November 6–8, 2009
Wrocław, Poland

General rules

Organization and Mission of the ICPC

The ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) is an activity of the ACM that provides college students with an opportunity to demonstrate and sharpen their problem-solving, programming and teamwork skills.

The organization responsible for the ICPC is ICPC International Steering Committee. The Committee, e.g., establishes contest rules, oversees the conducting of regional contests, resolve regional appeals and review variances in regional rules. Regional rules may vary to accommodate differences in educational systems and host computing facilities. Those rules do not supersede Regional Rules or the World Finals Rules by the ICPC.

Introduction to the CEPC

The 2009 Central European Programming Contest of ICPC (CEPC) is held at the University of Wrocław on November 6-8, 2009. The contest is a two-tiered competition among teams of students representing institutions of higher education. Teams from Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia compete in CEPC. Additional high-ranking teams may be invited to participate.

Please note that the list of countries included in CEPC region has changed since last year (many countries were moved to Southeastern Europe region). Nevertheless, if any of the teams from aforementioned countriess would like to participate in CEPC, we would be glad to host them.

The official language of the contest is English. All contest materials will be in English.

Team composition

A representative of the sponsoring institution of higher education, typically a faculty member, must serve as or designate the team coach. The coach certifies the eligibility of contestants and serves as the official point-of-contact with the team prior to and during contest activities. A team may only have one coach.

The coach must fully register teams in the ICPC Registration System. A team is not eligible to compete in the regional contest until the regional contest director has accepted the team in the web registration system. Teams failing to comply with any of these requirements will be ruled ineligible to compete. Only registered reserves may be substituted for contestants. Such substitutions must be entered in the web registration system by the regional contest director before the contest begins.

Each team consists of three contestants who are eligible to compete in the ICPC World Finals as described under Advancing to the World Finals. The team's contestants must satisfy the following eligibility rules.

Contestant Eligibility Rules

Please refer to the Eligibility Decision Tree to determine eligibility more easily.

Basic Requirements

  • A student has to be willing and able to compete in the World Finals.
  • A student has to be 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, exchange students, or students serving internships.
  • A student may compete for only one institution during a contest year.
  • A student who has competed in two World Finals is NOT eligible to compete.
  • A student who has competed in five Regional Contests is NOT eligible to compete.

Period of Eligibility

  • A student who meets the Basic Requirements and FIRST began post-secondary studies in 2005 or later is eligible to compete.
  • A student who meets the Basic Requirements and was born in 1986 or later is eligible to compete.

Extending the Period of Eligibility

  • A coach may petition the ICPC Eligibility Committee to extend the Period of Eligibility for a student whose full-time studies have been interrupted or extended. This includes military or civil service, illness, work/studies, or personal reasons.
  • The coach must demonstrate that such an extension would not provide an unfair advantage to the team.
  • A petition will be approved routinely if the student meets the Basic Requirements and has not completed more than the equivalent of eight semesters of full-time study as of the date of the regional contest.
  • To make such a request, the coach must petition the ICPC Eligibility Committee at least three weeks before the regional contest. The ICPC Eligibility Committee will render a decision within five business days.

Regional contest attendance

All team members must attend all contest activities as specified by the corresponding 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.

Conduct of a regional contest

Contestants may bring resource materials such as books, manuals, notes and program listings. Contestants may not bring any machine-readable versions of software or data.

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.

Notification of accepted runs may be suspended at an appropriate time to keep the final results secret. A general announcement of that effect will be made during the contest. Notification of rejected runs will continue until the end of the contest.

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

Contestants are not to converse with anyone except members of their own team and personnel designated by the regional contest director. Systems support staff may advise contestants on system-related problems such as explaining system error messages.

While the contest is scheduled for a particular period (typically five hours), the regional contest director has the authority to alter its length 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.

At least six problems will be posed. So far as possible, problems will avoid dependence on detailed knowledge of a particular applications area or particular contest language.

Scoring of a regional contest

A problem is solved when it is accepted by the judges. The judges are solely responsible for accepting or rejecting 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.

Teams are ranked according to the number of solved problems. For the purposes of awards, or in determining qualifier(s) for the World Finals, teams who solve the same number of problems are ranked by 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 submission of the accepted run plus 20 minutes penalty for every rejected run for that problem regardless of submission time. There is no time consumed for a problem that is unsolved.

It is the responsibility of the regional contest director to specify any additional tie-breakers. Tie-breaker policies will be announced to contestants before the contest begins.

Regional contest computing environment

Each team will be allowed to use one IBM PC-compatible computer. The guaranteed configuration of the computer includes a US keyboard, mouse and color monitor. Details on available hardware and software are on the technical rules page.

Complaints, Appeals, and Remedies

If irregularities or misconduct are observed during the contest, team members or coaches should bring them to the attention of the contest officials so that action may be taken as soon as possible. After the conclusion of the contest and the results have been made public, coaches may file complaints or appeals as follows:

Within 2 workdays
The coach may file a complaint by sending an email containing a text message with no enclosures to the Contest Manager. The Contest Manager will forward the complaint to the Regional Contest Director, Super Regional Director, and Director of Regional Contests, copying the coach.
Within 3 more workdays
The RCD shall respond to the complaint.
Within 1 more workday
The coach may file an appeal by sending email to the Contest Manager who will forward the appeal to the Appeals Committee copying the coach and RCD.
Within 4 more workdays
The Appeals Committee will investigate the circumstances of the appeal and notify the coach and RCD of their decision. This process is governed as follows:
  • The results of the regional contest are not final until the complaints and appeals process has run its course.
  • Only coaches may file complaints and appeals.
  • An appeal must be based on one or more of the following circumstances: violations of the rules, misconduct by teams, or gross misconduct by contest officials with the intent to do harm.
  • The decisions of the judges are final. Specifically, a decision on a problem submission MAY NOT be appealed.
  • The Appeals Committee overturns decisions only under extraordinary circumstances.
  • The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.
  • No additional finals invitations will be given to remedy to a complaint.
  • All complaints will be acknowledged.
The appeal will be automatically rejected if the above procedure is not followed.

Advancing to the world finals

Teams qualify to advance to the World Finals through Regional Contests if they satisfy all rules posted in The Rules of the ACM-ICPC World Finals. Specifically:

Only one team from a given institution may advance to the World Finals. Team members will be provided free one-year memberships in ACM at On-Site Registration. No team member on the qualifying team may have competed as a contestant in two previous World Finals.

A team advancing to the World Finals will be comprised of the same three members as when it qualified. In the event that a team member is unwilling, unable or unfit to compete in the World Finals, the coach must notify the ICPC Manager in a timely manner. A team member who is unwilling or unfit to compete in the World Finals will be disqualified from further ICPC competitions. The team member may appeal against disqualification to the Appeals Committee.

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