[Remember California Creativity Regions have staggered tournament dates, but the Team Manager’s Corner is for everyone.  It’s likely your tournament is not in three weeks — re-read this when it is.]

Three weeks before the tournament is the time to write up and submit any announcements for school. Invite teachers and administrators.

There is so much to remind everyone about the run-up to the tournament that I’m going to start this week. It’s time to start planning a pre-tournament parent’s meeting. Have this meeting soon after the schedule comes out. Here are some agenda points.

  1. Give your parents a filled out copy of Tournament information page found in the Travel Guide for Teams. You can find it on www.idodi.org mid-January or so. Give them a map of the tournament site with your team’s venue prominently marked and suggested parking location if appropriate. Many tournaments have limited parking so consider carpooling.
  2. Line up transportation for the team’s solution materials. Don’t forget space for all the passengers that are going along. Remind parents that they can help load and unload vehicles and carry stuff, but if they break it, the team has to fix it. Allow generous time to get to the tournament and work it out with parents ahead of time.
  3. Which leads us to a general reminder about interference. Remind parents about interference in general. No hair combing or even clothes straightening.
  4. If you haven’t already, give the parents a quick overview of the Challenge the team is solving. Explain about Team Choice Elements (if applicable). This will make it easier for them to understand the solution and they can help explain it to any other guests who come to see the team.
  5. Depending on the length of your tournament, you may have time to go out for a meal between the end of your TC and IC and the Celebration of Creativity. If so, have someone else plan it. TMs do enough.
  6. Remind parents about the “Spirit of DI” and that we don’t bad mouth other teams. Deductions can be assessed to your team for your supporter’s actions.
  7. Parents don’t get to see Instant Challenge and the team cannot talk about the IC until after Global Finals in late May. Scores for IC are not returned to the teams like team challenges.
  8. We ask that everyone remain for the entire Celebration of Creativity. It generally takes only an hour and some special awards usually get saved for the very end. Even if your team didn’t get a ribbon (1st – 3rd place), they may have gotten a special award. The scoring program randomly determines which Team Challenge results are announced first, second, etc.
  9. There is a very real possibility that your team will be invited to State Finals. Note that each team advancing to State Finals will need to provide an experienced Appraiser and a tournament official. There is a fee to participate in the State Finals tournament. Be aware that another media release form is required for the State Tournament. Hint: Print these out and have parents sign them ahead of time. You only have a week to send them in after our tournament and you don’t want to chase everyone down.
  10. Get everyones cell phone numbers if you don’t already have them. Remind parents that it’s no fun to try and see a performance from behind closed doors so they should aim to get to the performance site early.

Discuss with parents your expectations about looking out for the team the entire day. You may prefer to have a lot of parents with you all day or not. Sometimes parents demand more attention than the kids. In any event, map out some time for yourself in the afternoon.