At a sanctioned tournament, each Team Challenge and Instant Challenge solution site is staffed by a appraisal team. Team Challenge appraisal teams generally include a Challenge Master, a Head Appraiser, Challenge Appraisers, a Timekeeper and Prep Area Appraisers. Instant Challenge competition sites include at least three appraisers. These appraisers evaluate and score each teams’ challenge solution. Many of our appraisers are independent volunteers, but we also require each competing team to nominate an Appraiser.

In addition to Appraisers, there are also several other important roles on the day of the tournament, that are staffed by volunteers.



Each year we are indeed lucky to have a wonderful and dedicated appraisal corps which represents our entire state. Appraisers at our tournaments come from every corner geographically, from every profession, and educational background. Some travel to our tournaments from other states and countries. They are above all else impartial and well trained to offer our teams the very highest quality assessment of their solutions. To that end, each team must submit the name of at least one person willing to take on this critical role. No special skills or talents are necessary to become a Appraiser, however, all appraisers must attend a one-day Appraiser Training session prior to the tournament. While we have never had too few appraisers, to assure the best possible conditions for our kids we don’t want to forget that new appraisers always bring a new and welcomed perspective to this critical role.

We are always excited to have appraisers who are DI Alumni (16+), prior Team Managers, and prior Team Parents who know the program well, but we also welcome others who are new to the program and bring a new perspective to this critical role.

To become an Appraiser, please contact your regional director, or ask a Team Manager to nominate you.

Appraiser Responsibilities:

  • Attend the NYDI Appraiser Training session.
  • Be at the tournament site for the entire day of the tournament (usually about 9 hours).
  • Be an impartial adjudicator, evaluating and scoring each team’s solution in the assigned Challenge.
  • Appraisers are invited to appraise at the next level of competition even if this team does not advance.
  • Team-nominated Appraisers should understand that they probably will not be able to see their team’s performance!

In order to ensure fairness, each competing team must nominate an all day, no strings attached Appraiser for the tournament, who is not the Team Manager, and who must also attend an Appraiser Training session.

It is our policy that any Appraiser who is nominated by a Team cannot be assigned to the Challenge which that Team is solving – even if that Appraiser is not a relative of a Team Member or the Team Manager. We trust our volunteers to be impartial, but we worry that having the Team’s designated Appraiser on the same Challenge – even in a non-scoring role – can create an illusion of favoritism, spawning doubt in the minds of other Teams [and their supporters] in the fairness of the Appraising process.

Tournament Officials and other Volunteers

There are many jobs at the tournament that do not require training, or a large time commitment. These jobs are filled by volunteers who agree to work on the day of the Tournament, and include ushers / door guards, team registrars, score room personnel, souvenir stand personnel, score runners and clean-up crews. These volunteers are critical to the tournaments success.

Possible volunteer assignments include Door Monitor, Prop Zone Monitor, Registration, Tournament Setup, Merchandise Sales, etc.

Unlike Appraisers, we guarantee that Volunteers who are nominated by a team will be able to see that team perform.

To become a Volunteer please contact your regional director, or ask a Team Manager to nominate you.

Volunteer Responsibilities:

  • Be present at the tournament site on the day of the Tournament or as scheduled.
  • Work for one to two hours to support the operation of the Tournament.
  • Arrive at the assigned volunteer location on time and ready to work.

Each competing team must nominate a Volunteer for the tournament, who is not the Team Manager, and who is not the same person as the team’s nominated Appraiser.

Index of Destination Imagination Organizations, Officials, and Roles


Destination Imagination Inc.
NYDI’s parent organization. Creates and publishes the Challenges and other Program Materials, defines the rules of the Destination Imagination program, and operates Global Finals. DI Inc. has its own executive structure and Board of Trustees, and operates as a non-profit organization as defined by section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.
Destination Imagination of New York, Inc. – the New York state Affiliate of Destination Imagination, Inc. NYDI is a non-profit organization operating within the provisions of New York’s Not-For-Profit Corporation Law (N-PCL) and section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.
NYDI Board of Trustees
NYDI’s governing body, as defined by New York state law and regulations concerning the operation of non-profit organizations, in concert with our license to be an affiliate of Destination Imagination, Inc.
Affiliate Director
NYDI’s chief executive officer, responsible for the day-to-day operation our our organization in New York.
Regional Director
Responsible for the overall operation of Destination Imagination within a region of an Affiliate. Sometimes also serves as a Tournament Director.
Team Manager
An adult who facilitates the operation of a Destination Imagination Team, providing guidance in time management, finding skills training, and monitoring for safety. A Team Manager avoids Interference, ensuring that the Team’s solution is entirely their own.
Tournament Director
The leader responsible for organizing and operating a Destination Imagination Tournament.
Score Master
Responsible for organizing and executing the collection, tabulation, and publication of scores and final results at a Destination Imagination Tournament.
International Challenge Master
The Challenge Master responsible for a Challenge at the international level, across all affiliates, and at Global Finals. Appointed by DI Inc.
Affiliate Challenge Master
The Challenge Master responsible for a Challenge at the Affiliate Tournament. Serves as the Affiliate expert in his/her assigned challenge, ensuring that the Challenge is appraised similarly at all Tournaments within the Affiliate.
Regional Challenge Master
The Challenge Master responsible for a Challenge at the Regional Tournament.
Challenge Master
Coordinates the team of Appraisers overseeing one of the Challenges at a Destination Imagination Tournament. The expert in his/her assigned challenge.
Head Appraiser
The Appraiser in charge within a particular performance room for a Challenge. This role is often (but not always) filled by the challenge master.
An impartial adjudicator who evaluates and scores each team’s solution in the assigned Challenge. There are many different roles within each team of Appraisers. We provide lunch and coffee for Appraisers.

Scoring Appraiser
Watches the teams performance and records numeric scores for the elements assigned to them, based upon the scoring rubric for the Challenge.
Pre-Tournament Prep Appraiser
Reviews the team’s online forms before the tournament day, checks for issues, and helps the team resolve them.
On-Site Prep Area Appraiser
Greets the team at the Presentation Site, sets them at ease, checks their solution for compliance with rules, safety guidelines, etc.
On-Site Prep Area Appraiser
Greets the team at the Presentation Site, sets them at ease, checks their solution for compliance with rules, safety guidelines, etc.
Keeps accurate times according to the specifications in
the Team Challenge and keeps the Appraisal Team on schedule. Introduces each team to the Appraisers and the audience.
Prop Zone Monitor
A specialized Appraiser who ensures safe, fair, and responsible use of Prop Zones by Teams and their accompanying adults. Monitors for interference, and alerts the Challenge Master, Head Appraiser or his/her designee if interference is suspected. Ensures that teams treat the venue in a respectful way and clean up after their performance is complete.
Door Watcher
Serves as a guard at the entrance to the Challenge Venue, ensuring that performances are not interrupted by people entering during a performance. Monitors the area outside the Challenge Venue so that noise outside does not affect the performances taking place inside.
Registration Volunteer
Runs the Team Registration / Check-in Desk at the Tournament, registering teams, answering questions, and checking that each team has all of their required forms.
On Call Volunteer
There are always last-minute tasks that crop up on the day of the Tournament. On Call Volunteers are our go-to resource to take on such tasks.
Medals Volunteer
Organizes the medals and sets up for the Awards Ceremony at the Tournament.
Sales Volunteer
Helps run the merchandise sales table at the Tournament.
Set-up Volunteer
Our Tournaments don’t just set themselves up! It takes a dedicated crew of volunteers to set up each performance room, to put up signage so that people can find the performances, to make sure that our scoring computers are working, and to prepare for the arrival of teams on Tournament day. These volunteer work from about 4pm to about 8pm on the night before the Tournament getting everything ready for Tournament day
Appraiser Lunch Distribution
Assist in ensuring that the lunches that we provide for our Appraisers get distributed to the locations where they need to go. This position includes lunch for the volunteer, because no-one should be required to distribute food without having some for themselves!
Packing Volunteer
Packs up tournament supplies when performances are complete or after the awards ceremony. Ensures that performance spaces and prop zones are returned to their original pre-Tournament condition.
Fun Zone Volunteer
Fun Zone Volunteers help with the operation of our other non-Challenge activities that take place at our Tournaments.
Score Room
Collecting, organizing, validating, and tabulating scores is a critical role at the Tournament. These volunteers make sure that our tournament runs smoothly and fairly, and that we are ready to announce the results as quickly as possible after the last performance is over.
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