SPONTANEOUS PROBLEM PROCEDURES

The Holding Room: you will also see a Spontaneous competition time on the schedule. Report to the area marked Spontaneous Holding Room 10 minutes before your scheduled time. One coach may accompany you. Here, one team member will register the team by giving the judge your long-term problem, division, and membership name and number. You will wait in the Holding Room until a judge escorts you to the competition room. Your coach will remain in a designated area until you are finished.  Entering Spontaneous: Everyone on your team can enter the room, however, only five will compete. The judge will tell you what type of problem you will solve: hands-on, verbal, or verbal/ hands-on. You will have one minute to decide what five team members will compete. If your team has five or fewer members everyone must compete. Those not participating can stay and watch or leave the room. If staying but not participating, you must not talk, signal, or intervene. If that happens, you will be asked to leave while time continues.

Starting Spontaneous: The judges will read your problem aloud -- be sure to listen carefully because each problem has its own set of rules. Once the judge finishes reading, you will get a copy of the problem for reference. Then, the judge will say "Begin" and time starts. You may ask questions, but your time will continue. Sometimes the judge may tell you that they cannot answer their specific question, but will refer you to the problem. Judges will make every attempt to clarify the problem to make sure you understand what the problem requires; but, judges cannot help you solve the problem. In verbal and/or verbal/hands-on problems the judges will give these two directions if they need another response:

  • If a someone speaks too fast or mumbles and the judges cannot understand, the judges will say, "UNCLEAR. Please say it again."
  • If a response does not make sense to the judges, or it is not acceptable, they will say, "INAPPROPRIATE. Please clarify or give another response."

Competition is over: leave the room quietly and meet your coach! While it is exciting to complete Spontaneous, it is important not to discuss the problem with others outside of your team until after the competition. Spontaneous problems are not subject to the grievance process; but if you have a concern, someone from your team should ask to speak to the Spontaneous Problem Captain, who will then speak with the judges and the entire team, if necessary.

~ Joy Kurtz
International Spontaneous Problem Captain