s performance in that game. Common criteria for games include getting a high score in the game, what level you are able to reach, or how fast you can reach an objective. Unless otherwise specified players have the default number of lives with no continues to attempt each challenge. There are no time limits for challenges unless specified in the challenge. In addition here are a few common caveats to the common scoring criteria. If a challenge and these rules conflict, follow the description in the challenge.

  • If being judged on level completion or progress no warps may be used. Using a warp will require the challenge either be scored as the level the player warped from or restarted over from the beginning, official’s choice
  • Major glitches such as wrong-warps, clipping through terrain, code injection or manipulation, etc. are always banned.
  • Challenges always end whenever an end screen is reached unless otherwise specified in a challenge.
  • During challenges judged on high scores please avoid point pressing. Point pressing is defined as purposefully not completing a level to perform a repetitive activity to gain points. This also includes purposefully killing yourself to replay an area over and over. Try to get a high score while progressing through the level or stage. The official will judge if a player is point pressing and will request a player stop if this occurs.
  • Due to the fact that these are video game challenges sometimes technical issues beyond our control occur, or unforeseen quirks in a game might compromise a challenge. The official for a trial may at any point institute a do-over for any challenge where some type of technical issue is apparently handicapping the player’s ability to perform. Players may also freely request this from the official, though this instance should not occur more than once a trial. Examples of game quirks invalidating a challenge are things such as following a level route that makes it impossible to complete, like getting stuck in World -1 in Super Mario Bros. in a progress challenge.

Head-to-Head Challenge

In the Versus Trials all challenges are head-to-head, meaning they pit player vs player in their criteria for judging. Common judging criteria for a head-to-head challenge include winning in a player vs player game, getting a higher score than your opponent, getting farther in a game than your opponent, or getting a better time to reach an objective than your opponent. Remember, even if you aren’t in a player vs player game for a head-to-head challenge that doesn’t mean you can’t sabotage your opponent in-game. Sabotaging your opponents in game is highly encouraged. Sabotaging your opponents out of the game is strictly prohibited.

Head-to-Head Race Challenge

The final rounds of tournaments and leagues are real time attack style race challenges. In a race challenge both players will compete to finish the end criteria the fastest.

For leagues this is usually game completion. For Tournaments it may be partial game completion. In both instances we will use a time clock to allow for players to take time outs if they need to take a break. To take a time-out a player needs to pause the game, put the controller down and take their hands off it and then notify the official. The official may refuse your time out if the player still is holding the controller.


Challenges in Solo Trials are scored as follows.

Place Points
1st 9
2nd 6
3rd 3
4th and Below 0

In the case of a tie for a challenge both players get the points but this also removes a scoring position below them. For example, in a game-progress challenge two players tie for first ending their play at World 4-1, they would each get 9 points. The player with the next-highest result, World 3-4, would only receive 3 points for third place as the second place spot was removed in the tie.

Tie Breaking

In the event of ties in the qualifying round the tie will be broken by looking at a player’s placing for challenges, starting with who got more 1sts, then if this is tied, who got more 2nds, and so on. If after this players are still tied the tie will be broken by who got the best score in the first high-score challenge, and so on until the tie is broken. If the tie is not broken after this then the tie will be broken by decision of the League Organizer. The League Organizer may issue an new challenge for a tie-breaker if time allows.

In the event of ties in the Expert round, the tie will be broken by either starting the challenge over or competing in a new challenge, official’s choice.

Tie-breaker challenges will typically be “Nostalgically Horrible” games. Or as the Japanese would call them, Kusoge, literally, crap games. Ex: Shaq-Fu, Back to the Futrue, Where’s Waldo.