From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
- This article is about Pokémon League Championship. For the locations in Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos, or Alola, see Pokémon League (Sinnoh), Pokémon League (Unova), Pokémon League (Kalos), or Pokémon League (Alola). For the system in the Pokémon Trading Card Game, see Pokémon League (TCG)
The Pokémon League (Japanese: ポケモンリーグ Pokémon League) is a group that organizes Pokémon competitions for registered Pokémon Trainers. It serves as an umbrella that oversees the regional Leagues.
There are eight known regional Leagues under the Pokémon League: the Indigo League in Kanto, the Orange League in the Orange Archipelago, the Johto League in Johto, the Hoenn League in Hoenn, the Sinnoh League in Sinnoh, the Unova League in Unova, the Kalos League in Kalos, the Alola League in Alola and the Galar League in Galar.
In order to participate in regional competitions, Trainers must acquire a certain number of Gym Badges signifying the defeat of that region's Gym Leaders, or in the case of Alola, complete the island challenge.
In the games
In the core series Pokémon games, every region has a Pokémon League. The League challenge consists of collecting eight Gym Badges (or in Alola's case, beating the island challenge) and challenging the Elite Four, as well as the League Champion immediately after defeating the Elite Four members (or in Galar immediately after defeating the challengers). Winners are invited into the Hall of Fame.
In Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos, and HoennORAS, the place that holds the regional Pokémon League is simply called "Pokémon League", including the building itself. In Alola, only the building itself is called "Pokémon League".
In the anime
In the anime, the Pokémon League challenge is divided into two parts: the Pokémon League Conference and the Champion League. In addition to organizing competitions, the Pokémon League acts as a regulatory body which licenses Trainers and certifies Gyms. In Ancient Family Matters!, Gym Leader Byron stated that he transferred from the Oreburgh Gym to the Canalave Gym after being contacted by the League organization because it was vacated by its previous Leader.
As revealed in A Mudkip Mission, the organization is also responsible for the distribution of starter Pokémon Eggs to Pokémon Breeders like Old Man Swamp and the regional Professors. These starter Pokémon are often raised at a low level to make it easier for a new Trainer to truly bond with their new partner. The League organization can be compared to the Pokémon Association in the Pokémon Adventures manga.
The Pokémon League advertises with posters and distributes at least some merchandise, including Ash's Pokémon League Expo hat. League Conference battles are broadcast on television to audiences worldwide.
The League Competition Committee is presided by Charles Goodshow and its functions are similar to those of the Pokémon Activities Committee, which organizes Pokémon Contests and Grand Festival tournaments for registered Coordinators.
Pokémon League Conference
- Main article: Pokémon League Conference
The Pokémon League Conference is a single-elimination tournament between Trainers who have collected at least eight Gym Badges from a specific region. Other ways of getting into the Indigo Plateau Conference 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.
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 competition will be ranked accordingly.
The League Conferences are known for their many traditions, including the opening celebration which evokes the flame of Moltres, alluding to the Olympic flame. Charles Goodshow serves as the president of the League Competition Committee.
After winning a Pokémon League Conference, a Trainer may enter the Champion League of the relevant region, where the Elite Four and the League Champion await. Like in the games, Trainers must defeat all members of the Elite Four for the right of challenging the Champion. Once the Elite Four is defeated, Champions are required to defend their title from challengers. If the battle against the challenger is won, Champions hold on to their current status. However, if the challenger succeeds, Champions must relinquish their title to the winning Trainer, who will then be deemed the new Pokémon Champion.
In the Diamond & Pearl series, all members of the Sinnoh Elite Four but Bertha have been shown challenging Cynthia for her title. It is unknown if they had to defeat their Elite colleagues or if they requested a battle from the Champion straight away. So far, the only mentions of the Champion League have been in An Elite Meet and Greet!, A Trainer and Child Reunion!, Ash and Trip's Third Battle!, and Ash Versus the Champion!.
In the manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
In Pokémon Adventures, the Pokémon League consists of a regional tournament held every three 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. One rule that is incorporated into each featured tournament is that, should just one of a Trainer's Pokémon faint, then that Trainer automatically loses.
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 made up 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.
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