2024 Tournament Survival Guide: Part 2

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Just Before the Tournament

[Part 2 of the 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 complete all of the required forms
  2. Check the tournament schedule and volunteer schedule again
  3. Have your team identify everything they’ll need to bring

Complete and Submit Required Forms

There are a number of forms that your team will need to complete and submit. Starting with the 2021-22 season, DI has transitioned to online forms. DI HQ will no longer create single-sheet paper forms that teams fill out and bring to the Prep Area Appraiser. Instead, teams will need to complete and submit the forms in advance through the DI Resource Area.

Teams create these forms for the benefit of the Appraisers. The table below indicates the content of each form.

FormRequired ForPurpose
Tournament Data Form (TDF)All competitive Team ChallengesInformation to help the Appraisers understand the team's presentation. It includes brief descriptions of scored elements of the team's solution, as well as your team’s reflection on the creative process. The Team Manager must submit the TDF on behalf of the team using the team’s words. The team members must craft the explanations.
Starry Showcase Form (the Resource Area may refer to this as a TDF or Tournament Data Form)Early Learning ChallengeThis is a simplified Tournament Data Form for Early Learning teams. The Team Manager must submit the Starry Showcase Form on behalf of the team using the team’s words. The team members should craft the explanations.
Team Challenge Prep ChecklistAll competitive Team ChallengesLists the team's expenses for producing their solution. Each Team Challenge has a budget described in the Team Challenge. See the Rules of the Road for important details, including a list of items are cost-exempt. Be sure to upload copies of any receipts that should accompany the Expense Report.
Expense ReportAll competitive Team ChallengesLists the team's expenses for producing their solution. Each Team Challenge has a budget described in the Team Challenge. See the Rules of the Road for important details, including a list of items are cost-exempt. Be sure to upload copies of any receipts that should accompany the Expense Report.
Instant Challenge Prep ChecklistAll competitive Team ChallengesThe prep checklist includes the Instant Challenge Pledge in which the team agrees not to discuss their Instant Challenge with others.

Team Managers will need to log into the DI Resource Area using their DI account to submit the forms. 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.

The deadline for submitting the forms is Monday, March 11. If you miss this deadline, please submit your team’s forms as soon as possible, but we can’t guarantee that our Appraisers will be able to check them for potential issues if they arrive late. You don’t want your team to find out on the day of the tournament that there is a problem they’ll need to fix.

There is no need to bring copies of the Tournament Data Form to the tournament, because the Appraisers will already have the version that you submitted online.

If your team advances to Global Finals, you will need to submit a fresh copy of your team’s forms before that tournament. This is because teams can modify and improve their Team Challenge solution between tournaments, and in that case the contents of the Tournament Data Form and Expense Report are likely to have changed.

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 more than one team, there is a special provision in the Rules of the Road that you should know about. If a Team Manager manages two or more teams, the Team Manager will only be allowed into the Instant Challenge room for his or her last scheduled team’s 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.

Ask each team member to wear a watch, if possible. Please note that no one will be allowed to bring watches or any electronic devices into the Instant Challenge room, except for devices used for medical purposes that have been approved ahead of time by the Tournament Director.

[Continued in part 3]