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Know the Rules!

Successfully completing the challenge of Odyssey of the Mind is more than writing a skit that meets the requirements of the long-term problem. There are also many important rules that, while not scored, can result in penalty deductions from your team’s score.

Rules keeps things safe, consistent and level the playing field. You can find the complete rules in the PROGRAM GUIDE. There are also other policies in the Program Guide that you must know, so be sure to read ALL of the guide. Every membership receives this book as part of the membership packet. Check with your school coordinator or download your own copy using the link at the bottom of the web page.

Here are just a few highlights, emphasizing some of the most common oversights:

  • Membership signs: Each team must have a membership sign displayed and visible from at least 25 feet throughout its performance. The team may have multiple signs, but at least one must be visible to the judges during the entire presentation. A creative membership sign is one possible style element.

  • Copyrights: It is illegal to use or reproduce copyrighted materials without the owner’s permission. If the team uses such materials, it is the team’s responsibility to get permission from the copyright holder. Judges will not assign any penalty for copyright violations, but the team uses material at its own risk, and could be prosecuted by the copyright holders for any violation.

  • Safety: A team may not do anything at any time during a tournament (or during meetings) that would injure anyone or cause damage to the facility. Judges may stop a team member who does not have a foot covering that protects from glass or splinters.

  • Judge and audience involvement: Judges and audience members may not become part of the presentation. Nothing may be given to them during the team’s presentation, and nothing may be thrown into the audience. Any specific involvement will result in an OA penalty.

Note: This is not meant to be a replacement to the Program Guide. Teams should refer to the Program Guide for the actual wording of all rules applying to their solution and the tournament.

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