Spirit of the Problem:

In Hands-on problems you don’t need to ask permission for every idea you have.  The old saying, “ if it doesn’t say you can’t assume you can” applies in most cases but not all.  All hands-on problems leave some room for creative problem solving, but there are some times when solutions go beyond what is acceptable.

In the General Rules from the Odyssey of the Mind Program Guide, this issue is addressed in the entry, “Spirit of the Problem” Penalty Category.  It is described as “circumventing the intention of the rules or the intention of the problem itself.” This “applies to spontaneous problems also.”

This is where the spontaneous judges come in.  If it is the judge’s decision that the team’s solution does not follow the intention of the problem it is up to her or him to inform the team.  The judge’s decision in this case is final.

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The following is taken from the official 2011-2012 Odyssey of the Mind Program Guide:

Spontaneous problems cannot be revealed until the tournament is completed.  At that time, team members may discuss the problem with the coaches and non-participating family members.  No one may share the information with anyone else until that level of competition is completed around the world.  For example, no one can discuss an Association Finals spontaneous problem until the last Association Finals is completed.  Violators will be subject to disqualification and/or other disciplinary action taken against the entire team.

Anyone who shares ideas and/or solutions with anyone who is not on their team will be subject to disqualification and/or other disciplinary action taken against the entire team.  Those receiving ideas and/or solutions are also subject to penalty.  For example, if a team member posts a description of its solution to a chat room, that person’s team will be disqualified or suspended, and those who participate in that chat room must include the incident on their Outside Assistance Form to avoid disqualification.

 

 

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