Viz-a-thon Terms and Conditions
State Court Viz-a-thon, Engagement Through Action by the National Center for State Courts

National Center for State Courts Viz-a-thon 2018 Rules

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) is a private, non-profit court reform organization created to improve the administration of justice in the state courts. As such the Center serves as a clearinghouse for information about the state courts. To that end, the Center hosts State Court Organization(SCO) a publication which presents detailed comparative data about how state trial and appellate courts are organized and administered.

The information compiled for SCO is available through a web-based, interactive application that is intended to allow users to customize the display of data so that it best answers their questions. Comparison should be facilitated by the ability of users to sort and filter data to focus on specific issues of interest and characteristics of courts. This interactive approach to State Court Organization information facilitates the examination of differing state approaches to court administration and related procedures and rules.

NCSC's current structure of the various charts ( does not allow for easy comparisons from the users’ perspective. Likewise, producing and publishing the structure charts are cumbersome and time-consuming. NCSC has organized this Viz-a-thon to identify ways to facilitate comparison of data by the user and to expedite the administration, editing, and publication of the information.

What is a Viz-a-thon?

The Viz-a-thon provides an opportunity during a fixed period of time for individuals and/or small teams of up to three named individuals to build creative and innovative software solutions to business problems. Those applications judged as the winner or particularly promising receive cash prizes.

What is the Viz-a-thon Goal?

The State Court Structure Charts summarize in diagrams the key features of each state’s court organization. The purpose of the Viz-a-thon is to create a user-friendly interactive online tool that facilitates comparability between state court structures and characteristics and which simplifies the administration of the publication.

Who is Eligible to Participate?

Each individual who participates in the Viz-a-thon(“Participant”) must:

● be an adult at least 18 years old who is legally able to enter into a contract

● form a team alone or with up a small group. NCSC recommends teams no larger than 3 people for ease of collaboration in such a short time-frame. Smaller teams will also allow for all team members to be part of the Finalist demos. All team members must be registered, and named Participants.

Employees, officers, and directors of the National Center for State Courts and members of their immediate families, regardless of where they live, and members of the households of these individuals, whether related or not, are not eligible to participate individually or on a team.

Formation of Team: A team can include 1-4 participants. Team size will not be taken into consideration in the judging. Teams can be formed in advance. Participants must inform NCSC of the final team members, even for a single member team, by September 19, 2018 by email to The registered name from EventBrite registration, and the names of additional team members, if any, must be provided. All team members must be eligible to participate.


Who is Eligible to Win Prize Money?

Not all Participants are eligible to win prize money if the judges identify them as Winners. To be awarded a monetary prize a selected Winner must:

● be a lawful resident of the United States which includes being in the U.S. subject to an appropriate visa

Winners who are not eligible to be awarded prize money will be presented with a Certificate of Merit by the Court Statistics Project and will be identified as Winners on the Court Statistics Project website.

The presentation of Certificates of Merit will not reduce the total prize money being awarded to Winners.

Dates and Times of the Viz-a-thon

Registration for the Viz-a-thon opens July 13, 2018.

The data will be available to participants September 20, 2018

Between September 20, 2018 and September 27, 2018, NCSC will hold several virtual Q&A sessions with subject matter experts. These sessions will be available for all Viz-a-thon participants.

All solutions must be submitted by 12:00 PM ET September 30, 2018. Changes may not be made to the solutions after 12:00 PM ET September 30, 2018.

An initial judging of all participants will be conducted October 1st, 2nd, and 3rd by NCSC staff. This initial judging will determine the finalists.

The finalists ("Finalists") will be announced at 12:00 PM ET on October 3, 2018. Finalists will be contacted between 12:00 PM ET and 3:00 PM ET on October 3rd, 2018. Finalists must respond to the Viz-a-thon staff to confirm their availability and ability to participate in the final judging by 4 PM ET, October 3rd, 2018. The Finalist may be asked to test technical abilities to join the final demonstration and judging. If a Finalist is unable to attend or take part in the final demonstrations on October 4, 2018, they will be named as a Finalist on the Viz-a-thon Site, but will not be eligible to be a winner and an alternate Finalist will be named by NCSC for the final demonstration and judging.

On October 4, 2018, there will be the live broadcast of participants’ demos, and judging. All Participants will be demonstrating their solution remotely, i.e. virtually. The live broadcast event will begin at 5 PM ET on October 4, 2018.

How to Register

To register to be a Participant in the Viz-a-thon go to Eventbrite to fill out a registration and indicate that you agree to these Terms and Conditions. You will need to provide certain information about yourself to register. Registrations are limited and are on a first come, first serve basis, and NCSC has the right to end registration or limit the number of registrants at any time in its discretion.

What is the Location of the Viz-a-thon?

The Viz-a-thon is a virtual event. Eligible participants can create their solutions from anywhere, but they are responsible for submitting their solutions per the Terms and Conditions and Viz-a-thon Requirements (see below). Finalists are responsible for being able to join the web meeting for the live broadcast of the judging. NCSC is not responsible for connectivity or technology failures that make it difficult or impossible to participate in the Viz-a-thon.

The final judging will be live broadcast from the NCSC headquarters in Williamsburg, Virginia.

What are the Prizes?

For the Viz-a-thon, there will be one (1) grand prize team winner, receiving $5,000. The participant awarded the $5,000 prize is the Grand Prize Winner. Additional prize money totaling $3,500 will be distributed at the judges' discretion. Participants who are awarded prizes are Winners.

For teams with multiple team members, cash prize money will be divided evenly among all team members. The prize money will be sent to the recipients by check or electronic transfer within one month from the receipt of all necessary forms.

Prizes awarded are non-transferable. The award and receipt of prizes are subject to applicable laws and regulations.

Terms and Conditions

By registering for the Viz-a-thon, participating, or attempting to participate in the Viz-a-thon and/or using the Viz-a-thon Site, you are agreeing to these Terms and Conditions. These Terms and Conditions are a legally binding agreement between you and the National Center for State Courts with respect to the Viz-a-thon. NCSC has the right to modify these Terms and Conditions at any time, which modification shall be effective immediately upon posting.

Privacy Policy

NCSC respects your privacy. When you participate in our sponsored programs, we may collect information that you submit to us. We will only collect and process data where necessary for the legitimate interests of the Center. Please see our Privacy Policy for information about how we collect, use and disclose information you provide. The terms of our Privacy Policy are incorporated by reference into these Terms and Conditions. By registering for the Viz-a-thon or otherwise submitting information through the Site, you are indicating your consent to our Privacy Policy.

Viz-a-thon Requirements

Visualization Requirements

What is considered a data visualization?
A successful Viz-a-thon visualization will represent the hierarchy of state courts, and the flow of cases types through those courts. The visualization will represent properties of the courts in a graphical form, translating quantitative and qualitative properties of the courts into visual figures. The graphical forms can be simple or complex but the underlying data must be represented.

What forms can the visualization take?
A winning Viz-a-thon submission will be an interactive tool or web app, either:

● developed from scratch,
● developed using an existing visualization library (e.g. D3.js) *,
● or developed using an existing data visualization tool (e.g.'s Tableau Public, Power BI)*.

* If an existing code library or tool is used, then attribution must be made to the library or tool, and if there is a cost associated with the library or tool, the cost must be declared when the solution is submitted. (See Intellectual Property Rights)

What absolutely, positively needs to be included in the visualization?
An effective Viz-a-thon solution will show all the required data (see below), and will:

● be interactive,
● display the courts in an single selected US state,
● demonstrate how the courts in a selected state relate to each other,
● show where types of court cases are heard in the state,
● and allow a user to investigate the similarities and differences in court structure and court cases between multiple US states.

Technical Requirements

1. Your solution must be cloud hosted, or self-hosted, and available for viewing for the duration of the contest.
  1.1 All supporting code used in creating the solution must be made accessible to the judges.
2. Your solution must have a cloud based infrastructure. This can be open source or have a standalone license with reasonable cost.
3. NCSC must be able to use the data visualization solution free of charge, or if a code library or tool is used that costs money, then the cost must be declared when the solution is submitted. (See Intellectual Property Rights Section)
4. The solution must be maintainable through a SQL database/Excel Spreadsheet.

Data requirements

1. Teams must produce at least 10 state court structure charts.
  1.1 Must include New York and Georgia.
2. Must have some filterability/searchability.
  2.1 Required filters: State, Trial Structure, Court Level, CSP Aggregation, Neighbor State, and Case Types.
  2.2 Recommended Filters: Rural, Population, Population Density, Appellate Criminal Structure, Death Penalty, Funding Source, and caseload size.
3. Must show appeals process.
4. Required data elements to display: State, Court Names, Court Levels, Funding, Appeal from Administrative Agency, Notes, Links, and Case Types.   4.1 All other data elements provided are recommended but not required.
5. Judging will include the ease that additional data points, and filters can be added to the visualization.


1. Preference: Resolution be HD (1,920X1,080).
2. >Responsive design would be amazing, but we know this can be challenging. Feel free to consider the ease with which response design could be included.
3. Ability to print each state's high-level structure chart on one page.
4. Including optional data elements for comparison, filtering, and sorting.

Intellectual Property Rights

NCSC will give credit to the original work and creators, however, all Winners agree and hereby grant to NCSC a royalty-free, non-exclusive, irrevocable right to reproduce, to distribute, to publish, to communicate, to authorize others to use, and to modify the deliverables for use by the NCSC. This right and license includes all inventions, concepts, specifications or usage scenarios, the elements illustrating the developed prototype, the underlying code, techniques, methodologies, artwork, illustrations, deliverables, and other materials generated through work undertaken pursuant to this Viz-a-thon. Participants and Winners also are free to reproduce, to distribute, to communicated and to modify the deliverables. Each deliverable involving several participants is a "Collective Work".

Each Participant warrants that its application is original and unpublished, and does not infringe upon the copyright of any third party. Any third-party tools, code, or other elements used by the Participants must be credited, and if any third-party tools, code, or elements have a cost for use, the cost must be declared to NCSC at the submission of the solution and during any demonstration of the solution. The Participants also warrant that all their components, as well as all the information communicated within the presentation document of the application are accurate, reliable and complete.

To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, Participants agree to indemnify and hold harmless NCSC from and against all claims or actions from a third-party regarding violation of intellectual property rights.

Additional Viz-a-thon Requirements

1. All visualizations must be created, and any code written, by eligible Participants during the designated times during the event.
2. There are no limitations on the resources or tools that Participants can use (e.g., Public and Common SDK's and libraries are allowed), provided the Participants have the legal right to use them for this purpose.
3. Teams may not interfere with the progress of other Teams.
4. Participants may not:   4.1 use or incorporate into the visualizations any inappropriate or unlawful content
  4.2 take any action in violation of applicable laws or regulations
  4.3 provide information or materials about another person without appropriate authority or permission
  4.4 interfere with, remove or modify any terms and conditions, content or other materials posted on the Site.
  4.5 attempt to collect or solicit information about other Participants or third parties without their consent; or send unsolicited mail, advertisements, or other similar promotional material using the Site
5. All information provided to register for the Viz-a-thon must be true and correct. Participants are responsible for keeping such information up-to-date.
6. When Participants register to be on a Team with other Participants, they acknowledge that information about each Participant may be provided to other Team members.
7. Participants understand and hereby agree that photos, videos, and/or other recordings may be taken during the Viz-a-thon. Further, Participants hereby grant to NCSC a perpetual, irrevocable, transferable right to copy, use, display and publish the photos, any videotaped, photographed, and/or recorded materials in which participants appear in any online, electronic and/or print format (including but not limited any social media sites or platforms) for any educational and/or promotional purposes authorized by NCSC.
8. NCSC may use certain third-party service providers to support portions of the Viz-a-thon (including but not limited to registration services). Such third-party providers may include, but are not necessarily limited to, Eventbrite. By registering for the Viz-a-thon through a third- party provider, participants agree that they are responsible for reviewing the applicable terms and privacy policies of those third-party providers and that the NCSC is not responsible for their interactions with those third-party providers.
9. At any time, in its sole and final discretion, NCSC shall be entitled to disqualify a Participant and/or Team in the event of a failure to meet relevant eligibility criteria or for any other violation of these Terms and Conditions.
10. NCSC will determine participant eligibility, declare winners (including but not limited to in the event of a tie), and award prizes in its sole and final discretion. Participants agree that such decisions are final and are not subject to review or reconsideration.
11. NCSC reserves the right to verify the identity and eligibility of all Participants and Teams at any time. In addition, prior to, and as a condition of, awarding any prizes, NCSC in its sole and final discretion may require additional paperwork to be executed by the relevant Participants following the end of the Viz-a-thon. Such paperwork may include, among other things, an affidavit and release as well as any necessary information needed for tax reporting purposes. WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERAL NATURE OF THE PRIOR SENTENCE, AWARDS OF PRIZES TO WINNERS ARE SUBJECT TO THE EXPRESS REQUIREMENT THAT THEY SUBMIT TO THE NCSC ALL DOCUMENTATION REQUESTED BY IT TO PERMIT IT TO COMPLY WITH ALL APPLICABLE STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL TAX REPORTING. ALL PRIZES WILL BE NET OF ANY TAXES REQUIRED BY LAW TO BE WITHHELD. TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, ALL TAXES IMPOSED ON PRIZES ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF WINNERS. NCSC reserves the right to declare any confirmed winners until after the NCSC has received and verified the signed paperwork from the prospective winners. If the prospective winners do not complete, sign and return the required paperwork within seven (7) days of request (unless the NCSC in its discretion agrees to a longer time) or comply with such laws, the NCSC may, in its sole and final discretion, declare that those prizes have been forfeited and/or select an alternate potential winner.
12. This Site and the Viz-a-thon are based in the United States and intended only for the use of those who may legally access the Site and participate in the Viz-a-thon under relevant U.S. laws and regulations (including but not limited to U.S. export control laws and regulations and/or sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control). Participants agree to use this Site and participate in the Viz-a-thon in compliance with any and all applicable laws and regulations. Participants may not use the Site or participate in the Viz-a-thon for any unlawful purpose or engage in any conduct which restricts others from enjoying the Site or participating in the Viz-a-thon.
13. This Site and the Viz-a-thon are made available on an AS-IS, WHERE IS basis, and any and all implied warranties or duties are hereby disclaimed. NCSC can discontinue the Site and/or the Viz-a-thon, or suspend or postpone the Viz-a-thon at any time in its sole and final discretion.
14. This Site may include links to third-party sites which are not under the control of NCSC. NCSC is not responsible for the content or operation of such sites, which may have their own terms and conditions. The inclusion of a link to a third-party site does not imply endorsement by NCSC.
15. Content on the Site and linked pages includes materials of the NCSC and/or its content providers. NCSC and its relevant content providers reserve any and all of their respective rights in such materials. Participants are authorized to access and use such materials solely with respect to registration for and/or participation in the Viz-a-thon. Participants may not use the Site or any materials on it for any unauthorized purpose. All rights not specifically granted are reserved.
16. The Site, the Viz-a-thon, and these Terms and Conditions are governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Any claims or disputes relating to the site, the Viz-a-thon and/or these Terms and Conditions must be adjudicated exclusively in the federal or state courts exercising jurisdiction in James City County, Virginia.
17. To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, NCSC, its directors, officers, employees, agents, content partners and sponsors (collectively, “Indemnitees”) shall not be liable for any damages, losses or claims resulting from any person’s participation (or attempted participation) in the Viz-a-thon and/or this Site. To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, Indemnitees are not responsible for technical problems or technical malfunctions or other occurrences which may affect the operation of the Site or the Viz-a-thon, including but not limited to: hardware or software errors; faulty computers, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity or other online communication problems; failure of any e-mail or website transmissions to be sent to or received; inaccessibility of any third-party service being used in connection with the Site or the Viz-a-thon (including but not limited to any third-party websites or Internet service providers); traffic congestions on the Internet or the Site; and/or inaccessibility or unavailability of an email account, app or other item used or desired to be used in connection with the Viz-a-thon or this Site. To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, all Participants and any other individuals using this Site and/or attempting to participate in the Viz-a-thon hereby release the Indemnitees from any and all claims, damages or liabilities arising from or relating to their participation or attempted participation in the Viz-a-thon and/or this Site.
18. To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, you as a Participant agree to indemnify and hold harmless Indemnitees from and against any and all claims, suits, actions, losses, expenses, damages, penalties, and costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, resulting from any actual or alleged violation of these Terms and Conditions by you, or for your use of the Site and/or participation in the Viz-a-thon.
19. NCSC is not responsible or liable for connectivity or technology failures that make it difficult or impossible to participate in the Viz-a-thon.
20. If any portion of this these Terms and Conditions is determined by any court or governmental agency of competent jurisdiction to violate applicable law or otherwise not to conform to requirements of law, then the remainder of these Terms and Conditions will remain in effect, and the parties will substitute a suitable and equitable provision for the invalid/unenforceable provision in order to carry out the original intent and purpose of the original Terms and Conditions.
21. Participants may not assign, delegate or transfer registration for the Viz-a-thon and/or any of the rights or obligations under these Terms and Conditions. Any attempted assignment, delegation or transfer shall be void.
22. These Terms and Conditions (which, for clarification, includes the Privacy Policy and all other terms incorporated by reference into these Terms and Conditions), together with any Viz-a-thon registration represent Participants entire agreement with NCSC with respect to the Viz-a-thon. These terms cannot be modified or changed except with the written agreement of the NCSC.