Preparing for the Tournament
[Part 1 of the NH-DI Tournament Survival Guide]
During the last month or two before the tournament, your team will be very busy getting ready! While the team members are working on their Challenge solution, there are a number of things that you will want to do:
- Visit your tournament’s home page
- Check the Clarifications for your Team Challenge
- Remind parents about Interference
- Read DI’s Travel Guide for Teams
- Place orders for t-shirts, pins, and graduation tassels
- Recruit parents to bring donations (cakes, raffle items, and socks)
- Design your school’s banner for the Banner Parade
- Check the schedule
Visit Your Tournament’s Home Page
You’ll find a home page for each of our tournaments at the NH-DI web site. This page will be updated whenever new information about your tournament becomes available, so please try to check it occasionally.
- Concord Regional Tournament
- Littleton Regional Tournament
- Swanzey Regional Tournament
- Kingston Regional Tournament
Each tournament’s home page will have an interactive map to show you how to get there. You will also find any announcements that might have published regarding the tournament, possibly including site-specific restrictions that you would need to know about.
Important note: There is one site-specific restriction that will apply to all of our tournaments. The Rules of the Road allow teams to use dry ice, but state that it is the team’s responsibility to contact the Tournament Director to find out whether there are site-specific restrictions on the use of this item. Some of the schools that we will be using prohibit the use of dry ice, which can set off photoelectric smoke detectors (especially when it is used to generate fog). In order to keep the rules consistent for all NH teams, we have decided that dry ice will not be allowed at any of our tournaments.
On each tournament home page, you will also find the name of the Tournament Director. Their contact information is on our Contact Us page. Please get in touch with your Tournament Director right away if:
- Your team has someone with special needs that we would want to accommodate, but you didn’t add a note about this to your team’s entry in our online registration database.
- You find out about a scheduling conflict that isn’t noted in our database. We cannot accommodate every scheduling request, but it never hurts to ask.
- You have any other questions about the tournament, or the site at which it will be held.
Check Published Clarifications
Whenever there is an issue in a Team Challenge or the Rules of the Road that all teams should know about, Destination Imagination issues a Published Clarification. These supersede the Rules of the Road and the Team Challenge, so every team is expected to know about the Published Clarifications for their Challenge.
All of the Published Clarifications will be posted on the DI’s Clarifications page. It’s important to visit this page on a regular basis to see if any new Clarifications have been issued for your Challenge.
Does your team still have questions after reading their Team Challenge, the Published Clarifications, and the Rules of the Road? If so, they can ask for a Team Clarification. Your team may ask up to 10 questions about their Team Challenge, and the answers will be sent directly back to you. The deadline to ask for Team Clarifications is February 15. You’ll find a link to ask for a Team Clarification on the Clarifications page.
Teams at regional tournaments must abide by all Published Clarifications issued through February 15.
Remind Parents about Interference
The last month before the tournament is a good time to remind parents about the need to avoid Interference. Well-meaning adults who aren’t familiar with the rules may try to help the team, especially if they think the kids might not be ready in time for the tournament.
The best way to prevent potential problems is to talk to your parents about Interference, and make sure they understand why DI has this rule. If parents try to interfere with the team’s creative process, their children won’t learn how to solve problems on their own!
Team members will be expected to handle their own “challenges” at their meet. This includes pinning costumes, combing hair, applying make-up, touching up paint on props, and repairing anything that breaks. See the Rules of the Road for specific information about Interference. Score deductions will be assessed for Interference violations.
Read the Travel Guide for Teams
If you haven’t already read Destination Imagination’s Travel Guide for Teams, this would be a good time to take a look! This guide will tell you what to expect at your tournament, and what will happen at your presentation site. It also includes tips from teams and Team Managers on how to have a great tournament experience. You can download a copy from this web site.
Place Orders for T-Shirts, Pins, and Graduation Tassels
Most participating schools and organizations order special T-shirts for their team members and Team Managers to wear at the tournament. If you are the person responsible for ordering the T-shirts, you’ll find that they are readily available, both online and from local vendors. However, there is often a setup charge, which can make small orders expensive, and you would also need to find someone to create the artwork.
Many schools order their T-shirts from NH-DI instead. We will take care of everything, including having any text you’d like printed on the back! For prices and a picture of the design that will be printed on the front of the T-shirts, download a copy of our T-shirt order form. Orders will be taken until Wednesday, February 19, 2014.
We also have 2014 Challenge Pins, which can be a very nice memento for both team members and Team Managers. Just download a copy of the pin order form, and return it to the address on the form by Friday, February 14, 2014.
Finally, if you have seniors on your team who will be graduating in 2014, you may be interested in our NH-DI Graduation Tassels, which they can attach to their mortarboard at graduation.
Recruit Parents to Bring Donations
This year, we will be asking teams to donate cakes, raffle items, and new white socks.
Cakes for the Cake Walk
The NH-DI Cake Walk has become a very popular and fun tournament tradition. This is a game similar to Musical Chairs in which the participants can win cakes. Team members and siblings, Team Managers, parents, and friends are welcome to join in the fun for an entry fee of 25 cents. The teams love this afternoon diversion!
Each team is expected to bring two cakes or dessert treats. This is a great opportunity for parents who want to help out, but don’t have much free time. Goodies may be homemade or purchased, and we usually see some very creative cakes! Please deliver your team’s cakes to the Cake Walk area in the morning. There will be signs posted throughout the building to direct you to this room.
Once again, we are asking each school or organization to contribute one great raffle item. This can be almost anything! It might be something for a kid, for a team, for a hard-working Team Manager, or a spectator. It can be merchandise, a gift certificate, or anything else that might appeal to kids or adults. You can purchase something for the raffle, or bring a donated item from a local merchant (and because we’re a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, donations are tax deductible).
We don’t need an item from each team, just one item from each participating school or organization. The proceeds from this raffle will support NH-DI’s programs, and help us to keep our registration fees as low as possible. Some of the donated items will be raffled off at each regional tournament. Other items will be raffled off at the State Tournament, but you’ll be able to enter the raffle for these items at your regional.
Sock It to Us!
For many years, NH-DI has collected canned goods for local food banks at our tournaments, but we have decided to try something new. Instead of canned goods, we will be collecting new white socks for the homeless.
Rain-soaked feet, old shoes, and diseases like diabetes all take their toll on the feet of homeless people. The best way to prevent problems like infections and frostbite is to keep feet clean and dry. Unfortunately, this can be very difficult when you spend your days outside, and sleep with your shoes and socks on.
So please sock it to us! We will provide a box in which to collect your donations at the Information Table.
Design Your School’s Banner
Every New Hampshire DI tournament begins with a Banner Parade, in which the teams from each participating school or organization parade into the gym together for the Opening Ceremony.
We encourage each school or organization to bring an identifying banner to carry into the gym. Only one banner will be needed for all of your teams. The banner should clearly identify your school and town. It can be elaborate or simple, but it must fit through a standard doorway, and cannot be dragged or cause damage to the gym floor.
Check the Schedule
When the preliminary schedule for your tournament is published, we will add a link to the tournament’s home page. Please check the times for your team, and notify the Tournament Director immediately if there are any serious schedule conflicts (for example, a Team Manager with two teams performing at the same time).
We will also publish a volunteer schedule shortly before the tournament. This will also be added to the tournament’s home page. Please make sure that your two-hour volunteer knows about their assignment, and ask them to check in at the Information Table as soon as they arrive at the tournament. There will be signs posted throughout the building to direct them to the Information Table.
[Continued in part 2]