Registration and team formation for the 2014 Winter Scripting Games will begin on January 2nd, 2014. At that time, you'll be able to access the Scripting Games Web site, sign in, and join or form a team. We encourage participants to get their teams in order before the start of the first event; after the event starts, new team members won't be able to participate until the end of that event and the start of the next.
We will have a practice event beginning January 6th, 2014 (instructions will be posted on January 1st). This will be treated as a normal event in all respects, except that there will be no judging. This is a chance for us to shake out any remaining bugs in the system. Bugs can be reported in the Scripting Games forum; however, we will not be accepting suggestions related to the format, timing, or other elements of the event. "Bug" means "something is technically broken," not "I don't like this."
We encourage you to monitor the Scripting Games Announcements category for official news and announcements.
The first event will begin at 1:00am UTC on January 19th, 2014. Submissions are due before 1:00am UTC on January 26th, 2014, which is when the second event will start. There will be four events total, starting on Jan 19, Jan 26, Feb 2, and Feb 9. Each event will run for exactly 7 days, by which time your team's submission must be in the system. Judging will take place for several days after each event closes. The Scripting Games Web site will have details about each event's exact schedule. Note that all times will be shown in UTC. It is up to you to translate.
Note that instructions for each event will be available about 24 hours prior to the actual event start, meaning you get about 24 hours to think about what you're doing before you can start uploading code. The Games Web site will clearly list all dates and times (again, in UTC).
2013 winner Mike Robbins will be acting as Head Coach, and will be recruiting and managing several other expert Coaches. Coaches will drop by from time to time while the event is in progress. If your team has put your current work into the system, the Coaches will review it and offer expert commentary. Coaches will not be assigning scores, and their comments will not be reviewed as part of your team score - their comments are primarily to help you. Coaches are also welcome to blog about what they see, to help offer advice to the broader community.
MVP Richard Siddaway will be acting as Head Judge, and has selected a panel of other expert judges that includes MVPs Don Jones, Jeffery Hicks, and Jason Helmick, along with Microsoft Scripting Guy Ed Wilson. Judges will not look at your entries until after the event closes; at that time, each judge will complete a detailed score card for your entry. Judge scorecards will be averaged to compute your team's score for the event. Scorecards consist of more than one dozen criteria, each of which is communicated to you in the event scenario. Judges may or may not offer commentary along with their scorecards; it depends a bit on the volume of entries we receive.