February 18, 2015 Dear School Principal, This year`s Diocese of

Dear School Principal,
February 18, 2015
This year’s Diocese of Pittsburgh Math 24 Challenge Tournament is being held at North American
Martyrs Catholic School in Monroeville on April 10, 2015. School check-in begins at 9:40 A.M. and
the competition should be over by 2:10 P.M. to allow travel time back to your school. Lunch,
consisting of a Chick-fil-a sandwich, fruit, cookie, and drink will be provided to your students
and proctors as part of the registration fee. We are sorry that we cannot accommodate special
dietary needs that day; however you may bring a lunch to the event if you prefer.
Schools are invited to bring one student each in grades 4 through 8 to compete in the event.
We encourage you to nominate a second mathlete in those grades to represent your school,
just in case one particular grade level is under represented this year. A full slate of competitors
makes for a more enjoyable event for all. You will be notified by email if there is room for your
additional competitor to attend by April 3, 2015.
Register by visiting http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c044fa9a628a31-math or by visiting
www.namschool.org and selecting the link on the homepage of the website to register your
students. The cost of the event is $5 per student. This year, awards will be given to all first,
second, third, and fourth place winners, as well as small recognitions for the table winners in each
round. Participation certificates and a small token will be given to all participants.
Deadline for registration is March 31, 2015. Late registrations may be accepted if space permits
for an additional charge of $5 per person. Payment may be made during check-in on the day of
the event, or may be sent in advance to North American Martyrs Catholic School, 2526
Haymaker Road, Monroeville, PA 15146 to the attention of Cindy Pascoe.
If your school has competed in this event in prior years, you may notice some small changes to
the competition, which we hope will improve the experience for the students. These rules stray
from the “Official Math 24 Challenge” rules.
Specifically, we have added a third preliminary round and a consolation round for students who
do not make it to the finals rounds of competition. This is intended to give more opportunity to
compete with students from other schools during the day and also allow competition to take
place under less pressure for students who do not make it into the final rounds.
Lastly, we added an additional round of play in the finals competition. The official rules specify 16
students advance to the semi-finals and play at four tables. After one round of play, only the table
winners advance to the finals round. This allows for the possible elimination of a student who may
be the second and third strongest in the competition by losing to the strongest competitor in the
first round of finals. Although not the perfect solution, by advancing the top two point earners
and adding a third round, the results are likely to be more in-line with actual ability.
If you have any questions, you may contact Cindy Pascoe, this year’s coordinator at
[email protected] or by calling 412 373-0889. I wish the best of luck to your students
and hope to see your school represented at the tournament.
Cindy Pascoe
2015 Diocese of Pittsburgh
Math 24 Challenge: SCHEDULE
North American Martyrs Catholic School
2526 Haymaker Road
Monroeville, PA 15146
(412) 373-0889
Friday, April 10, 2015
9:40 A.M. – 10:10 A.M.
School Check-In
10:10 A.M. – 10:30 A.M.
Proctor Training
Student Warm-Up and Practice
10:30 A.M.
Welcome and Opening Prayer
10:45 A.M.
Preliminary Round 1
11:10 A.M.
Preliminary Round 2
11:35 A.M.
Preliminary Round 3
11:55 A.M. – 12:40 P.M.
Lunch Break
(MORNING RESULTS CALCULATED - SEEDING FOR AFTERNOON ROUNDS)
12:40 P.M.
Morning Results Announcement
12:45 P.M.
Quarter Final and Consolation Rounds
1:10 P.M.
Semi-Final Rounds
1:35 P.M.
Final Championship Round
1:55 P.M.
Awards and Closing Remarks
2:10 P.M.
Dismissal
2015 Diocese of Pittsburgh
Math 24 Challenge: RULES
SEATING - Students sit three or four to a table, by grade level. One proctor, sitting or
standing will be assigned to each table.
NUMBER OF ROUNDS PLAYED – A minimum of two Preliminary Rounds will be played,
each round lasting 15 minutes. A third Preliminary Round will be played if the number of
grade level entries exceeds eleven. Points won by each student in the Preliminary Rounds
are added to determine who advances to the Semi-final Rounds. Semi-final Rounds are
face-off rounds; the highest scoring students at each table advance. 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 should be familiar with all 24
Challenge® Tournament Rules of Play.) Inexperienced Proctors will be trained the morning
of the event.
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.
MAKING A DECLARATION - Student declares by touching anywhere on the card, but
with no more than three fingertips. The first student to touch the card is allowed to give the
solution. If the answer is correct, the student takes the card and places it in front of him.
GIVING THE SOLUTION - 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. 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. Students who receive three penalties in a round, during the
preliminary rounds, are disqualified from further play during that round. Students are limited
to two penalty flags in the semifinal and final rounds. Disqualified students keep points
scored up to the point of disqualification. Penalty flags do not follow a player. All players
Diocese of Pittsburgh
Math 24 Challenge: RULES
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.
FIVE WAYS TO DRAW A PENALTY FLAG:
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 they are stumped, or if no student
makes an attempt to answer a card after 15 seconds, the proctor removes that card and
returns it to the deck for play later in the game.
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.) One-Dot cards are worth one point,
Two-Dot cards are worth two points, Three-Dot cards are worth three points and Variable
cards are worth 4 points. Proctors enter each student's score on his/her scorecard. Scores
from all Preliminary Rounds will be added together. The sixteen highest scores from each
grade level advance to the Quarter Final Rounds.
TOURNAMENT CONDUCT - When a student has a solution in mind, he/she makes a
declaration by touching the card. The student may touch anywhere on the card but with no
more than three finger tips. This rule prevents students from slapping the card hard with
the whole hand as a way of dominating play. The first student to make a valid declaration
will be allowed to give the solution. In their eagerness to win, some students touch the card
before having a solution in mind. They then stall for time as they try to figure out a solution.
To encourage students to have the solution in mind before making a declaration, the
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. The complete solution (all three steps)
must be announced within 15 seconds. The student must complete the solution using the
same pattern that was used to make the declaration.
MISCELLANEOUS –

In case of a protest, it is up to the proctor at each table to settle the protest.

To encourage mental math, pencil and paper not be used by students during play.
Diocese of Pittsburgh
Math 24 Challenge: RULES

If the total student entries are less than sixteen for any grade level, all students in
this grade level will advance to the Final Rounds of competition. These students will
still participate in the preliminary rounds for purposes of seeding the Final Rounds of
the competition.

All students attending the competition will be recognized for representing their home
school at this tournament.
Rounds of Play
PRELIMINARY ROUND 1 – Students play for 48 Single Digit cards (12 one dot, 24 two
dot, and 12 three dot cards.) Arrange the cards so that all the red sides (color of center
square on the cards) are facing up. Shuffle the cards and you are ready to begin. All
students play Round 1.
PRELIMINARY ROUND 2 – Students play for 24 Single Digit and 24 Double Digit cards (6
one dot, 12 two dot and 6 three dot cards, each.) Arrange cards so that all the white sides
(color of the center square on the cards) are facing up. Shuffle the cards and you are ready
to begin. Students change tables to get a chance to play with different players in their own
grade level. All students play Round 2.
PRELIMINARY ROUND 3 – Flip the above cards over and play the red side. Students
change tables to get a chance to play with different players in their own grade level.
TIE BREAKER ROUND – If more than 16 students per grade level are tied in total points
after the preliminary rounds end, a 5 minute tie breaker round will be held to determine
which students will advance to the Quarter Final Round. A 48 card deck consisting of both
Single Digit and Double Digit cards will be used.
CONSOLATION ROUND – Since students are attending the tournament to compete and
to add to the enjoyment of the day, one consolation round will be conducted for all students
not advancing to the Quarter Finals Round. Students who may not have done as well as
they would have hoped under the pressure to perform to advance in the competition, may
enjoy this more informal game. Students will be grouped with others of like ability, based
on their preliminary round scores.
QUARTER FINALS ROUND – Students are seeded based on the total of their Preliminary
Round points and seated four to a table. Play for another 48 cards, white side. This is the
first “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 two highest scoring
students at each table advance to the next round.
Diocese of Pittsburgh
Math 24 Challenge: RULES
SEMI-FINALS ROUND – Students are re-seeded based on the number of points earned in
the Quarter Finals Round and are seated four to a table. Flip over the above 48 cards and
play the red side. Only the points earned in this round are used to determine the winners.
The scores from the previous rounds are disregarded. The two highest scoring students at
each table advance to the next round. All previous scores are disregarded.
FINALS ROUND – Students are seated four to a table. A new deck of 48 cards are played
using the white side. Only the points earned in this round are used to determine the
winners. The scores from the previous rounds are disregarded.
Consolation, Quarter Final, Semi-Final, and Final Rounds will be played with a combination
of Single Digits, Double Digits, and Variables cards.
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