Outside Assistance – Not Allowed

Outside Assistance

A unique aspect of Odyssey of the Mind is that ALL aspects of the solution, from ideas to the finished product, must be the work of team members ONLY.


Kids develop a tremendous amount of self confidence when they solve the Problem and create their solution 100% by themselves. This includes creating costumes, make up, props, scripts, backgrounds, etc. entirely by themselves. The solution belongs to the kids, not to the parents or the coach. The team solves the Problem at their level, using what they know, what they can do, and what they learn.

As adults, we all mean well and want our children to do their best. Yet when we give them ideas or do things for them, we are subtly telling them that what they have done is not good enough.

The premise is for the kids to learn and to determine how creative they can be according to their standards, not ours as adults. Amazingly, the kids are likely to be much more creative than us adults.

Outside assistance must be reported on the Outside Assistance Form and will result in a penalty. The number of penalty points assigned will be determined by how greatly the assistance contributed to the solution and whether the assistance was accidental or intentional.