2019 Guidelines and Rules

Competition Format

24-hour case competition with cases released on a staggered basis on Friday with competition on Saturday. Teams are split into four to five flights. Presentation time slots are scheduled every half hour on Saturday morning e.g. 8:30 am, 9 am, 9:30 am, 10 am, 10:30 am, 11 am, and 11:30 am. Presentations consist of 12 minutes of formal presentation followed by 12 minutes for judges' question and answer period. Top team in each flight of the morning round goes on to compete in the afternoon round. Afternoon round consists of 12 minutes of formal presentation followed by 16 minutes for judges’ questions and answer period.  Winning teams are announced at the Saturday award dinner.

Cash Prizes

Cash prizes are available due to the generosity of the corporate sponsors. Monetary awards (split equally among the four team members) are made to the top four teams. 1st place team will receive $4,000, 2nd place $2,000, 3rd place $1,000 and 4th place $600.  A single individual will be selected as outstanding presenter from the afternoon round and will receive $400.  Individual checks are sent to an address of choice for each of the team members.

Team Composition

  • Team members are restricted to undergraduate students currently enrolled in their first four-year undergraduate program.
  • Teams must consist of exactly four (4) undergraduate students. Due to space and cost restrictions, alternates are not allowed to travel with the team. Each team may be accompanied by one academic advisor.
  • Team members are to be ‘traditional’ undergraduate students. The spirit of the ‘traditional’ undergraduate student is to exclude the 30+ year old student coming back for a second degree after several years working as a supply chain business professional or with a consulting firm.
  • Once the case is released, students may not consult with any non-team members during the team preparation, or on competition day until the competition concludes with the announcement of the top four teams at the awards dinner. This includes academic advisors, faculty, staff, student ambassadors, other students, etc. Any contact including, but not limited to, phone conversations, emails, texting, Skype conversations, etc., with non-team members are not allowed.


  • To maintain anonymity for the judges during Saturday’s competition day, teams are asked to not identify their university, their state or wear school colors. During Saturday’s competition, teams are referred to by team number.  Teams are encouraged to wear school colors at the opening reception on Wednesday evening and at the awards dinner on Saturday evening.
  • Morning round presentations consist of 12 minutes of formal team presentation with up to 12 minutes of judges’ question and answer period. Teams must monitor their own times to stay within the 12 minute time frame. The room is then cleared for judges’ deliberation and debrief.
  • Due to the confidential nature of the case, videotaping is not allowed.  In the morning round, academic advisors are permitted to attend their team's presentation.  This is allowed to provide for mentoring after the conclusion of the case competition.
  • Presentations are made in Hanson Hall classrooms with a podium computer, overhead video projector, document camera and whiteboards available.
  • All team members are required to present roughly equivalent portions of the presentation.
  • First Round (AM) - The participating teams are split into three to five flights, depending on the number of teams. Panels of judges consist of business professionals from the corporate sponsors. The judges’ panels select the team from each flight and an honorable mention team. The Second Round (PM) consists of the top four teams. No coaching or feedback of any kind is allowed until the top teams are announced at Saturday’s awards dinner.
  • Presentations may consist of (but not limited to) Powerpoint presentations, flip charts, overheads, whiteboard, document camera, etc. Teams are expected to be familiar with the audio-visual technology in Hanson Hall classrooms. A Hanson Hall classroom is available on Friday for familiarizing your team with the computers and video equipment.
  • Handouts to judges: Teams will provide sufficient copies of the team’s presentation materials - Powerpoint slides, charts, graphs, visual aids, etc. to the judges at the beginning of their presentation (one copy for each judge). Be sure to have copies of presentation materials available for the second round.
  • Second round (PM) - The Championship Round consists of 12-minute presentation, 16-minute judges’ question and answer period, clear the room for a judges’ debrief. Top teams present in one of the time slots (based on random draw): 12:30, 1:10, 1:50, 2:30 , and 3:10 pm. Presentations conclude at 3:50 pm. The second round consists of a 12-minute presentation with a focus to the judges’ questions and comments from the first round. Previously presented material may be used to respond to the judges’ comments. Be aware that there will be a mix of judges, some that did not hear your first round presentation and others that did. A summary of the team’s recommendations is expected to complete the afternoon round. Be sure to provide sufficient copies of the team’s presentation materials to the judges for the second round. All participants and academic advisors are welcome to attend with the exception of any team member from the top four teams. No questions or comments are allowed from anyone but the judges.
  • Suggested student attire - business formal - suit and tie during Saturday competition day and awards dinner. Business casual at all other events.
  • Teams are permitted to utilize any written resource, scholarly publication, internet, industry journals, academic textbooks, etc. Teams are expressly prohibited from discussing or accepting assistance from any person outside their team. No physical or electronic contact is allowed. No email, text messaging, Skype, or cell phone conversations, etc., are allowed with any individuals outside the team.

Student Ambassadors

  • Student ambassadors are assigned to each team. Student ambassadors assist with answering team questions and also with printing documents during the competition.
  • Non-emergency questions are directed first to the team’s student ambassador, then to the faculty director Steven Huchendorf at huche001@umn.edu or 612 624-4338.

Technology and Computer Resources

  • Podium computers are available in each classroom.  Laptop computers are not provided. Teams are strongly urged to have their own laptop computers available as well as flash drives and back-up flash drives with their presentation files. 
  • Wireless access to the University of Minnesota's computer system is via EduRoam.  This connection can be made at the originating university location prior to travel for the competition.
  • The Marriott Courtyard Minneapolis Downtown Hotel WiFi connections available.
  • Hanson Hall classrooms are equipped with video projectors, a document camera, and a desktop computer with Microsoft Office software. The classrooms are equipped with ports for connecting laptop computers to the video projection equipment. Teams may bring in their own laptop computers and access the video equipment or teams may bring in flash drives and utilize the existing desktop computer. Note, Apple and Macintosh hardware platforms are not fully supported at the University of Minnesota. Clickers to advance slides are not available.  Feel free to bring your own.  Be prepared for the unexpected.
  • On Friday, a Hanson Hall room will be available for testing out and becoming familiar with the computers and video projection equipment.
  • Black and white printers are available for drafts throughout Friday and Saturday in the Hanson Hall Learning Lab L-102. All teams are to print with a cover sheet to maintain confidentiality. Cover sheet must contain team name and break-out room location. Student ambassadors will assist with the distribution of printed materials. Panels of up to 6 judges are expected in the morning round. The afternoon round consists of a combined judging panel of all judges.

Academic Advisors

  • Once the case has been distributed, teams are not allowed any type of coaching or consulting of live non-team member persons until the competition concludes with the announcement of the winning teams at the Saturday award dinner.
  • The academic advisors are expressly asked to not provide any feedback or coaching of any kind until the competition concludes with the announcement of the winning teams at Saturday's award dinner.
  • Team members of the top four teams are not allowed to be present for competing teams’ presentations during the afternoon round.
  • Academic advisors are allowed to attend the afternoon round of all teams.
  • Academic advisors attend competition events on Wednesday - opening reception, Thursday - host sponsor day, Friday - academic advisors are invited to an off-campus dinner hosted by Carlson School Supply Chain Department faculty.
  • Due to the confidential nature of the case, videotaping is not allowed.  In the morning round, academic advisors are permitted to attend their team's presentation.  This is allowed to provide for mentoring after the conclusion of the case competition.

Evaluation Criteria

Judges are provided a rubric for evaluating the presentations. However, judges are professionals in the field and may use the evaluation criteria as they see fit. Decisions by the judges will be final.