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2017 U.S. Sudoku Team Qualifying - Rules

The official purpose of the test is to select some members of the U.S. Sudoku team, to participate in the 2017 World Sudoku Championship (Bangalore, India, October. 15-22, 2017).

 

Registration

Test Procedures

Scoring

Outside Help

Judging

Technical Support

Results and Winners

 

 

Registration

All contestants must register to participate in this online championship, and must login to submit answers. Contestants who registered anytime on or before April 15, will receive an email with a reminder of the test schedule and their user name. See the Privacy Policy regarding our use of registration and other information collected by this site.

 


 

Test Procedures

Prior to the official test, you are urged to try the Practice Test, which uses the same formats and procedures as the official qualifying test, including downloading, decryption, printing, answer submission, and answer resubmission.

 

On Friday, May 19, one day prior to the U.S. qualifying test, you will download TWO encrypted test files (Part 1 and Part 2) to your local computer, and save them until you start the test.

 

At this time, you can also download the Puzzle Instructions, which includes a sample puzzle and solution, point value, and a description of the answer key format for each puzzle. An "answer key" is the description of what you must enter into the Answer Page to demonstrate that you've solved the complete puzzle. This text will correspond to the two arrows shown next the puzzle grid.

 

On Saturday, May 20, at 1pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-4), the qualifying test will start. At this time, the decryption password for Part 1 (not your login password) will appear on the Password Page—click the [START THE USA TEST] link to get the Password Page, and refresh as needed until the password appears.

 

Please note: to help reduce network traffic, please refrain from refreshing the password page until the test starting time (note the server timestamp displayed on that page). However, you should test that your web browser will actually refresh the page when requested.

 

At 2pm EDT, the decryption password for Part 2 will be available on the same Password page; you will need to refresh the page for it to appear.

 

You must submit your answers for Part 1 and Part 2 on separate answer pages (both linked on the right-sidebar). All answers will be two selected rows or columns of the completed puzzle grid(s), separated by a comma or space. Your submission time is recorded with your answers. After you submit answers you can return to the answer page to see confirmation of your submitted answers, and to submit additional answers.

 

Please make sure that you've submitted answers for both Part 1 and Part 2. Answers for Part 1 may be submitted at any time before the end of the test, but the completion bonus is only available for answers submitted within the first hour.

 

At 3:30pm EDT, the qualifying test will end. You will have 2 1/2 hours to solve as many puzzles as you can and submit your answers via the Answer Page. Your submission time is recorded with your answers. After you submit answers you can return to the Answer Page to view your submitted answers, continue solving, and to submit additional answers. It is not necessary to re-submit answers at the deadline if they are already recorded.

 

In case of emergency or network lag, the Answer Page will continue to accept answer submissions; otherwise late answers are not scored.

 

For your convenience, a separate Timer Window is available to show the current server time, a countdown to test start, and a countdown to test end. This is available from the right sidebar when you are using the "start", "password", or "answer" pages. This is a special convenience, and not guaranteed to be accurate. You are personally responsible for submitting answers on time.

 


 

Scoring

Your last Answer Page submission for each part will be time-stamped and scored. Your final score is the total of all points accumulated for both parts, including bonus.

  • The point value for each puzzle is given at the top of the page. A correct answer will earn the number of points indicated (which is a rough, relative indication of the time expected to solve the puzzle).
  • An incorrect or blank answer will score 0 points.
  • For each part of the test, if your submission has all answers correct and before the bonus deadline for that part, you will receive a bonus of 2 points per minute early (including fractional minutes). The bonus deadline for Part 1 is one hour (the start of Part 2), and the bonus deadline for part Part 2 is the end of the entire test.
  • If your submission has all answers "near-perfect", you will receive 60% of the normal time bonus earned. A near-perfect answer is an incorrect answer with no more than 2 incorrect digits or letters. If you correct a near-perfect submission, the judges will determine which submission is best for you.
  • All answers must be submitted within the 2 1/2 hours time limit. Late submissions will not be scored.

 

Ranking and tie-breaking will be based on the following rules in order:

  1. Most total points
  2. Most points for Part 2, including Part 2 bonus points
  3. Earliest final submission time for Part 2
  4. Earliest finsl submission time for Part 1

 


 

Outside Help

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.

 


 

Judging

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.

 


 

Technical Support

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 Qualifying Test 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.

 


 

Results and Winners

Solutions to the test puzzles will be posted no later than one day after the test.

 

The USA contestants with the top five unaudited scores will be notified within one day of the test. Within two days, all contestants will receive an email or online summary of their 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, May 27.

 

There are three open positions for the USA Sudoku Team. First priority will go to any US citizen placing in the Top-10 of the WPF Sudoku Grand Prix. The remaining positions will be filled based on the results the this qualifying test. The U.S. Sudoku Team will compete at the World Sudoku Championship in Bangalore, India, October 15-22.

 

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 WSC team organizer, upon request, for consideration. If there is no organized team for your country, you may be contacted regarding individual WSC participation.