User Tools

Site Tools



The following words and phrases are commonly used in OotM problems. If a word appears in italics in a long-term problem, it is defined in the Problem Glossary or it is defined below. If it appears in both, use the definition in the problem. These definitions are written for the purpose of solving OotM problems and may differ from what is found in a dictionary. Some of the terms are also used in spontaneous problems.

  • Appearance – How something looks, that is, its outward visual characteristics, not that it simply is included in the performance.
  • Appears – Something is visible and in view of the judges during the team’s performance.
  • Artistic materials – Any media that are typically used in art forms, such as oils, acrylics, pencil, clay, watercolors, canvas, paper, wood, etc.
  • Artistic Quality – The distinctive characteristics, style, and effectiveness of the appearance of the visual attributes.
  • Backdrop – Cloth, cardboard, large sheet of paper, etc. showing some type of scene or design, usually made with paint or other media, that hangs in the background of a stage set.
  • Boundaries/boundary lines – Boundary lines are considered on a vertical plane. Contact with the tape that marks the boundary line is not considered out-of-bounds unless stated otherwise in the problem; however, the team may not cover boundary lines in a way that obstructs the judges’ view. An item is considered out-of-bounds if the outside plane of the tape marking the boundary line is crossed at any height unless the problem states otherwise. If a problem states that something must be within the boundaries, every part of that item, whether it is touching the floor or not, must be completely within the boundary lines. This includes attachments such as wires, decorations, any team members riding on it, operating systems, etc.
  • Breaking the plane – Going beyond, but staying within the end points of, the imaginary vertical plane, for example, a boundary, or a start or finish line.
  • Character – Unless the problem states otherwise, characters do not need to be portrayed by team members. However, characters must be animated. That is, they must demonstrate one or more human characteristics. If a problem requires one or more specific characters, various team members may play the required characters. A required character must remain the same character throughout the presentation, but may change in appearance. E.g., Superman was originally a comic book character. Although he has since been portrayed as a cartoon character or by different actors, he has retained the characteristics that make him Superman.
  • Characteristic – A distinguishing feature of a character or thing.
  • Commercially produced – Pre-manufactured and not team-created. A commercially produced part could be a part from a larger item, such as the handlebars of a bicycle or a wheel from a toy truck. It could also be an item that stands on its own such as a nail, a baseball bat, picture frame, etc. Even though the parts of a team-made item are not original, when combined, the parts could form something highly original.
  • Completely (entirely) within an area – Nothing may touch or extend beyond the perimeter of the defined area. For example, a limitation that states that an object must be completely inside of a taped 4’ x 4’ area means that no part of that object may extend beyond the tape that forms the area. When an object is required to be completely within an area it is the same as it being enclosed by imaginary walls. This is rarely the case in spontaneous problems.
  • Creativity of overall engineering – Overall approach to the components including materials that make up a solution; the arrangement, assembly, and unique use of the materials.
  • Effectiveness of performance – Overall approach to the performance; anything not specifically scored in Long-Term or Style but adds to the performance such as transitions and timing, mood, elaborations, added enhancements, use of special effects/technology, etc.
  • Functional engineering – The mechanics applied to making something operate; the ability of a component to perform the function it is supposed to perform.
  • Human Power – Direct: manipulating the intended object by hand so it functions without any other mechanism; for example: throwing, kicking, blowing, twisting, or turning the object to be moved/manipulated. For example, tossing a ball into a container. Indirect: applying human power to something that directly manipulates the object that in turn moves/is manipulated; for example, hitting a ball with a golf club so it goes into a container. If human power is used to help cause a series of actions to take place in order to make something function that is considered mechanical and not human power; for example, turning a crank that winds a coil that releases an object is considered mechanically powered. Also, turning a crank by hand that is geared to pull back a device similar to a catapult and then releasing it so it moves a ball into a container is considered mechanically powered. This is allowed as long as human energy is not prohibited and the problem does not have different definition.
  • Incidental contact or touching – Unless the problem states otherwise, touching without gaining an advantage. It would have no penalty unless the incidental touching is repeated after a judges warning, or it is intentional.
  • Inside an area – Touching the floor only within the perimeter of a defined area including the material used to create the area. For example, a limitation that states that an object must be inside a taped 4’ x 4’ area means that object must touch the floor only within the area including the tape. It may extend beyond the imaginary vertical plane of the perimeter of that area but it may not touch the floor or anything resting on the floor outside of that area. This is often the case in spontaneous problems.
  • Modified – To alter or change something in order for it to help solve a problem.
  • One or more team members – If something is required to be operated, driven, or portrayed by one or more team members, this may be more than one member at a time, or it may be one member at a time. In either case, the team members may change; they do not have to be the same individuals throughout the entire performance.
  • Portray – To represent something or to act out a specific role.
  • Prop – An object held or used by a character in the performance. Props do not include items that are picked up only as part of a team’s setup or to change the scene. Hand props are held by a character in the performance and larger stage props, such as a ladder or chair, are used by a character in the performance. For example, if a character answers a telephone and sits in a chair, the telephone and chair are props. A prop may also be a part of a costume. For example, if a character walks on stage holding a sword and uses it as part of the performance, the sword is a prop as well as part of that costume. Props do not include required vehicles, structures, devices, etc. that only operate and/or perform a function for required score. Self-contained – every aspect of a required component is independent of anything external. For example, if a self-contained item must travel, all parts of the item will travel – unless AC power is allowed. If a team uses AC power, the cord providing the energy is allowed to remain plugged in and does not need to move as part of the solution. The cord does not count towards score.
  • Set up – The time after judges say “Team Begin” that the team uses to set up props. It counts toward the 8-minute time limit. Teams can simultaneously perform while setting up props.
  • Song – music with lyrics. The music can be produced in any manner unless the problem states otherwise.
  • Stage set – All team-created materials that are on the competition site to create the environment/ setting of a scene. Team members, costumes, and props are not part of the stage set. Anything picked up and used by a character during the performance is considered a prop, not part of the stage set. The team sign may be part of the stage set, but ONLY if it is not scored separately as a style element.
  • Touch/touching – If a problem states that the team may not touch something, this means making contact with the item with the hand or another body part, whether covered or uncovered. For example, holding a ball in a gloved hand is still considered touching the ball. Or, if the team is not allowed to touch the floor in a certain area, a team member may not step onto a piece of paper on the floor in that area. In spontaneous, a team may be required to use items to complete tasks. For example, it might have a broom, a stick, and a fishing pole to move a ball into a container without touching the ball. Because it is required to use the items to move the ball, the team may touch those items, which in turn touch the ball, and this is not considered touching the ball.
  • Working within an area – a team member must be touching entirely within the boundary, but is allowed to break the plane without touching the competition site beyond that area.
glossary.txt · Last modified: 2015/09/28 21:45 by michaelb