Pokémon League

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Our Pokémon League is one of the highlights of the week here at Big Dog Books; we have a fantastically lively community of Pokémon Trainers spanning all ages and we’ve built up the biggest standing league in Scotland. Every week we have free introductory sessions where we will show you how to build a deck, how to pay the game properly and get you ready for league membership and then we follow that with a formal tournament where players pit their teams of Pokémon against each other to win prizes and improve their national and international ranking. We have two players here at Big Dog Books that are in the top 100 players in the whole world for their age bracket!

What is the Pokémon League?

Play! Pokémon

Information for Parents & Guardians

What is the Pokémon League?

Pokémon League is a fun and accessible way for Pokémon fans to get together and have some fun! League events are open to all Pokémon TCG and video game players regardless of experience level or skill. Using your own cards and Pokémon video games, you can play, trade, and even earn cool prizes! The best part is that you can do all this with other Pokémon players who love collecting and playing just as much as you do.

Our League is split into two parts, from 12pm-2pm we have introductory sessions where staff will teach you how to play the game, how to build a deck, and ensure that the decks you currently have are legal for tournament play. The second part of the day is 2pm-6pm where we have a structured tournament where players play off against one another for Play! Points and prizes.

At Big Dog Books we have boys and girls of all ages taking part. Games are split into age categories:

  • Junior Division (Under 12’s)
  • Seniors Division (12’s – 16’s)
  • Masters Division (Over 16’s)

Each week when players attend League events their accounts are added into the tournament reporting software which controls who plays who from round to round, the software ensures that unless there are no other options that members of the Junior Division only play other members of the Junior Division or the Seniors Divisions unless there are no other possible matches available and it would otherwise end the tournament.


There are 4 main types of event held as part of the ongoing League:

  • League Events – unless otherwise advertised Sundays are League Events, these are casual games but still monitored though a formal rules structure that are great for getting players into the game and learning the ropes
  • League Challenge – once a month we hold a League Challenge which allows players to compete for Play! Points that allow them to advance within the national and international League rankings
  • League Cup – once a season (roughly every 3 months) there is a Cup where players complete to be crowned best player in their age bracket for the season and also boost their national ranking
  • Prerelease Events – these are tournaments held two weeks before a new set of Pokemon cards goes on general sale where players get a box full of brand new cards that no one has seen before, build a deck from what they get and then compete in a casual games to try out the new cards, these events are always really popular and sign up in advance is required.


Play! Pokémon

To get the most out of taking part in the League you’ll need to have an active Pokémon Trainer Club account. Play! Pokémon is an online system owned and operated by the Pokémon Company that keeps a record of your event attendance and annual score no matter where you play and also allows your local league to claim prize cards and promos for you by being able to count you formally among their registered players.

Accounts are free to create and you can do so here.

You do not have to have an account to play in the shop, but you cannot get the League promo cards each month if you do not have an active account.


Information for Parents & Guardians

The Play! Pokémon website has a lot of resources available for parents to help you better understand the Pokémon League. You can reach their page here.

In addition, Big Dog Books works to ensure the following:

  • Juniors (Under 12’s) will never be paired against Masters (over 16’s) unless there is no other way for the tournament to continue
  • Where possible, there will be two members of staff on at any Pokémon event where Juniors may be attending
  • The shop will always be clean, tidy, with the toilets kept to a high standard and fully stocked with a range of sanitary products
  • Behaviour from all players will be closely regulated to ensure that
  • All members of staff will have basic disclosure certificates (Scotland)

In addition we remind parents that they have responsibilities for their children who may be taking part in a Play! Pokémon event:

  • Your children are under your direct care and their safety is your responsibility
  • We recommend that parents of Junior League members stay around the shop for the duration of their child/children’s visit
  • If you do decide to leave your child/children then Big Dog Books staff will do our best to make sure they are safe but please be advised that we are not an accredited childcare service

Finally, parents who are also league members will get 10% off total entry when they pay in for League events along with their children.