Spontaneous is that part of the competition where team members really get to shine and share their creative thinking skills. When solving spontaneous problems, team members get to “think on their feet” and quickly “think outside of the box.” During the tournament season these problems are “TOP SECRET” and only the team members that enter the room get to know the spontaneous problem. This is important as other teams may get the same problem and it would provide them an unfair advantage during the tournament season.
Teams participating in the same long-term problem and division will solve the same spontaneous problem, so, to ensure fairness, it is critical that no one discusses the problem outside of the room until all teams have competed at both the local regional tournament and other regions.
There are three types of spontaneous problem, and the teams are informed as they enter the room, the type of problem they are asked to solve. One of the judges read the specific rules for the problem. as well as outlining the scoring method.
Teams will have to solve only one type of spontaneous problem in a competition. So teams should be prepared for any of the three types of spontaneous problems. Teams should practice for the three common types of spontaneous problems as listed below.
Although all seven team members may enter the room, only five team members may participate in the spontaneous portion of the competition. Every team should assess the skills of its members and come to an agreement beforehand about who will compete and who will sit out.
What should teams practice?
For spontaneous, be sure to practice, practice, and practice. Here are some tips from Odyssey of the Mind for practicing spontaneous:
(Taken from Problems from Creative Interaction, by Dr. C. Samuel Micklus & Samuel W. Micklus.
Below is a link to a set of Pratice Problem in all three Spontaneous categories
On the last weekend of January, we conduct a day where teams can hone their spontaneous skills. We run 4 sessions throughout the day. The team selects a problems and then brings supplies enough for 11 teams to perform the problem.
There is no scoring per se, although the teams can receive feedback from the team who is conducting the problem.
We post signups in the December and a registration fee is required to offset the cost of the rental of the site.
Here you will find several resources that may help prepare a team for spontaneous.
Here you will find several resources that may help prepare a team for spontaneous. Odyssey of the Mind – National website This is the national website for the Odyssey of the Mind program.
Archived Spontaneous Problems from the VA Odyssey of the Mind website.
Spontaneous Problems Galore Northeast Pennsylvania’s Spontaneous Problems
Georgia Spontaneous Site Spontaneous problems from Georgia
Arizona Archive Spontaneous Site Archived spontaneous problems from the Arizona Odyssey of the Mind.
Tennessee’s Spontaneous Site Spontaneous problems from Tennessee
Pinterest Odyssey of the Mind Spontaneous Problems This is a Pinterest site where several ideas come together.