The ICPC Challenge will take place in two phases. During a two-week coding phase, participants can develop their players and challenge other teams to preliminary matches to see who's doing the best. After that, a double-elimination tournament will decide the winners.
Each World Finals team can submit a player to compete in the ICPC Challenge tournament. Teams can work with their coaches to develop winning strategies and implement them efficiently. This is a contest among the World Finals teams, so only team members and the team coach should participate in developing a player.
At 00:00 UTC on April 16, a description of the problem will be made available on the ICPC Challenge website. Teams can download this description along with a copy of the game and sample code for players.
The coding phase will run for two weeks. Teams can develop their players, submit preliminary versions of their code and even compete with preliminary versions of other teams' players. Before the end of the coding phase, the end of UTC day April 29, teams must submit the final version of their players. The last working version submitted before this deadline is considered a team's final submission.
A day of the coding phase runs from 00:00 UTC to 00:00 UTC the next day. With the exception of the last day, preliminary matches are held after every coding day. At the end of each day, a snapshot of the latest version of each team's player will be taken. Each player will compete in 3 matches with randomly selected players from other teams. A win/loss record for these random matches will be recorded for each team and reported publicly at the.
In addition to the three random matches, each day a team may request up to three additional matches with the latest preliminary version of the players from other teams. These matches are held at the same time as the random matches, using the snapshot of the players as of the end of the coding day. Results of these requested matches are not included in the win/loss record for the team and are not publicly available, but a recording of the match is made available to both the team requesting the match and the team they challenged to a match. This gives teams the ability to challenge others with a strong win/loss record and see how they perform against them. However, electing to compete against another team in a preliminary match exposes something of your own play strategy to that team.
Recordings of requested preliminary matches are available the next day from the challenge submission interface. Recordings of the randomly selected matches are not made available.
At the end of the last coding day, April 29, a final snapshot of every team's submission will be taken. These are considered the teams' official submissions. A double-elimination tournament among these players will be featured as part of the 2012 ICPC World Finals.