Teams cannot successfully solve the long-term problem without clarifications. Team members not only can clarify their own specific solution, but official clarifications are released throughout the competition season which apply to all teams. Judges expect teams to have read these clarifications and adapted their solutions accordingly.
February 15 is the cutoff for submitting team clarifications. Since the problems are new every year and teams are using their creativity, events at the first level of competition may require clarification. This is to ensure all teams are working within the same general parameters. Therefore, even though clarifications that are emailed after February 15 of the program year will not be answered, new clarifications might be posted beyond that date. Please check for new clarifications before each level of competition.
The purpose of team submitted clarifications is for the team to gain greater understanding of an aspect of the long-term problem they do not think is clearly defined in both the problem and the program guide. Teams should not submit clarifications to ask questions about which item would score higher, specific questions about tournament venues, or how to deal with team conflict.
Teams may request a clarification via email by going to www.odysseyofthemind.com/clarifications and following the directions (team members must log in with their membership number and zip code). Be sure to cite the section of the problem or rule in question. In addition, make sure to have read the Program Guide and the problems thoroughly and that the submitted question has not already been answered there or in the posted General Clarifications. THE DEADLINE FOR CLARIFICATION REQUESTS IS FEB. 15. All submitted clarifications should be responded to in seven days.
Team members must write out their clarifications. Division I teams may have an adult do the typing, but the questions must be in the team’s own words. Teams must print out a copy of the submitted clarification and the reply to bring to the tournament.
If the team has a question specific enough that it might give away its solution, the problem clarification will not be published as a general clarification, but only given to the team and to officials. Bring a copy to the tournament, as officials may or may not have gotten a copy!
The rule of thumb in asking a question is: better to be safe than sorry! If a team is asking legitimate questions that are not clearly covered in the program guide AND problem, they will not receive a penalty. If a question already covered in the program guide or problem, the response will usually be “see section X.” An unsportsmanlike penalty would only be assigned if the system is seriously abused (say 15+ unnecessary clarifications in a week).
General clarifications amend or further explain a problem’s limitations without revealing information about a team’s solution. The team should also check the CCI web site at for GENERAL clarifications specific to each long-term problem every week. Questions that seem to apply to all teams will be posted there, and will help the team understand the problem. Clarifications take precedence over limitations listed in the problem and the rules in this guide. General clarifications can significantly impact a team's long-term solution, and clarifications may be posted by CCI even after the team clarification deadline. Therefore, CHECK BEFORE EACH TOURNAMENT in which the team is competing.
Judges clarifications are limited to Odyssey of the Mind association representatives and may be submitted at any time.