Frequently Asked Questions
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For local information such as such as tournament dates and costs please check with your Association Director.
A: When you register we will send you an email with login details to download your program materials and your local organization will contact you. Get Started has plenty of information as well!
A: There can be a maximum of seven members per team. There is no minimum but we strongly encourage each team to have at least 5 members. You can continue to add until you reach the max!
Deadlines are determined by your local association. In most cases, the registration period lasts until December or January of the school year. OdysseyHQ will accept registrations until your local deadline has been met. You may join after the deadline to get the materials, develop your creativity, and become familiar with our program but you will not be eligible to compete this year unless your association director allows.
A: No. Participating in a tournament is an option, not a requirement. Many schools conduct intramural Odyssey of the Mind tournaments, integrate OM™ into the classroom curriculum, or use it as a club. If this is the case, you can have as many participants as you wish within your school.
A: An entire school can join for one membership, check the Join page for options. Most tournaments have a modest registration fee for participating teams. Each problem has a cost limit where teams cannot spend more than a certain amount creating their solutions.
A: The “cost limit” for a long term problem is a spending cap, not a spending requirement. Everything that appears in a solution has a value and we limit the amount of money teams may use in their solution. This creates an even level of competition while encouraging creative use of materials through recycling and re-purposing. The maximum is listed in the problem details.
A: Yes. Students are welcome to participate through home schools, public and private schools, and through community groups such as a church, Rotary, etc. Learn more about memberships by reviewing our Program Guide.
A: Yes. Each team may contain ONE student who attends a different school or is home schooled. If more than one team member does not attend the member school then you can purchase additional membership(s) and add even more teams within multiple schools!
A: Teams generally select one long term problem for competition. Our problems include five that are competitive and one that is a primary problem for young teams. At each level of competition the team will solve a spontaneous problem as well.
A: Yes and No. It’s for students of all ages and at all levels of learning. Our open-ended problems allow each student to incorporate their interest in her or his work. In solving problems creatively every student becomes more engaged in their learning. After OM, shy students learn they love to perform and those that prefer using their hands find their passion in building or engineering. OM is for everyone!
A: Yes. After you register, you will be able to access the Member’s Area and download everything you need to get started including the complete set of problems and the Program Guide. As a non-affiliated school, you are welcome to attend a tournament at a nearby association and are automatically eligible to participate in World Finals.
A: Time varies widely. The school, coach or team will determine the practice schedule. We recommend each team to meet once a week and then more frequently when the tournament approaches. Because OM teams must create their solutions without Outside Assistance, the role of the coach is often coordinating practices and facilitating teamwork. We encourage parents to share in the coaching duties.
A: Each team has a roster of team members. Only those students may contribute to the problem solution. If a team wants to do something but does not know how, such as sewing a costume, it may ask for someone to teach them how to sew. It is OA if someone else sews the costume, or suggests to the team that something be sewn, or to give a lesson on sewing while the team is trying to join materials together. Also, if the team has more than seven members contribute to the solution, that additional person’s work counts as Outside Assistance.
A: Odyssey of the Mind is a learning experience. Others are encouraged to teach the process of creative problem solving but teams must do their own work. In the end they learn how to approach problems with an open mind, develop confidence in their problem solving abilities, and create solutions that are new and unique.
A: Contact your local association to find a coaches training in your area. The Resources page has useful information as well.
A: Find out through this handy division finder!