An introduction to clarifications

A clarification is an opportunity to ask a question about your team challenge and receive an answer from an authoritative source, the International Challenge Masters for the challenge.  These are folks that are managing your challenge for DI world-wide.

Before asking the question, a few ground rules:

  • there is a specific period when you can ask your question
    You will seethe deadline on the most clarification pages.  A question asked after that time will not be answered.
  • there is a limit on the number of clarifications a team can ask (typically 10)
    After your team reaches the limit, your team will not be able to ask another.
  • Ask one question per clarification
    Asking multiple questions in a single clarification is not a way to get around the limit of 10.
  • the clarification system is for teams rather than officials
    If you are an official (AD, ACM, RCM) that wants an interpretation of a challenge, please use the forum for that challenge to post your question.

Here are some tips you should follow in asking your question:

  • check the public clarifications to see if there might already be an answer to your question
    You should see each of this year's challenges listed on Teams=>clarifications (My Clarifications page).  The numberto the right of the challenge title is the number of public clarifications for that challenge.  By clicking on the name of the challenge, the public clarifications are displayed.
  • when you ask your question reference the sections of the challenge and the Rules of the Road that are not clear to you
    If you ask a question without providing the ICMs with some context, they are likely to answer the question not in the context you are interested.
  • be aware that the ICMs will not validate a specific solution
    Despite how carefully you describe your specific solution, there is always an element that you might have overlooked that could make a difference.  The ICMs will rule on what is stated, but that does not imply your solution is valid.  The appraisers at your tournament who see the actual solution will determine if it is valid.  
  • feel free to include details of your solution as they will not be divulged to other teams
    Your clarifications are private to your team unless you choose to share them.  Other teams cannot see them on the website. So you need not worry about your unique ideas being divulged. Any public clarification will only divulge some ideas in your solution when the ICMs see a pattern of many teams asking roughly the same question.

What Takes Precedence?

Sometimes it seems like a rule or requirement in a Team Challenge, a Clarification, or the Rules of the Road conflicts with something in one of those other documents. Which document would take precedence?

  • Rules of the Road states general rules applicable to all challenges.
  • A Team Challenge may have a special requirement that supersedes Rules of the Road.
    For example, even though the Rules of the Road states that batteries are allowed, a specific challenge may prohibit any use of electricity, making batteries of all kinds illegal for that challenge.  So the challenge takes precedence over the Rules of the Road
  • A Public or Private Clarification supersedes Rules of the Team Challenge
    If a private and public clarification conflict, the public clarification takes precedence (this is very rare).