Spontaneous Resources

Page last updated 1/8/2022

NOTE: 2021-2022 season has seen some rule changes to the spontaneous problems. CTOM’s pages have been updated to reflect these changes but be aware most problems on our web site and on the web still have legacy processes. These resources are still valuable but should be adjusted when presenting the formal process to teams.

There are many of resources from which to draw spontaneous ideas. The Odyssey of the Mind has a web page describing the Spontaneous process, problems types, ideas, etc…  There are also resources available on the many websites of other Odyssey of the Mind organizations.

CTOM Resource pointers:
Links to other states that have Spontaneous problems:
Spontaneous Changes – effective December 2022:

There are changes with how verbal and verbal-hands on problems will operate. These changes are specific to the number of team members that can participate along with how problems may be scored.  See this LINK for more information.

Spontaneous Changes – effective January 23, 2015:

Spontaneous Competition – CCI has added a new procedure in SOME types of verbal problems. In these problems, team members will be given paper and pencils and are allowed to brainstorm during think time. They are allowed to write down the responses that they will use during response time. They may write as many as they wish and are not limited to those responses when it is their time to respond. During response time they will be able to refer to their own lists, so that they may choose the responses they think are the MOST creative or give a new response. Each team member will also have a set of cards with two values on them (for example one card may say 2/4; another 3/6)…. When they give a response they will decide if their response is creative and will hold up a card. The judges will then score that response using the lower number if they think the response is common, and the higher number if they think it is a creative response. A card may only be used once. As a result, teams can impact their score by predicting the creativity of their responses. The more creative responses should have higher numbers and questionable responses should have lower numbers. A sample problem has been created by CCI to assist you with training your team.  UPDATE 1/1/2022 – It is not clear if CCI still gives problems like this. With Spontaneous teams should be ready for anything.  Practicing all types of problems only adds to the readiness of the team, even if these types of problems are no longer given. Otherwise calling them spontaneous would be silly.

Run a local Spontaneous Scrimmage:

A Spontaneous Scrimmage is a good way to get your team to practice many problems in an environment similar to the spontaneous problems at competition. Due to privacy issues CTOM can’t post the team contact info on the web site. The best way to gather teams for a scrimmage is to contact Mimi to post your scrimmage or request to join a scrimmage on our FB site.  Be sure to like it! Also contact Dave if you need guidance for the “how to” when running a scrimmage.

Other related information:
  • Here is a great tool to get your team thinking…  Brain Tuner. We encourage you to work with your team before jumping to the answers. Your kids may even have a more creative response in which case you should suggest them to Rick and possibly win the big prize  🙂 If you have questions about any of the answers please contact Rick Kaletsky at (203)393-2323.
  • A must see TED talk to get the creative juices flowing
The fine print:

It is the responsibility of each coach to know the current rules that are applied during the spontaneous problem. The problems found on Spon Zone and on other external web pages may contain legacy instructions due to rule changes over the years.  Refer to the program guide and the Odyssey of the Mind Web Spontaneous site for the most up to date info.