Brought to you by Delaware Creative Activities and Problem Solving

Volunteers & Officials

Delaware Odyssey of the Mind is run 100% by volunteers. Success of our tournaments depends greatly on the continuous efforts of outstanding volunteers/officials like you! We are hopeful that you should consider serving as a volunteer judge.

  • Support the anticipated 2,100+ children who will be participating in Delaware every year.
  • Potentially four regional tournaments (two concurrent tournaments) from 2016 and annual State Finals tournament. We requires twice the number of volunteer judges than we normally require on a single day.


  • Clocks hours are awarded for educators (exception apply, refer DOE policy) through PDMS after educator participation is validated through DELAWARE Odyssey Of the Mind web based administration process for an eligibility and attendance.
    • Judge Training
    • Coaches Workshop
    • Spontaneous Workshop
    • Coaching Pre-Tourney training
    • Coaching
  • Volunteers hours will be awarded to the student volunteer for their support throughout the year!

Outreach – Do you know someone who is interested in judging? : Please consider helping us at this year’s event.

Our teams of creative kids need you!  If this is the first time you are judging or volunteering, you are in for one of the most exciting and satisfying experiences! 

  • If you know of any other adult volunteers (18+) who can assist, please email name and contact information to as soon as possible.
  • Judges must be available for both: 1) Attend training before the tournament 2) to judge all day at the tournament

Judges do NOT need experience.

  • Training session before the tournament where you will learn everything you need to know to fill this valuable position!
  • We serves a wonderful breakfast/lunch on training and tournament day.
  • Many judges return each year because the day is so much fun, Very enjoyable and rewarding opportunity.

Team: Works so hard on their solutions!

  • Each team is required to provide one volunteer to help at the tournament, in either a “Judge” OR in a “Volunteer” capacity.
  • The team-required volunteer should sign up online prior to the judge training. This person’s contact information (including valid school/office email, personal email and phone number) MUST be provided.

Volunteers (Non-scoring/judging position)

  • Need no prior training
  • Work partial days and can take time off to watch teams of interest.
  • Involve working in hospitality, signage, sales, registration, as door/hall helpers
  • help with set-up and take-down
  • You could help us in various non-scoring position including in the Division your child is competing so you may see their long-term performance.
  • Volunteer Roles: Training Director (Training new and experience judges), Tournament Director (Regional and State Finals), Time Keeper/Announcer, Door Keeper, Score Keeper, Staging Judge, Prop Storage, Information Desk, Score Runner, Spontaneous Check-In table, Spontaneous Holding Room, Traffic Controller/Gate Keeper, Hospitality, Merchandise Sales and so on

Judging – Long-Term and Spontaneous Problem – Will have a fun-filled day watching others present their solutions and working with other interesting people!

  • Require you to train and be available all day the day of competition.
  • Not be able to watch or judge your child’s performance if you are a parent of a team member.
  • Long Term Roles: Problem Captain, Head Judge, Long Term Judge, Style Judge, Weight-In Judge (Problem 4 – Structure Only), Judging as non-scoring position
  • Spontaneous Roles: Problem Captain, Head Judge, Spontaneous Judge – Verbal, Hands-On, Verbal Hand-On, Spontaneous Judge – Primary (Regional only), Judging as non-scoring position

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.

Head Judge – Long-Term:

  • Reviews score sheets, compiles scores and prepares the master score sheet.
  • 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.
  • Must be thoroughly familiar with the long-term problem and have the ability to handle people in a friendly, but firm, manner.
  • Sometimes doubles as a Problem or Style Judge, but this does not allow very much time to return scores and talk with coaches, so in this event you may wish to schedule teams a little farther apart or allow longer breaks.

Head Judge – Spontaneous:

  • Reviews the score sheets 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.
  • Compiles the scores and prepares the Master Score sheet.
  • Designates who reads the problem to the teams, who checks that the correct team entered the room, and who “chats” with the team.
  • Always scores the teams as well.

Problem Judge: (Generally two or three per long-term judging team and one per spontaneous judging team)

Problem Judge – Long-Term:

  • Scores the team’s long-term solution
  • In a performance problem this is generally a subjective opinion and 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
  • Gives his/her score sheet to the Head Judge to compile onto the Master Score sheet

Problem Judge – Spontaneous:

  • In verbal problems, the Problem Judge evaluates the team’s answers and interrupts the team if it repeats answers or gives inappropriate responses
  • In a hands-on problem, the Problem Judge generally scores some specific aspect of the problem

Score Checker (One per long-term judging team and possibly one for every 4-5 spontaneous rooms)

  • An optional position, but if you have enough volunteers it’s recommended to add a Score checker to every long-term judging team.
  • Collects score sheets from the scoring judges and reviews them before sending them off to the Score room.
  • Makes sure the judges score within the appropriate range for subjective categories and award the correct number of points for objective categories.
  • In spontaneous, a Score Compiler would be stationed in the Spontaneous Judges’ Break Room and check scores before they are sent to the Score Room.

Staging Area Judge (One or possibly two per long-term judging team)

  • The first official to greet the team in long-term
  • Puts the team at ease while reviewing the team’s paperwork
  • Forwards the paperwork to the appropriate long-term judges and inspects the team’s props, membership sign, etc
  • Evaluates the cost, the legality of the solution (if there are specific parameters), and whether items were made by the team members
  • 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
  • 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

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

  • Receive the teams’ Style Forms from the Staging Area Judge and review them for accuracy and to learn which areas they are to score
  • Scores these areas and gives the scored Style Form to the Head Judge for compilation onto the Master Style Form
  • Do not confer with each other to determine scores
  • Sometimes also serve as Problem Judges

Timekeeper (One per long-term judging team and one per spontaneous team), 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

Timekeeper – Long-Term: 

  • Completes the Timekeeper’s Checklist (found in the problem materials) 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

Timekeeper – Spontaneous:

  • 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
  • Often serves as a Spontaneous Problem Judge as well

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

  • 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
  • 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

Doorkeeper (Non-Judging Position) (one per long-term problem site, unless the space is open with no entrance or exit door)

  • Make certain that audience members do not enter during a team’s performance
  • 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?”)
  • 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


  1. Which team should be credited for your volunteering, you will be asked to provide the following information: Team membership name, number, problem and division. This information is available from the team’s coach or membership contact. If you don’t have this information, enter the name of the school in the place of the membership name and we will follow up.
  2. There is a drop down box next to “I am registering as a” (located in the upper right). If you are registering in a “Volunteer” category, you MUST select “Volunteer” from the drop down box. If you are registering as “Judge”, select “Judge”.
  3. Next, you will need to select a specific type of position from the drop down box located next to “Job preference”. If you are interested in a specific type of position, request it from the drop down box. If you will accept any position or are unfamiliar with the positions, just select “No Preference” or leave “Pick one” in the drop down boxes.

To register as either a judge/official or volunteer; Click here to sign up

Again, Thank you for judging/volunteering at Delaware Odyssey of the Mind!

Questions? Need information? contact