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Case Competition Guidelines and Rules

Participation Criteria and Registration

In order to compete, a student must:

  • Be an enrolled undergraduate or graduate student at AU or an Invited Partner School during the Spring semester.
  • Undergraduate students must have a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.5 to compete.
  • Graduate students must have a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 to compete.


Registering as an Individual

To register as an individual to be matched with others, please write "FREE AGENT" in the "Team Name" field. You will be notified as to who your teammates are during the last week of January. There will also be a Free Agent Social where all Free Agents can meet each other and develop teams themselves. See the Workshops & Events link for more information.


Registering as a Team

If you are registering as a member of a team, please write your team's name in the "Team Name" field.
  • Each team can have 3-5 members. Members can be added to your team at any time until registration fills.
  • Each team member must fill out a registration form.
  • Teams will not be eligible to participate if the team's division changes due to members leaving the competition. Your team must meet eligibility requirements for your division on the morning of the competition.


Teams must fall into one of the following divisions:

  1. Massachusetts: Team is comprised of freshmen and/or sophomores (by credit hours); no juniors, seniors or graduate students are allowed on this team.
  2. Nebraska: Team is comprised of a majority of juniors and/or seniors (by credit hours); can have no more than two (2) freshmen or sophomores and no graduate students.
  3. Wisconsin: Team is comprised of a majority of graduate students; can have no more than two (2) juniors or seniors and no freshmen or sophomores.

Team changes will be accepted through 9:00 a.m. on the day before the competition and must be communicated with the competition planning team at Your team must meet eligibility requirements for a division by this time even if that division is different than the one for which you were originally registered. See the FAQ for more information on teams.


Provide Your Resume to Judges

Each team member must submit a resume to be given to all judges via the Case Comp Blackboard site. The deadline for inclusion is the last Tuesday in January at 5:00 p.m. Your resume must be submitted through Blackboard.

Release of the Case 

The case will be released for online download in the Case Comp Blackboard course on the Tuesday before the competition at 11:59 pm. 


Research and Outside Experts 

Once the case is posted, coaching by faculty members or school staff or contact with outside experts is expressly prohibited. Teams are expected to conduct any and all necessary research through publicly available resources. Use of all library resources, including pay-for-subscription services such as Lexis-Nexis, is welcomed. 

Students MAY NOT gain assistance in any form from anyone other than the Center for Business Communications, including but not limited to faculty sponsors, professors, parents, friends, or personal contacts of any kind whose ideas are not publicly available (i.e. published online).

The Business Librarian may help you conduct research but not answer any questions about the case content or possible solutions. 

Each team is permitted to have presentation run-throughs with the Center for Business Communications, prior to the competition. Feedback to the team will be restricted to clarity, organization, format, and style. Feedback on content or strategy will not be given.

Your team will be disqualified from the competition if you violate this rule.


Day of Competition

Registration and USB/Disk Drop-off

Student registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 9:00 a.m. on competition day. Undergraduate students will check in and drop off their presentation (on a USB that will be returned the week after the competition) in the main lobby of the Ward building. Graduate students will check in and drop off their presentation (on a USB that will be returned the week after the competition) in the Terrace Level Lounge in Kogod. A light, continental breakfast will be available at both locations. 

USB Drop-off Deadline: 8:45 a.m. A SB drive containing the final copy of the presentation must be submitted by 8:45 a.m. on competition day at registration. All team members must be checked in by 9:00 a.m.


Preliminary Round

In the morning preliminary round, teams will be assigned to a room with approximately 5-7 judges.


Final Round

The top 3 teams in each division will proceed to the afternoon final round. All judges will evaluate the final round of presentations. Judges will review the final round of the same division which they judged in the morning. Finalists will be announced at staggered intervals during and after lunch, so each finalist team will have an equal amount of time to prepare.


Guidelines for PowerPoint Presentations:

  • Presentations will be displayed on laptops that operate on the Windows platform.
  • All presentations must be saved in Microsoft PowerPoint 2000/2007/XP format. (Note: Presentations will be viewed on computers with Microsoft PowerPoint XP.)
  • All presentations must be saved to a CD or USB Drive. (Note: Please test your presentation files before the day of the competition. You can pick up a free CD from the K-LAB room 1 or 2 on the terrace level.)
  • The USB/disk must be clearly labeled with your team's name.
  • The presentation file should be the only item on the USB/disk and should be clearly named.
  • Sound effects are NOT allowed in the presentation.
  • Graphics ARE allowed in the presentation but animation effects are discouraged.
  • To achieve the best presentation quality, color should be set to 16 bits (high color) and the screen should be set to 800 x 600 pixels.
  • In the case of technical difficulties, each team is allowed to bring printouts of their slide show to give to judges if the laptop or projection fail (plan for 5 judges, i.e., bring 5 copies of the presentation and at least one for the team.) You may also bring a backup copy of your presentation on a USB drive in case the file on the drive malfunctions. Ten minutes will be allotted to fix any technical or equipment problems after which the teams must use their handouts.


Guidelines for Team Presentations:

  • Presenters must be dressed in business attire.
  • All team members must speak during the presentation.
  • Note cards are allowed to be used during the presentation. The Center for Business Communications will provide free note cards to each team.
  • The time limit for the presentation is 10 minutes followed by 10 minutes of Q&A by the judges. Time limits will be enforced.
  • Teams proceeding to the final round will NOT be able to make any changes to their PowerPoint presentation. However, teams will be able to change what they say for the final round.
  • Hand outs and/or props or displays are NOT allowed. Hand outs will be allowed in the case of technical difficulties. See above for more information.



The scoring structure is:

  • Critical Issues: 10 points
  • Evidence: 10 points
  • Recommendations: 10 points
  • Q&A: 10 points
  • Delivery: 10 points
  • Overall Impression: 10 points

The maximum total score is 60 points. Click here to view the score sheet.



In case of a tie entering the final round, the team with the highest score in the Case Analysis and Case Recommendation sections will move to the final round. If there is still a tie, a coin will be flipped and called by the scoring official.

Once all teams have presented in the finals, judges will be asked to rank each team (1-3). If there is a tie in the final round, the team with the highest rankings will win the tie. If there is still a tie, seven judges will be selected at random from all the judges. The team that has garnered the highest scores from these randomly selected judges will win the tie. The names of all the final round judges will be placed in a box, and the scoring official will pull the names of seven judges out of the box.



  • Each member of the winning team in each division receives $175.
  • Each member of the 2nd place team in each division receives $125.
  • Each member of the 3rd place team in each division receives $75.
  • The Slivinski Award will go to the team in the Massachusetts division who did not move on to the final round. Each team member will receive $50.
  • The top teams in each division will have an opportunity to advance to a regional competition or professional development opportunity.