2016-2017 Tournament Survival Guide: Part 1


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:

  1. Visit your tournament’s home page
  2. Remind everyone about Interference
  3. Check the Clarifications for your Team Challenge
  4. Place orders for t-shirts, pins, and graduation tassels
  5. Recruit parents to help (tournament volunteers, cakes, raffle items, and socks)
  6. Design your school’s banner for the Banner Parade
  7. 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.

Each tournament’s home page will have a link to a 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 any use of dry ice, which can set off photoelectric smoke detectors 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. You have any other questions about the tournament, or the site at which it will be held.

Remind Everyone About Interference

Well-meaning adults may not realize that DI teams are required to solve the Challenge themselves. They might decide to “help” your kids by giving suggestions, or by providing some hands-on assistance, especially if they’re worried that the kids might not be ready in time for the tournament.

The best way to prevent potential problems is to talk to everyone about Interference, and make sure that parents understand why DI has this rule. You’ll find suggestions for ways to do this on our Preventing Interference page.

Please talk to your team and their parents about this! We’re planning to ask each team whether they have discussed Interference with you when they arrive at the prep area shortly before their Challenge.

Team members will be expected to handle their own “challenges” at the tournament. 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.

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 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.

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.

NH-DI Team T-Shirt CollectionNH-DI can take care of this for you! Through our new partnership with Brandit Marketing Solutions, we can now offer shirts in many different colors, and with a Challenge logo imprinted on the back. There is also a special shirt for our Rising Stars!

Brandit will take care of everything and ship the shirts directly to you. To place your order, visit the NH-DI Creativity Shop. You’ll find the team shirts listed under Team Gear.

As you’ll see when you visit the Creativity Shop, many other items are also available, and we’ll be adding more soon. As a special thank you, we are offering a 10% discount on all orders placed through January 31, 2017 (with the exception of pins).

Recruit Parents to Help

For many years, each New Hampshire team has been required to provide an adult volunteer to help out for two hours at the team’s regional tournament. We will also be asking teams to donate cakes, raffle items, and new white socks.

Two-Hour Volunteers

If you haven’t already done so, this would be a good time to recruit a parent to be your team’s two-hour volunteer. Typical assignments include things like door monitoring, concession sales help, or providing information and directions to tournament visitors at the Information Table.

Shortly before the tournament, your tournament director will publish a list that has the volunteer assignment for each team. Please watch for this, and make sure that your team’s volunteer knows when they are scheduled to work. We don’t want any parent to be unable to watch their own child’s team, so we won’t schedule your volunteer to work during your team’s presentation. If that happens, notify the tournament director immediately so they can change the assignment.

We don’t need to know who will be covering your team’s assignment. They just have to report for work on time. However, it does need to be one person for the entire two-hours. Please, no job sharing! Some assignments require a bit of on-the-job training, so if you send four different people to work for 30 minutes each, that really won’t be of much help to us.

Cakes for the Bakery Boogie

The NH-DI Bakery Boogie (formerly known as the Cake Walk) has been a very popular and fun tournament tradition for many years. 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.

Raffle Items

Each school or organization is asked to contribute one raffle item. This 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 won’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!

This year we will be collecting new white cotton 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

parade1Every 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 volunteer knows about their assignment, and ask them to check in when they arrive at the tournament. There will be signs posted throughout the building to direct them to Volunteer Check-In.

[Continued in part 2]