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The setting for the competition
The Sinnoh Grand Festival (Japanese: シンオウグランドフェスティバル Sinnoh Grand Festival) is an anime-exclusive event during the Diamond & Pearl series. All Pokémon Coordinators who earn five Contest Ribbons from the Sinnoh region are eligible to enter.
In A Stand-Up Sit-Down!, Zoey mentioned that the Sinnoh Grand Festival follows the Double Performance rule. In Fighting Ire with Fire!, Marian announced that the competition would be held at Lake Valor, the site of the most recent Wallace Cup.
In the anime, the Sinnoh Grand Festival began in Last Call — First Round! and ended in A Grand Fight for Winning!. Like all Sinnoh Pokémon Contests, Marian was the announcer. During the Grand Festival that Dawn participated in, 108 coordinators participated. For the tournament, she and her rivals wore new costumes.
Instead of the usual three judges, the Sinnoh Grand Festival has six judges in attendance: Raoul Contesta, Mr. Sukizo, Lilycove City's Nurse Joy, her sisters from Pastoria City and Jubilife City and special judge Fantina, the Hearthome Gym Leader and a Contest master. The Nurse Joys from Pastoria and Jubilife only judge the Appeal Round.
The winner of the competition receives the Ribbon Cup as their prize and becomes Top Coordinator.
Unlike the other Grand Festivals, Sinnoh Grand Festival only has one appeals round instead of two. The competition is held under the Double Performance rule, which means that Coordinators must use two Pokémon in all rounds.
Due to the number of participants, the appeal stage of the Sinnoh Grand Festival is divided up onto three stages; the Red Stage, the Green Stage, and the Blue Stage. The Red Stage is judged by Fantina and the Nurse Joy from Jubilife City, while Mr. Sukizo and the Nurse Joy from Pastoria City judge the Green Stage. The Blue Stage is judged by Mr. Contesta and the Nurse Joy from Lilycove City. The stages can be modified for each Coordinator (for instance, when Zoey appealed with her Gastrodon and Lumineon, the stage opened up to reveal a pool for the two Water-type Pokémon to use). Each Coordinator performs on one of the three stages. Once all participants appeal, the 32 top scoring Coordinators progress to the second round.
There is one day of rest between the first and second rounds. The second round marks the beginning of the Grand Festival's battle rounds with some changes to the layout. The number of Coordinators in the second round is reduced to 32 and the battles were conducted on a single stage instead of a trio of stages. Also, the amount of judges is reduced from six to four. All Coordinators were matched-up randomly by computer up to the semi-finals. Coordinators who run out of points, have their Pokémon knocked out or have the least amount of points once the time runs out are eliminated from the Grand Festival.
Zoey, the winner, with the Sinnoh Ribbon Cup
- This is the only Grand Festival Tournament that is four episodes long instead of the usual three episodes.