The official purpose of the championship is to recognize the top U.S. puzzle solvers, and to select two members of the U.S. Puzzle Team to participate in the 2016 World Puzzle Championship (Senec, Slovakia, October 18-23, 2016).
Organizers of the Italian team will use the results in their selection processes. Unofficial participation is open to all puzzlers world-wide. Nationality is determined by citizenship, not residence.
Prior to Friday, June 17, you may download the Practice Test, which uses the same formats and procedures as the official USPC test.
On Friday, June 17, one day prior to the USPC, you will download the encrypted USPC file to your local computer, and save it until you start the test.
You should also download the Preview Puzzle Instructions, containing the instructions for all of the puzzles on the test. Most instructions are accompanied by a sample puzzle and solution. This will give you a head-start for translation or any other reasonable preparation.
On Saturday, June 18, at 1pm (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-4), the test will start.
At this time, the decryption password (not your login password) will appear on the Password Page—click the [START THE USPC] link or button to get the Password Page, and refresh as needed until the password appears.
After 2 1/2 hours, the test period is over. In case of emergency or network lag, the Answer Page will continue to accept answer submissions; otherwise late answers are not scored. Please use the Timer to keep track of your time remaining.
Your last Answer Page submission before the deadline will be time-stamped and scored. Your final score is the total of all points accumulated, including bonus.
Ranking and tie-breaking will be based on the following rules in order:
Outside solving help of any kind is not permitted. This includes but is not limited to: assistance of any kind from any other person; prepared notes, books, calculators, computers, or tools other than items explicitly permitted.
You are allowed to use writing implements, eraser, blank paper (including commercial graph paper), ruler, scissors, and tape.
All entries and scores are subject to review for rules compliance. USA winners may be asked provide a copy of their passport ID page to prove nationality, and to sign an affidavit confirming that they did, in fact, abide by the rules of the competition. The organizers reserve the right to disqualify any contestant if, in their sole judgment, they believe the rules have been violated.
In case of a dispute, protest, or other judgment, the decision of the judges is final.
The organizers do not expect any technical problems with the operation of championship. If you do encounter a problem that is likely causing trouble for many contestants, check the USPC 2016 home page. If you have a problem that is most likely affecting only you, you may call the test hotline number: (+1) 650-302-4898. Officials will not, however, answer any questions regarding the puzzles themselves.
The solutions to the test puzzles will be published on or before Sunday, June 26.
The top five U.S. contestants will be notified within one day of test completion. Within two days, all contestants will receive an email summary of their test score, and will have a 1-day window to respond with any scoring protests. Results will be posted on this web site no later than Saturday, June 25.
There are three open positions for the USA Team. First priority will go to any US citizen placing in the Top-10 of the WPF Puzzle Competitive Grand Prix. The remaining positions will be filled based on the results of this test. The U.S. Puzzle Team will compete at the World Puzzle Championship in Senec, Slovakia, October 18-23.
The top ten contestants will receive three months free membership to Nikoli Online.
Unofficial scores for participants from other countries will be posted at the same time as the USA scores, and may be forwarded to the corresponding WPC team organizer, upon request, for consideration. If there is no organized team for your country, you may be contacted regarding individual WPC participation.