Official Rules – 2014
1.0 THE COMPETITION
The John Molson MBA International Case Competition (the “Competition”) is organized by a team of MBA
students from the John Molson School of Business (the “Organizers”) with the support of student volunteers
and a Board of Directors which includes a number of senior executives from the Montreal business
The competition is open to graduate schools offering an MBA or equivalent program deemed acceptable by the Board of Directors. A student who is registered in at least one course in such program at his/her school in the fall semester immediately preceding the Competition and who has not previously competed in any John Molson MBA International Case Competition is eligible to participate in the Competition.
3.0 THE TEAMS
Each school must be represented by four students and at least one coach. A student alternate may be included as a fifth member of the team at the discretion of the school. The alternate may only participate for his/her school in extenuating circumstances and with the approval of the organizers. An alternate who actually competes for his/her school and team coaches will not be eligible to participate in future Competitions.
In the event there are an odd number of schools registered for the Competition, a team designated as Team Global will be constituted with four of the alternates who volunteer to do so. If possible, a member of the Team Global will be from a school based outside North America, with the others from American and Canadian schools. A member of Team Global may rejoin his/her team at any time during the Competition if circumstances make this necessary. If a member of a team, including Team Global, that does not have an alternate is unable to participate for any reason deemed acceptable by the organizers, an alternate will be asked to join the team for as long as is necessary in the Competition.
An alternate who participates with a team other then his/her own affiliated school will be eligible to participate in future Competitions.
4.0 THE CASES
The cases used in the Competition will, to the best of the Organizers’ knowledge, be unpublished and untested. Some of the cases will be selected from submissions made to an annual international case writing competition arranged by the Organizers.
5.0 COMPETITION FORMAT
Teams will be assigned to six divisions. Divisions will be established by a random draw. Each division will have at least one non North American school, one American school and one Canadian school. Non North American schools will be assigned to divisions first, followed by the American schools and then the Canadian schools.
Each team will compete one on one in the five cases during the round robin phase of the Competition against the other teams in their division, as scheduled by the Organizers. The divisional winners will be the team with the highest number of wins in their division. Nine teams, the six division winners and the three wildcards (those with the highest point accumulation during the round robin phase), will advance to the semifinals.
Please refer to the section on Scoring. The nine teams in the semifinals will be divided into three groups based on total point accumulation during the round robin phase. Group One will consist of teams ranked 1,6 and 9 in point accumulation, Group Two will consist of teams 2,5 and 8, and Group Three will consist of teams 3,4 and 7. The winning team from each of these semifinal groups will compete in the finals.
6.0 CASE PREPARATION
Teams will ordinarily have three hours to read and analyze the case and to prepare exhibits in support of an oral presentation to a panel of Judges. Preparation and presentation time for case three is 90 minutes and 15 minutes, respectively. No written analysis is required. Each team will be assigned a workroom for their preparation period as well as a team host who will supervise the team during the preparation period and escort them to the presentation room at the end of the preparation period.
The preparation room will be equipped with:
- 2 PC laptops with no Internet capabilities
- Microsoft Office 2010 including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on each laptop (available in French and English)
- 2 USB flash drives
- Markers, paper and pens
The following items are not permitted in the preparation room:
- Cell phone
- Programmable calculator
- Personal electronics (Tablet, PDA, laptop other than the ones provided, MP3, recorder)
- Memory storage device (portable hard drive, additional USB flash drive)
- Any books or documents
The use of Internet is not permitted, and hence, the laptops will not have any Internet capabilities and all networking capabilities of the laptops will be disabled.
Teams are expected to use PowerPoint for preparing slides and presentations. Use of animations, video or audio features will not be permitted and neither will any add-ons to standard PowerPoint features. Manual animation of slides or building of slides (bringing in one bullet at a time or one element at a time) is allowed. The use of graphics beyond what is available in the Microsoft Office package is not permitted. However, charts and tables are permitted provided that they are created using tools available within Microsoft Office.
There are no limits to the number of slides and exhibits used to support the presentation to the Judges. The relevance, clarity, and cohesiveness of the exhibits will be a factor in the Judges’ evaluations. Additional exhibits may be prepared at the team’s discretion in anticipation of questions from the Judges’ panel. Cue cards and personal notes are allowed for use by the teams during their presentations. All exhibits must be prepared during the allocated preparation time and no material prepared prior to the Competition is permitted.
At the end of the preparation time, teams will copy all presentation material to both USB flash drives provided by the Competition. The USB flash drives will be given to the team host, who will hand them to the judge coordinator in the presentation room. Note that the USB drives will not be returned to the teams. A copy of the presentation files will be emailed to the coaches after the end of the day. During the period between the end of preparation time and presentation, the four presenters may continue discussing elements of the case. Communication by the four participants with their coaches, the student alternate or anyone outside of the team other than the team host will not be permitted from the beginning of the case preparation to the end of the question and answer period.
The presentation files will be accessible by the Judges’ panel at the end of the question period to assist them in their deliberations.
7.0 CASE PRESENTATION
Presentations may be made in English or French. Teams will notify the Organizers of the language selected prior to the Competition and will present in the selected language for the entire Competition.
Each team will have a strictly enforced maximum of 25 minutes to present, followed by a 15 minute question and answer period with the Judges’ panel. There will be a ten minute break before the second team’s presentation. The second team will not be allowed in the presentation room until after the question period for the first team ends. The first team may remain in the presentation room during the second team’s presentation. The Organizers will set the order of presentation and each team will present first at least twice during the round robin phase of the Competition.
In the semifinal and final rounds, there will be three team presentations followed by question periods. The team in each grouping with the highest number of points accumulated during the round robin will have the option of selecting if it wishes to present first, second or third in its grouping. The team with the second highest point total will be given second choice. As in the round robin, a team cannot attend another team’s presentation until it has completed its own presentation and question period.
Each member of a team is required to participate in the team’s presentation but not necessarily in the question period following the presentation. The teams may not interact during the presentations nor should there be any communication with the audience. Teams may record their own presentations. The Organizers may record any presentation for purposes of promoting the Competition.
Judges are members of the business community selected by the Organizers and the Board of Directors. Panels are constituted at the discretion of the Organizers and will include at least three Judges, one of whom will be designated Lead Judge. The Lead Judge will chair the question period, lead the deliberations, cast the decisive vote in the event of a split panel and during the round robin phase, prepare an evaluation sheet for each team’s confidential use once the result has been determined. Each team in the semifinals will receive a summary evaluation from the Judges’ panel after deliberations have been completed. Judges have a maximum of one hour to render their decision in the round robin phase. There are no deliberation time limits in the semifinals and finals. The panel’s decision is final.
During the round robin, Judges are required to allocate eleven points between the two teams for each individual contest. If the Judges agree in selecting a winning team (4 of 5 Judges on a 5 Judge panel and all 3 Judges on a 3 Judge panel), they will award a minimum of seven and a maximum of eleven points to the winning team and a maximum of four points to the losing team. The winning team will also be awarded a 30 point bonus.
In the event the panel is split (3-2 on a 5 Judge panel and 2-1 on a 3 Judge panel), the winning team will be awarded six of the eleven points plus a 20 point bonus. The losing team will be awarded 5 points plus a 10 point bonus.
Any team that has not arrived at the preparation room at its appointed time will be disqualified from that round. The competing team will make its presentation and be allocated seven to eleven points by the Judges’ panel plus the 30 point award for the win. The defaulting team will receive no points.
There is no point allocation in the semifinals and finals. The Judges will declare a winner in each of the semifinal contests. The three winning teams will then participate in the finals. The Judges decision regarding the first, second and third place winners will be announced at the closing banquet.
9.1 TIE BREAKING
In the event two teams in a division have the same number of wins at the end of the round robin, the divisional winner will be the winner of the contest between the two teams during the round robin.
If more than two teams are tied, the winner will be the team with the best record in the contest between them in the round robin. If teams are still tied, the winner will be the team with the highest number of points accumulated during the round robin.
In the event teams are tied for the last semifinal position, the semifinalist will be selected with the application, in sequence, of the following criteria: a) the winner of the contest between the teams; b) the team that defeated the first place team in their division; c) the team with the lowest total margin of loss in losses incurred during the round robin; d) the team with the highest total margin of wins in winning contests during the round robin and e) a coin toss. The same process will be applied to determine the ranking of the semifinalists.
The Competition is intended to provide a learning experience for the students that will encourage healthy competition, professionalism and interaction by our future business leaders, both amongst themselves and with our business community. The Rules and Guidelines are not all encompassing and situations may arise that have not been covered. It is the expectation of the Organizers and of the Board of Directors that any issues or disputes will be resolved in the spirit of the Competition.
Any concerns or disputes regarding the implementation of these rules must be brought to the immediate attention of the organizer responsible for the schools. In the event of a discrepancy between the English and French rules, the English version will take precedence over the French. In exceptional circumstances, a body made up of at least one of the organizers and the chairperson of the competition advisory board or his assignee and at least two other members of that board will be available to settle disputes.
However, please note that THE DECISION OF THE JUDGING PANEL IS FINAL, AND IS NOT SUBJECT TO REVIEW.