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Programming Competition Rules

Team Composition

In order to sponsor a team, the sponsoring institution will appoint one person, typically a faculty member, to serve as the team coach. This coach certifies the eligibility of contestants and serves as the official point-of-contact for the team prior to and during contest activities.

The coach must register his or her team, complete with the names of all team-members and substitutes by the contest deadline. A team is not eligible to compete in the contest until the contest director has approved the team. Each team consists of two or three contestants selected from the pre-approved list. Each contestant and substitute must be a student enrolled in an associate degree program at the sponsoring institution with at least a six-credit-hour course load.

Contest Attendance

All team members must attend all contest activities as specified by the contest director. Required activities include the presentation of rules and regulations and the practice session. The coach is expected to attend or be available by phone during these contest activities. Failure to attend any of the designated contest events will result in automatic disqualification of the team and ineligibility for any prizes.

Conduct of the Contest

Solutions to problems submitted for judging are called runs. Each run is judged as accepted or rejected by a judge, and the team is notified of the results.

Notification of accepted runs may be suspended at an appropriate time to keep the final results secret. A general announcement to that effect will be made during the contest. Notification of rejected runs will continue until the end of the contest.

A contestant may submit a claim of ambiguity or error in a problem statement by submitting a clarification request to a judge. If the judges agree that an ambiguity or error exists, a clarification will be issued to all contestants.

Contestants are not to converse with anyone except members of their team and personnel designated by the contest director. Systems support staff may advise contestants on system-related problems such as explaining system error messages.

While the contest is scheduled for a particular time length (typically three hours), the contest director has the authority to alter the length of the contest in the event of unforeseen difficulties. Should the contest duration be altered, every attempt will be made to notify contestants in a timely and uniform manner.

A team may be disqualified by the contest director for any activity that jeopardizes the contest such as dislodging extension cords, unauthorized modification of contest materials, or distracting behavior.

At least four problems will be posed. So far as possible, problems will avoid dependence on detailed knowledge of a particular applications area or particular contest language.

Scoring of the Contest

A problem is solved when it is accepted by the judges. The judges are solely responsible for accepting or rejecting submitted runs. In consultation with the judges, the Contest Director determines the winners of the contest. The contest director and judges are empowered to adjust for or adjudicate unforeseen events and conditions. Their decisions are final.

Teams will be ranked according to the most problems solved. For the purposes of awards, teams who solve the same number of problems are ranked by least total time. The total time is the sum of the time consumed for each problem solved. The time consumed for a solved problem is the time elapsed from the beginning of the contest to the submittal of the accepted run plus 20 penalty minutes for every rejected run for that problem, regardless of submittal time. There is no time consumed for a problem that is not solved.

The Contest Director may specify additional tie-breakers. Tie-breaker policies will be announced to contestants whenever it is necessary.

Contest Computing Environment

The programming languages of the contest will be GCC4.5.0 for C and C++, Java 1.7 and PC2v9.1.6. Windows 7 operating systems on basic personal computer system is available. Software available includes: PFE version 1.0.1, VIM 7.2, Notepad, jEdit, and Eclipse Galileo SR1. The contest computing environment might be upgraded when a later version is available.

Each team will be assigned a single workstation. Every attempt will be made to assure that teams have equivalent computing resources available during the contest.

Additional rules will be distributed at the contest. No electronic devices may be brought into the contest area and no on-line references will be allowed. Each team will be permitted to bring books and printed material.