Odyssey of the Mind
Start Your Odyssey
Odyssey of the Mind begins at the local level. Schools join and form teams that are coached by an adult. The teams select their long-term problem, develop a solution entirely on their own, and practice spontaneous problem solving. Local associations then organize and operate training sessions and tournaments where teams will present their long-term solutions in competition.
Odyssey of the Mind is composed of:
Any school, home school, or community group may join. The community group may be sponsored by any formally organized organization such as a Rotary Club, school PTO, or church group.
Each team is allowed up to seven members who attend that school or are part of that community group. There is no minimum team size. Under the guidance of an adult coach, teams work on their solutions throughout the school year and, if they choose, present them in organized competitions in the spring.
Teams solving the same long-term problem compete within divisions that are determined by grade level and age of team members. Teams will compete in the lowest division for which they qualify. Try our division finder or read on below:
- Division I — Grades K-5 (U.S.): Less than 12 years of age on May 1 of the year World Finals is held (Other International).
- Division II — Grades 6-8 (U.S.): Less than 15 years of age on May 1 of the year World Finals is held (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.)
For U.S. teams, the first level of competition is usually within a region of their state. Teams that place in that tournament are invited to compete at the state level. These championship teams are then invited to participate in the annual Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, where they compete with teams from countries around the world. Find out your local tournament information.
The Odyssey of the Mind program relies on tens of thousands of volunteers from around the world. Most volunteers are coaches who work with the team throughout the school year. They help manage their team’s schedule and provide them with learning opportunities. Thousands of additional volunteers judge the competitions and serve in a variety of positions at tournaments.
The Odyssey of the Mind program is administered at the regional and state level by not-for-profit organizations throughout the U.S. and a number of countries. Because of the diversity of the OotM membership, local organizations are best prepared to meet the needs of the teams in their area. These organizations consist of volunteer Boards of Trustees and Association Directors who maintain the quality and consistency of the Odyssey of the Mind program in their area.
How do I become a member? See Ms. Smith in Room E13!