Outside Assistance

Outside Assistance
Posted on 10/25/2018

Question: First, can a prospective team member attend a meeting where the problem solution is discussed? Second, can a current member who may drop out attend meetings and contribute to the problem solution while they are still a part of the team?


The "Outside Assistance" rule dictates that anyone who contributes to the problem solution must be listed as a team member when you register for the regional competition. So, the person you are considering as a team member may be present for the team meeting but if she contributes anything at all, she must be listed as a team member when you register - regardless of whether she remains on the team or not. If she attends the meeting and contributes nothing, she does not have to be listed. Same goes with the current team member; he may contribute right up to the end but if he contributes anything at all, he must be listed as a team member when you register even if he does not participate in the regional competition.

Further, a team can only list seven team members when they register for the regional competition. This includes anyone and everyone who contributed throughout the season. So, if you have five members and two contribute but do not participate in competition, you could add another student (the seventh member) but no more - even if the prospective and/or current team members do not participate in the regional competition with the team.

Teams are cautioned not to allow anyone other than team members to contribute to the problem solution; this includes siblings, parents, friends, etc. If a team uses an idea or takes assistance from an outside source, this must be listed on the Outside Assistance form submitted at competition. The judging team will consider the severity of the OA offense and assess a penalty accordingly. Each OA offense could result in a penalty of -1 to -100 points off the team's long-term score. Please see page 45 of the 2019 Program Guide for more information about Outside Assistance.