Judging Positions

Q: What position will I get?
A: Judges are welcome to list their previous experience and preference during Judge registration. Judge positions are assigned by the Problem Captain after Judges Training.

Q: I have never judged before and don't know much about Odyssey of the Mind:
A: All judges go through general training then break out by problem and get specific training about the problem or spontaneous that they will judge.

Spontaneous Judge

A judge from any team, can chose to be placed in Spontaneous, irrespective of the long term problem presented by the team. In verbal problems, the Problem Judge evaluates the team’s answers and interrupts the team only if judges cannot hear a team’s response. In a hands-on problem, the Problem Judge generally scores some specific aspect of the problem.

Long term: Head Judge

(one per long-term judging team and one per spontaneous judging team)

The Head Judge for Long-Term or Spontaneous is the leader of the judging team and must keep the judging team on time and on task. The Head Judge presents the scores to the team coaches and answers questions regarding the teams’ long-term scores. The Head Judge must be thoroughly familiar with the long-term problem and have the ability to handle people in a friendly, but firm, manner. In some Regions, the long-term Head Judge sometimes doubles as a Problem or Style Judge.

Long Term: Problem Judge

The Problem Judge scores the team’s long-term solution. This are both subjective and objective scores described in detail at Judges Training. In a performance problem, the Problem Judge generally scores all aspects of the solution except Style. In a technical problem the Problem Judge is usually assigned a specific area or task to observe and scores only that portion of the team’s solution.

Long Term: Score checker

This individual collects scoresheets from the scoring judges and reviews them, compiles scores and prepares the master scoresheet. The Scorechecker makes sure the judges score within the appropriate range for subjective categories and award the correct number of points for objective

Long Term: Staging Area Judge

The Staging Area Judge is the first official to greet the team in long-term. He/she puts the team at ease while reviewing the team’s paperwork. The Staging Area Judge forwards the paperwork to the appropriate long-term judges and inspects the team’s props, membership sign, etc. He/she evaluates the cost, the legality of the solution (if there are specific parameters), and whether items were made by the team members. The Staging Area Judge may ask the team members some basic questions in this regard but should pass along any concerns he/she has to the other judges for questioning after the team finishes its performance. The Staging Area Judge introduces the team to the Timekeeper. Sometimes the Staging Area Judge also serves as Timekeeper. If you are fortunate to have enough judges to have two Staging Area Judges, one can handle the paperwork while the other talks with the team, answers questions, and generally makes certain the team is at ease. This is helpful if your tournament is on a tight schedule.

Long Term: Style Judge

Style Judges receive the teams’ Style Forms from the Staging Area Judge and review them for accuracy and to learn which areas they are to score. The Style Judge scores these areas and gives the scored Style Form to the Head Judge for compilation onto the Master Style Form. Style Judges should also check that what they score is not scored in Long-Term for each team. Style Judges do not confer with each other to determine scores. Style Judges sometimes also serve as Problem Judges.

Long Term: Timekeeper

Long-Term: The Timekeeper completes the Timekeeper’s Checklist (found in the problem materials and in the scoring program) then introduces the team to the judges and the audience. In problems where a penalty for overtime is given, he/she keeps exact time of the presentation and assesses a penalty for teams that go overtime. In other problems he/she stops the team at the end of the 8 minutes. The Timekeeper is the MC of each presentation and

Weigh-In Judge (Problem 4 only)

Weigh-In Judges check that structures meet the height and weight requirements and fulfill any other requirements for the problem. If a separate weigh-in site is used, once the Weigh-In Judges finalize their check of the structures and either approve them or assess appropriate penalties, they retain the structures in a container until approximately 20 minutes before the team is scheduled to compete. Weigh-In Judges must be available at least one hour before the first team is scheduled to compete until 15 minutes before the last team for the day competes. In a small competition, the Weigh-In Judge may also serve as a Problem Judge.


Doorkeepers make certain that audience members do not enter during a team’s performance. They also make certain that spectators give right-of-way to teams entering and exiting, help with crowd control, answers questions outside the door (such as "which problem is this?" or "where are the restrooms?" or "is this site on schedule?") Doorkeepers should, ideally, be certified officials, as they are substitute officials the day of the tournament, if someone is ill or does not show up to judge.