Pokémon League Gyms
PurposeAny organization involved in society needs a public face, and the Pokémon League is no exception. Gyms are found in most major cities of consequence. As implied by their name, they serve as centers of training expertise, as well as meeting facilities. Each Gym has a Leader, responsible for managing the Gym's schedule of events and heading various programs. Leaders are expected to be accomplished Trainers, and are typically drawn in a competitive process from a pool of tournament finalists.
Functions / DutiesFor competitive Trainers, Gyms are primarily seen as obstacles to overcome, as the traditional tournament requires possession of eight Gym Badges for entry. A Gym awards its Badge to Trainers who can defeat its Leader in a controlled Pokémon Battle. The Leader typically does not field their personal team, however; rather, based on the challenger's Badge count, the Leader will assemble a challenging, but fairly matched, team from a group of regulation Pokémon. While Badge matches are a high-profile Gym function, the bulk of a Leader's time is spent each day on simply overseeing the training of the Gym's Pokémon. Gyms are encouraged to explore and develop novel battle tactics and fitness regimens; to aid focus, modern Gyms continue the traditional practice of limiting one's training to one type. During times of crisis, the local Gym and its Pokémon are expected to be the first responders.
- Trainer's scouting: Openings for trainer jobs in gyms are sporadic, as a Gym leader usually never fires a trainer in his gym unless they abuse their position. Trainers hired under the Gym are often used as security guards and tutors to help train civilians in pokemon training. They also assist in training the Gym's regulation pokemon.
- Apprentice battling: A higher position than a mere trainer.
- Medical certification: Various courses are offered in the safe administration of medication and injury treatment, which must be passed in order to be permitted to buy things such as Revive stimulants and high-dose Potions.
- Pokemon Handling: Gyms often give education in safely riding Pokémon that are Surfing/Flying/Rock Climbing/etc.
- Scholarship: Often, some gyms give scholarships yearly to exceptional trainers under their care, usually to a good Pokemon Academy. The requirements to apply for such a thing differs with each gym
- Badge matches can be frustrating to schedule; a Gym Leader's duties are quite stressful, so they are granted frequent vacations.
- Although a Gym is usually a staple in various cities, many towns and cities do not have Gyms, often relying on markets, contest halls and landmarks as their main source of revenue. Places like Pallet Town and Slateport City lack gyms.
- Some badges are made of special metals said to increase the power of the holder's pokemon. These badges are often kept with the gym leader, with replica badges given to victors giving similar, though subdued effects. The metals these badges are made of are in every badge incidentally, as some regions like Kanto have them while others like Sinnoh, do not.
- Saffron City is unique, in that it has two gyms, the official Psychic Gym and the Fighting Dojo. Originally the Fighting Dojo was a Kanto League operated gym before it fought for its position against the psychic applicants. They obviously lost. Though it was once filled with Blackbelts, the Gym is reduced to a sparring facility among Gym Leaders and a guest of their choice as the head of the Dojo, Karate Master Kiyo, left to train in Mt. Mortar.
- Unofficial Gyms not authorized by the Pokemon League are sometimes opened by aspiring would-be Gym Leaders, and serve many of the same purposes as officially sanctioned Gyms. It is illegal for these Gyms to issue official League badges, although they may issue their own tokens to trainers who beat their Leaders. Unofficial Gyms that acquire strong reputations can become highly sought after as proof of a trainer's skill, despite not being usable for entry into a League tournament or an Elite Four challenge. Of course, unofficial Gyms may also apply for and receive official sanction from the Pokemon League if they satisfy all the necessary criteria, and their tokens will become official League badges.
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