The general opinion from all of the people I talked to would rather have a 1 on 1 tournament as opposed to team. While many people thought a team tournament would be more exciting (including myself), and/or thought Evo should have both singles/team, when given the choice, the majority picked singles.
I talked with mattdeezie (head of Tournament Go) about trying to come up with a fair format that keeps game-length comparable to a game of MvC2/CvS2 (the longest games), while still keeping the smash strategies intact. It turned out to be around 3 stock / 4/5 mins.
Time is an important factor. After reading up and talking to mattd, it seems that more time in SSBM has an adverse effect on turtling. Not to say turtling is not a valid technique, but it seems that keeping the timer out of play for a longer period of time (basically just cranking it up a bit) encourages players to fight more. Once the timer gets close to depletion, many players use this as an incentive to avoid confrontation if they are in the lead (which also happens in many other games).
Items are a touchy subject for many players. Some would like to see them completely abolished, while others would like to keep them on with a handful removed. I personally believe that some form of items should remain in the game. The first set of items that generally get removed from tournament play are the healing items, for obvious reasons. Tomato/Heart. Next that usually goes is Party Balls, PokeBalls, Star, Warp Star, Cloak, Red Shell, Flipper, Metal Box, Bunny Hood, Mushrooms. From there, the rest of the items are generally on, or up in the air regarding availablity. Some of the up in the air items include Hammer, Homerun Bat, Star Rod, Barrel Cannon, Land Mine, Bombomb. For items that generall remain on, there’s Ray Gun, Super Scope, Fire Flower, Lip Stick, Beam Sword, Fan, Green Shell, Mr Freezie, Mr Saturn, Parasol, and Screw Attack.
I read a very informative post about items on smashboards.com (but unfortunately I couldn’t find the link) which explained why items should be turned on Low, but not Very Low. It basically stated that Very Low spreads items far to thin and when one finally appears the character that gets it has a much larger advantage. On Low, items appear at a steady rate, but not so much as to overrun the entire game with constant items. Basically, just enough to keep it fair.
Stages obviously play a big part in SSBM, and there seems to be a generally accepted standard in the “most fair” levels as opposed to the “easiest to turtle” levels (which are usually not used). For example, the standard three as far as “fair” goes are: Final Destination, Dreamland, Pokemon Stadium. The stages generally accepted as “unfair” or “super turtle inducing” are: Hyrule, Yoshi 64, and Termina Bay. Most other stages in between have advantages as disadvantages, but none are really as pronounces as the main 2 or 3.
I’ve read an enourmous amount of discussion on smashboards.com concerning this exact topic, and many different groups like many different settings. It seems like the WC has generally adopted Tournament Go rules (around 4 stock / 6 mins / some items), some (not all) on the EC have adopted high stock, no items, and there’s plenty of variation across the country.
The format I was initially leading towards from talking to mattd and other players was something similar to:
3-stock / 4-mins (maybe 5)
Items On (Low)
Specific Items Off: Tomatoes, Hearts, Party Balls, PokeBalls, Star, Warp Star, Cloak, Flipper, Bunny Hood, Mushrooms, Bombomb
Specific Items debatable: Hammer, Homerun Bat, Star Rod, Barrel Cannon, Land Mine
All Other Items On
Stages: For first game of a 2/3 match, players pick from one of the 3 main stages: Final Desination, Dreamland, Pokemon Stadium. From there, the loser can pick any of the other stages except Hyrule, Yoshi 64, and Termina Bay. There is also the option of expanding the “banned stages” list to include levels like Brinstar Depths, Pokefloats etc.
Character selection is blind pick for first game of a 2/3 match. Regarding character change, there are two thoughts on this. The first is to stick to standard fighting game rules and force winner to always keep his/her character. The second is to allow the winner to change character before the loser, so the loser still has the option to pick a counter.
There is a ton of debate regarding settings for SSBM. In order to keep the overall tournament time under control and make for an exciting, yet fair finals, certain players will ultimately have to get used to settings they are not used to. The variety in the community is very large, so no matter what happens, certain people are going to have to play on new settings or decide to not play at all.