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Updated: Oct 26, 2021

Odyssey of the Mind HQ has issued some new General Clarifications.

Problem 1: Escape vroOM

Sep 22, 2021 B7e – Electronically pre-programmed: Electronic components which include memory storage are prohibited. Non-memory electronic components which meet Long Term Problem and Program Guide limitations are allowed, when used safely.

Oct 6, 2021 The Problem: The Problem statement includes this wording, “…they discover the mystery behind the room!”. “Behind” references the room’s existence. For example, what the room is, why it exists, how it got there, etc. It does not mean a mystery element that is physically located at the rear or behind the room.

Oct 6, 2021 B7e – Electronically pre-programmed: The general clarification of Sep 22, 2021 applies to all vehicle parts and operations.

Oct 25, 2021 C. Site, Setup, and Competition: Preferred audience seating is not shown in Figure A but when possible seating will be set up perpendicular to the Release Line and Clue Line, allowing the audience to view the vehicle runs.

Problem 2: Odyssey ReOMvention

Sep 14, 2021 F2 – Creative use of paperclips: To qualify as allowed paper clips, they must be available in a commercially produced package that identifies with wording “paper clips.” Binder clips and similar items are not allowed.

Sep 22, 2021 B11b – The two required animal characters: Must be of an existing, non-human animal species and an original character created by the team. For example, a talking rabbit would be acceptable, however a talking rabbit based on a recognizable existing character would not.

Oct 25, 2021 B6 – The original threat: Cannot be an existing threat, or be a threat in a conventionally-known way. However, it could be something that exists but threatens in an original way or threatens a different thing, area, group, etc. The threat must also be self-replicating.

Oct 25, 2021 B6a & B9a – The original threat and its setting: The setting of the threat must be current-day Earth. It may be presented any way the team wishes, but must be tangible and visible to the judges and audience.

Problem 3: (Name Here): The Musical Production

Oct 6, 2021 B6b – Better remembered in history: The performance does not need to be historically accurate, but the accomplishments of the historic figure must be historically accurate. Note that placing the accurate accomplishments in a history different from reality may impact the overall effectiveness of the solution, depending on how it’s depicted.

Oct 25, 2021 B10b – The creative scene change: Set pieces used after the scene change must have been visible and used as a set piece in the first scene to qualify for use. For example, a backdrop that was in a box in the first scene would not be allowed as a set piece in the second scene.

Problem 4: Matryoshka Structure

Sep 22, 2021 D4a – Reassembled into one: After being disassembled, the two parts of the Matryoska structure must be reassembled into their original configuration.

Oct 6, 2021 B6h – The Matryoshka Structure: Must contain all the nested items and the tiny character before time begins. It will move as one when assembled and nested and must remain nested if it is turned sideways and upside down. (The word “when” in the original limitation has been changed to “if.”)

Oct 25, 2021 B12c – The tiny character nested inside the smallest structure: Will be portrayed by a team member in costume in the performance. The team member may not operate the tiny character.

Problem 5: Life is a Circus!

There are currently no general clarification for this problem.

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- lessons learned from my Odyssey career.

Jack Kralick, a recent High School graduate from Region 5, sums up the benefits he has gained from lifelong participation in Odyssey of the Mind perfectly. It forces you to recognize the necessity of absurdity in a rational solution!

Jack is currently a freshman at Binghamton University, triple majoring in Economics; History; and Philosophy, Politics, and Law. He is also a recipient of an Army ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) scholarship through Cornell, and an elected representative to Binghamton's Student Association. In his free time, he enjoys watching movies, playing ping pong, and reading about the development of political theory. His idols would most likely be Jordan Peterson, Barry Goldwater, and John Wayne. Jack has just finished playing Fallout: New Vegas, and is anxiously awaiting the next Bethesda release!

NY Alumni … we would love to hear about how you are using those Odyssey skills in your everyday life, be it at home, at college, or in your workplace.

Contact us at to share your experience.

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Calling all OMers!

The New York Times is looking for kids to test an app they are developing:

It's “an IPad app full of a wide variety of how-tos - everything from designing an escape room, baking a cookie pizza, building a cosmic ray detector to inventing a new language."

Sounds like something OMers do all the time? That’s what we thought!

For more information: New York Times ‘How-to’ App

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