Virtual Tournament Procedures

Please do NOT ignore or go against any health advisories. Understand that we will be evaluating your solutions, not the quality of your video. This means that you can “meet” as a team online and record the performance if that is your only option or gather and perform following school and local guidelines.

Registering for a Virtual or Online Tournament:

  • Create a team login from your membership number once you know the problem and division you are competing in. After logging into members area under your member number, select ‘Team Registration’ and fill out your information. You will be given a team-specific login and password. This is what you will use going forward to enter the Members Area and compete in your tournament.
  • Fill out required information. There will be upload links for your recorded solution and required paperwork. You do not have to have the solution/paperwork when you register but be sure to know the deadline for submission! Read below to see how to upload. Remember, there will be two deadlines: registering for your tournament and then submitting your solution.
  • After the submission deadline, an official will check your paperwork and contact you if anything is missing or not accessible. Be sure to list the best email address for the coach/team contact when registering and add to your safe sender list.
  • During a time pre-determined by your Tournament Director and communicated to all teams, the Spontaneous portion of competition can be found after logging into the Members Area. At some time during your virtual tournament, there will be a link to the Spontaneous problem that will be available over a number of days. Your team can only access the link once, so be sure to have a plan to be together either in person or virtually depending on health guidelines and your preferences before following the link. More info on how to compete in Spontaneous will be published in the future before your competition.

Creating the video of the problem solution:

The Required Video for All Teams:

  • will include a video of the 8-minute solution plus an additional seven minutes of explanation (15 minutes total).
  • The 8-minute portion must be a continuous and unaltered recording, the camera can move around the performance area, zoom in/out, etc. Edits in any way, added effects, etc. are not allowed in the solution video. All team members, props, settings, etc. must be in the frame at some time to be scored and do your best to show props, settings, and costumes.
  • The 7-minute explanation time is added after the performance is completed. The team is allowed to highlight components of the solution in the video. This could be how certain items were created, how they operated, how they added to the solution, and so on. This portion may be edited and must be included after the performance portion of the video. Non team members may appear in the explanation portion of the team’s video, but the team members should be providing the additional explanation regarding the required Long-Term and Style elements. This is your chance to talk to the judges and show off different parts of your solution, so think about what you’d want the judges to know about your work!
  • if using conference/meeting software, the use of virtual backgrounds is not allowed with one exception: if the team creates a physical background it may be converted into a virtual background shared by other team members. However, at least one team member must use the original background during the performance.
  • A physical membership sign is not required to be in the video. The file name of the solution and all additional paperwork must include your membership name and number. If part of your scored solution includes the membership sign it is allowed in addition to naming the video as described.

Problem-Specific Explanation Video Guidelines
Teams should take care to include the following information in the 7-minute explanation portion of their video. The lists for each problem are key problem components that judges must be able to see and understand to score teams effectively.

Problem 1: OMer the ROMER

  1. Closeup and explanation of the propulsion system
  2. Closeup and explanation of the functional engineering and operation excluding propulsion (Steering, Smile, Laugh, Special effect etc.)
  3. Measure the 10′ between each of the “X”
  4. Indicate the location of the Marker used for Style F1.
  5. Explain how the OMer character reacts at each required stop.
  6. Explain the physical representation of the selfie.

Problem 2: Virtual Odyssey

  1. Description of the Virtual Reality World and real-world setting. How they differ from each other and what the team’s thought behind their selections.
  2. Close up of the real-world setting scored for its artistic quality.
  3. Close up of each technical effect, how it was made, what it does and how each operates. How the team came up with the ideas for the technical effects. Add time stamp to each technical effect so judges can go back and view the technical effect more closely if necessary.
  4. Demonstrate the team-determined Technical Effect and the creativity of it. Why the team chose this effect for style element.
  5. How did the team come up with the nefarious creature.
  6. A description of the four credits and how they were earned. Timestamps of when each credit is earned.
  7. Show the special effect, how it was made, what it does and how it operates. Add timestamp so judges can go back and view the special effect more closely if necessary.
  8. Show the prop to be scored for Style and explain the artistic quality of the prop and why it was chosen. Show the various materials used to design the prop. Explain how it fits into the performance.
  9. Close up of the two free style choices of team. Why were they chosen and what effect did they have on the problem solution.

Problem 3: Classics… OMER and the Beanstalk

After teams finish their performance, they should focus on the following for their explanation to the officials. If possible, have the team member that has the most experience with the item talk about it. Remember to focus on the items and categories that are being scored in the Problem and in Style.

Youngster Character:

  • How did you come up with their Youngster Character?
  • Tell a little about the Youngster Character (Costume, personality, etc.)
  • The life lesson presented to the Youngster Character, and how it impacted them.

The Host Character:

  • How did you come up with the idea for the Host Character?
  • Tell a little about the Host Character (Costume, personality, etc.)

The selected stories:

  • Why did you choose those two stories?
  • How did the stories help the Youngster Character learn a life lesson?
  • For each story explain:
    -The required character (How it was picked)
    -The required work of art made with ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda
    -In what way did you use the ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda
    -A close up of the artistic representation.

The object that grows or appears to grow:

  • How the object grows or appears to grow.
  • How did you come up with this idea.
  • If possible, a close up on the object and showing it growing.


Round Object:

  • How it is used in the performance.
  • How did you come up with that object to use.
  • A close up of the round object.

Artistic Quality of a set piece or prop:

  • How did you create the object?
  • A close up of the object.

Free Choice:

  • Tell about your style item and how it was made or how you came up with this idea
  • If possible, a close up on the object.

Problem 4: It’s a Trap!

The explanation portion of your video should emphasize, but is not limited to, details of the following.
  1. If the structure was designed and built to transform from trapping to weight testing, show and describe how it works.
  2. To trap the moving object, explain how the trapping system works.
  3. The structure resting and how it is prepared to trap the Moving Object.
  4. How the Moving Object is propelled and how it moves on its own.
  5. Clearly show at least 1 attempt, successful or not, of the moving object being trapped.
  6. If successful, the Moving Object trapped.
  7. How the Moving Object is used elsewhere in the performance.
  8. How the oblivious character avoids the 3 traps, and details about that characters costume.
  9. Descriptive details about the Narrator Character.
  10. The 2 Free Choice items in Style.

Problem 5: Superhero Socks: A Cliffhanger Beginning

Highlight/describe the “super power” created by the socks
  1. How they created their special effect during the extreme weather setting
  2. How the adversary character is defeated, what thoughts went into this scenario.
  3. How the sound effect is created when the super socks are activated
  4. The process used to make their Super Socks, materials used etc.
  5. Costume creation of all characters, materials used etc.
  6. Highlight what items were used in the creation of the membership sign, specifically what created “artistic quality”
  7. Highlight how they used the rubber bands (creatively) in their solution
  8. Highlight the items they used as “free choice” in Style
  9. Describe the cliffhanger situation
  10. Describe the extreme weather setting
  11. Anything else the team feels it is important for the judges to know

Filming the solution:

  • is allowed to be recorded by someone not on the team. Non team members may act as stagehands in supporting the team’s performance. They may not add to the solution in any other way.
  • recording devices, microphones, virtual meeting programs or apps are exempt from cost.
  • must begin with “Team Begin!” This is when setup occurs and the 8-minute performance time begins (placing backdrops, props, etc.). Time limits for presenting the solution and any overtime penalties still follow the problem rules. In cases of remote performance recording where the team is separated, teams may begin their performances with sets, props, costumes, etc. in place to allow performances to fit within the required time limit.
    Please see General Clarifications for a change to this requirement
  • may have any type of ending the team wishes as described on the team list.

Forms and pictures to help judges:

  • When your tournament registration begins you must register your team. This will give you access to the fields where you will submit the links to all of your required submissions.
  • The Team List, Style Form, Cost Form, Outside Assistance Form, and anything else required by the problem should not be part of the solution + explanation video. Teams must upload a separate link to this paperwork before the submission deadline through the Members Area. Download the forms and learn about submitting your solution here.
  • Teams may recreate these forms in the format that is easiest for the team to fill out the information, provided they use the same language and items are in the same order. They must be a recognizable replica of the online forms provided by Odyssey of the Mind. They must be uploaded as a single .pdf to ensure judges will be able to open them. If you don’t have the ability to convert to pdf you can convert the file at
  • Pictures are optional, but can help highlight scored aspects of your solution. You may submit up to 10 pictures of your solution and 4 Style pictures, one for each Style category. These are NOT required to be taken while the solution is being presented. They will be uploaded via a shareable link, the same way as forms.  All pictures must be in a single pdf document and may include captions. See more tips here.
  • All teams are encouraged, but not required, to submit a performance script. Subtitles edited onto the recording are not allowed.

Submitting the Long-Term Performance:

  • The video must be uploaded to a file sharing service of your choice (Google Drive, Microsoft, YouTube, etc.) provided it is publicly accessible in the USA.
  • Create a shareable link for the video and paste it into the appropriate field after your team logs into the Members Area. Be sure your sharing settings allow anyone with the link to view it.
  • Do the same with your paperwork, pictures, and script as described above. Check and double check your sharing settings for all so the judges don’t miss an aspect of your solution.
  • Be sure to check the email used during team registration regularly for any communication from the judges during the tournament.

Receiving Scores:

Once judging is completed, the team will receive and review the scores similar to an in-person tournament. The Head Judge will notify the coach/team contact through email that the scores are available. The team has 48 hours after the email is sent to login and view the scores and any comments from the judges through the Members Area. If questions arise within that 48 hours, there is an area for the team to comment back. The Head Judge will then respond through the same online system.

Stay tuned for your tournament’s Award Ceremony to find out where you placed! Have fun!


Click Here: To get an idea of how to create a virtual solution in various formats, check out these videos from Virtual World Finals!