Phoenix Challenge Rules of Competition

Please review Rules of the Competition and the following procedures prior to the start of the Global Issues Problem Solving Team or Individual Phoenix Challenge Competition.  As we embark on a new platform for conducting our state competition, it is important that all coaches, competitors and proctors maintain the integrity of the competition.



Rules of Competition


The topic of the Phoenix Challenge problem will be Living in Poverty. Competitors will have access to the future scene through the online system at the time of their login. Each team will set their 2-hour competition with teammates between 8 AM on May 8 and 6 AM on May 9.  Once the team’s booklet has been logged into by one team member, the online system begins counting down their 2-hours, so it is very important that all team members set an agreed upon time to complete their competition booklet.  The time cannot be reset if a member accidentally logs in in advance of the set competition time.


The monitor may assist participants in finding the best place in which to work and should check that no written materials relating to the state bowl topic Living in Poverty or the Future Problem Solving process are present since they may not be used during the competitive session. All reference materials, except dictionaries and thesauruses, are also prohibited. 


Students should have a supply of scrap paper and/or Post-It notes and writing utensils in their work space.  Teams may share snapshots of their notes or may use the chat feature in the online system to share ideas about the topic, future scene or the FPS process once the electronic booklet is opened.  Any exchange of information prior to the team logging in is considered a violation.


No electronic devices (including calculators, spell checkers, electronic thesauruses, and computers) may be used by participants. The coach must have requested exceptions for special circumstances in advance of the competitor’s registration. 


Participants may use more than one device to access their FPSOnline account so that the future scene can be viewed on one device and the booklet on another.  A maximum of three (3) tabs may be open on any combination of devices, FPSOnline booklet, FPSOnline future scene copy and one video meeting app (FaceTime, Google Hangout, Skype, etc.).  Participants should have no tabs open relating to the FPS process, the topic or research notes created prior to the start of the 2-hour timed competition session.


Should an emergency occur causing an interruption in the competitive session, team members should immediately report the problem to their monitor.  If the emergency can not be easily rectified, the monitor may email or call the Affiliate Director for guidance (information in monitoring procedures).  Neither team members nor their proctors may call or communicate the problem to their coach during the 2-hour timed competition.


Only four students may participate on a team submitting a booklet for competitive consideration. No substitutions may occur after the competition has begun. 


The grade level of the team member in the highest grade determines the competitive division of the booklet. Grade level divisions are as follows: 

  • Junior: grades 4 - 6 

  • Middle: grades 7 - 9 

  • Senior: grades 10 -12 

  • Adult: post high school 


Coaches and proctors are responsible for ensuring that all team participants are familiar with the rules of the competition. Coaches should not be contacted, nor should they contact, teams or their proctors once the 2-hour competition has begun.  If a team member is found violating a rule of the state bowl, the matter will be adjudicated by the State Bowl Rules Committee. 


At the conclusion of the 2-hour timed GIPS competition, students and their proctor will need to sign off on an electronic Honor Code agreement.  


“The Future Problem Solving of Virginia Phoenix Challenge (State Bowl) you have elected to attend offers many unique opportunities and experiences. Beyond the educational benefits, you will have a chance to meet the challenges of independence. We at Future Problem Solving promote an atmosphere where students support one another with genuine respect. As a student participant, it is your responsibility to demonstrate high standards of conduct and to accept personal responsibility and consequences for your actions. You are expected to exhibit honesty, courtesy, and consideration toward others. Our goal is to make the state bowl competition a safe, educational, and enjoyable experience for everyone. We ask each individual’s cooperation and commitment to the following behavior guidelines to help us meet this goal:


  • The student is to obey the rules and regulations established by Future Problem Solving Program of Virginia both prior to and during the competition and follow the directions of coaches, proctors, and Future Problem Solving officials

  • Good common sense, respect, and consideration for others should be the standard practice of the state bowl. 

  • The student will conduct him/herself with integrity and honesty in all actions.”


The Evaluation Director will supervise State Bowl evaluation. 


The State Bowl Certification Committee will monitor state bowl evaluation procedures. Prior to announcement of results at the awards ceremony, the committee will certify that all established procedures were followed. The certified decision of the evaluators, announced at the state bowl, is final. If an error is discovered that would have affected the first and second place rankings, the Executive Board may submit the names of affected competitors as alternates to the International Conference. 


A team must be in good standing with the Virginia program to participate in the International Conference.*



*The International Office will work with us to get GIPS Teams and Individuals registered for the virtual IC since we are holding our competition after the registration deadline.  

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