Preparation

So you’ve decided to be a judge.  Or maybe you got roped into it or owed someone a favor.  Don’t worry, it’s going to be fun!

Being a judge is a great way to learn more about Odyssey of the Mind, and anyone can do it.  A judge can be a team member’s relative, teacher or family friend…no previous experience is required.  All you need is to be at least 18 years old, some curiosity, and some training.

Judges are needed for all areas of competition: Long Term, Spontaneous and Style.  On the registration form you’ll be asked your areas of interest; at the training -as much as possible, you’ll choose your specific judging assignment; and at the tournament, you’ll be one of a small group of “officials” at an event that is really all about you and your fellow judges….and the kids.  We’ll give you an Official t-shirt, a little background on the program, and all the info you need to be an effective judge. And we’ll feed you too…both at the training and the tournament.

If you’re assigned to judge a long term problem, you’ll receive a copy of that problem at training.  It’s essential that you read it, re-read it, and even re-re-read it in the week leading up to the tournament.  If you have any questions along the way, your Problem Captain (PC) is available by phone/email to help.  The best thing you can do for the competing teams is to fully understand the problem they’ll be solving and your role as a judge of their solution.

On tournament day, you should bring your Official t-shirt, copy of the problem, a crazy hat/tie/wig (to put the kids at ease), and, most importantly, your SMILE.  Above all, this should be a fun experience for students and grown-ups alike.  Teams have spent months preparing for this day, and you’re sure to see some amazing things.  Come with an open mind and appreciation for the work they’ve done. 

Thank you for volunteering!