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Dear Illinois OM Family -

The recent surge in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant is a Spontaneous problem that the volunteer leadership team has been practicing for.  As you know, our plan at the beginning of this Odyssey year was to return to an in-person competition for 2022 thanks to decreasing case numbers, increasing vaccinations, and safe in-person learning throughout the state at the time.  While we are still planning an in-person event for March, we are concurrently planning a virtual option for all teams in every problem.  To be clear: Illinois OM will be providing a virtual option for any team wishing to compete virtually.  This virtual option will be available regardless of whether or not we are able to hold an in-person tournament, as our goal is to make sure all young people can safely share their solutions and hard work as part of the OM experience.

The international Odyssey of the Mind program is already offering a virtual-only option for teams competing in Problem 2 (Odyssey ReOMvention) or Problem 3 (Classics...Name Here: The Musical Production).  However, in Illinois, we want to make sure our students can compete in any problem they want, which includes Problem 1 (Escape vRoOM), Problem 4 (Matryoshka Structure), Problem 5 (Life is a Circus), and the Primary Problem.  The full details will be posted in early January (just after the holiday break), so that teams have time to prepare, but the virtual option will resemble the virtual format of the 2020-2021 OM year (i.e., a recorded video of the team's solution + a Spontaneous component).  

As we have all experienced the past two years, the pandemic situation can change quickly.  If conditions permit us to have a *safe* in-person competition, great!  In-person and virtual teams can compete in their preferred format.  If we cannot hold an in-person competition, we will let teams know as soon as possible.  We encourage those teams hoping for an in-person competition to record their solution (safely) just in case.


Please let us know if you have any questions, and thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this tricky time together as a team.  The abilities to adapt, to think on one's feet, and to maintain a positive spirit in the face of uncertainty are all foundational skills in OM.  Let's be strong, stay healthy, and live a creative life each and every day!

Creatively Yours,

The Illinois OM Volunteer Leadership Board

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