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OFFICIAL RULES

Tournament Rules

1. Team Selection & Coin Toss. A manual coin flip will precede each game. The coin flip winner may either choose the matchup (i.e. the two teams) or defer the matchup choice to the coin flip loser.  If the winner chooses the matchup, the winner is given the P1 controller;  the loser then selects his choice of the two teams in that matchup. If the winner defers the matchup choice, the winner is given the P2 controller, and the loser then chooses the matchup; the winner then selects his choice of the two teams.

  • SUMMARY: Winner of the coin toss either gets P1 and choice of matchup; or P2 and choice of teams.


2. “One Matchup Once” Rule.  The coin flip winner may only select a particular matchup once throughout the entire tournament.  

  • EXAMPLE: 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.


3. Customizing Playbooks and Lineup Changes. Playbooks may be customized before each matchup. You can access your “change” screen (where you check player conditions and make substitutions) only twice per half. This helps speed up the games.


4. No WR/TE at RB. A WR/TE may not carry the football unless it is a reverse. You may only insert a WR or TE into a RB slot for lead blocking purposes, but he cannot carry the football.  

  • NOTE: Players such as Ernest Givins, Ricky Sanders, and Andre Rison may not carry the football unless it is a reverse (i.e. teams with single RB lineups).


5. No Ties/Overtime.  No game may end in a tie. NFL postseason overtime rules apply.  If the score is tied when regulation or an overtime period concludes, competitors will play an(other) overtime period.* All overtime will be 5-minute periods, began as the 1st quarter of a new game. Play will continue regardless of how many overtime periods are needed to determine a winner.  Odd-numbered overtime periods will begin with the normal in-game (pregame) coin flip.  Both teams must have the opportunity to possess the ball once during the extra period, unless the team that receives the opening kickoff scores a touchdown on its initial possession, in which case it is the winner, or if the team kicking off to start the overtime period scores a safety on the receiving team’s initial possession, in which case the team that kicked off is the winner.  If a touchdown is scored, the game is over, and the PAT is not attempted (does not count towards margin of victory). Competitors will alternate kickoff/return duties for the subsequent (even-numbered) overtime period.

  • *SPECIAL NOTE: If the second team’s initial overtime possession has not ended – the teams will proceed to another overtime period (in this instance, continue play into the 2nd quarter).  


6. No 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 may not simply go around your blocker and dive.  

  • NOTE: This rule does not apply to LBs.


7. 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 not competitive or the equipment malfunctioned due to human error, the tournament referees reserve the right to declare a winner without replaying any portion of the game.


8. Tournament Disputes.  Tommy Ludan and Nate Smithson are the tournament referees. They will decide all disputes unless both of them are players in the game. If both are players in the disputed game,  Ken Jackson will resolve the dispute.


9. Controllers. All controllers must be original Nintendo OEM products and may not be modified in any way. Tournament competitors may bring their own controller to use in games. Tournament organizers will also coordinate obtaining equipment for the competition for those that do not bring their own. Tournament organizers will examine each controller and tag it as acceptable, only tagged controllers maybe used.

  • NOTE: Original NES and “dogbone” controllers are permitted.  NES Max and NES Advantage controllers are not.

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Tournament Format

Group Play and Brackets

Group Play will consist of pools with an equal number of  participants per group, as the total number of participants allows.  Depending on the number of entrants, a specific number of players per group, determined at the start of the tournament, will advance to  Bracket Play. Bracket Play is intended to be a single and/or double-elimination event. If the number of participants is deemed too  large for double elimination, the event organizers reserve the right to modify the format to a single-elimination format. Bracket Play will be played out until only the champion remains.

Players will be seeded according to record first, then by point differential per game. If tied, any head-to-head record will be the next deciding factor, then by coin flip if necessary. The maximum point differential for the tournament for any game will be 28 points, regardless if the actual margin between the teams exceeds it. 

Team Rankings

Matchup Tiers

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Matchups between teams within the same tier allow more competitive games.


TIER 1: BUF, HOU, NYG, SF, PHI

TIER 2: PHI,  CHI, KC, RAI, CIN, MIA

TIER 3: CIN, MIA, DET, MIN, SD, WAS, DEN, TB

TIER 4: DEN, TB, ATL, DAL, JETS, NO, PHX, PIT

TIER 5: PHX, PIT, CLE, GB, IND, NE, SEA