Tournament legal (SSBM)
Tournament legal describes the rules and settings that are accepted for use in competitive Smash tournaments. The following is the current SBR ruleset for Super Smash Bros. Melee, as officially written on the SmashBoards.
Neutral Stage: A neutral stage is any stage allowed in the initial random select for the first game of a match (e.g. Battlefield).
In order to prevent degenerate gameplay techniques, many tournaments ban exploitation of the game that gives one character an unintended and unfair advantage over others.
Many casual smashers notice that the accepted tournament ruleset demands highly specific conditions under which they would rarely play, and believe that these rules are restrictive and make competitive play less fun. However, most tournament Smashers are of the opinion that the ruleset prevents "degenerate" gameplay, and that this makes competitive play more enriching and fun.
Acknowledging this, many players do argue about specific tournament rules. During the first few years of Melee existence, items were a major point of contention amongst Smashers - generally, East Coast Smashers did not want them used in tournaments, but West Coast Smashers wanted them turned on. Those in favour stated that the use of items required skill and did not reduce the depth of the game, while those against argued that items were unfair because of the element of randomness involved when they were turned on, particularly the unpredictability of their spawning in relation to explosive items such as Bob-ombs and capsules. Eventually, the community reached a consensus that items should be turned off in tournaments, due to the element of randomness.
Another controversial topic is the legality and categorization of stages - debate over which stages should be classified as legal or banned. While there was universal agreement over the banning of some stages, such as Hyrule Temple, other stages were questioned; Final Destination, for instance, has been criticised as giving an unfair advantage to characters with many projectiles, such as Link and Fox. Some smashers wanted to reduce the legal stage list to simple stages, and remove all moving and irregular ones, while others believed it was better to to allow all stages that did not foster any unfair advantage to one strategy or character. As of late, there is a generally accepted standard for legal and banned stages, but the lists still vary between tournaments. Competitions in which all stages are permitted are very rare, and are not considered SBR certified.