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The Clarification System

Our Long-Term Problems are written to provide just enough guidance for teams to solve the problem without limiting creativity. Occasionally additional guidance is required from Odyssey of the Mind HQ or teams may have questions regarding their interpretations of the Long-Term Problem limitations and the rules, as stated in the Program Guide. When this occurs, there are three categories of problem clarifications.

These are updates, amendments, or further explanations of Long-Term Problem limitations, written by Odyssey of the Mind HQ and made public for all members. General Clarifications take precedence over published problem details and the rules in the Program Guide, so it’s important that teams keep current on all general clarifications issued throughout the year by clicking “Read  Clarifications” below.

When teams are unsure whether their solution is allowed within the limitations of their Long-Term Problem and the rules of the Program Guide, they may request feedback from Odyssey of the Mind HQ. The questions and answers remain CONFIDENTIAL and may be taken to tournaments, to affirm that a team’s solution is valid. For full details, please consult the Program Guide. To submit your request, click “Submit Clarifications” below.

In some cases, the answer to a team-specific clarification may be distributed to judges, sometimes with additional guidance from Odyssey HQ, to assure that judging of team solutions is consistent throughout the entire Odyssey of the Mind program. These clarifications are ONLY seen by Odyssey of the Mind association representatives.

Please take note:
The clarification system is not intended to replace reading the problem and program guide. Teams should read the problem and its limitations, all general clarifications, and the general rules listed in the Program Guide BEFORE requesting a clarification.
Please do not submit a clarification that asks:

  • If an idea is creative or if one idea would receive more score than another. (No comment regarding subjective scoring will be provided.)
  • Where the judges or audience will be positioned during the performance. (That is a question for your tournament director.)
  • To confirm the wording of the problem.
  • If something may be different from an aspect that is specifically required. (For example, if the problem requires 1/8″ wood for a part you may not use 1/16″ wood for that required part.)

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