Description of Official Positions

Judging Positions

Judges are scoring officials at the competition. Each judge will score all the teams within a problem. Judges must attend Judges Training prior to the competition. Judges must commit to being at the competition for its duration, if a judge leaves early their scores must be cancelled for all teams to maintain fairness.

Head Judge

Each judging team will have one head judge. The head judge must have at least one year of experience as a problem judge before being promoted to 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.

The Long-Term Head Judge reviews score sheets and 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. 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 long-term Head Judge may sometimes double as a Problem or Style Judge, but this does not allow very much time to return scores and talk with coaches, so in this event you may wish to schedule teams a little farther apart or allow longer breaks.

The Spontaneous Head Judge reviews the score sheets and 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

There are typically two to four long-term judges per judging team. The Long-Term Problem Judge scores the team’s long-term solution. In a performance problem this is generally a subjective opinion and the Long-Term Problem Judge generally scores all aspects of the solution except Style. In a technical problem the Long-Term Problem Judge is usually assigned a specific area or task to observe and scores only that portion of the team’s solution. The Long-Term Problem Judge gives his/her score sheet to the Score Checker to compile onto the Master Score Sheet.

Typically there are two to three Spontaneous Problem Judges for spontaneous problems. In verbal problems, the Spontaneous Problem Judge evaluates the team’s answers and interrupts the team only if judges cannot hear a team’s response. In a hands-on problem, the Spontaneous Problem Judge generally scores some specific aspect of the problem.

Score Checker

There are two score checkers per long-term judging team and two for every 3-5 spontaneous rooms. As this position involves data entry, the score checker should be proficient in typing and using a typical spreadsheet program. The score checker collects score sheets from the scoring judges and enters the scores into the master electronic score sheets and prints them for presentation to the coach of each team. The Score Checker makes sure the judges score within the appropriate range for subjective categories and award the correct number of points for objective categories. In spontaneous, Score Checkers should be stationed in the Spontaneous Judges’ Break Room to enter and validate scores.

Staging Area Judge

Typically one to two Staging Area Judges 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. Sometimes the Staging Area Judge also serves as Timekeeper. If you are fortunate to have enough judges to have two Staging Area Judges, one can handle the paperwork while the other talks with the team, answers questions, and generally makes certain the team is at ease. This is helpful if your tournament is on a tight schedule

Style Judge

Typically there are two to four style judges 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 scores these areas and gives the scored Style Form to the Head Judge for compilation onto the Master Style Form. Style Judges should also check that what they score is not scored in Long-Term for each team. Style Judges do not confer with each other to determine scores. Style Judges sometimes also serve as Problem Judges.


There is one timekeeper per judging team. The Timekeeper is responsible for 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 Long-Term Timekeeper also serves as the announcer for each team. The Long-Term Timekeeper should be able to speak loudly and clearly in a room. The Long-Term 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 Spontaneous 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.

Weigh-In Judge

The Weigh-In Judge is specific to the Structure problem. Typically there will be one to two Weigh-In Judges per Structure judging team. Weigh-In Judges check that structures meet the height and weight requirements and fulfill any other requirements for the problem. If a separate weigh-in site is used, once the Weigh-In Judges finalize their check of the structures and either approve them or assess appropriate penalties, they retain the structures in a container until approximately 20 minutes before the team is scheduled to compete.

Weigh-In Judges must be available at least one hour before the first team is scheduled to compete until 15 minutes before the last team for the day competes. In a small competition, the Weigh-In Judge may also serve as a Problem Judge.

Volunteer Positions

Volunteers handle all of the non-scoring portions of the day. Volunteers may perform one or more of the roles below and that role may change throughout the day. As they hold non-scoring roles, Volunteers are not required to attend Judges Training.


There will typically be several Doorkeepers per competition site. Doorkeepers make certain that audience members do not enter during a team’s performance. They also make certain that spectators give right-of-way to teams entering and exiting, help with crowd control, answers questions outside the door (such as “which problem is this?” or “where are the restrooms?” or “is this site on schedule?”) Doorkeepers should, ideally, be certified officials, as they are substitute officials the day of the tournament, if someone is ill or does not show up to judge.

Registration volunteers help greet teams as they arrive and ensure each team has their proper paperwork and knows where they will need to be throughout the tournament.

Information volunteers direct spectators where they need to go and help with any other questions that may arise.

The sales staff helps sell merchandise for the organization. Merchandise sales help fund our competitions and events!

Score Runner
Score runners move scores from the tournament site to the scoreroom.

There may be other needs that arise as the competition moves forward, volunteers may be tasked with other jobs not listed here.

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