Algorithm Competition Official Rules and Regulations
Eligibility | Registration | Qualification Round | Round Structure | Prizes | Conditions of Participation
No purchase necessary to enter or win. Void where prohibited.
Overview of the Tournament
The 2005 TopCoder Open ("TCO") Algorithm Competition will take place between August 16 and October 14, 2005. It will consist of one (1) online qualification round, four (4) online elimination rounds and three (3) onsite final rounds, being the Semifinal, Wildcard and Championship rounds. The prize purse for this competition is $75,000 in cash. Up to 90 competitors will win a cash prize, and for competing in Online Round #1, up to 750 competitors will receive a participatory prize. The top 48 finishers in the online rounds will advance to the onsite Semifinal, Wildcard and Championship rounds being held at the Marriott in Santa Clara, California, USA on October 13th and 14th.
TopCoder members who are at least 18 years of age as of August 16, 2005 are eligible to compete in the Algorithm Competition.
TopCoder members who are 18 years of age or older as of August 16, 2005 are eligible to win cash prizes, unless otherwise prohibited. The TopCoder Open is void in the Quebec province of Canada, and elsewhere where prohibited by applicable law. Cash prizes will not be paid to residents of Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria.
Employees of TopCoder, Inc. and of all official tournament sponsors, regardless of commitment date as sponsor, including any companies involved in the production (including prize suppliers), implementation and distribution of this tournament and their advertising or promotion agencies, parent companies, service providers, agents, officers, subsidiaries or affiliates, or any other persons or entities directly associated with the tournament and members of the immediate families and/or persons living in the same household as such persons, are ineligible to enter the tournament. If a competitor's employer signs up as an official sponsor of the tournament on or after August 1, 2005, then that competitor will be disqualified from participating further in the tournament. TopCoder members who are performing internships for any official tournament sponsor between August 1 and October 14, 2005 are also ineligible to compete.
Those ineligible to compete, email Jessie D’Amato for information on other opportunities.
In the event that a competitor is disqualified from any round, no other competitors will be added in his/her place. The only exception to this is advancement to the onsite rounds.
Registration for the 2005 TopCoder Open Algorithm Competition will open at 9:00AM EDT on Monday, August 1, 2005, and will close at 9:00AM EDT on Tuesday, August 16, 2005. In order to be eligible to compete in the Algorithm Competition, competitors must be a registered TopCoder member and have registered separately for the Algorithm Competition. There is no limit to the number of registrants for the competition, however each individual may only register once.
Qualification Round - Noon EDT Tuesday, August 16 through Noon EDT Wednesday, August 17, 2005
The Qualification Round will be open for 24 hours from Noon EDT Tuesday, August 16 through Noon EDT Wednesday, August 17, 2005. Each competitor may participate in the Qualification Round at any time during the 24 hours. Competitors may only attempt to qualify one time using one account during the 24 hours.
The Qualification Round will consist of only two phases: the Coding Phase and System Testing Phase.
Note: The Qualification Round will not include a Challenge Phase.
NOTE: In the event of a tie for any advancing position during the Qualification Round, the tie will be resolved in the following manner:
Everyone who competes in an online round must register for each round in the TopCoder Competition Arena no later than five (5) minutes prior to the start of the online round. TopCoder members from around the world may be participating in the online rounds, but all start times will be communicated as Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4), so contestants in different time zones must adjust accordingly. If a coder does not participate, for any reason, in an online round he/she has advanced to, it will be treated as an automatic loss in that round of competition.
All competitors who have qualified for an online round will be assigned to a specific room, based on their TopCoder rating after the previous round. TopCoder will determine all room assignments prior to the start of each online round in the TopCoder Iron Man format, which assigns members to rooms according to their rating after the previous round, such that members with the higher ratings are assigned to the lower numbered rooms. Each room in an online round will be assigned 25 competitors.
The dates and times of the online rounds of competition are as follows:
Scoring and Advancing during Online Rounds
After each round of competition, the highest scorers from across all rooms will be identified and will advance to the next online round. Coder advancement in all rounds is determined by comparing the total point values from all three phases of the round for each coder. In order to advance, a coder must finish each round with a positive (i.e., greater-than-zero) point total. The structure of the online rounds is as follows:
With the exception of the Qualification Round, each online and onsite round of competition consists of three phases: the Coding Phase, Challenge Phase, and System Testing Phase. (Note: The format of these competition rounds is similar to the format of TopCoder Single Round Matches. The rules in place for the Single Round Matches as of August 16, 2005 will also apply to the online and onsite rounds of the TCO, with the exception of the Unused Code Rule during the onsite rounds.)
The forty-eight (48) advancers from Online Round #4 will travel to the Santa Clara Marriott on either Tuesday, October 11th or Wednesday, October 12th to compete in the Semifinal round of the tournament being held on Thursday, October 13th. All contestants must arrive at the Santa Clara Marriott no later than 4:00 PM PDT on Wednesday, October 12th. All contestants must confirm their attendance at the onsite rounds no later than 5:00 PM EDT on Wednesday, September 21, 2005. That is, contestants must have acquired any necessary travel visas and know for certain that they can travel to the US by that date and time. If a contestant is unable to attend the onsite rounds, he/she will forfeit his/her eligibility to receive any prizes awarded to onsite finalists, and his/her spot in the tournament will be given to the next highest overall scorer from Online Round #4.
TopCoder will provide travel arrangements for each competitor up to a cost of $1,000 per person. (That is, if a contestant's airfare is greater than $1,000, the difference between the cost of the airfare and $1,000 will be deducted from the contestant's total TCO prize money won. If the contestant's total TCO prize money is not sufficient to cover the additional costs, the contestant will be responsible for remitting to TopCoder the remainder of the cost.) TopCoder will also provide ground transportation to and from the airport, as well as hotel accommodations and certain meals for each contestant. All other expenses are the responsibility of the contestant. TopCoder will not provide travel or lodging accommodations for competitor guests at the 2005 TCO.
TopCoder will determine the room assignments for the Semifinal rooms prior to the start of each Semifinal round, in a manner such that the average competitor rating following Online Round #4 for each room will be similar. The dates and times of the onsite Semifinal and Championship rounds are as follows:
The Semifinal Round will consist of three (3) rooms of sixteen (16) coders each. The two (2) highest scorers in each room will advance to the Championship Round. The next four (4) highest scorers in each round will participate in one (1) Wildcard Round. The two (2) highest scorers of the Wildcard Round will also advance to the Championship Round.
The Championship Round will be a single round of eight (8) coders. Placement in the Championship round is determined by comparing the total points of each coder, with the highest point value placing first. The winner of the Championship Round will be the coder with the highest point total for the round. In the event of a tie in the Semifinal, Wildcard and/or Championship rounds, the tie will be resolved in the following manner (in order):
The tournament will award prizes to up to 750 competitors and $75,000 in cash prizes. Any and all applicable taxes on prizes are the sole responsibility of the prizewinner. Prizes will be distributed as follows:
Conditions of Participation
By participating in the tournament, you agree to be bound by these rules and to all decisions of TopCoder, which are final, binding and conclusive in all matters. Also, by participating in this tournament, you consent to providing certain information to Sun Microsystems, Inc. for Java Studio Creator promotional purposes. Such information shall include the information contained in your TopCoder member profile and your competition statistics.
Contestants must not cheat. All ideas for any code and/or challenge submitted must be the contestant's alone.
All decisions relating to the viability of submissions, the ranking of submissions and all other matters pertaining to the tournament shall be within the sole discretion of TopCoder or its designee and shall be final and binding in all respects.
Prizewinners will be notified via e-mail within 10 days of the completion of each round that they have won a prize. Cash prize winners from all online rounds must complete the following documents within 60 days of the date of the online round during which a cash prize was awarded:
Contestants who advance to the onsite tournament rounds must also complete the following items and submit them to TopCoder by 5:00 PM EDT on Wednesday, September 21, 2005:
As a condition of participation in the tournament, all information provided by participants in their TopCoder member profiles must be comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date. TopCoder may require participants to complete an additional registration form to register for the tournament. In order to be eligible to participate in the tournament, participants must have completed any and all registration forms required by TopCoder.
As a condition of winning and redeeming a cash prize, certain contestants will be required to submit a completed (i) Competitor Questionnaire, (ii) Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability and Publicity Release, and (iii) IRS Form W-9 or W-8BEN, as appropriate, if one is not already on file with TopCoder; and (iv) travel form. In completing the Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability and Publicity Release, a cash prize winner (a) confirms his/her eligibility, (b) represents and warrants that he/she has not cheated; that the idea for the code and/or challenge submitted is his/hers alone, (c) verifies the accuracy of the demographic information submitted to, and contained in, the TopCoder member database, (d) authorizes TopCoder to publicize the tournament's results, (e) agrees to sign any applicable forms required by tax authorities, (f) licenses to TopCoder rights to all information submitted during the tournament (including rights to source code and other executables), and (g) releases TopCoder from liability arising out of any prize won. TopCoder requires contestants to complete the Form W-9 or W-8BEN for tax reporting purposes. If prize notification is returned as undeliverable, or if the cash prize winner fails to return the Questionnaire, Affidavit, W-9 or W-8BEN, or travel form, as specified, the cash prize winner will be disqualified and the prize money won by the disqualified cash prize winner will be forfeited. Providing false information in the registration process or in the required forms described in this paragraph will disqualify a cash prize winner.
By participating in a tournament and redeeming a prize, a winner releases and agrees to hold harmless TopCoder, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, sponsors, and prize suppliers, and all of their respective directors, officers, employees, representatives and agents, from and against any and all liability for any loss, property damage or damage to person, including without limitation, death and injury, due in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from or arising out of participation in this tournament, or participation in any tournament-related activity, or the receipt, use or misuse of a prize. TopCoder specifically disclaims all liability associated with, and makes no warranties with regard to, any prize given.
In addition, all prizewinners agree to cooperate with TopCoder's publicity efforts, without further compensation. This includes the agreement to use their name, handle, address (city and state) and likeness for publicity purposes, where legal, for this or similar future tournaments, and to use the statements made by, or attributed to, the winners relating to TopCoder and any and all rights to said use, without further compensation. Furthermore, all prizewinners agree to promptly notify TopCoder if a third-party, including a tournament sponsor, contacts the prizewinner regarding employment opportunities and/or media interest as a result of the prizewinner's participation in the tournament.
TopCoder reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to revoke any and all privileges associated with competing in this tournament, and to take any other action it deems appropriate, for no reason or any reason whatsoever, including if TopCoder suspects competitors of cheating, tampering with the entry process, the operation of the Web site, or the tournament process, or otherwise being in violation of the rules. TopCoder reserves the right to cancel, terminate or modify the tournament if it is not capable of completion as planned for any reason, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention or technical failures of any sort.
The tournament is void in whole or in part where prohibited by law.
A list of tournament winners by coder handles will be available on the web site at http://www.topcoder.com/tc, and will be displayed for at least 3 months after the end of the tournament.
This tournament is brought to you by TopCoder, Inc. (http://www.topcoder.com/) 703 Hebron Avenue (now 95 Glastonbury Blvd), Glastonbury, CT 06033.