South Pacific Programming Contests

ICPC Rules/Eligibility

General ICPC Rules

Most of the rules for Regional Finals are governed by the ICPC. You can find the general rules here.

Who Can Participate?

While any ICPC-eligible team can compete in the Preliminary Contest, the Regional Finals is an invite-only event. Firstly, to be invited, your entire team must be ICPC eligible.

Advancing from Preliminary Contest to Regional Finals

Invitations to the Regional Finals will be awarded to 12 teams who compete in the Preliminary Contest. There will be one Preliminary Contest where everyone in the region will compete. The teams that advance to the Regional Finals will be determined by the following process:

There will be two Preliminary level contests, Level A and Level B. Only teams that compete in Level A are eligible to advance to the Regional Finals (or to be awarded the Boersen prize). The following selection steps will be applied only to the Level A competition.

  • Selection Step I: The top 2 universities from each Division will qualify for the Regional Finals. (6 teams total will advance this way).
  • Selection Step II: After removing the teams that qualified in Selection Step I from the scoreboard, a further 6 teams are selected from the scoreboard in rank order, excluding any teams that would breach the constraint that at most 2 teams from any one University can compete in the Regional Finals.
  • Selection Step III The Boersen prize is awarded to the top team containing only female competitors. Additionally, they will be invited to the Regional Finals if they were placed in the top half of teams and were not selected in Selection Steps I or II. It is possible that a University may have a third team selected under this selection step.
  • Selection Step IV: Further spot(s) may be awarded via a wildcard position.


  • Which Division you are in is reflected in the above map.
  • A team’s Division is ignored in Selection Step II.
  • At most one team from each university may advance via Selection Step I.
  • At most two teams from each university may advance from the Preliminary Contest to the Regional Finals (this includes teams from both Selection Step I and II).


PlaceTeam NameUniversityDivisionQualified for Regional Finals?
1stTeam 1University of AEasternYes — First place university in Eastern Division
2ndTeam 2University of BCentralYes — First place university in Central Division
3rdTeam 3University of CWesternYes — First place university in Western Division
4thTeam 4University of BCentralYes — Selection Step II (1/6)
5thTeam 5University of DWesternYes — Second place university in Western Division
6thTeam 6University of EEasternYes — Second place university in Eastern Division
7thTeam 7University of CWesternYes — Selection Step II (2/6)
8thTeam 8University of FCentralYes — Second place university in Central Division
9thTeam 9University of GCentralYes — Selection Step II (3/6)
10thTeam 10University of HEasternYes — Selection Step II (4/6)
11thTeam 11University of IWesternYes — Selection Step II (5/6)
12thTeam 12University of CWesternNo — Two teams from University of C already advanced
13thTeam 13University of HEasternYes — Selection Step II (6/6)
14thTeam 14University of AEasternNo — Only 12 teams will advance via Selection Step I and II

The Boersen prize

Ms. Raewyn Boersen, previous South Pacific Director, Founder, and recipient of the Mark Measures Distinguished Service Award, has contributed significantly to the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) for over 30 years. Raewyn has built a strong community that enabled young computer scientists in Australia and New Zealand to showcase their problem solving skills internationally. She has also encouraged young women to explore the fun in computer programming. The Boersen Prize celebrates Raewyn’s work and legacy for the South Pacific Region. The Prize encourages women participation in the South Pacific Regional Finals.

Wildcard Awards to Regional Finals

After the 12 teams have been decided upon, additional wildcard positions may be awarded to some teams. There is no guarantee that any wildcard positions will be given. The Regional Contest Director will award wildcard positions where appropriate.

Advancing from Regional Finals to World Finals

  • Only one team is guaranteed to qualify for the World Finals. However, normally, our region is awarded 2-3 World Finals spots.
  • If our region is awarded x spots at World Finals, the top x universities from the Regional Finals will qualify for the World Finals.
  • Under no circumstances (including wildcard positions) may more than one team from any given university advance to the World Finals.

Materials During The Contest

For both the Regional Finals and the Preliminary Contest, contestants are allowed to bring with them any amount of printed material. No electronic devices of any kind are allowed in the contest room. Please leave them at home or with your coach. Such forbidden electronic items include: USB sticks, cell phones, calculators, advanced watches, etc.

Programming Environment

The contest will use DOMjudge to facilitate the contest. The development environment on site is usually a standard install of Debian with standard installed editors/IDEs available. The only programming languages supported at the Regional Finals are C/C++, Java and Python.

Caution About Python

Although you may use Python, a solution in Python is not guaranteed to exist. To be specific, it may be possible that the fastest Python solution may not be fast enough to solve some problems, so use Python at your own risk. It is guaranteed that there is a solution in C++ and Java for each problem.

Compiler Specifications (Subject to change)

See here for details about the compilers and run-time environments for languages.

Contest Fees

There is no entry fee to compete in the Regional Finals, but it is the responsibility of each team to pay for travel to the Regional Finals location.


If two teams tie (that is, solve the same number of problems while consuming the same total time), the most recent World Final’s tiebreakers will be used. As of 2017, the tiebreaker is the earliest time of submissions of the last accepted run.

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