During the competition, the participating Trainers, also called PokéRingers, are randomly grouped by a computer into blocks of four teams each. The teams consist of a Trainer and a single Pokémon that is able to fly. The arena where the matches are conducted has four corners. In the first round, the four Trainers of a block are each placed on a corner from where their Pokémon-shaped hot air balloon is released. In order to win, a contestant needs to best the three other Trainers in the block, commanding their Pokémon to grab the ring and deliver it to the goalpost located at the center of the battlefield.
Once each block has elected a winner, the competition moves into the semifinal round, where contestants are randomly paired up to face each other in one-on-one matches. Those succeeding in the semifinals advance to the final round, and the overall winner becomes an honorary citizen of Crossgate Town.
Ash, May, and James competed with Taillow, Beautifly, and Dustox, respectively. May was defeated in the group stage, but Ash and James both made it to the finals, despite Ash facing Volt, the winner of the previous year's tournament. During the final match, Taillow evolved into Swellow, but, after the heroes saved the Pokémon from Team Rocket's evil clutches, Pikachu destroyed the Meowth balloon, helping Ash win.
According to James, the competition allows Trainers to combine their talents with their Pokémon's ability to create an artistic and winning battle style. James revealed that, in his younger years, he trained under a renowned PokéRinger Master—the first PokéRinger champion in history—who thought he had what it took to be a champion. However, when James joined Team Rocket, he gave up his training.
|Taillow → Swellow
Pokémon used in tournament
Taillow → Swellow
Other Pokémon entered
|This article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.