Membership: Any school, homeschool group or non-profit can register at the National Odyssey of the Mind website and obtain/renew their membership against an annual fee (the base fee is $135 but check the registration form for variations). Each membership allows one team per competitive problem, per division as well as several Primary teams.
Tournament Fee: Each team that registers for a tournament is required to pay a tournament fee to help cover the costs of running the tournament. This applies to each Region and State tournament. Fees vary for the World Finals tournament.
Division: Teams compete in a specific problem with teams of the same division. Teams are assigned to a division which is generally equivalent to the following grade ranges:
Primary - K to 2 Primary (non-competing)
Division I - Grades 3-5
Division II - Grades 6-8
Division III - Grades 9-12
Division IV - College
There is a "division finder" at the National website to help teams of mixed ages determine their division.
Long Term: Teams select one of 5 problems to compete in. Each year the problem specifications and limitations are different.
Teams spend several months preparing, writing script, making costumes and sets and rehearsing their solution to the problems. This represents 150 points of their raw score. An additional 50 points of raw score are assigned to the Style elements of the Long Term presentation.
Primary teams have a pre-assigned Primary problem and practice the exact same skills. They present their solution at the Regional tournament but are not assigned a score. Primary teams do not advance to State competition.
Spontaneous: Teams practice skills to learn how to solve spontaneous problems: thinking on their feet, teamwork, creativity. At competition, they will be presented a problem and will have a very short time to present an un-rehearsed solution.
Division I to III teams partake the spontaneous competition and this represents 100 points of their total raw score. Primary teams should learn and practice spontaneous problem-solving but they do not have a Spontaneous component at competition.
Judge: Judges are a category of volunteers provided by the teams. Any adult 18 years or older can represent the team as a judge. Judge pre-registration is required. Judges go through judges training for a specific problem and are asked to judge at both Regional and State level in the problem they have been trained. Although judges specify problem preference during pre-registration, their final selection of problem happens during Judges Training.
Judges are NOT able to leave their position to watch a team perform.
2-Hour Volunteer (2HV): A category of volunteers provided by the teams. Any adult 18 years or older can represent the team as a 2HV. Pre-registration is required in most regions and sometimes job selection is possible or encouraged ahead of time. 2HV do not require specific training and can select a task that does not conflict with their team's schedule. Some tasks are scheduled ahead of competition day.