On March 17, 2022 the host of this year’s IBO published their decision to hold the 33rd IBO in person, on-site in the city of Yerevan, Armenia. This decision was made after careful consideration of various scenarios. The likelihood that a physical IBO could take place was deemed sufficiently high, which would be a welcome return to ‘normal’ after two remote IBO Challenges (2020 & 2021).
Understandably, some IBO members have expressed concern regarding the health and safety of the event. Therefore, the IBO Steering Committee pushed the Armenian IBO Organizers to develop a solid health plan, regarding possible COVID-19 infections during the IBO. This plan was fully conceived in close cooperation with Armenian Ministries of Health and Education. While the risk of infection will never be zero, we firmly believe the host is doing everything in their power to minimize the risk and maximize a COVID-free IBO.
Nonetheless, we have received multiple requests to enable remote participation in IBO 2022, or to even convert the IBO to a fully online event like other International Olympiads chose to do. The Steering Committee has repeatedly discussed both options with the Armenian organizers. However, those attractive-looking options were ultimately deemed unsatisfactory for multiple reasons (no student interaction, no practical exams, inability to be part of the official ranking, etc.). Above all, at this point in time, there is really no time left to make alternative arrangements. Both the SC and the Organizers feel very sorry for the teams that may not be able to join, but there is nothing that can be done about this.
However, there may be a tiny note of relief. Delegations that would like to split the translation work between local jury members and remote jury members (at home) will be allowed to do so. Those delegations should get in touch with IBO 2022 secretariat immediately.
IBO Steering Committee & IBO 2022 Organizers