Information on Competition Format

You can find information on the following on this page:

Competition Format

Each team will comprise 3-4 members, and will be judged under two segments:

  1. Mediation Advocacy; and
  2. Mediation.

For each round, the team nominates the following: 

  1. Two (2) members as Mediation Advocates (who will be competing as a pair); and 
  2. One (1) member as Mediator.

There will be a minimum of 4 competition rounds with each round lasting 90 minutes, subject to the following:

  • There will always be 5 rounds for the category Mediation Advocacy;
  • Depending on the total number of sign ups, teams may only compete in 4 rounds for the category Mediation. 

Teams are free to nominate which of their members will be representing their team for each segment, in each round. Nominations must be provided to the organiser by a timing to be stipulated by the organisers. No changes will be allowed afterwards.

If they wish, teams may change their nominated members for each segment after the conclusion of each round.

Determining Match-ups For Each Round

After teams have submitted their nominations for their representative for each segment, all Mediation Advocate pairs will be matched against each other, and a Mediator will be assigned to them. A total of 5 competitors will thus be present in each room, from 3 different teams (2 pairs of Mediation Advocates, and 1 Mediator).


Mediation Advocacy segment

For the Mediation Advocacy segment, teams will be paired for the first round randomly, and then from the second round onwards, a process known as “power-matching” will be used. Power-matching works as follows:

  1. Teams with similar win-loss ratios are grouped together.
  2. Teams will then be matched randomly within the same win-loss ratio group
  3. This process is repeated for each round.

This process will result in all Mediation Advocacy teams facing counter-parties of comparable skill – making each round equally as challenging.

The following graphic illustrates how the matching for each round will take place, leading to the final ranking for the Mediation Advocacy segment.

(Note: The graphic is for illustration purposes only. The final ratios of Gold, Silver and Bronze winners will be scaled according to the number of competing teams in any given year. For more information on the ratios, please see the FAQs section.)



Mediation segment

For the Mediation segment, mediators will be assigned randomly, with a priority on avoiding any conflict of interest. As there are only 18 Mediators needed for each round, there will be a rotation of mediators assigned so that all teams will finish Round 4 with their assigned Mediators having completed at least 2 rounds. The top 18 teams with the highest combined Mediator score from the previous rounds will then be selected to mediate for Round 5, and to determine the final rankings for Gold and Silver.

Judging Criteria

Mediation advocates will be assessed on their ability to work together as effective advocates (counsel), in reaching a solution that addresses the interests of their clients. Mediators will be assessed on their ability to help move the discussion forward and also on their ability to manage the mediation process and assist the advocates in having a structured session.


At the conclusion of all rounds, each team will be awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze for their performance in both Mediation Advocacy and Mediator segments.

  • Mediation Advocates will be judged based on their win-loss record and ranked by other factors such as total points.
  • Mediators will be judged based on their total points accumulated.


The IMSG team is currently working hard to adapt the IMSG competition rules to fit an online competition.

If you would like to refer to the IMSG 2019 rules, a copy is available here. Do note that, these will not be the applicable rules for IMSG 2020.

Competition rules of IMSG 2020 will be released shortly.

Case Problems

The cases used for the competition will be based on, and inspired by, real international disputes experienced by professional mediators.

General instructions 2020 competition have not been released yet. Stay tuned!

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