So you’re interested in battling the Pokemon Gym Leader Squad? Good for you! Here are the rules and guidelines for participating.

How to Participate

The Pokemon Gym Leader Squad is open to all challengers, regardless of age or skill level. What you will need is the following:

  • A handheld in the 3DS family
  • Pokemon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, or Ultra Moon
  • A team of 6 Pokemon ready to battle
That’s all you need. No, really. That’s it.



In order to challenge our gym leaders at a particular event, you will need to register, which can be done at the PGLS headquarters at the event in question. Registering will get you a nifty trainer card, which we’ll sign as proof of your victories. When you register, you will provide us with your name (real or trainer name, either one works) and the six Pokemon you will be using. Once registered, the six Pokemon you use cannot be changed, so choose carefully!


Three Tiers

We offer three tiers of play for differing skill levels. You will need to pick a tier when you register.

  • Rising Star: This is for beginners and children under the age of ten who have just started out on their Pokemon Journey.
  • Ace Trainer: This is for people who are Pokemon fans, but not Pokemon adepts. If you enjoy the games but aren’t very competitive at it, then we offer the casual tier as a lighter challenge.
  • Veteran: This is for serious challengers who focus on advanced tactics and mechanics. If you know what IVs and EVs are, you belong in this tier.

If you are unsure which tier fits you best, ask a gym leader and they’ll try their best to help.



The following rules apply to official matches against our gym leaders:

  1. Legendary Pokemon/Ultra Beast use: No limit of Legendary Pokemon, and/or Ultra Beasts for Rising Star challengers. Limit of two Legendary Pokemon, and/or Ultra Beasts for Ace Trainer challengers. No legendary Pokemon, and/or Ultra Beasts are permitted for Veteran challengers. All other Pokemon are permissible for all challengers. The following is a complete list of all Pokemon considered legendary, or Ultra Beast:
    Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Mewtwo, Mew, Raikou, Entei, Suicune, Lugia, Ho-oh, Celebi, Regirock, Regice, Registeel, Latias, Latios, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Jirachi, Deoxys, Uxie, Mesprit, Azelf, Dialga, Palkia, Heatran, Regigigas, Giratina, Cresselia, Phione, Manaphy, Darkrai, Shaymin, Arceus, Victini, Cobalion, Virizion, Terrakion, Tornadus, Thundurus, Reshiram, Zekrom, Landorus, Kyurem, Keldeo, Meloetta, Genesect, Xerneas, Yveltal, Zygarde, Diancie, Hoopa, Volcanion, Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu, Tapu Fini, Cosmog, Cosmoem, Solgaleo, Lunala, Nihilego, Buzzwole, Pheromosa, Xurkitree, Celesteela, Kartana, Guzzlord, Necrozma, Magearna, Marshadow, Poipole, Naganadel, Stakataka, Blacephalon, and Zeraora
  2. Mega Evolution is allowed in all three tiers.
  3. Z Stones are allowed in all three tiers.
  4. Legitimate copies of the game are required.


Challenging Gym Leaders

Once you’ve registered, it’s time to battle! Seek out gym leaders and challenge them to a battle. We try to accommodate as many challengers as possible, so most of the time we will accept your challenge. However, please understand that we are sometimes taking a break or battling other challengers, so we can’t accept your challenge at all times.

To battle, go to “Quick Link” in the first page of the in game menu. Once linked with the appropriate Gym Leader select “Let Other Player Select Rules” if possible. Once you do get ready to battle for your badge.

If you lose your challenge, don’t get disheartened. There’s still plenty other gym leaders to battle, and once everyone else has had their turn, you can re-challenge a gym leader whenever you like.

If you win your challenge, congratulations! You will be awarded a trainer badge, and have your trainer card signed as proof of your victory at this event! Keep challenging other gym leaders and try to win every badge!


Anything Else?

If anything here isn’t answered to your satisfaction, or if you have any other questions, you can email us at and we’ll be happy to answer.

57 Thoughts on “Rules

  1. Jacob on June 28, 2012 at 12:53 am said:

    Just a quick question: is there any way to become Ctrl-A Gym Leader for future conventions? If so, I’d love to be your Byron. If not, then thanks for the time, and I’ll be looking forward to challenging the league at Con Bravo this year and many conventions in the future.

  2. wartjr2373 on July 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm said:

    Hi Jacob,

    We are always willing to accept new members into our ranks, so if you have the drive, we can welcome you.

    We do have another member who has claimed Byron. He doesn’t come to every convention though, and he won’t be at ConBravo this year, so if you already have the costume made, the slot is free at ConBravo, although no guarantees for the future.

    We’re working on getting pages up for all of the gym leaders, so sorry for the confusion.

  3. Andrew on July 28, 2012 at 1:49 am said:

    Do you have to wear a costume? like, is that Manditory?
    And Alex wants to know if it’s cool that he’s using bug types when you alreaddy have a Bugsy.

  4. Damian on January 17, 2013 at 9:43 pm said:

    Just a quick question: are these battles (especially the competitive tiers) using OU rules? Or are ubers (legendaries and such) allowed as well?

    • wartjr2373 on February 1, 2013 at 5:06 am said:

      Hi Damian,

      We don’t use the tier system so Pokemon in the uber tier are not banned. However, we do restrict legendary Pokemon, whether they are uber tier or not. This is a blanket clause that helps avoid confusion among people who are not familiar with the tier system.

      The rules are: maximum of 2 legendary Pokemon in the casual tier, and no legendary Pokemon in competitive tier.

      Hope that helps.

  5. Lucy on May 16, 2013 at 5:34 pm said:

    I just read through your legendary list and Victini wasn’t listed. Is it not considered a legendary then?

    • wartjr2373 on May 19, 2013 at 8:55 pm said:

      Whoops, yes, Victini is considered a legendary. It was accidentally excluded from the list. Thanks for the heads-up.

  6. DeeAnne on May 28, 2013 at 11:37 am said:

    I was wondering if you guys would be appearing at FanExpo 2013?

    • wartjr2373 on June 1, 2013 at 10:55 pm said:

      Hi DeeAnne,

      We don’t currently have any plans to go to FanExpo, but I’ve thought about it before. Maybe at some point in the future, but no guarantees.

  7. Hi, are all mega evolutions allowed in competitive tier? Such as the normal bans mega kangaskhan, mega gengar and mega blaziken?

    • wartjr2373 on February 13, 2014 at 2:46 am said:

      Hi Matt,

      While we would ask your discretion with using strategies that are generally considered overpowered, we have no specific rules against them. Since Mega Evolutions are not something we’ve had to deal with before, we are allowing them for the upcoming Con-G, subject to revision after the event.


  8. So I’m kindof a noob to battling but can you use items?

  9. Danger-Daniella on February 20, 2014 at 5:09 am said:

    Hello, Gym Leaders!
    Just a quick question; After reading some of the teams that will be used by Con-G’s Leaders I noticed that some of them had no Gen VI Pokemon (such as Steven Stone). Are these Party Lists updated, or are some outdated from previous Cons? Just making sure, so I know who to add to my party to try and match all leaders (it would suck if I’m basing my choices on teams that don’t exist).
    See you Saturday! ^.^

    • wartjr2373 on February 24, 2014 at 7:22 pm said:

      Hi Danger-Daniella,

      Sorry I couldn’t reply before the event. I hope you had a fun time battling us!

      The team pages were up to date with the latest information that I had for them. Unfortunately, a few gym leaders didn’t send in the info before the event started so there were some not properly updated, but I hope it wasn’t too much of a problem for you.


  10. Hello there! Stoked to battle you all at AN! :]

    Quite noob of me to ask this, but when you say “Legitimate copies of the game are required,” does also count legit 3DS downloads of Pokemon X or Y too?


    • wartjr2373 on April 5, 2014 at 10:28 am said:

      Yes, physical or download copies of Pokemon X or Y are okay. The rule only means that you can’t use an illegally-obtained game.


  11. Jim Robertson on April 5, 2014 at 12:38 am said:

    Why the *$#%-blocking for legendaries?? Maybe a ruling saying ONE legendary max, but dont ban them completely , thats like saying “oh come play the game but hahahaha if your favourite pokemon is a legendary screw you, you dont get to enjoy the game to its full extent because we hate you, your family and your favourite pokemon now go away and cry.”

    • wartjr2373 on April 5, 2014 at 10:41 am said:

      The blanket clause for legendaries has been a point of contention for us, but we feel that it is the best system. There are two main reasons for this:

      Pokemon Gym Leaders do not use legendary Pokemon, so it would be unfair for challengers to use them against us.
      While some legendary Pokemon are not overpowered, many are, and it is easier to draw the line at “all legendary Pokemon”, a clear and well-defined subset of Pokemon. Uber tier, while a decent system, is not known to everyone.

  12. Spritzzie on April 7, 2014 at 9:29 pm said:

    Hey there! I just wanted to know if I can still join casual tier if I EV train but not IV breed my Pokemon. I just want to make sure before I start training my Pokemon! I’m really excited to register for this. Please and thank you for your time.

    • wartjr2373 on April 22, 2014 at 9:53 pm said:

      Hi Spritzzie,

      It all depends on how strong a player you believe you are overall. It’s trickier when you’re sort of in between tiers. You might find the casual tier a bit too easy, or the competitive tier a bit too challenging, but we’ll let you decide which tier you would like to join.

  13. clayton on April 8, 2014 at 12:03 am said:

    Do we register online or in person?

    • wartjr2373 on April 22, 2014 at 9:54 pm said:

      Hi Clayton,

      All registration will occur on-site at Anime North. All you need to do is show up at our table in the Sheraton and we’ll take you through the process.

  14. hi is there any to join this group like to become a gym leader? If so how can i do that?

  15. If you can email me I like to be giovanni as well my gf would like to be a gym leader please let me know :)

  16. do i need to have a anime north pass in order to attend?, because its not at the convention itself

    • wartjr2373 on May 4, 2014 at 6:30 pm said:

      I believe the Sheraton Hotel is considered a part of the convention, so you’ll need a pass to AN to challenge the gym leaders.

  17. James on May 1, 2014 at 2:27 am said:

    If we have pokemon under level 50, will they be scaled to level 50 along with the pokemon above level 50?

  18. Brandon on May 11, 2014 at 6:50 pm said:

    um, will this competition be in singles format, or doubles format, because my game will change drastically depending on which format it is. I’m assuming doubles because it’s the usualy VGC format, but could you confirm that for me!

    thank you! and I look forward to challenging you all!!

    • wartjr2373 on May 12, 2014 at 6:20 pm said:

      Hi Brandon,

      All battles will be single battles, 6v6. We chose singles as this is the way that gym battles tend to go down in the games.

      • Brandon on May 17, 2014 at 6:04 pm said:

        well that is a kink in my machine xD it’s a good thing I don’t rely on the weather, lol. thank you for telling me! I still have time to fix my team!

  19. Jord on May 13, 2014 at 7:33 am said:

    Sorry if this has already been addressed, but will you guys be there for the entire convention, or only some days?

    • wartjr2373 on May 26, 2014 at 9:08 pm said:

      Hi jord,

      Sorry I didn’t get to your comment before Anime North. Unless otherwise specified, we are always available to be battled for the entire duration of a convention.

      Hope to see you next year!

      Roark the Rock

  20. Gulshan on May 18, 2014 at 1:55 am said:

    hey i was wondering when this starts and time and everything tried looking in the AN schedule but i probally missed it

    • wartjr2373 on May 26, 2014 at 9:09 pm said:

      Hi Gulshan,

      Sorry I didn’t get to your comment before Anime North. All of our events run for the entire duration of the con. It’s not on the schedule because it’s always happening!

      Hope to see you next year!

      Roark the Rock

  21. Devon McDermott on May 20, 2014 at 2:58 am said:

    Hey leaders!! I know what EV is and IV for the most part but I’m not really an adept. Would I slide in to casual? I know the knowledge but I dont exactly sit in the totally competitive scene.

    Also is there a way to join both? I mean I would love to really tackle on the adepts and learn from it cause I do want to join the hardcore battlers some day but I can only see a bunch of loss from me. So having the casual as a back up for the general fun of it would be nice.

    Also is this event going for all three days of anime north? Or just one? I will be hunting you down regardless! c: Criore will bring the fight!

    • wartjr2373 on May 26, 2014 at 9:13 pm said:

      Hi Devon,

      Sorry I didn’t get to your comment before Anime North. It can be difficult to choose a tier to play at if you find yourself in between two different tiers. You might find casual too easy, but competitive too hard, so ultimately it’s up to you whether you want the extra challenge or not. I would recommend trying competitive, and you can switch to casual if you are finding it too much of a challenge.

      PGLS events always go on for the whole weekend. Hope to see you next year!

      Roark the Rock

  22. Brie on May 22, 2014 at 5:11 am said:


    What days can we challenge the gym leaders at anime north?

    • wartjr2373 on May 26, 2014 at 9:15 pm said:

      Hi Brie,

      Sorry I didn’t get to your comment before Anime North. PGLS events always go on for the full duration of a convention; that is, all weekend long.

      Hope to see you next year!

      Roark the Rock

  23. Coudfeather on February 11, 2015 at 1:15 am said:

    I would love to be a gym leader and I to a lot of cons. I do breed competitive pokemon and they gym leader I would be would be Volkner. If you need one. (I would be N but he’s not a gym leader)

    • Coudfeather on February 11, 2015 at 5:19 pm said:

      Also could be Hugh. If you are looking for more members that is. I will be at anime north 2015.

      • wartjr2373 on March 16, 2015 at 10:41 pm said:

        Hi Coudfeather,

        Unfortunately right now we aren’t looking to take on new members. We already recruited for this year’s AN and we have lots of people interested. There may be openings after AN for 2016. Shoot us an email at after AN and I’ll let you know.

        Roark the Rock

  24. Brandon on April 19, 2015 at 7:21 pm said:

    Hey pokemon Gym Leader Squad!! I have a question

    the mega’s from ORAS can’t be fought/used in XY

    because of this, does that mean the challenge should be restricted to XY only? because my team has an ORAS mega, but I can’t use it if you guys play with X and Y.

    so how is this going to work?

    • wartjr2373 on April 24, 2015 at 3:46 pm said:

      Hi Brandon,

      Not to worry! We’ve thought this through. All of the gym leaders at AN will be using ORAS, so your ORAS mega will be just fine. However, we will all have teams that don’t use ORAS megas, so any challengers using XY can still battle us.

      Roark the Rock

  25. Caitlin on April 25, 2015 at 10:32 pm said:

    Hello. I will be attending Anime North this year as a competitor in the Gym Leader Squad, but I have a question: would it be possible, if the next time you guys attend Anime North, I could come as a female Blaine or Flannery because I love training Fire Pokémon so I was wondering if that is possible.

    Thank you all and see you @ Anime North

  26. dragonroots on May 5, 2015 at 6:39 pm said:

    I have a question, it says that once you select your 6 pokemon you can’t change them, does this include switching between 2 of the same pokemon with different natures, ivs, and items?

    • wartjr2373 on May 6, 2015 at 3:21 am said:

      Hi dragonroots,

      We prefer that you stick with the exact six Pokemon all the way through. We find this rule promotes challengers with balanced teams.

      Roark the Rock

  27. hoeze on May 21, 2015 at 2:15 am said:

    are pkhex’d pokemon allowed?

    • wartjr2373 on May 22, 2015 at 4:36 am said:

      Hi hoeze,

      We have no real way of checking, so as long as your Pokemon are legal you’ll be fine.

      Roark the Rock

  28. Shilvs on April 19, 2016 at 7:14 pm said:

    Hey there! Was just wondering if double battles will be present as well !

    Thank you in advance !

    • wartjr2373 on May 2, 2016 at 6:31 pm said:

      Hi Shilvs,

      The standard format is singles, 6v6. Feel free to ask a gym leader if they’re willing to battle in a different format but prepare for singles if you’re planning to challenge us all.

  29. Hey, just wondering as I will be attending Anime North this year and will be trying my best at the gym leader circuit there so I thought I would ask. The site there and here says the gen six games will be used, but I wasn’t sure if it was just outdated or legit. Basically what I’m asking is for Anime North 2017 will the circuit be using Gen Six (XY/ ORAS) or gen seven (Sun and Moon)?

  30. Daniel on May 20, 2018 at 10:11 pm said:

    Just to clarify. Is pokemon X/Y no longer valid? (only Sun/Moon) Asking mostly because that was the last game I actually managed to finish. I didn’t finish for Sun/Moon and moving my Pokemon over would be a pain. (especially re-getting mega stones).

    • Alex Mason on May 22, 2018 at 4:54 pm said:

      Hi Daniel!

      We are now on in Gen 7, so only Sun, Moon, UltraSun and UltraMoon are valid games for battles this year, sorry about that. I understand the difficulty of you getting the mega stones again since Poke Bank doesn’t allow items to transfer. You would also need to beat the main story to unlock Mega Evolution.

      Hope that answer helps!

      - Tate

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