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24 Challenge Tournament Official Rules


SEATING -Students sit three or four to a table, by grade level or section level (i.e. 4th & 5th grades combined). Students sit toward one side with the proctor (sitting or standing) on the opposite side.

NUMBER OF ROUNDS PLAYED - Tournaments consist of four rounds, each lasting 10 to 20 minutes. Points won by each student in Rounds 1 and 2 are added to determine who advances to the Semi-final Round 3. Semi-final Round 3 and Final Round 4 are face-off rounds; the highest scoring student at each table advances. Students may be given a break between rounds. If the players at a table finish early, they should wait for the round to end, so as to not disturb other students.

NUMBER OF CARDS PLAYED - A fixed number of cards are played in each round. (Preferred over a timed round because it is not dependent upon the speed with which proctors put the cards into play and does not put a table with a slow proctor at a disadvantage.)

PROCTORS - One Proctor is needed at each table. (Proctors must be familiar with all 24 Challenge® Tournament Rules of Play.)

PUTTING CARDS INTO PLAY - A proctor puts a card into play by “cupping” the card in the palm of one hand. The proctor places the cupped card into the center of the table and then withdraws the hand to reveal the numbers.

STUDENTS' HAND POSITION - Student fingertips should be placed on blue area of Tournament Mat - where the cards are put into play. If a special Tournament Mat is used, students must keep their hands on the blue area only.

MAKING A DECLARATION - Student declares by touching anywhere on the card, but with no more than three fingertips. Proctor determines first student to touch the card. That student must announce the pattern (last step of the solution to make 24; i.e. “3 times 8” or “15 plus 9”) within 3 seconds of touching the card, before given the opportunity to giving a solution.

GIVING THE SOLUTION - The complete solution (all three steps) must then be completed within 15 seconds. A student cannot change the pattern that he states within the first 3 seconds, and must complete his solution using this same pattern. A student may correct himself and change the first and second steps of his solution until he “fixes” the solution by saying “equals, makes or is 24”.

PENALTY FLAGS - If a student cannot give the solution or gives an incorrect solution, he/she receives a penalty flag (use Post-it® brand notes or tokens). Students who receive three penalties in a round, during rounds 1 and 2, are disqualified from further play during that round. Students are limited to two penalty flags in Rounds 3 and 4. Disqualified students keep points scored up to the point of disqualification. Penalty flags do not follow a player. All players start with a clean slate at the beginning of each round. When a student gets a penalty flag, the card is taken out of play and returned to the deck to be played again later.

1) Student does not announce a pattern within three seconds.
2) Student does not complete solution within 15 seconds.
3) Solution given is incorrect.
4) Student touches card with more than 3 fingertips.
5) Student touches proctor's hand before it is withdrawn.

STUMPED CARDS - If all students at the table agree that they are stumped, or if no student makes an attempt to answer a card after 15 seconds, the proctor removes that card for later play.


Rounds of Play

ROUND 1 - Play for 48 cards. Take the first half of a 96-card deck and arrange the cards so that all the red sides (color of center square on the cards) are facing up. (The first half of the deck will give you 12 one point, 24 two point and 12 three point cards.) Shuffle the cards and you are ready to begin. Make sure that all tables are using the same cards. All students play Round 1.

ROUND 2 - Flip the above 48 cards over and play the white side. Students change tables to get a chance to play with different players in their own grade or section level. All students play Round 2.

SCORING - Proctors tally points at the end of each round. Remember to count points and not just the number of cards, as a card may be worth three points (look for the number of dots in the card's corner to determine the point value). 1 Dot cards are worth one point, 2 Dot cards are worth two points and 3 Dot cards are worth three points. Proctors enter each student's score on his/her scorecard. Scores from Rounds 1 & 2 will be added together. The sixteen highest scores from each grade level advance to the Semi-final Round 3. Semi-finalists are seated four to a table.

SEMI-FINAL ROUND 3 - Play for another 48 cards (ex-second half of the 96 card deck), red side. This third round is a “face-off” round. Only the points earned in this round are used to determine the winners, the scores from the previous rounds are disregarded. The highest scoring student at each semi-final table advances to the Final Round 4 to determine the grade/section level champions.

FINAL ROUND 4 - Flip over the above 48 cards and play the white side. The highest-scoring student in this final round is the overall grade or section level champion. As in Round 3, all previous scores are disregarded.

MISCELLANEOUS - In the case of a tie, tied players play a five-minute round. In case of a protest, it is up to the proctor at each table to settle the protest. To encourage mental math, we suggest that pencil and paper not be used by students during play.

Special Instructions (playing both Single Digits cards and Double Digits)
ROUND 1 may be played with 48 Single Digits cards.
ROUND 2 may be played with 48 Double Digits cards.
SEMI-FINAL ROUND 3 and FINAL ROUND 4 may be played with a combination of Single Digits, Double Digits and Variables cards.