How it Works
To participate, you’ll need:
- Between six and eight secondary school students, of any grade, for your “core team”. You can also have three students register as alternates who prepare with the team and step in if someone on the core team has to drop out
- A teacher/staff adviser. If you’re a student and you want to start a team, that’s great. But you will need a staff member from your school who will be the point of contact for tournament organizers and who can coordinate visits by your lawyer coach, permission to travel for tournaments, etc.
- To look at the page for your region and local area to see when your local tournament is, if the dates work for you, and what your registration deadline is
- To look at the resources available on this site, especially the Tournament Guide, so you know if OOCMT is right for your school before you register
- To think about how to run the program at your school. Usually, one team will represent the school, but prior to the inter-school competition any number of students may be involved within a school. To select your school team you may conduct an in-school tournament between multiple teams, hold auditions, a combination of the two, or whatever means your school chooses. A school’s team may be formed out of a particular class, or it may be formed as a purely extra-curricular activity. In either case, teams will need to devote some time outside of class in the lead-up to the tournament to practice and preparation.
Once you’ve registered, you’ll:
- Prepare to play both Crown and defence sides of the official case. You’ll usually have to play both at some point, and depending on the size of your team, all or at least some team members will have to play roles on both side.
- Decide who’s playing what. On each side of the case (Crown and defence), there are roles for four lawyers and two witnesses. Keep in mind that as a maximum of eight students can be on the core team, at least some students will need to play roles on both sides. You can have team members play only lawyer or only witness parts, or you can switch it up between your Crown and defence line-ups. You’ll need to submit your team line-ups (who’s playing what) several weeks in advance of your tournament date, but you don’t need to know who’s playing what, or even who’s on the final team, in order to register. Register first – as long as you realistically plan to field a team – and then work on forming your team and defining your line-ups.
- Be matched with a local lawyer “coach”, who will help your team prepare. Your lawyer coach (or coaches – some lawyers pair up to share the responsibility) will help you hone your skills, focus your arguments, and share their tips on your strategy. Depending on the time frame for your local tournament, if you’re running an in-school competition to select your team, your lawyer coach may be able to assist with that, or you may contact OJEN to request a classroom visit by a lawyer to judge your in-school tournament prior to being matched with your coach.
This is just a brief overview of the basics of the process. Be sure to thoroughly read the Tournament Guide and check out all the other resources available on this site to prepare for your tournament.