2021 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 (depending on the number of teams). Teams will be placed in morning flights by random draw.  Presentation time slots are scheduled every half hour on Saturday morning e.g.  9:00, 9:30 , 10:00, 10:30, and 11:00 am.  Presentations consist of 12 minutes of formal presentation followed by 12 minutes for judges' question and answer period.  The 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 awards ceremony.

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 the 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.  Each team may be accompanied by an academic advisor.  Under extenuating circumstances, e.g., hospitalization, illness, death in the family, hit by a bus, Faculty Director reserves the right to allow teams of less than four members to compete. 
  • 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 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 teams at the awards ceremony.  No consulting about the case with academic advisors, faculty, staff, student ambassadors, alumni, other students, etc.  Any contact about the case such as phone conversations, emails, texting, Zoom, Skype conversations, etc., with non-team members are not allowed.  Violations may result in disqualification of the team at the discretion of the Faculty Director.
  • Teams are permitted to utilize any written resource, internet, industry journals, academic textbooks, etc.  Teams are expressly prohibited from discussing or accepting assistance from any person outside their team.  Passive use of the internet to access information is permitted.  Passive use entails no contact with individuals and no interaction with other individuals other than team members. 
  • All team members are required to present roughly equivalent portions of the presentation. 
  • Suggested student attire – business formal – suit and tie during Saturday competition day and awards ceremony.  Business casual at all other events. 

Presentations - Morning Flights and Afternoon Championship Round

  • 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 and the Awards Ceremony, but not during the judging portions of the competition.  When the team shares its screen on Zoom calls, please scrub backgrounds of anything identifying the university.   
  • Email copy of the team presentation to huche001@umn.edu within one half hour ahead of presentation time.  This is for distribution to the judges for the morning flights and the afternoon championship round.  PowerPoint or pdf files preferred.  No Google drive links or mac/apple files. 
  • Team presentations are made via Zoom with teams sharing their screens with the judges.  All participants and judges are requested to load the latest version of Zoom, currently 5.5.4 or higher. https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362233-Upgrade-update-to-the-latest-version
  • All participants required to register with Zoom links provided. 
  • Morning Flights.  Teams are split by random draw into morning flights.  Teams present their recommendations during their scheduled time slot beginning with the first team presentation at 9 am.  A panel of judges consisting of business and academic professionals select the top team and an honorable mention from each of the morning flights.  The top team from each flight continues to the championship round in the afternoon and a full panel of judges.  The honorable mention teams are announced at the awards ceremony. 
  • Morning flight presentations consist of up to 12 minutes of formal team presentation followed by up to 12 minutes of judge’s question & answer period.  Teams must monitor their own times to stay within the 12-minute time frame.  Teams finishing the presentation portion prior to the 12 minutes go directly to the 12-minute judge’s Q&A period.  The room is cleared for judges’ deliberation and debrief.  Morning flight presentations are closed to all but designated Carlson School personnel.  Due to the confidential nature of the case, no videotaping is allowed of the presentations.  No coaching or feedback of any kind is allowed until the awards are announced at Saturday’s awards ceremony. 
  • Presentations are made in Zoom breakout sessions with screen sharing capabilities for presenting PowerPoint slides, spreadsheets, documents, etc.  Presentations may consist of (but not limited to) screen sharing of PowerPoint presentations, excel spreadsheets, flip charts, document camera, etc. 
  • Afternoon championship round for the top four teams with a combined panel of judges.  Afternoon championship round consists of 12-minute presentation, up to 16-minute judges’ Q&A, clear the room for a judges’ deliberation and debrief.  Presentation time slots based on timing of morning flight presentation.  Earlier teams in morning flights present in the earlier time slots of the afternoon championship round. 
  • Teams are expected to address the judges’ questions from the morning round as part of their afternoon championship round presentation.  The presentation can change from the morning flight to reflect the issues brought up from the judges’ questions and comments.  Be aware there will be a mix of judges, some that did not hear the morning flight presentation and others that did.  If the team changes the slide deck presentation, please email to huche001@umn.edu half an hour before presentation time for distribution to judges. 
  • Afternoon championship round presentations scheduled every 40 minutes; e.g., 12:30, 1:10, 1:50, 2:30, and 3:10 pm. 
  • During the afternoon championship round, all participants except for any team member from the top teams are welcome to attend.  No questions or comments are allowed from anyone but the judges.  All but judges and presenters are required to mute and turn off video. 
  • The Faculty Director reserves the right to rule on issues arising during the competition.  Decisions by Faculty Director will be final. 

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 952-212-5054.

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 Saturday’s awards ceremony. 

  • 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 awards ceremony. 

  • Attendance in morning rounds is restricted to team members and designated Carlson personnel.  Due to the current and confidential nature of the Case, video recordings are not allowed. 

  • All are welcome, including all Academic Advisors, to attend the afternoon round except for the team members of the top teams competing in the afternoon round.  The breakout room is cleared of all except for designated Carlson personnel in between presentations to allow for judges’ debrief and deliberation.

  • Academic advisors attend competition events on Thursday – opening reception.  On Friday, academic advisors are invited to a session with selected Carlson School Supply Chain Department faculty. 

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.