Groove Coaster Rules



  • Qualifiers will be primarily remote, and will run for at least one month.
    • Remote qualifiers accepted until Friday, August 9, 1:30 PT (that’s 1:30 in the morning!)
    • On-site qualifiers available on Friday, August 9, 20:00~23:00 PT, by request
  • The tournament will consist of a single, double-elimination bracket.
    • Best-of-3 matches until round of 8
    • Best-of-5 matches from round of 8 and onwards
    • The tourney will be run on Score Attack mode using non-unlock songs released prior to July 1, 2019 (inclusive)
    • Matches are decided by machine score
    • You may use any items except for Easy Target, Music Player, Safe, Super Safe, Perfect Player, and Visible (Alone will automatically be activated)
  • All players are eligible to receive Infinity Stage points.


Contact Info

Infinity Stage Schedule: August 11th, 2019 – 12:00pm PDT
Infinity Stage Discord: Click Here to Join the ISSJ Discord
Infinity Stage Twitter: @InfinityStageSJ

Tournament Organizer:

  • Mattie “Spiritsnare” Bulotano
    • Twitter: @Spiritsnare
    • Discord: Spiritsnare#2835

Detailed Tournament Rules


  • The qualifiers are as follows:

    • StargazeR / KotsubanP feat. Hatsune Miku (Vocaloid) – Hard lv. 10
    • オレを越えて行け/Ore wo Koeteyuke / Yuyoyuppe (Game Music) – Hard lv. 11
    • STAGER (ALL STAGE CLEAR) / Ras (Rhythm Game) – Hard lv. 12
    • Cruel Moon NuMIX / TatshMusicCircle (Touhou Arrange) – Hard lv. 12
    • tiny tales continue / Chroma (Original) – Hard lv. 13
  • Submit your qualifiers here!

  • Entrants must choose any trio of these charts, and submit the following in a Google Form we’ll link alongside the qualifier announcement:
    • Their username
    • Photos of their scores on the three charts (no duplication) of their choice.
      • Official, legal arcade scores are acceptable
      • No CS scores (GC Steam, GC mobile, etc) will be accepted
      • You may use any items except Visible or Perfect Player.
      • Photos must be submitted – website screenshots or scorebot posts as lone forms of proof will not be accepted
        • Please take and submit a picture of each song’s results screen, as well as the final set, and submit them all at once.
      • Scores must be obtained during the qualifying period
  • Seeding will be calculated as a sum of EX score on the three charts.
    • EX score is defined as 2 points per Great, 1 point per Cool, 0 points for anything else.
    • Tiebreakers will be split by number of Greats, then number of Cools, then submission timestamp.
  • The deadline for remote qualifiers is Friday, August 9th, 1:30 PT (that’s 1:30 on Friday morning!).
  • There will be on-site qualifiers on Friday, August 9th, from 18:00 (6 PM) to 22:00 (10 PM) PT. On-site qualifying will have priority over casual play during this time. If you intend to qualify on-site, please let the tournament organizer know in advance.
    • If you are qualifying on-site, you will be granted exactly one round to play any three of the qualifier songs of your choice. A TO must observe your round. Your total EX will constitute your qualifier.
  • Any entrants who do not submit qualifier scores will be seeded as if they received zero total EX.
  • Except in the case of unprecedented attendance, there will be no entrant cap for the Groove Coaster tournament, but all entrants are required to submit a qualifier regardless.
  • Qualifier standings will be secret until the on-site qualifying period is over. The standings and initial bracket will be posted publicly at Saturday, August 10th, between 00:00 and 01:00 PT.

Tournament Format

General Info

  • We will be on a pretty tight schedule! Please keep tabs on the tournament progress and be present when it is your turn to play. You may have as short as a fifteen-minute notice to appear before receiving a DQ.
  • If you are entering multiple tournaments, please let the TOs know so they can try to accommodate you; however, we make no guarantees.
  • All tournament play will be done on Score Attack (Taikai) Mode.
  • The following items are allowed: Hidden, Sudden, No Way, Music Player, Mirror, Reverse, No Info, Just, Stealth, Nothing, Impossible
  • The following items are not allowed: Easy Target, Music Player, Break, Safe, Super Safe, Perfect Player, Visible
  • Your use of item will not grant you extra points; judgment is based solely on your final score.
  • No unlockable songs will be allowed until top 4. In addition, only songs released prior to June 1, 2019 (inclusive) will be eligible for card draw.


Things To Know About Score Attack/Taikai Mode

  • Only accessible with operator permission.
  • Removes chain and clear scoring; songs are still judged out of a maximum of 1 million points. Point weights are distributed accordingly.
  • You can use items without depleting your existing stock.
  • During gameplay, you will be unable to see other players, but you will be able to see your current ranking. (For this reason, the game will prevent you from using the Alone item, which confers the same effects.)
  • End-of-round placements will be ranked based on score, not on bonus stars.
  • Charts you have for the songs you own will be all unlocked (including Extra charts). However, Score Attack Mode doesn’t unlock songs, nor enable you to unlock songs.
  • If you use a NESiCA card, scores attained in Score Attack Mode don’t save to your online profile, since the scoring weights are different than normal.

Tournament Format

The tournament will be run as a NCAA rules double elimination bracket.

  • Each match will be card-draw format.
    • Before round of 8: best of 3 (first to 2)
    • Round of 8 and after: best of 5 (first to 3)
  • Difficulty ranges and weights are TBD, but will gradually increase throughout the rounds (ie. the first round is more likely to have easier charts than later rounds).
  • Until round of 8, no songs that require unlocking will be made available for play.
  • We will use a protect+veto style card draw (see How Does Card Draw Work? below for details).
  • In the case of a tie, EX score will take predecence; then, the number of Greats; then, the percentage of Ad-Libs hit. If the tie is still not broken by then, neither player wins a point.
  • In the event that neither player has accumulated enough song wins by the end of the card draw, individual songs with the same difficulty bounds and weights will be selected via the randomizer app and played until a match winner can be identified.


How does the card draw work?

We will use a protect+veto style card draw.

  • There are three “advantages” available: machine preference, protect order, and veto order.
  • The player with the higher seed will get first choice of advantages. The lower seed then chooses one of the remaining two options, and the third is given to the higher seed. (When choosing protect order or veto order, it’s customary for the player to specify immediately who will protect or veto first.)
  • At this time, the TO will randomize a set of 5 charts (best-of-3 rounds) or 7 charts (best-of-5) using the card draw app.
  • The charts will be from songs that were released prior to July 1, 2019 (inclusive).
  • The player chosen to protect first will select a song to mark “SAFE”, solidifying it as part of the set.
  • The other player will then get their own choice of song to protect.
  • The veto-first player will then choose a song to “VETO”, eliminating it from the set, followed by the other player’s veto.
  • The two “SAFE” songs and the unremoved song(s) will then be played in the order they were drawn, unless both players agree to play in a different order.


Card Draw Example

  • Linka (#19) and Trin (#14) are about to play a match. As higher seed, Trin gets first pick of advantages, and she chooses to protect second. Linka selects the left cab, and veto order defaults to Trin, who chooses to veto second.
  • Their card draw is:
Sen no Chroma
Dream Coaster
Soul Evolution
Endless Dream

-GC Mix-

  • Linka chooses to protect Dream Coaster, and then Trin chooses to keep Sen no Chroma. Linka then vetoes Rebellion, and finally, Linka throws out Endless Dream.
  • Thus, Trin and Linka will play Sen no Chroma, then Dream Coaster, and if necessary, Soul Evolution.



  • Do I get to warm up? Due to time constraints, warm-ups will not be built into the tournament format until Final 4. For each match in Final 4, both players are granted one set after machine selection but before their card draw.
    • If you have concerns about “feeling out” or getting used to the Round1 ESC machines, please arrive before qualifiers on Friday or before the tournament on Saturday to get your testing in.
    • If a cab happens not to be in use during a match, it will also not be available for warm-ups.
  • What happens when two players want to use the same machine? The player who chose machine preference will take priority.
  • What if severe hardware issues interfere with the side I want to play on one of the machines? In this case, the machine preference advantage will be removed from card draw, and instead replaced by “play order”.
  • There was a cab malfunction while playing my song. What happens then? If a cab malfunction happens, immediately notify the TO. The TOs will check the status of the cabinet, and if deemed true, will allow the player to replay that song (not the entire set). If player claims a malfunction and the TO check shows that the cabinet was not at fault, the player will be given a loss for the entire set.
  • I accidentally equipped the wrong item — can I replay? No! It’s the player’s responsibility to check their settings before the song begins. Replays will be only given for cabinet malfunctions.
  • Can I use headphones? Yes, you can, using the built-in headphone jack! You’re responsible for making sure your headphones work properly with the cabinet before the song begins (we will not allow replays due to headphone jack malfunctions).
  • Oh no! I dashed out to grab food and received notice that my match is coming up. There’s no way I can make it back in time! Can you stall for me? You will receive a fifteen-minute advance notice. If we don’t hear from you within that time – absolutely not. If we do, we can stall only if players are present for other matches in the same round and willing to play. As soon as your match holds up the bracket from proceeding to the next round, you have five minutes to appear or you risk DQ.
  • When can I go home for the day? This is still TBD pending the overall schedule.


Ruleset Revisions


Author Date Notes
Spiritsnare 31 May 2019 Ver 0.9: First draft of rules, modeled after RI74TA (Oliver)’s IIDX tourney rules.
Spiritsnare 5 Jun 2019 Ver 1: Release version.
Spiritsnare 5 Jun 2019 Ver 1.1: Pre-tourney patch to shrink BO5s down to round of 4 and onward.