Kentucky Odyssey of the Mind


Judge Roles & Descriptions



Head Judge

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. (one per long-term judging team and one per spontaneous judging team)



The Head Judge reviews scoresheets, 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. In smaller tournaments, the Head Judge and the Problem Captain are often the same person; so the Tournament Director would intervene.  The Head Judge must be thoroughly familiar with the long-term problem and have the ability to handle people in a friendly, but firm, manner. 



The Head Judge reviews the scoresheets 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. The Head Judge also compiles the scores. The Head Judge designates who reads the problem to the teams, who checks that the correct team entered the room, and who chats with the team. The spontaneous Head Judge always scores the teams as well.



Problem Judge

(generally two or three per long-term judging team and one to two per spontaneous judging team)



The Problem Judge 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. 



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.


Staging Area Judge

(one or possibly two per long-term judging team)


The Staging Area Judge is the first official to greet the team in long-term. He/she puts the team at ease while reviewing the team’s paperwork. The Staging Area Judge forwards the paperwork to the appropriate long-term judges and inspects the team’s props, membership sign, etc. He/she evaluates the cost, the legality of the solution (if there are specific parameters), and whether items were made by the team members. The Staging Area Judge 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. The Staging Area Judge introduces the team to the Timekeeper. 


Style Judge

(two to three per long-term judging team)


Style Judges receive the teams’ Style Forms from the Staging Area Judge and review them for accuracy and to learn which areas they are to score. The Style Judge score independently and do not confer with each other to determine scores. 



(one per long-term judging team and one per spontaneous team)


The Timekeeper/Announcer is responsible for introducing the team to the audience and 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.



The Timekeeper 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.



The Timekeeper 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. The spontaneous Timekeeper often serves as a Spontaneous Problem Judge as well.



Score Checker

(one to two per long-term judging team and possibly one for every 4-5 spontaneous rooms)


This individual collects scoresheets from the scoring judges, inputs the scores into the Excel spreadsheets, and reviews them before sending them off to the Scoreroom. The Scorechecker makes sure the judges score within the appropriate range for subjective categories and award the correct number of points for objective categories. Scorecheckers should be generally familiar with Microsoft Excel and be able to save spreadsheets onto the desktop and a flash drive.