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ACM Programming Contest

Contest Rules

These are the official Central European Regional Contest Rules for 1999. This is only a preliminary version, the final one will be prepared just before the Contest and given to the participants.

The rules are only a minimal different from the general ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest Rules. Besides, SWERC Rules were used as an example.

In General

The ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest is an activity of the ACM that provides college students with an opportunity to demonstrate and sharpen their problem-solving and computing skills.

The Contest is a two-tiered competition among teams of students representing institutions of higher education. Teams first compete in Regional Contests held around the world from September to November each year. The winning team from each Regional Contest advances to the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest World Finals, typically held the following March to mid-April. Additional high-ranking teams may be invited to the World Finals as "wild card" teams.

The universities from the Czech Republic should participate in our local CTU Open Contest before the actual Regional Contes. See FAQ for more information on this topic.

The Regional Contest Steering Committee, chaired by the Regional Contest Director, sets the policy and general rules for the conduct of the Regional Contest. The Regional Contest Director is solely responsible for interpreting the rules and for ruling on unforeseen situations.

Team Composition

Each team consists of up to three contestants. Each contestant must be a student enrolled in a degree program at the sponsoring institution with at least a half-time load. This rule is not to be construed as disqualifying co-op students or students serving internships.

At most one contestant of each team may be graduated student. No contestant may have completed two years of post-graduate studies or hold a doctoral degree. Students who have competed in two World Finals may no longer compete in the Contest. See FAQ for the definition of undergraduate student.

Contestants eligibility is determined during the academic term ending closest to the date of the Regional Contest. Graduation and degree conferrals are considered to occur after a term has been completed, not during that term. Any questions of eligibility should be posed to the Regional Contest Director. Her decision is final.

The team may have a Reserve. It is a student that can substitute any other team member if he or she is unable or unwilling to compete. The resulting team must be properly constituted.

The team should have a Coach who will be the team representative and point of contact before (e-mail, fax or material mail) and during (direct conversation) the Regional Contest activities. It can be any person, even one of the contestants. Anyway, a representative of the sponsoring institution (typically a faculty member) must certify the eligibility of the contestants. It is recommended for this representative to be a Team Coach.

A team is not eligible to compete in the Regional Contest until the Regional Contest Director has received all materials that certify team eligibility.

Students and educational institutions may only participate in one Regional Contest per year. Only one team from a given institution may advance to the World Finals.

A certain educational institution can send one or two teams to the Central European Regional Contest. Team places are assigned on a first-come first-served basis. It is possible that some requests for the second teams will not be satisfied, if there is too much participating universities. The Regional Contest Director is solely responsible for accepting or rejecting teams. Her decisions are final.

Contestants are not required to be members of the ACM in order to be eligible to compete in the Regional Contest. Note however that all Contest Finals contestants are required to be student members of ACM by February 1, 1999.

Scoring of the Regional Contest

At least six and at most ten problems will be posed. The teams will be given five hours for solving the problems. So far as possible, problems will avoid dependence on detailed knowledge of a particular application area or particular programming language.

Each team will use one single computer. All teams will have reasonably equivalent computing resources. The team will have access to three compilers: Pascal Compiler, C Compiler and C++ Compiler. Each submission may be in either language, without regard to the language used in previous submissions.

Each submission must be one self-contained program. It must not rely on the presence of external data files (except for the test data input), nor may it create such files.

Solutions to problems submitted for judging are called runs. Each run is judged as accepted or rejected by a judge, and the team is notified of the results. The notification will be exactly one of the following messages:
Message Meaning
Compile Error It was not possible to compile the source code.
Run-time Error Program was successfully compiled but it crashed during the computation (for example due to Segmentation Fault or Division by Zero).
Time Limit Exceeded Program was successfully compiled and run but it did not end within the given amount of time (an inefficient algorithm, or an endless loop).
Wrong Answer Program was successfully run and gave some results, but these results are not right.
Presentation Error Program gave some results which appear to be right. But the results do not exactly match the judges' output data. There is possibly some misstyped word or something like that.
Accepted The run was stated as following all the requirements. The problem is solved!
Invalid Library Call The program attempted to use some of the restricted functions.
Contest Rules Violation This message is used if some other type of Contest Rules violation is detected by the judges.

The on-line updated actual Ranking List of teams is presented during the Contest. All contestants have access to the Ranklist, so they know the number of accepted solutions of other teams. Public ranking is suspended at an appropriate time (usually one hour before the end) to keep the final results secret until Award Ceremony.

Contestants may submit a claim of ambiguity or error in a problem statement by submitting a clarification request to judges. If the judges agree that an ambiguity or error exists, a clarification will be issued to all contestants.

The judges are solely responsible for determining the correctness of submitted runs. In consultation with the judges, the Regional Contest Director determines the winners of the Regional Contest. The Regional Contest Director and judges are empowered to adjust for or adjudicate unforeseen events and conditions. Their decisions are final. The adjustions may be done during 72 hours after the end of the Contest. After then, the results are considered to be final and cannot be changed under any circumstances.

Teams are ranked according to the most problems solved. Teams that solve the same number of problems are ranked by least total time. The total time is the sum of the time consumed for each problem solved. The time consumed for a solved problem is the time elapsed from the beginning of the Contest to the submittal of the accepted run plus 20 penalty minutes for every rejected run for that problem regardless of submittal time. There is no time consumed for a problem that is not solved.

Submissions in Pascal should adhere to the ISO level 1 standard. No extensions to the language are supported. If the team uses any unsupported extensions, it is possible that the submission will be rejected even if it meets all the other requirements.

Submissions in C should adhere to the ANSI standard X3.159-1989. The only supported extension to the language are chosen functions of the ANSI standard library. If the team uses any unsupported extensions, it is possible that the submission will be rejected even if it meets all the other requirements.

Submissions in C++ should adhere to the language as defined in "The C++ Programming Language, Second Edition" by Bjarne Stroustrup. The only supported extensions to the language are chosen functions of the ANSI C standard library. If the team uses any unsupported extensions, it is possible that the submission will be rejected even if it meets all the other requirements.

Conduct of the Contest

The language of the Contest is English. All written contest materials will be in English. During the actual Contest, all communication with Contest officials must be in English. Contestants may bring paper dictionaries. The electronic pocket translator is allowed only if it does not contain calculator, electronic diary, nor any other computing equipment.

During the Contest, contestants are not allowed to converse with anyone except members of their team and personnel designated by the Regional Contest Director. System support staff may advise contestants on system-related problems such as explaining system error messages.

The Contest will be held in a networked environment. The network may only be used to submit problems and to produce a listing in ways designated by the judges and system support staff. Remote login, ftp, telnet, mail or other networking activities within the contest environment or with machines outside this environment are strictly forbidden. Every contestant who discovers a security leak must report this leak to a system support staff member as soon as it is possible and reasonable.

Contestants may bring resource materials such as books, manuals and program listings. Contestants must not bring any machine-readable version of software or data. Contestants must not bring their own calculators, computers, computer terminals, or other hardware. Contestants are not allowed to bring any kind of communication devices such as radio sets, cellular phones, and pagers.

All team members must attend all Contest activities as specified by the Regional Contest Director. The Coach is expected to attend or be available by phone during Contest activities. Failure to attend any of the designated Contest events will result in automatic disqualification and forfeiture of any scholarships and prizes.

While the Contest is scheduled for five hours, the Regional Contest Director has the authority to alter the length of the Contest in the event of unforeseen difficulties. Should the Contest duration be altered, every attempt will be made to notify contestants in a timely and uniform manner.

A team may be disqualified by the Regional Contest Director for any activity that jeopardizes the Contest such as dislodging extension cords, unauthorized modification of Contest materials, or distracting behavior. The disqualification may occur immediately upon detection or up to 72 hours after the end of the Contest.

All teams who want to participate have to check-in at the registration desk. A team cannot compete in the Regional Contest if the participation fee is not paid by the start of the actual Contest. The location of the registration desk and the office hours will be announced to the participants in advance.

The participation fee will not be refunded in case the team can not or does not want to participate after registration.

Appropriate insurance (against accidents or diseases) is the responsibility of each team.

Coaches may report claims of rule violations or misconduct of the Contest within 7 days of the Regional Contest to the Director of Regional Contests, who will in turn make a recommendation to the Contest Steering Committee. The Contest Steering Committee may, by a 2/3 vote, overturn the results of the Regional Contest, no later than the first Monday in December (which is December 6 in 1999). Only rules violation and misconduct may be appealed. The decisions of judges in accepting or rejecting problems are final.