POP Policy Change Regarding Foreign-Language Cards

Sorry for this late update. Mondays and Fridays are my “busy days” this quarter.

For any player using Japanese cards in tournament decks, this will be a huge blow to you. Starting the next tournament season (September 1st), Japanese cards will not be allowed in any decks in any country (excluding Japan, obviously). This excludes “fun” play, like at Pokemon Leagues, but nothing else.

There is no point now in buying Japanese cards if you are a player. If you are an American, you can only use English cards from now on. Other countries are restricted to certain languages as well. I can only imagine how much an English LV.X card is going to cost now after sets are released.

The introduction of the press release can be read below. Be sure to read the full article to see the restrictions for each country.

Effective: September 1, 2009

Over the course of several seasons, Pokémon Organized Play has noticed a sharp increase in the use of foreign-language cards in markets where those languages are not commonly understood by the player base. While we recognize that the Pokémon Trading Card Game is an international game, the unfortunate side effect of this increase is that it has added a layer of complexity to an already complex tournament setting at Premier Events. In cases where the majority of players and event staff are not fluent in these other languages, the pace of games has slowed due to translation issues, even with the use of the Card Dex or local-language reference cards.

Starting with the 2009–2010 tournament season, which begins September 1, 2009, Pokémon Organized Play will restrict the use of foreign-language cards at Premier Events, based on where those events take place. The Pokémon Trading Card Game is currently printed in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. As English-language cards are distributed in the vast majority of markets worldwide, and more cards are printed in English than in any other language, English cards are legal for Premier Events in every market. Tournament legality at Premier Events for non-English sets is listed below. Only countries that run Premier Events are contained in this list.