How Memberships Work

How Memberships Work

(Taken directly from the Odyssey of the Mind Program Guide)

We welcome all students to participate in Odyssey of the Mind. However, to enter official Odyssey of the Mind competitions, teams must abide by certain rules and requirements. One membership allows multiple teams of up to seven members each to enter competition, according to the eligibility of the individual school or organization.

School Memberships

Most teams fall under the individual school membership category. A school membership may enter one team per problem per division into competition. The grade of the team members determines the division in which a team is eligible to compete. For example, consider a school of grades K-6. Generally this would be made up of Division I and II students. This membership could enter a total of ten teams in competition — five in Division I and five in Division II.

If the school wants to enter more teams in the same problem and division it may purchase an additional membership at a reduced rate. All teams that fall under the second membership would be considered “Team B.” If a third membership is purchased, those teams would be considered “Team C,” and so on. If purchasing additional memberships is not feasible, a school district may hold an intramural competition to determine which teams will go to official competitions.

In most circumstances, all team members come from the same school. However, multi- school teams — those made up of students from different schools — are permitted as long as all the schools have a current membership. If the schools contain the same division, multi-school teams may choose which school name they wish to use for registering; otherwise, teams must compete under the school name that houses the division that they are competing in. Multi-school teams may only compete at one regional tournament, even if multiple schools may be located in more than one region. Furthermore, each team is allowed one student that attends a different school without a membership, but who resides in the same general area. However, the team members must agree and must have permission from principals from both schools involved. If a team member transfers to another school he/she may continue on the team until the end of the competition year, provided both school administrations approve.

Community Groups

Established community groups such as Scouts, church groups, libraries, etc. may purchase a membership under the group’s name and enter one team per problem per division in competition. If a group wishes to enter more teams, it may purchase additional memberships. A community group may not be organized for the purpose of competing in Odyssey of the Mind. The group must have an established mission other than participating in Odyssey of the Mind. If the community group contributes money to a school to sponsor a team or to enable students to participate, the membership would be in the school’s name.

Home-Schooled Students

Home-schooled students can purchase memberships under a home school name. A home school membership may enter one team per problem into competition (maximum five teams). Each of these teams must include a minimum of four home-schooled students. Each team may also include up to three students from one other school. That school would not have to purchase an additional membership. If non-home-schooled students come from more than one school, the additional schools are required to purchase a membership.

If school administrators permit it, home-schooled students may compete on a school team sponsored by the public school that they would normally attend if they were not home schooled.

Age Divisions

Teams are formed by division and compete against teams in the same division and problem. Grade level determines the division for teams in the U.S. and in countries with an educational structure that corresponds to the U.S. Except for Division IV, teams from countries with a different grade system (“Other International”) and U.S. students who are not assigned a grade will have their division determined by the ages of the team members. In competition, each school membership and community group may enter one team per problem for each division it covers. Home- schooled members may enter one team per problem.

The team must compete in the lowest division for which it qualifies. For example, if a team qualifies for Division II it cannot compete in Division III. The team member in the highest grade (U.S.) or the oldest (Other International) determines the team’s division as follows:

Division I – Grades K-5 (U.S.): Less than 12 years of age on May 1, 2015 (Other International)
Division II – Grades 6-8 (U.S.): Less than 15 years of age on May 1, 2015 (Other International). Division III – Grades 9-12 (U.S.): Oldest team member does not qualify for Divisions I or II and is attending regular school—not a college or university or anything similar (Other International).
Division IV – Collegiate for ALL TEAMS. All team members must have a high school diploma or its equivalent and be enrolled in at least one course at a two- or four-year college or university. High school students taking accredited courses do not qualify for Division IV. Team members do not have to attend the same college.

There is a division finder at to use to

determine the division of “Other International” teams for Divisions I, II and III. No special exceptions will be granted to allow a team to change its division.

*NOTE: In general, the USA standard is that children begin school in kindergarten at 5 years old. There are 12 subsequent grades (1-12) before graduating from high school. Students are usually 18 years old when they graduate from high school. Ages can differ based on individual school retention and promotion policies.

Team Member Participation

Up to seven members may participate on any Odyssey of the Mind team from Primary through Division IV. There is no minimum number of team members required but we recommend each team has at least five, preferably six or seven. In competition, seven team members may participate in the presentation of the long-term solution, but only five team members may compete in spontaneous. If there are less than five team members the team’s spontaneous score might be adversely affected. Be prepared to go to competition with one or two team members missing in case of illness or other unexpected absence. Team members should practice sharing roles and covering for each other and all should be prepared for every type of spontaneous problem.

Team members may not be removed from the roster for any reason even if a team member decides to no longer participate. Once a team member has contributed to the problem solution, in any way and to any degree, they are part of that team even if they don’t participate at a competition. A team with less than seven members on its roster may add to the roster, at any time and without penalty, until it reaches a full complement of seven.

If there are seven members on the roster and the team needs to add to its roster for any reason, it must indicate it has more than seven on the team on its Outside Assistance Form and will receive a penalty. The judges at the competition will consider the circumstances when determining a penalty that is proportionate to the violation. For instance, a team with a late addition due to illness would have the contributions of the new team member considered, whereas a team that had a member drop in the early stages will have that person’s contributions considered. The level of penalty will vary but will be less severe than if the team does not indicate this on its form.

Membership Identification

CCI sends each member an email confirmation that indicates its membership number. This membership number is how the team is recognized during tournaments. Log in to the Member’s Area with it to see and print your membership status. Teams must show it when registering for official competition. The printout shows the membership number and name of the school or group that the team represents. Although CCI sometimes abbreviates a member’s name, it still is recognizable as its full name. For example, Walden High School may be abbreviated to read Walden HS or Walden High Sch, but never WHS. (See “Incorrect or Missing Membership Sign” under Penalty Categories in this guide for more information.)

When a school/organization purchases additional memberships, CCI issues each new membership its own membership number. The new memberships will be under the same name but their identification will say “Team B,” “Team C,” and so on. You will be able to print this new number in the Member Area with the “Team A” to distinguish it from the subsequent memberships. For example, Walden HS would then become Walden HS Team A. This becomes the official membership identification for that team.

If your team’s name is incorrect in your record online, you must notify CCI and provide the corrected information, and CCI will update it. Name corrections will not be made once a team enters competition.

Since each team usually registers separately at tournaments, and they may arrive at different times, each team within the membership should print a copy of its membership identification from the Member Area and use it to register for tournaments.

All memberships must be paid in full in order to compete in regional or state tournaments. A purchase order is not considered payment. If, after 30 days, your status remains unpaid, please check with the business office of your membership organization to be sure payment was sent.

Membership Withdrawals and Transfers

If, for some reason, a member or organization chooses to cancel an OotM membership, to be eligible for a refund it must return all materials in their original condition to CCI within 30 days of receipt and include a written notice of withdrawal. There is a $35 charge for each cancelled membership.

In some cases a membership may be transferred to another school/organization. An application must be made in writing and received by CCI at least 30 days before the member’s first official competition.