Stage striking is a common procedure in Super Smash Bros. tournaments, used to ensure the stage of a set's first match is fairly selected. Though the exact process varies depending on the number of available stages, stage striking involves starting with a list of neutral stages, then having all players in the match take turns removing one or more stages from the list until only one stage is left. The procedure can be skipped entirely by invoking the Gentleman's Clause, provided the tournament has such a rule.
Stage striking operates similarly to the 1-2-2-1 setup of doubles matches. It begins with the players deciding who will strike first (such as by coin flip or rock-paper-scissors), after which one player will strike a stage, and the next will strike another stage. The process then repeats in reverse, with the player that went second striking another stage before the player that went first can strike another. This continues until only one stage is left, including the scenario in which there are fewer than five legal stages, and that stage will be used for the match. For successive matches, the loser of the previous match is allowed to select any stage among the list of counterpick stages and neutral stages. In some tournament formats, such as most Brawl, Smash 4, and Ultimate sets, and best of three sets in Melee, the previous game’s winner is allowed one or more stage bans, which prevents the loser from going to that stage(s) for the next game (but not the entire set). In best of five Melee sets, however, no stage bans are allowed for winners of the previous game. Variations of Dave's Stupid Rule may limit which stages can be selected in these cases.
As Dream Land is the sole legal stage in current Smash 64 tournaments, stage striking is not necessary in them, though it was previously featured in older, less restrictive rulesets for the game.
Example of stage striking