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Rules & Guidelines

NOTE -- you should consult the Rules page for your specific event for detailed rules. The information below is general information on CodeWars events.

Student Eligibility

  • In North America, CodeWars is targeted towards high school students. Participation at individual sites may vary due to differences in educational structures and schedules. Students at public or private high schools, or home-schooled students of equivalent ages can participate. Teams must be associated with an educational institution and have a teacher/sponsor -- students cannot form their own independent teams.


  • One computer. Each team is allowed use of one, and only one, computer during the competition (i.e. one computer, one keyboard). No virtual machines, etc.
  • No printers. Printers are not allowed.
  • No power hogs. Old-school CRT monitors or any other power-hungry entities are not allowed (due to power consumption). Other external monitors should be limited to 24" in size (due to space considerations).
  • No Internet. NOTE -- Cell phones and broadband network cards are NOT allowed during CodeWars competition.  If you are observed using either of these during the CodeWars competition, your team is subject to immediate disqualification.  If you may need to be contacted via cell phone during the competition, your phone should be left with your team sponsor.

General Format

  • Both the Novice and Advanced teams will share a common pool of approximately 20-30 problems.
  • Each problem carries a point value, with values increasing with problem difficulty.
  • The goal is to solve as many problems as possible in 3 hours. At the end, the teams with the most points win!

Competition Rules / Guidelines

  • The judges' rulings are final.
  • The judges' rulings are final.
  • All solutions must programmatically determine the results. In other words, your solution cannot just print out a solution to a problem that you determined by hand. The judges will be using some different data sets for your programs at the judging table.
  • File naming conventions for solutions must be followed. These are provided with your contest instructions at the event.
  • Your team will have a number programming tasks to choose from. You probably will not be able to solve them all, so you are advised to study them and choose your problems wisely.
  • Need WiFi. CodeWars events utilize a custom browser-based submission/judging/scoring system via an 802.11x wireless network. Please ensure that your computer is wireless-capable before the event day. If you can connect to a public wireless network (e.g. the public library or Panera) and browse the Internet, you should be in good shape. Some school computers have security lockdowns that prevent wireless configuration, so please verify this before you come.
  • Each team will receive a unique team login and password for the competition.
  • Programs must be a standard DOS or Windows console application. No GUI programs.
  • Failure IS an option. There is no limit to the number of submissions you can make to solve a given problem. However, note that in the case of a tie score, the winners will be determined by the fewest incorrect submissions.
  • Corrections during the competition. Any necessary corrections to contest problems will be displayed to all competitors on your team page in the contest system, and announced in the contest room(s).
  • Test before submitting. Verify that your program works with the example input before submitting it to the judges. Don't waste your time (and the judges') submitting a bad program you could have caught with your own testing.
  • Reference material. Teams are allowed to bring reference materials and code samples to the competition. Internet access will not be available during the competition.
  • Additional rules, modifications, and more details will be made available to you on the day of the event.

Novice or Advanced?

  • Novice or Advanced? We are often asked, "Should we compete in the Novice or Advanced division?" There are no hard-and-fast rules dividing Novice teams from Advanced teams. Teams that are relatively new to programming and/or competition should likely choose Novice. Teams that regularly participate in competitions and have experienced programmers should choose Advanced.