Volunteers are critical to a successful Tournament. They stand watch at doors, keeping people from interrupting team performances, work at our sales table, bring lunches to our judges, act as “gophers” and perform other needed tasks. The easiest source for volunteers is family members and friends who will be attending the Tournament in support of the team. Like potential judges, they should be approached early. Unlike judges, though, they do not have to attend training, and they will be scheduled around the performance of the team they are representing. Volunteers are able to see their team(s) perform and are only committed for 7-8 hours of the Tournament day, so it is easier for someone to agree to take on this role.

So, who can you ask to be your team’s Volunteer?

Ask parents or family members who will be attending the Tournament.

See if anyone from school is planning on coming to the Tournament to watch the team (a Teacher? Aide? Administrator?). If they are taking their time to be at the Tournament, they might be willing to donate a few hours to help out.

Check also the list of potential judges. Unlike judges, not all volunteers will see team performances. However, if they are coming to the Tournament to find what Odyssey is about, they might not mind the break in their day.





Becoming A Coach

Becoming an Odyssey of the Mind Coach will probably be one of the most rewarding volunteer roles you will ever have. You will have the opportunity to work with a team of 7 kids to facilitate creative problem solving, teambuilding and brainstorming. You do not need to be an expert in a particular area, you just need to have a passion to see kids grow and learn. We will provide trainings, mentorship and a good ear for listening throughout the season. In the end, you will absolutely be amazed by what the kids have created and solved completely on their own…but they could not have done without you as their coach!

Please see our Coaches Corner and training dates to get you started!

Coaching an Odyssey of the Mind team provides many rewarding opportunities. Among them, you’ll:


  • see kids grow and become engaged in their learning
  • witness individuals grow as a team
  • become involved in the education of kids
  • learn more about what kids are thinking and what appeals to them
  • watch as kids develop their thinking skills while improving self-esteem and confidence




Judging Creativity

To ensure teams are scored fairly, we require each team to provide a judge (and volunteer) for tournament day so we can provide necessary training prior to the big day. A judge will need to be available for this role all day so there is consistent scoring. Simply stated, the teams, and very likely your children, have worked too hard not to be judged fairly. If you are a past or present supporter of the Odyssey of the Mind program please consider helping judge this year’s event. We have many different judging roles to meet your interests. Please click on any of the judging roles below for a full description of each – there is something for everyone!

Judges are required to attend one 3 hour training.

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

Long-Term: 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. The Problem Judge gives his/her scoresheet to the Head Judge to compile onto the Master Scoresheet.

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.


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