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 2006 TopCoder Collegiate Challenge ("TCCC") Algorithm Competition will take place between September 7 and November 17, 2006. It will consist of three (3) online qualification rounds, three (3) online elimination rounds and three (3) onsite final rounds, being the Semifinal, Wildcard and Championship rounds. The prize purse for this competition is $100,000 in cash. Up to 450 competitors will win a cash prize, and for competing in Online Round #1, up to 1,500 competitors will receive a participatory prize. The top 48 finishers in the online rounds will advance to the onsite Semifinal and Championship rounds, being held at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley in San Diego, California, USA on November 15, 16 and 17, 2006.
TopCoder members meeting the following criteria are eligible to compete in the Algorithm Competition:
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 on as an official sponsor of the tournament after August 28, 2006, then that competitor will be removed from further participation in the tournament. TopCoder members who are performing internships for any official tournament sponsor between August 28 and November 17, 2006 are also ineligible to compete.
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 2006 TopCoder Collegiate Challenge Algorithm Competition will open at 9:00AM EDT on Monday, August 28, 2006, and will close at 6:00PM EDT on Tuesday, September 12, 2006. In order to compete in either of the Qualification Rounds that take place prior to September 12, 2006, competitors must have registered for the tournament prior to the start of the Qualification Round. In order to be eligible to compete in any of 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 tournament; however each individual may only register once.
Automatic Berths - The top 150 rated members as of September 6, 2006 who meet all of the following criteria will receive an automatic berth into Online Round #1:
The schedule and details of the Qualification Rounds are as follows:
The format for each Qualification Round will be the same as all other tournament rounds, which is outlined in the Competition Round Structure section.
Members will be rated at the conclusion of their qualification attempt based on their performance against others competing in the same round. All qualifiers will be assigned tournament seeds based on their Algorithm rating following the Qualification Rounds.
NOTE: In the event of a tie for any advancing position during the Qualification Round, the tie will be resolved in the following manner:
Online Elimination Rounds
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 indicate the section of the round in which they wish to compete. Competitors will indicate their choice during tournament registration and the choice relates to both Online Rounds #1 and #2. TopCoder will fill the sections for Online Rounds #1 and #2 based on indicated preference by member rating (i.e., higher rated members are given preference over lower rated members).
All competitors in a specific section will be assigned to rooms based on 'dartboard seeding' (completely random). Rooms will be created such that each room has a maximum of 25 competitors. The number of rooms in each round is (maximum # advancers in the round)/25.
The dates and times of the online rounds of competition are as follows:
Scoring and Advancing during Online Rounds
After each section of competition in Online Rounds #1 and #2, the highest scorers from across all rooms in the section 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:
Each online and onsite round of competition (including the Qualification Rounds) consists of three phases: 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 Single Round Matches as of September 7, 2006 will also apply to the online and onsite rounds of the TCCC, with the exception of the Unused Code Rule during the onsite rounds.)
The forty-eight (48) advancers from Online Round #3 will travel to the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 to compete in the Semifinal rounds of the tournament being held on Wednesday, November 15 and Thursday, November 16, 2006. All contestants must arrive at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley no later than 4:00 PM PST on Tuesday, November 14, 2006. All contestants must confirm their attendance at the onsite rounds no later than 8:00 AM EDT (GMT -4) on Wednesday, October 18, 2006. That is, contestants must have acquired any necessary travel visas and know for certain that they can travel to the U.S. 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 #3.
At the end of the Qualification Rounds, TopCoder will issue letters at the request of international competitors who require one to obtain a travel visa to enter the United States. Visa letters can be requested by emailing Jessie D'Amato Ford at email@example.com and must be requested by Thursday, October 12, 2006 at 5:00 PM EDT (GMT -4). Visas can take a significant amount of time to obtain in certain countries; therefore, for those competitors who need a letter, it is in their best interest to request one well before the deadline. The cost of obtaining a visa is the sole responsibility of the competitor.
TopCoder will provide air travel arrangements for each competitor. The flight reserved by and paid for by TopCoder is for arrival on November 14, 2006 and departure on November 18, 2006. Extended flights and/or hotel room nights requested by a competitor that result in additional costs will be the responsibility of the competitor and will be deducted from the competitor's total TCCC prize money won.
TopCoder will also provide ground transportation to and from the San Diego 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 2006 TCCC.
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 #3 for each room will be similar. The dates and times of the onsite Semifinal, Wildcard 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 room 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. 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 1,500 competitors and $100,000 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 the title sponsor. Such information shall include the information contained in your TopCoder member profile, as well as your competition statistics.
Contestants must not cheat. All ideas for code and/or challenge submitted must be the contestant's alone. TopCoder uses the word "cheat" to mean collaboration of any sort - including, but not limited to, working with another competitor, submitting code that was not fully authored by you, and using resources, software, etc. that are not allowed in TopCoder competitions. TopCoder reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to remove any competitor from the tournament who it suspects has cheated.
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 Online Rounds #1 and #2 must complete the following documents within 60 days of the date of the online round during which a cash prize was awarded:
All prizes (cash prizes and participatory prizes) will be sent within 60 days of the Championship Round. Unclaimed or undeliverable prizes will be forfeited. Competitors who do not submit the required information listed above by the applicable deadlines will forfeit their prizes.
As a condition of participation in the tournament, all information provided by you in your TopCoder member profile must be comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date. TopCoder may require you to complete an additional registration form to register for the tournament. In order to be eligible to participate in the tournament, you 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, (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 tournament sponsors, 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. AOL LLC is not responsible for any aspect of the Tournament.