Judging Positions


General Description of Judging Positions

(Adapted from the odysseyofthemind.com website)

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.  The Head Judge must keep the judging team on time and on task.

  • Long-Term: The Head Judge reviews scoresheets, compiles scores and prints the master (unless there is a Score Checker) He/she presents the scores to the team coaches and answers questions regarding the teams’ long- term scores.  Should a coach raise an issue that the Head Judge cannot settle, the Head Judge then contacts the Problem Captain and has the Problem Captain take over. 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.
  • Spontaneous: The Head Judge reviews the scoresheets to make sure the judges have filled them out correctly and, in verbal problems, that all the judges have recorded the same number of responses. The Head Judge compiles the scores and prepares the Master Scoresheet. The Head Judge designates who reads the problem to the teams, who checks that the correct team entered the room, and who “chats” with the team. The spontaneous Head Judge always scores the teams as well.

 Problem Judge (usually two or three per long-term judging team and spontaneous judging team)

  • Long-Term: The Problem Judges score the team’s long-term solution. In a performance problem this is generally a subjective opinion and the Problem Judges generally score all aspects of the solution except Style. The Problem Judge gives his/her scoresheet to the Head Judge to compile onto the Master Scoresheet.
  • Spontaneous: In verbal problems, the Problem Judges evaluate the team’s answers. In a hands-on problem, the Problem Judges score all aspects of the team’s solution.

Score Checker/Data Entry (one per long-term judging team and at least one for Spontaneous)

  • Long Term: This individual collects scoresheets from the scoring judges, enters them into the electronic scoring program, prints them, and reviews them before giving them to the Head Judge and sending them off to the Score Room. The Score Checker makes sure the judges score within the appropriate range for subjective categories and award the correct number of points for objective
  • Spontaneous: In spontaneous, a Score Checker, located in Spont Central, checks scores, enters scores into the electronic scoring program, prints them off, and sends them to the Score Room.

Staging Area Judge (one per long-term judging team)

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 generally introduces the team to the Timekeeper

Style Judge (two or three per long-term judging team)

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 do not confer with each other to determine scores. 

Timekeeper/Announcer (one per long-term judging team and one per spontaneous team)

The Timekeeper is responsible for giving each team the exact amount of time allowed for the problem. It is critical that the Timekeeper be precise and exact in this regard.

  • Long-Term: The Timekeeper introduces the team to the judges and the audience. The Timekeeper also answers any team questions about the performance area before time starts. 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.
  • Spontaneous: The Timekeeper reviews the various times that will be given, e.g. think time, practice time, response time, and clearly tells each team when to begin and end each timed portion. The spontaneous Timekeeper often serves as a Spontaneous Problem Judge.

Weigh-In Judge (one for the long-term structure problem)

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 25 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.

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