From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
- This article is about Pokémon League Championship. For the locations in Sinnoh, Unova or Kalos, see Pokémon League (Sinnoh), Pokémon League (Unova) or Pokémon League (Kalos). For the system in the Pokémon Trading Card Game, see Pokémon League (TCG)
The Pokémon League (Japanese: ポケモンリーグ) is the official group that organizes competitions for registered Pokémon Trainers. It serves as an umbrella that oversees the regional leagues.
There are seven known regional leagues under the Pokémon League: the Indigo League in the Kanto region, the Orange League in the Orange Archipelago, the Johto League in the Johto region, the Hoenn League in the Hoenn region, the Sinnoh League in the Sinnoh region, the Unova League in the Unova region, and the Kalos League in the Kalos region. It is uncertain whether or not the competition in the Whirl Islands is sanctioned under the Pokémon League.
In order to participate in regional competitions, one must acquire a certain number of Gym Badges signifying the defeat of that region's Gym Leaders.
In the anime, the League is known for its many traditions, including the opening celebration which evokes the flame of Moltres (or in the case of the Silver Conference, the flame of Ho-Oh), alluding to the Olympic Flame.
The Pokémon League apparently manufactures and distributes Pokémon merchandise, such as Ash Ketchum's Official Pokémon League Expo hat.
In the games
In the games, every region in a core series game has a Pokémon League:
(Since Generation IV, each place that holds the regional Pokémon league is simply called "Pokémon League".)
Types of competitions
There are two types of League competitions.
Competitions against the Elite Four
Qualifying Trainers may battle each member of the Elite Four along with the reigning Pokémon League Champion.
Winners will be invited into the Hall of Fame.
The Indigo and Johto Leagues share a single Elite Four and Champion that meet on Indigo Plateau. The other leagues each have their own Champions.
- Main article: Pokémon League Conference
A championship competition poster. Note the usage of type symbols
used in the TCG
Periodically, regional championship competitions will be held for qualifying Trainers to come together and battle their Pokémon. Hundreds of the best Trainers participate in these competitions.
Rules vary from region to region, but generally, championship competitions are divided into three parts: qualifying rounds, preliminary rounds, and final rounds. Highly skilled Trainers will move on to compete with a smaller pool of competitors. The Trainer that defeats all other competitors is deemed the winner of the competition. Losing Trainers who participate in the competitions will be ranked accordingly.
Chairman Charles Goodshow serves as the president of the League Competition Committee and oversees all the regional competitions.
Pokémon League competitions across continuities
In the games
In the game continuity, the Pokémon League challenge consists solely of collecting 8 Badges and challenging that region's Elite Four, as well as defeating the reigning champion immediately after beating the Elite Four.
In the anime
In the anime continuity, the League challenge is a tournament. Trainers qualify by having at least eight Gym Badges from the relevant region, and then an elimination tournament takes place between the qualifying Trainers. The winner of the tournament is invited to challenge that region's Elite Four in battle.
Other ways of getting into the Indigo League besides collecting Badges have been shown, such as by passing the Pokémon League Admissions Exam, as seen in The Ultimate Test, or by graduating from Pokémon Tech, as seen in The School of Hard Knocks.
In the manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
In Pokémon Adventures, the Pokémon League consists of a regional tournament held every 3 years in each region. There are two ways of qualifying for the tournament—either by having eight Gym Badges or defeating a large number of other applicants without Gym Badges in preliminary rounds. The Pokémon League is sanctioned and run by the Pokémon Association.
In addition, there is no Elite Four challenge. The Elite Four are simply powerful groups of four Trainers from each region who ally themselves with each other for power, and their activities are not sanctioned by the Pokémon League or related to the Pokémon Association—in fact, the activities of Kanto's Elite Four were villainous in nature. The Hoenn League added new rules to the Pokémon League tournament. The person that wins the tournament will be allowed to fight the Elite Four, four previous winners of the tournament. The Sinnoh Elite Four was enlisted by Pokémon Association to decode Charon's notebook in order to find out more about his aspiration, and the Johto Elite Four is comprised of ex-criminals who are seeking emotional support from each other by training together.
The Unova League is similar to the Hoenn League. As explained by Black, participants can only compete when they have won eight Gym Badges. The Trainers that have earned eight Gym Badges are allowed to enter the Unova League tournament. The winner of this tournament is then allowed to fight the Elite Four, and then they will be allowed to fight the Champion.