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St John's College, Cambridge, CB2 1TP


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Official Rules of the
Game of Dragons Outdoor Maths Challange

By applying to the competition every participant accepts the rules stated here.


1.     General information


The aim of the competition is to improve the way in which secondary school students perceive mathematics. We would also like to encourage teamwork and promote the benefits of spending time outdoors.


The event will last around 5 hours with a break for lunch. The expected timetable of the day is as follows:

12:00 – Registration starts

12:45 – Opening ceremony and warm up

13:00 – The competition starts

17:00 – The competition ends

17:30 – Prize presentations




Only students in Years 7-13 can participate in the competition in the following 4 categories:

Mushu – Years 7-8

Seraphina – Year 9

Charizard – Years 10-11

Rhaegal – Years 12-13


Teams of students from different categories must be entered in the category of the oldest team member (e.g. a team of two Year 9 and one Year 11 students must be entered in the Charizard category).


How the competition works


Students will participate in the competition in teams of three. The teams have to solve interesting mathematical problems and puzzles at the numerous station located throughout the venue. Whether or not the students answer the question correctly determines which station the students are sent to next. The right answer is always a letter, a number or a word (not a derivation or a proof).


The stations are located around obvious landmarks, such as benches or rocks. The participants will receive a map of the stations to help them find their way around stations. 2-3 organisers help the teams at every station. They give the students the appropriate questions, check their answers and direct them to the next station.


The organisers at the stations do not tell the participants whether their answer is correct. The only information they provide is which station the team has to go next.  Teams who solve the question correctly will be sent to a different station to the teams whose answer is incorrect.


The so called “Passport” is used to record the path of each team. Each team receives their Passport before the Game starts and they will be collected when the competition ends. Students have to hand their Passports over to the organisers at every station to record their next destination.


The Game consists of main and additional questions. Ranking of the teams is primarily based on the number of main questions solved correctly. If multiple teams solve the same number of main questions the ranking among them will be based on the time they submitted their last correct solution to a main question. Some of the main questions can be revisited if solved incorrectly, some cannot. Participants will not be told which questions are the main questions and which ones are additional questions. It is worth spending time checking the solution because wrong answers can cause a disadvantage in terms of time and points.


The first teams of each category will be awarded small prizes. The prize presentation will take place shortly after the Challenge finishes.


2.     Application:


Teams can be registered here. Every team has to be entered by a parent or a teacher of one of the team members. This person, hereafter contact person, will act as a point of contact. The expectations from the contact persons are described here. One individual can be the point of contact for multiple teams.


The online registration is open until 16th June. For health and safety reasons, a maximum of 300 students can enter the Challenge. If there are still spaces, we will accept registration on the day.


3.     Rules:


  • Using calculator is allowed but seeking help via phone or the internet or from teachers is not allowed.

  • Teams are not allowed to help each other.

  • Students are not allowed to leave the competition venue. The borders of the venue are indicated on the map.

  • It is forbidden to litter or to cause any damage to the venue.

  • The use of bicycles, skates and skateboards are forbidden.

  • Participants under 16 can only arrive and leave with their teacher or parent.

  • It is forbidden to risk anyone’s health and safety during the competition.

  • In case of injury or sickness, immediately contact the organisers so they can call for appropriate help.

  • Teams found to be breaking the rules of the competition will be disqualified immediately.

  • We ask all participants, adults and visitors to respect these the rules.


Making a team:


  • Every team has to consist of three students

  • In case of last minute illness or withdrawal, the teams can be rearranged 

  • Students from different schools are also welcome to form teams

  • The category of every team is the age category of the member in the highest year.

  • A team can enter a higher category if they wish.





  • A certified first-aider and a first-aid box are available throughout the duration of the event.

  • The organisers do not provide food for participants.

  • The organisers may take photographs and video footage for the promotion of future events. All participants consent to being recorded and photographed unless they inform the organisers otherwise before the start of the event.

  • The organisers will not share information provided during the application process with third parties.




By registering, every contact person accepts the responsibility for:

  • reading the rules of the competition and explaining them to each team member.

  • receiving permission for under 16-year-olds to take part, from their legal guardian.

  • ensuring that the information provided by them is correct to the best of their knowledge.

  • ensuring that the teams entered by them travel safely to and from the competition