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As the season gets underway NY Odyssey brings you information about this year's NYSOMA Scholarships, the Odyssey Passport, an exciting competition from Arm & Hammer and a theatrical event in NYC featuring 2 former OMers. Finally we share information about the date of Region 14's Regional Tournament as well as a plea for new Members for the NYSOMA Board.

NYSOMA Scholarships

Attention HS seniors and first year college students! NYSOMA is announcing the topic for its 2024 scholarship application.

We would like you to create a lively, creative, and engaging 3-minute video that focuses of the real-world skills that being an Omer helps you develop for life after graduation.

This could be in the form of a mock job interview, a recruitment advertisement, or whatever else your fertile imagination could come up with. Surprise us!

The deadline for submissions is March 16th 2024.

The form to upload your application is here.

Odyssey Passport

Hey OMers!

What do you call a document that keeps track of your Odyssey goals, meetings, gives you tips and general direction, and is the one place that holds all your team’s information?

“The Odyssey Passport"!

The Odyssey Passport was designed to help both novice and seasoned coaches guide their teams through an Odyssey of the Mind season from the first meeting to competition. This detailed passport is an interactive, structured guide that will support you in keeping track of your team meetings, goals, objectives, deadlines, and more.

Log into Members Area to get your copy of this wonderful new resource!

Please note that this Passport does not replace the Program Guide and it is not the ONLY way to solve a Long-Term Problem. No matter how closely you follow it, it is your Odyssey!

Other useful resources are the Coach’s Toolbox on this website, and the series of videos in Odyssey Academy.

Baking Soda Rocket Contest

Get ready to embark on an extraordinary journey beyond the stars!

We’re thrilled to announce the most exciting contest of the year: the Arm & Hammer ‘Message In A Bottle Rocket’ Baking Soda Rocket Contest! It’s time to channel your inner astronaut, ignite your creativity, and blast off into a world of fun, science, and dreams. ENTER NOW for a chance to attend Space Camp.

For details and to ENTER the contest:

Entries close on November 15th.

There a video on the Landing Page is easy to follow providing clear instructions on how to launch a bottle rocket!

Disclaimer: NYSOMA is not responsible for this project but is merely sharing information about it for the benefit of teams.

Pair – a special OMer theater night.

A unique show featuring 2 former OMers, Steven Conroy and Julie Congress, is being held at the 59E59st Theaters in Manhattan.

Inspired by the lives of world-famous artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Pair is a playful meditation on the nature of art and partnership.

Claes and Coosje were renowned for their larger-than-life pop art sculptures that inflated everyday objects to extraordinary proportions. As the artists explore their creative process, something fantastical is happening as a singing pear (yes, the fruit!) embarks on a worldwide quest for self-discovery. What emerges is a funny and intimate play about collaboration, imagination, and love.

The OMer night will be Friday, November 17 at 7:30pm. The show is 70 minutes and then there will be a talkback afterwards with Dr. Jim Mourey from Odyssey Academy and Illinois Odyssey of the Mind, along with some of the cast/crew who were involved in Odyssey back in middle and high school.

The discount code (for $20 tix) is "OMPair".

Folks can get more info and buy tix here:

Spontaneous Resources

Teams and coaches looking for some challenges to help improve their spontaneous skills can check out the spontaneous pages on the NY Odyssey website where new full practice problems are posted regularly.

In addition we have some mini-challenges also available that can be used with minimal preparation to help add some spontaneous practice activities to any team meeting.

Latest Regional Tournament Information

The date for Region 14 Regional Tournament has now been finalized. March 2nd 2024 at Pittsford CSD, exact location tbd.

Board Members Needed

New members are needed to join the NYSOMA board. Participation includes attendance at 6 Board meetings per year (3 virtual 3 in-person) and assisting with the State Tournament, in the weeks prior and on the day, if possible.

We are particularly looking with people who have experience in fundraising or obtaining corporate sponsorship, but if you have time and energy and want to help the Odyssey program flourish in New York, consider applying to the board. The online form for applications can be found here.

For further information contact Jeff Guldenschuh, Board Chair -

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A bonus for you this month with late breaking news about a change in the dates for World Finals and alerting you to problems with the official clarification system. In addition, more regions have now finalized dates and locations for their regional tournaments. Finally, news also about a new NY State Problem Captain this year for Problem 1.

World Finals Date Change

Because of a very large event happening in Ames over Memorial Day weekend, Odyssey of the Mind has decided to move the dates for the 2024 World Finals. Instead of the usual Thursday to Saturday schedule, this year the competition will start on TUESDAY May 21st with opening ceremonies. Teams will compete from Wednesday to Friday, with the closing ceremony, awards and the usual parties on Friday 24th in the evening.

Clarification System not accepting new clarifications.

Due to a technical problem, online submissions are not working. Teams should hold off submitting team-specific clarifications until a fix is made.

More Regional Tournaments scheduled.

Currently we have the following Regional Tournaments scheduled.


Region 13 DCMO BOCES Harrold Campus


Region 5 Orange Ulster BOCES

Region 7 Shenendehowa HSE

Region 8/9 Case Middle School


Region 6 Glens Falls High School

Region 12 Broome-Tioga BOCES

Region 15 Mt. Morris Middle School

Region 21 Broadalbin Perth Jr/Sr High School


Region 1/2 Caroline G. Atkinson School


Region 4 Coxsackie-Athens CSD

Region 11 Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES

Region 19 Salamanca Central School

Check out the Regional Tournaments page for more tournaments, as they are scheduled.

Change of State Problem Captain for Problem 1

After many years of service to New York Odyssey of the Mind, Wayne Otte has stepped down as State Problem Captain for Problem 1. He will be replaced, this year, by Bill Everett, his trusty right-hand man. Wayne will continue to judge in NY, serve as IPC for Problem 1 for Odysssey of the Mind. We owe Wayne a great deal of thanks for his calm and authoritative leadership, helping teams create and operate vehicles both large and small and guiding them to success at the State and World Finals tournaments. If you see him this year, no doubt wearing his signature Pluto the dog hat, give him your thanks and wish him well!

Bill Everett will be a worthy successor with decades of experience as a Judge, Head Judge and APC at Regional, State and at World Finals. New York is very lucky to have such experience and expertise in Problem 1.

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It's the start of a new Odyssey year in New York!

Time to get your Odyssey of the Mind membership - check out the instructions here.

State Street Elementary / Middle School were the first in New York to sign up for a 2023/2024 membership, congratulations to them!

Welcome from Sammy Micklus

Problem Synopses

Here is a flyer you can use to get people excited about this year's long-term problems. But remember, in order to solve the problems you will need to get a OM membership and download the full text of the long-term problem you have chosen.

Download PDF • 2.40MB

So what is a long term problem?

Within each full problem you’ll find the following:

“Introduction” and “The Problem” sections explain the spirit and intent of the problem in a narrative, descriptive way

“Limitations” provides a detailed list of the elements that are required to be included in your team solution and if there are any constraints or limits

“Site, Setup, and Competition” and “Tournament Director Will Provide” explain to teams what type of performance space and equipment will be assured and provided, if your team goes to competition

“Scoring” is a clear breakdown of where exactly teams can earn points in competition and whether these are objective (ex: 0 or 5 points if a task was not completed or was, respectively) or subjective (ex: a range of 1 to 10 points for creative use of a material)

“Style” explains the points that can be earned through the team’s creative and artistic choices in elaborating upon their solution

“Team Must Provide” let’s the team know what documents they’ll need to provide to our judging teams and what equipment they should provide for themselves, if needed

“Problem Glossary” defines any terms that have specific meaning within the context of this problem. These are included to eliminate ambiguity and keep all teams on the same page.

If teams take the time to read and understand each section of their chosen problem, they’ll be brainstorming and building their way to a successful competition season!

Wow what a response!

A record number of pin design submissions were received for this season's NY Odyssey pins in response to our flyer.

The Pin Committee will be meeting this week to look at all of the ideas and turn your sketches and suggestions into hot traders for next year's World Finals at Iowa State University.

Stay tuned for a sneak peek at the chosen designs.

Regional Tournaments are continuing to be scheduled.

Dates we know so far are:

Feb 17: Region 13

Mar 2: Region 5

Mar 9: Regions 6 & 12

Mar 16: Region 1/2

Mar 23: Region 11

Check out the Regional Tournament page for all the details.

The 2023/2024 Program Guide has been released.

The Program Guide is the foundation upon which Odyssey of the Mind has been built. The Program Guide is a reference document containing information and guidance that teams will need throughout the year.

It’s strongly recommended that coaches of new teams review the entire document and that returning teams refresh their familiarity with Chapters 3-6 at the start of each new program year.

Chapter 1 - Program overview, Advice for coaches, Getting Started, Training your team

Chapter 2 - About your membership

Chapter 3 - Long-Term Problems, Spontaneous Problems

Chapter 4 - Going to Competition, Awards

Chapter 5 - Program Rules that apply to all Problems, Penalty categories

Chapter 6 - Glossary

Most of your team’s (non problem-specific) questions will be answered here so keep checking that Program Guide! Don’t see a question or you’re wondering if your solution falls within the rules and limitations? Then it’s time for a Clarification!

You can find the Program Guide in the Forms and Files section of the NY Odyssey website or download here in PDF format.

Download PDF • 891KB

A Call for New Items!

If anyone has news (especially with photos or videos) they would like to share with our New York Odyssey members, please send an email to

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