Prep & Scoring


Long term.

The main event!

Teams spend months preparing their long term solutions for presentation at the Regional tournament. Here’s what they can expect when the big day arrives

At least 20 minutes prior to their scheduled long term competition time, the team should be in costume, props ready, and available for pre-staging. This is where a judge will collect their paperwork and answer any questions the team has before they perform. It’s crucial that all coaches and team members are present at this time.

When finished with pre-staging, the team will move inside to the staging area. A judge will verify that both the team and other judges are ready, and the team’s performance time will begin. The team then has 8 minutes to move their props to the performance space and present their solution. Judges will approach the team after their skit is over to see props and costumes up close and learn more about how they solved the problem.

Here are some questions to ask your team as they’re preparing themselves and their solution for competition day

Have you addressed every aspect of the problem?
Both students and coaches should know their problems front to back, back to front and inside out.

Have you looked at the problem’s clarifications or submitted any of your own?
Teams may submit clarifications untilFebruary15th, 2015. If a response is provided, the team should bring it to competition and present it to their judges. They should also be aware of any general clarifications, which are available at.

Have you completed your paperwork?
Section H of the long term problem offers a list of items the team must bring to competition. In addition to the required forms, teams must also supply any necessary extension cords and materials for cleanup.

What if something breaks?
It never hurts to have a toolkit handy for emergency repairs. And if something breaks or goes wrong, stay calm! OotM is all about overcoming challenges and thinking on your feet.

Are we ready?
Does everyone know their lines? Where to stand? What to bring? What to carry? Rehearsal is key to a smooth and successful long term performance!

You can find some more questions in the file on this site called 20 Questions to Ask Your Team.




Style is an elaboration of the team’s long-term solution. It’s the polish…the pizazz…the icing on the cake.

The requirements of style vary by problem but are always outlined in section F. Two elements are mandatory and specified by the problem — these may be something like the artistic quality of a prop or the use of trash in a costume, but style is always a place for the team to showcase their special talents. In every problem, two style elements are “free choice of the team,” meaning they may select any piece or aspect of their solution they wish to have scored. The final component of style is the “overall effect of the four elements,” which the team should explain in the given space on their style forms.

A crucial thing to keep in mind is that a style element cannot be something that’s already scored for long term. For instance, if the long term scoring section states that points will be awarded for the “originality of a team-created instrument,” then the originality of that instrument cannot receive another score in style.

Teams should arrive at competition with four completed copies of their style form. The format of this form cannot be modified (no changes to spacing, margins, etc.). These will be used by the team’s style judges to determine and understand exactly what they want to have scored. It’s important to be specific. A team may elect to have a character scored for style, but what specifically should the judges be looking at? Is it something about the character’s performance? Their costume? The creative materials used to construct that costume? The possibilities are endless!





Teams are scored in relation to other teams in their problem and division. Because of this, it is impossible to compare scores between problems or divisions. In all cases, the team with the highest score receives the maximum for that category. All other teams receive an appropriate percentage of that maximum.

Here are the maximum scores:

  • Long Term – 200
  • Spontaneous – 100
  • Style – 50

However, maximums are only one aspect of the final score. The range of scores also matters. For example, spontaneous scores may range from 20 to 100, while long term might range from 140 to 200. The end result of this example would be that spontaneous scores would have a greater impact on final placement than long term, even though spontaneous is worth half of long term.



Advancing to State?

Congratulations on making it to the state tournament! Below are a few quick notes to help you get ready:

  • Be sure to bring copies of your paperwork to state. You will need to turn everything in again.
  • Your team should use your long term and style scores to identify aspects of it’s solution that could use improvement. Use the weeks before the tournament to tweak aspects of the solution that could be improved.
  • Be sure to read the section of the Coach Checklist about state tournament.