Each ODR Bowl competition pits two teams of two team members each in a 60 minute contest scored by a panel of up to three judges. 

Pairings for each round will be assigned at random. For the 2020 ODR Bowl Championship, the top-4 regular season ranked teams will compete in a semi-final knockout towards the 2020 ODR Bowl Championship.

Competition rounds, consisting of two teams of two competitors each, will be structured in the following manner:

  • Preliminary proposal and issue identification (no limit)

  • Negotiation (45 minutes)

  • Team shares self-evaluation (within 12 hours)

  • Judge comments and scores (within 24 hours)


TOTAL COMPETITION TIME per round: < 60 minutes

Each panel of three judges in each competition will grade the interactions of the two teams based on the following four areas:

Strategy. The relative quality of the strategies employed throughout the competition. 

25 points

Outcome. The relative success of each team achieving the negotiated outcomes associated with the case.  

25 points

Awareness. The relative quality of each team's self reflection and awareness of their strengths and weaknesses. 

25 points

Delivery. The relative effectiveness of the communication style employed by each team to achieve the desired response.


25 points 

Judges will rate each of the following aspects within the point bands of Poor (0-5 points), Somewhat Poor (6-10 points), Adequate (11-15 points), Somewhat Good (16-20 points), and Good (21-25 points):

  • Outcome: Problem-Solving Relationship Building and Advocating Client’s Interests

  • Strategy: Teamwork and Generating and Selecting Creative Options

  • Delivery: Presentation of Case, Information Gathering, and Communications

  • Awareness: Using Opportunities in Negotiation and Self-Analysis of the Team’s Skills

Judges will finally rank all competitors from 1 to 4. All scores and rankings will be recorded in the Trokt collaboration space.

Series standings will be based on Season Points awarded. Season Points are awarded as:

  • Win = 2 points

  • Loss = 0 points

  • Tie = 1 point

The tiebreaker for teams with equal Season Points are as follows:

  1. Head to head Win Percentage

  2. Team with higher competition points scored differential

  3. Team with more competition points

Any tie after this assessment will be determined by a coin toss or an equivalently random process.

Fact Pattern Distribution

The general facts for each round will be distributed at the beginning of each month via Trokt. Confidential facts will be distributed to each team via Trokt in accordance with the release schedule published on the ODR Bowl competition site.

Competitors may not conduct any outside research; all preparation must be limited to the materials provided. Judges will be instructed to penalize competitors for reference to any outside sources.

All questions concerning the competition problems should be emailed to help@odrbowl.com

Any clarifications or responses to questions made concerning the problem will be directed to all participating schools using notes or modifications accessible via Trokt. The deadline for submitting clarification questions is 24 hours following release. All responses to clarification questions will be summarized in Trokt no less than 24 hours prior to opening of the associated competition window.

Every effort will be made to ensure that no participating school with more than one team in the competition will be provided with the confidential facts for both sides of a problem for any competition round. Participating schools are prohibited from sharing confidential problem information with each other until the conclusion of the tournament.

ODR Bowl Championship

The ODR Bowl Championship will be held in person in April 2020, with a three-judge panel. The Championship teams will be the winners of the semifinal contests.

Team Identification

Competitors (or any other school representative) are not allowed to divulge the name of the school they represent to any judge or representative who has any influence over scoring during the competition being judged.


If a judge is assigned to a team representing an institution with whom she or he, any professional partner, or any personal relation also has an affiliation, the judge must either (i) request reassignment or (ii) disclose the nature of the relationship and secure a conflict waiver from both teams.

Assessment Criteria

Outcome: Problem-Solving Relationship Building and Advocating Client’s Interests

  • Established a problem-solving relationship with other side, if possible.

  • Recognized other side’s interests and tried to satisfy them when possible.

  • Took initiatives to convert other team into problem-solvers.

  • Understood and advanced client’s legal and non-legal interests throughout the negotiation process.

  • Did not sacrifice client’s interests in order to be collaborative.

  • Did not sacrifice client’s interests in order to seek competitive advantage.

Strategy: Teamwork and Generating and Selecting Creative Options

  • Effectively divided responsibilities.

  • Communicated effectively with each other.

  • Worked together as a coordinated team.

  • Generated range of legal and non-legal options to meet client’s interests, as well as interests of other side.

  • Evaluated and selected options based on interests and, where appropriate, objective criteria.

  • Actively encouraged the development of creative ideas.

  • Effectively managed distributive features of dispute (effectively bridged any final gaps).

Delivery: Presentation of Case, Information Gathering, and Communications

  • Presented facts and law in a way that could be heard productively by other side.

  • Offered proposals in a way that reflected careful planning and skillful implementation.

  • Accurately assessed and discussed litigation benefits and risks, as well as other consequences of failing to reach settlement (in joint session and/or caucus).

  • Confident, smooth, exceptional eye contact, and respectful to other competitors.

  • Used active listening skills to promote communications.Used appropriate questioning techniques to gather information.

  • Tested assumptions and collected necessary information at appropriate times.

Awareness: Using Opportunities in Negotiation and Self-Analysis of the Team’s Skills 

  • Chose intelligently whether and when to use a caucus; if caucus used, used caucus effectively.

  • Responded appropriately to developments that occurred during negotiation, especially new information and unforeseen moves by other side.

  • Students should begin their team self-analysis by answering the following questions:

    • In reflecting upon the entire negotiation, what parts of this negotiation would you keep the same, and what would you change if you had to it again?

    • What problem-solving strategies did your team use well? How did your strategy impact the outcome?


If one team elects to take a break, both teams are required to disengage their webcam, and may not converse with any other competitors or persons. The teams may turn their webcams back on (i.e. the same as reentering the room) at any point prior to end of the five-minute break, but are required to return to the room once five minutes have passed. Judges may deduct performance points based on any violation of these rules.

Exhibits and Visual Aids

Competitors may not make reference to any outside information sources. No outside materials may be presented during the round, including charts, agendas, or other prepared visual representations of the materials provided. All development or presentations of information during the competition (i.e. information typically displayed on white boards in a negotiation room) will occur in Trokt.

Electronic Communication

Competitors may not consult outside materials during the round. All electronic or real time communication must occur within the Trokt platform and be facilitated through the video conferencing tools provided. No prepared materials may be used for the self analysis. All material generated for self analysis must be developed within Trokt.


Any violations of these rules, or any other act or speech not contemplated in these rules that would have an adverse or unfair effect on the results of the competition, may be presented to the competition administrators for review and ruling. Competition administrators can disqualify an offending team for violations.

Operational and staff support for the ODR Bowl is provided by Meidh Technologies, Inc.

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