Judges & Volunteers

Thank you for your interest in judging and volunteering! Through the generosity of time and talent, our judges & volunteers contribute their skills, knowledge, and interests to provide an amazing experience for kids. Just like an Odyssey of the Mind team, we want our judges & volunteers to capitalize on their strengths when donating their time and energy. Thus, we have a variety of roles to ensure your experience is fun and rewarding! Please click the links to the left to learn more about the different tournament roles. You are sure to see something that piques your interests and if not, please contact us to share how you would like to support creative problem solving in the young minds of the future.


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 all sorts of interests and abilities. Please check out the Judge Roles a full description of each position.

Judges, please remember that we are a volunteer organization that relies almost solely on volunteers including ourselves.  Every team must supply a judge in order for us to provide a tournament and experience for the children that they will remember.  Please make sure you clear your calendar for the two days needed(training date and full day of judging).  The fee for not providing a judge is $150, but we would much rather have the person.


Odyssey of the Mind is an all volunteer organization. It takes approximately 100 judges and 100 volunteers to run a smooth tournament and we count on each and every one to help make this a positive experience for the kids. Please click on the Volunteer Role for a full description of every role – there is something for everyone!

Judge Roles & Descriptions


Judging roles are assigned by the Judging Coordinator.   We place every judge in the best possible role that we can for them. The listing of roles here is a great way to just see that everyone has a specific job and cover the basic duties of each position.   We train all of our Judges to be successful in multiple roles just in case a situation arises that may require we move Judges around.  Please use the descriptions for reference of general duties carried out by each position.


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, compiles scores and prepares the master scoresheet. He/she presents the scores to the team coaches and answers questions regarding the teams’ long-term scores.  The Head Judge must be thoroughly familiar with the long-term problem and have the ability to handle people in a friendly 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 compiles the scores and prepares the Master Scoresheet. 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 three or four per judging team) (Scoring official)


The long-term Problem Judge is assigned to evaluate 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(s) or task(s) to observe and scores only that portion of the team's solution.  The Problem Judge gives his/her score sheet to the scorechecker who inputs everything into the Excel scoring program.


The Problem Judges for the structure problem will also act as the Weigh-in judges.  They ascertain that the structure not only meets the height and weight requirements, but also fulfills the other requirements of the structure's construction.  Once the Weigh-in judges finalize their check of the structure and either approve it or assess appropriate penalties, they retain the structure in a container until approximately 25 minutes before the team is to compete.  Weigh-in judges must be available at least one hour before the first team is to compete and until fifteen minutes before the last team for the day competes.


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

Staging Area Judge:(One or two per long-term judging team) (Non-scoring Official)

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. that it will be using.  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 generally introduces the team to the Timekeeper.

Style Judge:(three per long-term judging team) (Scoring Official)

The Style Judges receive the Style Forms from the Staging Area Judge.  The Style Judge reviews them for accuracy and to ascertain which areas he/she is to score.  The Style judge must be familiar with the long-term problem to make sure that nothing on Style is also scored on long-term.  The Style Judge scores the five areas listed and gives his/her scored Style Form to the scorechecker who inputs everything into the Excel scoring program.  Style Judges do not confer with each other in order to ascertain the scores.


Timekeeper/Announcer: (One per long-term judging team) (Non-scoring Official)

The Timekeeper is responsible for giving each team the exact amount of time allowed for the problem or, in problems, which do not require the team to stop, to keep exact time of its presentation.  It is critical that the Timekeeper be precise and exact in this regard.


The Timekeeper introduces the team to the judges and the audience.  In problems where a penalty for overtime is shown, he/she assesses a penalty for teams that go overtime.  In other problems he/she stops the team when the allowed time has elapsed.


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 per long-term judging team) (Non-scoring Official)

The Score Checker uses an Excel scoring program on his/her computer to compile and average the scores of all Long-term judges and Style judges.  Once all scores for a team are compiled, the Score Checker prints all copies necessary.  Then all scoring sheets should be placed in a provided envelope.  Before the envelope is sealed the Head Judge should review and approve.   A score runner will pick up scores from the Score Checker to be taken to the scoring room to be double-checked.

Judges Registration

Georgia Odyssey of the Mind competitions each use approximately 100 judges to ensure a smooth, exciting, and fair tournament.  Each Judge plays an important role in the success of the tournament and is essential to make each competition happen.  Each team is required to provide one judge for a regional competition.  If the teams advances to State Finals, the judge will need to represent the team their as well.

Judges, please remember that we are a volunteer organization that relies almost solely on volunteers including ourselves.  Every team must supply a judge in order for us to provide a tournament and experience for the children that they will remember.  Please make sure you clear your calendar for the two days needed(training and judging).  The fee for not providing a judge is $150, but we would much rather have the person. Training is essential for all Judges since the problems change every year even as a non-scoring position.  We require all Judges to attend training each year to receive the most up to date information and learn about multiple roles that may be needed from each and every Judge.

Note: Judges will not be able to leave the site they are assigned to during the day because they will be fulfilling their obligations to the competitors to provide the fairest tournament possible.  This means judges will not be able to leave at any time to see a team’s performance in another problem during the judging day.

All Judges must:

  •  be 18 years or older and high school graduates.
  • attend a training seminar to qualify to judge at a tournament.  This training is mandatory, no exceptions will be made.
  • Judge at atleast one regional tournament in order to qualify to Judge at the State Finals Tournament.
  • NOT be associated with a team they will be judging.


Steps to Register as a Judge

  1. Click on Register to Judge button
  2. Click on the tournament you plan to judge at
  3. Complete the information.  If you are representing a team, make sure you have the team's membership number, name, and Problem number.
  4. Confirm your email address at the bottom of the page before you click Submit.  Registration is not complete until you click Submit.  You will receive an email confirmation. If you do not receive an email confirmation, the registration was not successful or you did not enter the email address correctly.

* If you are judging at a tournament other than the one where the team is competing, please explain in the Comment box.*

*If you plan to judge at multiple Regional tournaments you must register for each.*

*You must judge at a Regional tournament in order to judge at State.*
*If the team you are representing advances to State, you will need to judge at State.  The Judging Coordinator will move your Registration form to the State Tournament list.*

Training Dates & Locations

Volunteer Roles

Door Keeper:

You will be responsible for monitoring traffic in and out of the Long Term Problem site during competition. When there is no one competing the door will be open and people may come and go as they please. Once the time keeper/announcer signals, the door keeper will close the door and stand outside to ensure no one attempts to enter.


Hospitality is responsible for all the food that is prepared and delivered throughout the day. We provide lunch, snacks, and drinks throughout the day for all judges and officials. This position may require walking around the competition sites.


You will register the team and check to make sure their media release is complete. You then give them their packets and answer any questions.


Help sell Georgia Odyssey of the Mind merchandise.  This includes pins, shirts, and other souvenirs.

Cake Bingo:

You will assist with selling bingo cards, calling bingo squares, cleaning bingo cards, cake distribution to winners, and/or crowd control. Teams absolutely love this part of the day!


This position is available to certified medical professionals only. You must be available to assist with any medical related needs throughout the day. If you are interested in this position please contact out Judging Coordinator at judges@georgiaodyssey.org


Volunteer Registration


Volunteers are needed to help with the tournaments and we have many different roles to meet your interest. Volunteers need to be available all day, but will only be scheduled  for a 2-3 hours shift.

Note: Teams cannot use a volunteer to satisfy the judge requirement.


Volunteer Registration will be available ONLINE approximately 2 weeks before competition.   Volunteer Registration will be first come, first serve for spots.   Register early to secure the volunteer slot you want.