I’ve been meaning to unban wobbling at my tourneys for a little while, and I figured this was a good time to make a post about it. For context, I’ve banned wobbling at all my tourneys ever since I started TOing. It was standard to do so back then; for example, four of the five biggest Melee tourneys in 2010 banned it. There really wasn’t any new info that came out about wobbling to change my mind, so I stuck with it for a long time. Just to clarify, the main philosophical reasons I’ve banned wobbling at my past tourneys are:

1. It hypersimplifies character interactions to the point of detracting from traditional Melee depth mechanics such as stage positioning and DI. For example, when you get hit by Falco’s shine, you can DI in any number of ways and factor in your current stage position to mitigate the risk of getting death combo’d. But when you get grabbed by ICs, you get punished 0-death for one single mistake without any chance to interact defensively with DI or stage positioning in the midst of the combo. It takes away from what makes Melee so deep.

2. It degenerates gameplay at low-to-mid levels of skill by placing a huge premium on the tech skill revolving around the grab game. It creates a black-and-white interaction between non-top players, removing defensive options for the grabbed player and disproportionately rewarding the grabbing player with no regard to stage positioning or mid-combo mixups. This subsequently affects low-to-mid level players’ tournament experiences very negatively.

3. It doesn’t fit the skill set criteria that we subjectively deem valuable to test in a tourney match. For example, we ban Hyrule Temple because the cave area of the stage creates degenerate character interactions that we don’t deem valuable to test in a tourney match, and we ban Poke Floats because the side scrolling aspect of the stage creates a non-interactive requirement to move that we don’t deem valuable to test in a tourney match. Wobbling doesn’t fit the bill, just like these stages don’t.

4. It’s what the majority of in-person tourney attendees prefer. There is a misconception in social media circles that it’s the other way around, and this probably stems from the fact that the topic of wobbling brings out a very vocal minority within a demographic that doesn’t accurately represent regular tourney attendees. As a TO who prioritizes attendees first, it’s important to strike a balance between what attendees prefer and what is logistically just.

Whether you agree or not, I think it’s important to recognize these reasons, because you’ll better understand the relationship between Melee’s character interactions and Melee’s standard ruleset. Honestly, I would personally prefer if wobbling was banned everywhere, but I realize now that is a selfish stance to take as a prominent TO hosting bigger and bigger events. With that said, wobbling will be legal at my tourneys moving forward. It’s too difficult to define or enforce a ban on, and additionally, it’s been unfair to Michigan players who get no practice vs wobbling here before they go to out-of-region majors. Thanks for reading!