Contest Structure:

The contest consist of two rounds:

-ICPC Regionals: The regionals are organized by the local universities of different regions spread across the globe. The winners of these regional rounds of the contest get to represent the country in the ACM ICPC World Finals.
Every regional contest site gets a "slot," which is an invitation for the team to compete in the World Finals. Typically, all the "slots" are allocated by December 31 every year. Additional slots may also be allocated based on student and institution participation, geographic coverage, and team performance. A few bonus slots are allocated each year for growth, innovation, and hosting. So depending on the number of slots that each regional site gets, that many number of top teams it can send to the World Finals.
Also each regional site can have multiple rounds to select the best teams amongst those who apply. Typically they have an online contest, out of which selected teams are called for the onsite contest. These contests happen from the month of October to December.
-World Finals: The pick of the crop from every regional site locks horn at the World Finals.

How Can I Participate ? - Eligibility:

To meet the basic eligibility requirements for the contest you must be:

Willing and able to compete in the world finals
Enrolled in a degree program at an institution (in or outside India) that can sponsor you
Competing only for one institution for the calendar year
You should not have participated in more than 2 contest finals prior to this attempt
You should not have participated in more than 5 contest regionals prior to this attempt
You cannot participate in more than 2 teams in the same year
You cannot participate at more than 2 regionals in the same year (for Asia region)
Further details are here.

Contest Format:
It is a team contest.
Each team should have three members and one reserve (3 + 1).
Each team must be headed by a coach, who must be a university faculty or staff member.
The coach can head multiple teams
The contest can have several problems (8 to 10 in general), of varying difficulty levels and mostly being algorithmic in nature.

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