2014-2015 Tournament Survival Guide: Part 2


Just Before the Tournament

[Part 2 of the NH-DI Tournament Survival Guide]

The big day is about to arrive! The week before the tournament is usually very busy, and some Team Managers will begin to wonder whether their team will actually be able to finish in time. Please don’t worry, because it’s their problem, not yours! In most cases, everything really will come together, and the kids will take great pride in the Challenge solution that they’ve created completely on their own.

Here are some things that you’ll need to do just before the tournament:

  1. Have your team finish their paperwork
  2. Check the tournament schedule and volunteer schedule again
  3. Have your team identify everything they’ll need to bring

Finish the Paperwork

There are a number of forms that your team must complete, and you will need multiple copies of some of them. To make this as easy as possible, we have collected electronic versions of all of the required forms, which you will find on our Team Paperwork page.

For Elementary Level teams, the Team Manager may fill out the forms by writing in the words that are dictated by the team. Older teams must fill out the forms themselves.

You’ll turn in all of the completed forms to the Prep Area Appraiser when you arrive at your Team Challenge Site, except for one of the two copies of the Declaration of Independence. You will need this copy of the team’s Declaration of Independence when you arrive at Instant Challenge.

Forms will not be returned to teams at the end of the competition. If your team advances to the next level of competition, you will need to bring a fresh copy of your team’s paperwork. However, documentation provided by the team to the Appraisers (photographs, books, etc.) to authenticate the team’s solution may be picked up from the Head Appraiser when the Team Representative and/or Team Manager receive the team’s raw scores.

If you forget to bring your team’s paperwork (it happens), please contact a tournament official. We always try to have extra copies of the forms available, in case a team needs to recreate a lost or forgotten form.

This would also be a good time to ask the team whether they want you to watch their Instant Challenge. Most teams find it helpful to have an adult observer watch their Instant Challenge performance, and go over it with the team later. However, some teams decide that they don’t want the added pressure that might come from having their Team Manager watching them.

This decision is completely up to the team, but it’s better if they let you know before the team arrives at Instant Challenge. If any team members do not wish to participate in the Instant Challenge, you will also want to know about this ahead of time. The Rules of the Road require teams to have at least two participating members.

If you manage two teams in the same Team Challenge and Level, there is a special provision in the Rules of the Road that prohibits you from entering the Instant Challenge room. This is because both teams will be given the same Instant Challenge.

Check the Schedule Again

The preliminary schedule may need to be revised, so please check it again just before the tournament. Tell everyone when your team’s presentation is scheduled, and make sure that they don’t confuse this with the Instant Challenge time that’s also shown on the schedule.

If there will be several teams from your school at the tournament, team supporters may have trouble identifying your team’s entry in the tournament schedule. To make sure that they go to the right performance, we have a downloadable Performance Information Form that will let you enter your team’s information once, and then print copies for everyone.

Have Your Team Identify Everything They’ll Need

Do “what if’s” with your team, and talk through solutions. “What if the scenery falls down?” “What if we don’t have an important prop?” “What if someone forgets his/her lines?”  “What if one of our devices or gadgets doesn’t work?” Try to get the team to work out a contingency plan for every imaginable disaster!

Ask your team to make a list of everything that will be going to the tournament. The Travel Guide for Teams includes a Tournament Checklist that you can use for this.

Ask each team member to wear a watch, if possible.

Don’t forget to bring a copy of the team’s paperwork. Better yet, bring two copies of the paperwork, so you can leave a spare set in the car. It’s surprisingly easy to misplace paperwork during the tournament, so knowing that you have an extra copy can be very reassuring!

[Continued in part 3]