Given the increased demand following release of the NFL Films piece, the tournament format is changing for the first time since Tecmo III. Rather than dividing participants into groups of four and conducting a round-robin, this year's group play will consist of various 8-man double-elimination tournaments. The Group Winners and Group Runners-Up of each double-elimination tournament will advance to a larger bracket (“Bracket”). The initial rounds in the Bracket will be single-elimination. Double-elimination may be introduced in later rounds of the Bracket, but we will await a final head count before committing to such. In any event, the Bracket will be played out until only the TecmoIX Champion remains.
In order to speed things up in group play, the participant advancing from the winner's side will not play the participant that ultimately advances from the loser’s side. The former will simply be declared the Group Winner (he will be 3-0) while the latter will be declared the Group Runner-Up (he will be either 3-1 or 4-1). Group Winners will be seeded higher in the Bracket than Group Runners-Up. Within each of the four regions, Group Winners will be seeded according to point differential (they will all be 3-0) while Group Runners-Up will be seeded by point differential per game.
Unfortunately, the double-elimination group play format means that two players within each group will play only two games. We wanted to continue guaranteeing three games to every tournament participant, but the tournament's growth and national presence has forced our hand. And while two guys will exit after two games, the remaining six will play three or more games. Half the field, in fact, will play four or more games, which is exactly how things shook out in past years. Also unlike prior years, the tournament's group play portion likely will not be split into two sessions (am/pm). All tournament participants will probably begin group play in the morning.
The initial field size contemplated is 224 (i.e. 28 groups of 8). Group play should take just over 5 hours. Another 4-5 hours will be needed to complete the tournament’s Bracket portion. We reserve the right to expand the field and/or change the format if demand necessitates such.
Procedural & Gameplay Rules
- Team Selection & Coin Toss: A manual coin-flip will precede each game. The coin-flip winner will choose the matchup (i.e. the two teams). The coin-flip loser then selects either (a) one of the two teams or (b) his preferred controller. If the coin-flip loser selects his preferred controller, the coin-flip winner selects a team first.
- “One Matchup Once” Rule: The coin-flip winner can only select a particular matchup once throughout the entire tournament. For instance, if Player A wins the toss and selects Packers-Browns, Player A cannot call that exact matchup for the rest of the tournament. Player B, however, is free to select that matchup later in the tournament.
- Customizing Playbooks and Lineup Changes: Customizing playbooks is permissible. You can access your “change” screen (screen where you check player conditions and make substitutions) only twice per half. This helps speed up the games.
- WR/TE at RB: A WR/TE cannot carry the football unless it is a reverse. You can insert a WR or TE into a RB slot for lead blocking purposes, but he cannot carry the football. To further clarify, players such as Ernest Givins, Ricky Sanders, and Andre Rison cannot carry the football unless it is a reverse. Please note that this rule differs from that which existed in prior years.
- No Ties/Overtime: No game can end in a tie. If a game is tied when regulation concludes, competitors will proceed to OT. All OT's will be 5-minute sudden death periods. If no one scores in the first OT, the second OT will be only the first quarter in a new game. This process will be repeated until a winner emerges. So that one competitor does not start with the ball in every OT period, the receiving team (i.e. team that gets the ball first) shall alternate beginning with the second OT period.
- Lurching: Lurching is prohibited. If you want to rush with a DL, you must either go outside the offensive tackle or “popcorn” someone on the offensive line. You cannot simply go around your blocker and dive. Note that this rule does not apply to LBs.
- Nintendo Malfunctions: If there is an equipment failure in the first half, games will be replayed from the start. If equipment malfunctions in the 2nd half, only the second half is replayed. In that event, the scores from each half are added together to obtain a final score. If the game was uncompetitive or the equipment malfunctioned due to human error, the tourney organizers reserve the right to declare a winner without replaying any portion of the game.
- Tournament Disputes: Josh & Chet Holzbauer are the tournament referees. They will decide all disputes unless one of them is a player in the game. If one or both is a player in the disputed game, Jonathan Bailey and Tony Orenga will resolve the dispute.
- Controllers: Tournament competitors are not allowed to bring their own controller to use in games. Tournament organizers will coordinate obtaining equipment for the competition.