2023 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 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 dwill 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 anything messy like glue or paint to work on props (or better yet, work on these outside the building). Spray paint may never be used anywhere within 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.
  • At most schools, weapons are strictly forbidden on school property, so teams may not bring functional weapons to our tournaments, even if they are only to be used as props.
  • Glitter is only 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 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 will need to accommodate.
  2. You find out about a scheduling conflict. 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

When 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 to see if any new Clarifications have been issued for your Challenge, because teams at local tournaments must abide by all Published Clarifications.

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 tournaments. These are readily available from both online and local vendors, but you’ll need to place your order well before the tournament.

Would you like to have Team Challenge Pins and/or NH-DI trading pins to give to your team members? Visit our web store (store.nh-di.org) to order this year’s 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 items for 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 with the volunteer assignments 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.

IF your volunteer can’t make it for some reason, it’s OK to send a substitute! However, this 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 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 participating team is asked to bring two cakes or dessert treats. This is a great opportunity for parents who want to help, but don’t have a lot of free time. 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. Cakes must not require refrigeration.

Team Identification Sign

Your team will need to bring with them a freestanding Team Identification Sign that has the team name, Team Number, school/organization, and competition level.

This sign is to help the Appraisers and the audience to know who is presenting, so it should be large enough to read from a distance.

The Team Identification Sign will not be scored, and it is exempt from cost.

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 or large sign to carry into the gym. Only one banner or sign is needed for all of your teams. It should clearly identify your school and town, and can be elaborate or very simple. It will need to fit through a standard doorway, and cannot be dragged or cause damage to the 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]