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The setting for the competition
The Johto League Silver Conference Victory Tournament, better known as simply the Silver Conference (Japanese: シロガネ大会 Shirogane Conference) is the Johto League general championship competition. It took place from Pop Goes The Sneasel to Johto Photo Finish in the anime.
The conference is held annually in Silver Town, located at the base of Mt. Silver. Competing Trainers are housed in a giant Pokémon Center in the Athlete's Village. All Trainers have a page set up online with a list of their Pokémon.
The Silver Conference begins with the passing of the ceremonial torch lit with Ho-Oh's sacred flame. The opening ceremony is so important to the conference that the competition could not be held without it.
According to legend, the site of the Silver Conference was once the setting for a great war. People fought hard and left the area a war-ravaged place. Both the land and the Pokémon in the area suffered from the humans' hostility and carelessness. Ho-Oh appeared and used its sacred flame to burn life back into the place. Ho-Oh returned things to normal, but one tree continued to burn, serving as a reminder of the event. The fire from that tree was taken and placed in a shrine on Mt. Silver.
The Silver Conference has over 200 participants. The competition is divided into three parts: pre-screening qualifying rounds, semi-finals, and the finals.
Before every match, a digital spinner randomly decides which Trainer will go first. The Pokémon used in the match must be decided before the match and entered into the computer system.
The competition begins with the Athlete's Greeting. Registered Trainers are screened at assigned courts. Most lower skilled Trainers are weeded out in three rounds of one-on-one battles. Trainers are judged based on their battling ability, so a Trainer may still be able to advance to the semi-finals even if he or she has one loss. The Top 48 Trainers move on to the preliminaries.
A point system is employed in the semi-finals. The 48 Trainers are split into 16 groups of 3, and each group, known as a block, participates in a round-robin tournament in a series of three-on-three matches. Three battlepoints are awarded for every win, one point for every draw, and no points for every loss. The 16 Trainers with the most battle points out of the Trainers in their blocks will move on to the finals. In the event of a tie, another round-robin is held.
After a day of no battling, the final battles are held in Silver Stadium with rotating rock, grass, water or ice fields for each battle.
Each Trainer fights a sudden death Full Battle. After a Trainer's first three Pokémon are defeated, there is a short intermission during which there is a field change. Losing Trainers are eliminated and remaining Trainers continue on until a winner is determined.
Jon Dickson, the winner, with the Johto League Championship Trophy
Trainers here participated in the conference either before or after the conference Ash entered.
- The competition is broadcast in regions other than Johto. Max stated that he watched the competition in There's no Place Like Hoenn.
- If Pokémon are caught battling during the Conference outside of official battles, their Trainers may be disqualified. Sparring, however, is allowed.
- On the eve of the Conference that Ash participated in, Gary noticed that it was a full moon. After Harrison lost, a quarter moon was present. The time between the two is usually either 8 days (third quarter) or 22 days (first quarter), but only about 12 days were represented on screen.
- The Silver Conference is notable in the sense that it is so far the only main regional Pokémon League to not use a Moltres's flame as its torch; instead, it uses a Ho-Oh's flame.
- The Silver Conference is the first regional League Conference not held in the location of the Pokémon League Building in the corresponding main-series games, in this case, not held in the Indigo Plateau in Kanto.