Building Teams

Odyssey Team Members

Let’s get started with Odyssey

We are thrilled you want to build an Odyssey of the Mind team. You will need to recruit team members and purchase memberships. Let’s start from the beginning:

Memberships >

There are two generally two ways to get started as an Odyssey coach: to be assigned to a team or to be part of recruiting a team. Officials at your school may have already created a procedure for team selection, so a good place to start is by contacting administrators at your child’s school.

Do you need to generate interest?

Download Our Informational Flyer
Download Our Recruitment Flyer
Build a Team to Participate
Build a Team to Participate

Tips for recruiting a team

To get started with team recruitment:

  • Get recommendations from teachers
  • Look for kids with varied interests
  • Post a sign-up list. If more than seven students per problem and division participate, consider purchasing bulk memberships according to the number of teams.
  • Remember that you should have at least five, but no more than seven, team members on each team
  • Hold a parents’ meeting to generate interest
  • Enlist the help of friends who can teach skills the team needs to learn

Your Odyssey Journey

Here’s what to expect once you get started.

  • Generate Interest

    Odyssey of the Mind is a beyond the box thinking program that is inclusive and affordable! NorCal OM is part of a global, innovative, team-based program that helps students develop skills that will build a better future for all. Any school, home school, or community group can participate.

  • Get Your Memberships

    There are three steps to full team participation, and it all starts with the International Membership. Learn more about memberships. Or, and get started by purchasing your International Membership here.

  • Form a Team

    Teams may contain up to seven members and must have a coach who is over 18. Students decide which of the long-term problems they will solve. Each problem solution requires a performance, with requirements and limitations unique to each problem type.

  • Review Problem

    All long-term problems are open-ended, whether they are technical, engineering or drama-based. It’s not about coming up with the right solution; it’s about developing the most creative solution that meets specific problem requirements.

  • Brainstorm & Create Your Solution

    Teams usually create a solution over a few months. During practice sessions, teams brainstorm, divide tasks and come to a consensus on a solution. This is all part of learning to appreciate different ideas and exploring creativity without limit.

  • Compete!

    All teams are guaranteed a spot in one of our NorCal Qualifying Tournaments. Here’s where kids get to show off their ideas and appreciate others. Teams that qualify may compete in state and even World Final competitions.

  • How are Spontaneous Problems Chosen for Competitions?
    Approximately ⅓ of your final calculated score is based on Spontaneous. Practice, practice, practice…AND…Have fun realizing that on-the-spot creativity can be helped along with advanced prep!
  • Good News! You Can Modify.
    This is when teams are re-evaluating their solutions in light of their experiences at their Qualifying Tournament. And yes, you have the opportunity to make adjustments to your solution given what you learned.
  • Time to Celebrate!
    Congratulations! You and your team did it! As you know by now, just getting your team to the tournament and overcoming all the challenges before, during and after competition is QUITE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT!