2020 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 and Challenge pins
  5. Recruit parents to help (tournament volunteers, cakes)
  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 published regarding the tournament, possibly including site-specific restrictions that you would need to know about.

Important note: Please make sure that your team is aware of some very important site-specific rules at our tournaments!

  • It’s very important for all of our teams to be good guests at our host schools! To avoid damage to floors and carpets, teams must put something down to protect the floor if they use glue or paint to work on props. Spray paint may not be used anywhere inside the building.
  • According to Rules of the Road, teams may use dry ice, but 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.
  • Glitter is allowed if it is applied to a prop or costume item before arriving at the tournament. If used, teams must be prepared to clean up any residual glitter before leaving their presentation site, and we can tell you from past experience that cleaning this up can be much more difficult and time-consuming than it you might think!
  • Teams may not ask to have challenge site lighting levels changed during their performance.

On each tournament home page, you will find the name of the Tournament Director(s) and their contact information. 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 makeup, 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 January 31. 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.

Place Orders for T-Shirts and Challenge Pins

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 can take care of this for you! Visit our web store (store.nh-di.org) and order this year’s team t-shirt. Shirt orders must be placed by Saturday, February 8, and may either be shipped, or be picked up at SNHU on February 22 or at one of the March regional tournaments..

Also available for order are Team Challenge Pins and NH-DI trading 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 to donate an item to the Bakery Boogie.

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, merchandise 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 want to make sure that every parent is able 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.

Items 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 Bakery Boogie area in the morning. There will be signs posted throughout the building to direct you to this room.

Raffle Items

NH-DI will bring 10-15 items to raffle off at each tournament. The proceeds will help us keep registration fees as low as possible, so we would like to encourage everyone to support this fundraising effort by purchasing raffle tickets. In the past, we asked local programs to donate raffle items, but this is no longer required.

Some 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.

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]