Rule- NO Outside Assistance

Clarifications are a very important tool that teams have access to.

 Long-Term Problems are written to provide just enough guidance for teams to solve the problem without limiting creativity. Occasionally additional guidance is required from Odyssey of the Mind HQ or teams may have questions regarding their interpretations of the Long-Term Problem limitations and the rules, as stated in the Program Guide. When this occurs, then clarifications are an option.


These are updates, amendments, or further explanations of Long-Term Problem limitations, written by Odyssey of the Mind HQ and made public for all members. General Clarifications take precedence over published problem details and the rules in the Program Guide, so it’s important that teams keep current on all general clarifications issued throughout the year by clicking Read Clarifications.”

Teams should get in the habit of checking these prior to or at practices to see if there have been any updates. It is the coaches and team’s responsibility to stay current on the General Clarifications. It’s best to establish a habit of checking them.

This type of clarification continues to be posted right up to World Finals so teams that continue to advance should continue to check General Clarifications until the end of the season.


Before writing for a clarification, make sure the team:

When teams are unsure whether their solution is allowed within the limitations of their Long-Term Problem and the rules of the Program Guide, they may request a clarification from Odyssey of the Mind HQ. The questions and answers remain CONFIDENTIAL and may be taken to tournaments, to affirm that a team’s solution is valid. For full details, please consult the Program Guide. To submit your request, click “Submit Clarifications” on the Odyssey HQ website. Clarifications may be submitted until February 15th of each season.

The clarification system is not intended to replace reading the problem and program guide. Teams should read the problem and its limitations, all general clarifications, and the general rules listed in the Program Guide BEFORE requesting a clarification. Read it more than once and talk about it as a team.

Odyssey HQ has asked “Please do not submit a clarification that asks:

  • if an idea is creative or if one idea would receive more score than another (No comment regarding subjective scoring will be provided.)
  • where the judges or audience will be positioned during the performance (That is a question for your tournament director.)
  • to confirm the wording of the problem
  • if something may be different from an aspect that is specifically required (e.g., if the problem requires 1/8″ wood for a part you may not use 1/16″ wood for that required part)

When the team goes to the competition be sure to have a copy of the team clarification(s) request and the response from Odyssey HQ.

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Each level takes priority when understanding the rules. For example, if something in the Long-Term Problem is different or contradicts a statement in the Program Guide, then what is stated in the Long-Term Problem supersedes the Program Guide.