For team challenge, there are several sources for rules.  You have both the Rules of the Road and the published challenge.  In fact, there is a 3rd component that we call clarifications.


It is difficult to write a challenge in such a way that people won't have questions about how to interpret it.  As is described in the Clarifications section of the Rules of the Road, teams can submit questions on a challenge asking for an interpretation.  These questions are answered by DI's International Challenge Masters (ICMs) for the challenge in question.  Having a small team answering the clarifications tends to improve the likelihood that conflicting answers are not supplied.


When you take clarifications into account you end up with a hierarchy to the rules for a team challenge.



The Rules of the Road provides the base set of rules for all challenges (team or instant challenge).  The published challenge layers on top of this and may refine certain aspects of Rules of the Road.  For example, we will see that the Rules of the Road provides restrictions on the use of electricity (safety section) that indicates limits on the use of AC and DC circuits.  A team challenge might override this stating that only DC power can be used in this challenge.  You won't find that the challenge countermands the Rules of the Road stating something like live animals are permitted; instead the challenge usually disallows certain aspects of the Rules of the Road for this specific challenge.


Clarifications further refine the challenge.  More often than not they explain a specific part of the challenge.  There are actually 2 different types of clarifications:


  1. private or team clarifications
    These are the clarifications actually asked by the teams.  Since they often contain specifics of a team's solution, an answer to a private clarification is emailed back to the team for their viewing.

  2. public or published clarifications
    Some times the ICMs see a pattern in the questions asked or uncover flaws they want all teams to understand.  In this case they publish a public clarification on the main DI website.


Both of these types of clarification can effect how your appraiser team interprets the challenge.  You can find a list of all public clarifications here.


As for the private clarifications, your RCM will have a list of them for the teams in our affiliate.  These are typically discussed at appraiser training and the morning of the tournament.  The RCM may have a summary produced by the ICMs of the hundred of clarification they answer in a season.  This too is a useful way of understanding the challenge.