Teams can be up to four people. Hacking alone is allowed, but participants are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone.
Teams must be made up exclusively of college students (or those who graduated college within the last year) who are at least 18 years old, and not organizers, volunteers, judges, mentors, or sponsors.
Team members must be present and check in to contribute to a project, although temporarily leaving the venue is fine. Only participants present at closing ceremony are eligible to receive a prize.
Teams may seek advice and support from organizers, volunteers, official mentors, sponsor representatives, and other teams.
All work on a project must be done at the hackathon event.
Teams may work on unoriginal and/or common ideas. It’s hard to find something that’s fully original and teams might not know if an idea has been done before anyway.
Teams may work on an idea that they either had before the event or have worked on before (as long as they do not re-use code).
Teams may use libraries, frameworks, or open-source code in their projects. Working on a project before the event and open-sourcing it for the sole purpose of using the code during the event is against the spirit of the rules and is not allowed. Also, teams must be forthcoming and honest about what portions of the project were pre-existing.
Adding new features to existing projects is allowed. Judges will only consider new functionality introduced or new features added during the hackathon in determining the winners.
Teams must stop hacking once the time is up. However, teams are allowed to debug and make small fixes to their programs after time is up. For example, if you find a bug while demoing your hack that breaks your project and the fix is only a few lines of code, it's okay to fix that. Making large changes or adding new features is not allowed.
Teams or individuals can be disqualified from the competition and/or dismissed from the event/venue at the organizers’ discretion. Reasons might include, but are not limited to, breaking the Competition Rules, Attendance Rules, MLH Code of Conduct, or other unsporting behaviour.