Old-Schooled League Format and Rules

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Qualifying Round
  3. Semi-Final Round
  4. Final Round
  5. Trial
  6. Challenge
  7. Head-to-Head Challenge
  8. Scoring
  9. Tie Breaking
  10. Game Drafts


Today Old-Schooled is a run in a league format. The league is divided into seasons. Players compete in the league in a series of challenges. Players are eliminated over the course of the season until only one player is left, the Old-Schooled champion for that season.

Each season of the Old-Schooled League is divided into three rounds: Qualifying, Semi-Final, and Final. During each round each player will participate in a trial made up of a number of challenges. Performance in challenges determines who continues on to the next round. Usually the League Organizer, Don Scherig, will be the official logging scores though others may be designed to accommodate scheduling needs.

Qualifying Round

The Qualifying Round is a swiss round made up of Solo Trials. Play order is determined randomly, though players may play early if desired. During this round new players can still be added to the league. Before the round begins players will participate in a game draft. See the game draft section for full details on how the draft works. The League Organizer will create challenges from drafted games. Challenges will be announced before the round starts. Late joiners do not participate in the game draft. After all players have had their trial the round ends and no new players may be added to the league this season. Players are scored for their performance in each challenge according to the scoring section below. After scoring the top four players advance to the Semi-Final round. All others are eliminated.

Semi-Final Round

The Semi-Final Round is consists of two Versus Trials consisting of the top four players from the Qualifying Round. Play order will be random. Players in this round participate in a Game Draft though the League Organizer will also add their own challenges. Challenges will be announced before the round starts. The winner of each Versus Trial advances to the Final Round.

Final Round

The final round consists of one Versus Trial consisting of the winners of the Semi-Final Round. All previously eliminated players participate in a Game Draft and the League Organizer will add challenges as well. Challenges will be announced before the round starts. The winner of this last Versus Trial is crowned Champion of the league for that season!


Trials are the basis of how the Old-Schooled league functions. Trials come in two varieties, Solo and Versus. Solo Trials involve one player who comes and logs their best performance in each challenge to be scored at the end of the round. Versus Trials consist entirely of Head-Head Challenges with the winner being who wins the best of a number of challenges determined by the round. I expect to hold 1-2 trial days a month with 1-2 players taking their trial on each day as time permits. Each round a play order will be listed and updated as the round progresses to give players an idea when they should be ready for their trial. At the beginning of each month I will contact the next 1 or 2 people on the list to schedule their trial for that month. The date and time of the trial will be posted on facebook so that other players may come and watch and, if time permits, complete their own trial after the first trial is done. When possible trials will be live streamed at Furluge’s Twitch.tv channel.


Challenges are what players are up against during their trials in each round. Challenges typically consist of a game and a criteria for scoring a player’s performance in that game. Common criteria for games include getting a high score in the game, what level you are able to reach, or how fast you can reach an objective. Unless otherwise specified players have the default number of lives with no continues to attempt each challenge. There are no time limits for challenges unless specified in the challenge. In addition here are a few common caveats to the common scoring criteria. If a challenge and these rules conflict, follow the description in the challenge.

  • If being judged on level completion or progress no warps may be used. Using a warp will require the challenge either be scored as the level the player warped from or restarted over from the beginning, official’s choice
  • During challenges judged on high scores please avoid point pressing. Point pressing is defined as purposefully not completing a level to perform a repetitive activity to gain points. This also includes purposefully killing yourself to replay an area over and over. Try to get a high score while progressing through the level or stage. The official will judge if a player is point pressing and will request a player stop if this occurs.
  • Due to the fact that these are video game challenges sometimes technical issues beyond our control occur, or unforeseen quirks in a game might compromise a challenge. The official for a trial may at any point institute a do-over for any challenge where some type of technical issue is apparently handicapping the player’s ability to perform. Players may also freely request this from the official, though this instance should not occur more than once a trial. Examples of game quirks invalidating a challenge are things such as following a level route that makes it impossible to complete, like getting stuck in World -1 in Super Mario Bros. in a progress challenge.

Head-to-Head Challenge

In the Versus Trials all challenges are head-to-head, meaning they pit player vs player in their criteria for judging. Common judging criteria for a head-to-head challenge include winning in a player vs player game, getting a higher score than your opponent, getting farther in a game than your opponent, or getting a better time to reach an objective than your opponent. Remember, even if you aren’t in a player vs player game for a head-to-head challenge that doesn’t mean you can’t sabotage your opponent in-game. Sabotaging your opponents in game is highly encouraged. Sabotaging your opponents out of the game is strictly prohibited.


Challenges in Solo Trials are scored as follows.

Place Points
1st 9
2nd 6
3rd 3
4th and Below 0

In the case of a tie for a challenge both players get the points but this also removes a scoring position below them. For example, in a game-progress challenge two players tie for first ending their play at World 4-1, they would each get 9 points. The player with the next-highest result, World 3-4, would only receive 3 points for third place as the second place spot was removed in the tie.

Tie Breaking

In the event of ties in the qualifying round the tie will be broken by looking at a player’s placing for challenges, starting with who got more 1sts, then if this is tied, who got more 2nds, and so on. If after this players are still tied the tie will be broken by who got the best score in the first high-score challenge, and so on until the tie is broken. If the tie is not broken after this then the tie will be broken by decision of the League Organizer. The League Organizer may issue an new challenge for a tie-breaker if time allows.

In the event of ties in the Expert round, the tie will be broken by either starting the challenge over or competing in a new challenge, official’s choice.

Tie-breaker challenges will typically be “Nostalgically Horrible” games. Or as the Japanese would call them, Kusoge, literally, crap games. Ex: Shaq-Fu, Back to the Futrue, Where’s Waldo.

Game Drafts

Game Drafts are used in certain rounds to select the challenges to be played. Typically games in the draft are selected by participants in a round, though during the final round the League Organizer may choose to draft games from all eliminated players. When drafting games each player participating in the draft chooses 3 games in order of preference. The League Organizer will use games chosen in the draft to create challenges as determined by the round the draft is for. Generally the League Organizer will try to pick games so one of each player’s drafted games is a challenge though this cannot be guaranteed. Games that are available are, in general, anything in the USA releases of games and occasionally some Japanese or European releases and some prototypes. Players may choose games from the following systems: Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Atari Lynx, Famicom Disk System, Game Gear, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Sega 32x, Neo-Geo, Nintendo Entertainment System, Neo-Geo Pocket, Neo-Geo Pocket Color, Turbo-Grafix 16, Playstation 1, SG-1000, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Vectrex, ZX Spectrum, MSX. (The last three may have compatibility issues.) Games requiring unique controllers may not be available. (EX: Driving wheels, unique joysticks.) I recommend you don’t pick something complicated to setup or obscure for all three of your games as the purpose of picking 3 games is to ensure that something you select will be available and workable for a challenge.