VERBAL HANDS-ON Spontaneous Problem: Sound Off!


  1. When the team members enter the room, tell them, “This is a verbal hands – on problem. You have one minute to select the 5 team members who will compete.  The others may sit in these seats and watch or leave the room (indicate seats). They may not assist in solving the problem and may not talk at any time.”


  1. JUDGE READS TO TEAMS: (Do not read items in parenthesis or items For Judges Only.)


    1. This is a Verbal Hand-on Problem.  You will have one minute to think and four minutes to respond.  Questions count against your thinking time.


    1. You may talk among yourselves during think time, but only the team member giving a response may talk during response time.


    1. You must give a response in turn, going clockwise around the table.  You may not skip your turn, nor repeat, nor pass.  If one member of the team is stuck, the team is stuck.


    1. You will receive points as follows:  For each common answer given, you will receive 1 point.  For each creative answer, you will receive 4 points.


    1. On the table in front of you is a container with 6 objects.  When it is your turn to respond, you must choose one object from the container.  You will give a reply using that object, and will keep the object until all 6 have been used.  At that point, everyone will return their objects to the container and the next person to respond will choose one object, and so on.


    1. Once you have chosen an object, you are to make a sound effect with that object you picked.  You must then give a response to the following problem:


    1. YOUR PROBLEM IS:  Tell what the sound you made might be.  For example, you could crinkle the bag and say “It is a person throwing away trash.”


    1. Remember to keep the object in your hand while your team members each choose an object and give a reply.  When the container is empty, all objects are returned to the container and you will continue with the next person to give a response.


    1. You may not ALTER the objects except to bend, stretch or fold them.  You may not tear or destroy them.


(Judge should repeat # 6, #7, and #8.  Then say, “Time Begins.”)




Use a large bowl or bag to contain the following objects and place on the table:

1 paper lunch sack

1 rubber band

1 film canister or similar object filled with 6-7 dry beans

1 hinged item that makes noise, such as a nutcracker (hinged sort) or mouli grater

1 empty small plastic soda bottle

1 empty CD case


Demonstrate to the team taking an item and then returning all 6 items at once when you read that portion of the problem.

All answers that relate to the sound effect in a way that might be the actual sound of a common object (rattle is a rattlesnake, plink of rubber band is a guitar, etc.) are common answers.

Creative answers would be those that relate the sound to something humorous, unusual, or non-physical, such as plink of rubber band is “my thoughts stretching to answer this question,” or rattle of canister is “the knees of an audience watching Alfred Hitchcock.”

                                                                                                                                    © LLove ‘04