Official Rules – 2013


The John Molson MBA International Case Competition (the “Competition”) is organized by a team of MBA students from the John Molson School of Business with the support of student volunteers and a Board of Directors, which includes a number of senior executives from the Montreal business community.


The competition is open to graduate schools offering an MBA program or equivalent program deemed acceptable by the Board of Directors. A student who is registered in at least one course in such program at his/her school in the fall semester immediately preceding the Competition and who has not previously competed in any John Molson MBA International Case Competition is eligible to participate in the Competition.


Each school must be represented by four students and at least one coach. A student alternate may be included as a fifth member of the team at the discretion of the school. The alternate may only participate for his/her school in extenuating circumstances and with the approval of the organizers. An alternate who actually competes for his/her school and team coaches will not be eligible to participate in future Competitions.

In the event there are an odd number of schools registered for the Competition, a team designated as Team Global will be constituted with four of the alternates. If possible, one of Team Global will be from a school based outside North America, with the others from American and Canadian schools. A member of Team Global may rejoin his/her team at any time during the Competition if circumstances make this necessary. If a member of a team, including Team Global, that does not have an alternate is unable to participate for any reason deemed acceptable by the organizers, an alternate will be asked to join the team for as long as is necessary in the Competition.

An alternate who participates with Team Global (or similar) will be eligible to participate in future Competitions.


The cases used in the Competition will, to the best of the Organizers' knowledge, be unpublished and untested. Some of the cases will be selected from submissions made to an annual international case writing competition arranged by the Organizers.


Teams will be assigned to six divisions. Divisions will be established by a random draw. Each division will have at least one non North American school, one American school and one Canadian school. Non North American schools will be assigned to divisions first, followed by the American schools and then the Canadian schools.

Each team will compete one on one in the five cases during the round robin phase of the Competition against the other teams in their division, as scheduled by the Organizers. The divisional winners will be the team with the highest number of wins in their division. Nine teams, the six division winners and the three wildcards (those with the highest point accumulation during the round robin phase), will advance to the semifinals.

Please refer to the section on Scoring. The nine teams in the semifinals will be divided into three groups based on total point accumulation during the round robin phase. Group One will consist of teams ranked 1,6 and 9 in point accumulation, Group Two will consist of teams 2,5 and 8, and Group Three will consist of teams 3,4 and 7. The winning team from each of these semifinal groups will compete in the finals.


Teams will ordinarily have three hours to analyze the case (preparation time for case three is 90 minutes) and to prepare exhibits in support of an oral presentation to a panel of Judges. No written analysis is required. Each team will be assigned a workroom for their preparation period as well as a team host who will supervise the team during the preparation period and escort them to the presentation room.

While any number of overhead acetates may be used as exhibits for the presentation to the judges’ panel, their clarity and relevance will be an important consideration in the judges’ evaluation. The number of acetates permitted for certain cases may be restricted by the organizers at their discretion. Additional exhibits may be prepared at the team's discretion in anticipation of the question period. All exhibits must be handwritten. No material prepared prior to the Competition including blank acetates with school logos, is permitted. Teams are responsible for their own materials including blank flipchart paper, markers and acetates. Cellular phones, computers, programmable calculators, books or any other devices or documentation are not permitted in the preparation room. Cue cards and personal notes are allowed for the presentation.

At the end of preparation time, all presentation materials will be given to the team host, who will hand them to the judge coordinator at the presentation room, the judge coordinator will only return them to the team for their presentation. During the period between the end of preparation time and presentation, participants may continue discussing elements of the case. Communication by the four presenters with their coaches, the student alternate or anyone outside of the team other than the team host will not be permitted from the beginning of case preparation to the end of the team's presentation.

The presentation materials will be given to the Judges' panel at the end of the question period to assist them in their deliberations. Coaches and alternates must only attend their own team presentation and the presentation of the school with which they are competing in that segment of the round robin. Preparation time may be modified at the discretion of the Organizers on a case-by-case basis.


Presentations may be made in English or French. Teams will notify the Organizers of the language selected prior to the Competition and will present in that language for the entire Competition.

Teams will be responsible to identify the roles, which they and the Judges will be adopting at the beginning of their presentations. Each team will have a strictly enforced maximum of 25 minutes to present, followed by a 15 minute question and answer period with the Judges' panel. There will be a ten minute break before the second team's presentation. The second team will not be allowed in the presentation room until after the question period for the first team. The first team may remain in the presentation room during the second team's presentation. The Organizers will set the order of presentation but each team will present first at least twice during the round robin phase of the Competition.

In the semifinal and final rounds, there will be three team presentations followed by question periods. The team in each grouping with the highest number of points accumulated during the round robin will have the option of selecting if it wishes to present first, second or third in its grouping. The team with the second highest point total will be given second choice. As in the round robin, a team cannot attend another team's presentation until it has completed its own presentation and question period.

Each member of a team is required to participate in the team's presentation but not necessarily in the question period following the presentation. The teams may not interact during the presentations nor should there be any communication with the audience. Teams may record their own presentations. The Organizers may record any presentation for purposes of promoting the Competition.


Judges are members of the business community selected by the Organizers and the Board. Panels are constituted at the discretion of the Organizers and will include at least three Judges, one of whom will be designated Lead Judge. The Lead Judge will chair the question period, lead the deliberations, cast the decisive vote in the event of a split panel and during the round robin phase, prepare an evaluation sheet for each team's confidential use once the result has been determined. Each team in the semifinals will receive a summary evaluation from the Judges' panel after deliberations have been completed. Judges have a maximum of one hour to render their decision in the round robin phase. There are no deliberation time limits in the semifinals and finals. The panel's decision is final.


During the round robin, Judges are required to allocate eleven points between the two teams for each individual contest. If the Judges agree in selecting a winning team (4 of 5 Judges on a 5 Judge panel and all 3 Judges on a 3 Judge panel), they will award a minimum of seven and a maximum of eleven points to the winning team and a maximum of four points to the losing team. The winning team will also be awarded a 30 point bonus.

In the event the panel is split (3-2 on a 5 Judge panel and 2-1 on a 3 Judge panel), the winning team will be awarded six of the eleven points plus a 20 point bonus. The losing team will be awarded 5 points plus a 10 point bonus.

Any team that has not arrived at the preparation room at its appointed time will be disqualified from that round. The competing team will make its presentation and be allocated seven to eleven points by the Judges' panel plus the 30 point award for the win. The defaulting team will receive no points.

There is no point allocation in the semifinals and finals. The Judges will declare a winner in each of the semifinal contests. The three winning teams will then participate in the finals. The Judges decision regarding the first, second and third place winners will be announced at the closing banquet.


In the event two teams in a division have the same number of wins at the end of the round robin, the divisional winner will be the winner of the contest between the two teams during the round robin.

If more than two teams are tied, the winner will be the team with the best record in the contest between them in the round robin. If teams are still tied, the winner will be the team with the highest number of points accumulated during the round robin.

In the event teams are tied for the last semifinal position, the semifinalist will be selected with the application, in sequence, of the following criteria: a) the winner of the contest between the teams; b) the team that defeated the first place team in their division; c) the team with the lowest total margin of loss in losses incurred during the round robin; d) the team with the highest total margin of wins in winning contests during the round robin and e) a coin toss. The same process will be applied to determine the ranking of the semifinalists.


The Competition is intended to provide a learning experience for the students that will encourage healthy competition, professionalism and interaction by our future business leaders, both amongst themselves and with our business community. The Rules and Guidelines are not all encompassing and situations may arise that have not been covered. It is the expectation of the Organizers and of the Board of Directors that any issues or disputes will be resolved in the spirit of the Competition.


Any concerns or disputes regarding the implementation of these rules must be brought to the immediate attention of the organizer responsible for the schools. In the event of a discrepancy between the English and French rules, the English version will take precedence over the French. In exceptional circumstances, a body made up of at least one of the organizers and the chairperson of the competition advisory board or his assignee and at least two other members of that board will be available to settle disputes.