It is an amazing fact of an Odyssey of the Mind tournament that anywhere from 100 – 200 officials are needed to give feedback to the teams! Judges work hard all during the tournament to make sure teams have a smooth performance and are evaluated fairly.
|1 head judge||Supervises the judges; answers questions; returns scores|
|3-4 problem judges||Score the Long-Term Problem|
|2-4 style judges||Score style|
|2-4 staging area judges||Take forms, check solution materials, try to put the team at ease|
|1 timekeeper||Announces the team to the audience; tells the team when to begin|
|1-2 doorkeepers||Prevent people from entering during a performance|
|1-2 score compilers||Checks all the math; may take scores to the score room|
If there are 15 problems and divisions, and also a Primary performance site, this means at least 160 Officials just for Long-Term (not even counting Score Room personnel, Problem Captains overseeing every problem set-up, or Tournament Directors!) Now add 3-4 judges for each spontaneous site, and one can see the need for over 200 officials!
During the presentation judges will usually spread out to make sure to catch all aspects of the performance. After the presentation, they will approach the team members to describe different aspects of the performance. Style judges will ask about style, problem judges about long-term scoring.
Team members should not be afraid of the judges! They genuinely want to learn more about how the team solved the problem and how they expressed their creativity. This short window is when team members can elaborate on their solution: how they picked their theme, the materials used in the backdrop, how the motor chain works, demonstrate the flipping mechanism in the backdrop, etc. Judges have an open mind when they approach the team - points can still be scored through communicating clearly and with energy! Teams should practice describing the different items to the performance and have an idea of which team members will talk about which aspects of the performance.
If a coach wants their team’s subjective scores (including spontaneous scores) to be an average of several people’s opinions, and if they want the tournament to run smoothly with few errors, it is up to HIM or HER, as the coach, to help recruit enthusiastic, interested officials. Odyssey of the Mind truly does need lots of help to run a tournament, and this is an all-volunteer organization, in which everyone must pitch in for the kids.