In order to ensure that the Tournament runs smoothly, and that we care appropriately for the host venue, we have instituted the following rules which apply at all NYDI Tournaments:


  • Teams should arrive early, well before their assigned Team Challenge or Instant Challenge performance time (whichever is earlier). The appropriate time to arrive varies by Challenge (see below).
  • Teams must take precautions to protect the facility, including (but not limited to) the floor surface, ceiling, and walls.
    • Solutions that slide directly on the floor will not be allowed.
    • Teams that use liquids, powders, or loose glitter in their solutions must use some kind of drop-cloth, absorbent padding, or other device or material under their solution to catch spills.
    • There are specific rules about helium filled balloons.
    • Damage to the facility could result in points deducted and/or a monetary charge for repairs.
  • Teams must remove ALL debris from the the Challenge Venue immediately after their performance, and must clean their area in the Prop Zone within 2 hours. Teams which leave debris behind may have points deducted or may be charged a fee for cleaning.

Please note that items not stored in a designated Prop Zone could potentially be removed for safety reasons or discarded by the venue’s cleaning staff.

Who, Where, When, and How long?

What Who Where When How long? Description Work on Materials Allowed?
Tournament Registration 1 Team Manager
1 Team Member
Varies by Tournament At least 20 minutes before your TC or IC check-in time, whichever is earlier. Allow longer if you have many props! About 5 minutes Check-in for the Tournament; pick up credentials. No
Prop Zone Team Members and TMs Only Near Team Challenge venue At least 20 minutes before your TC check-in time, but no more than two hours before your Team Challenge performance time. Up to two hours Teams can store props and other materials here, and may assemble or do other work on their solution. Yes
Structure Check-In
Engineering Only
1 Team Manager and any Team Members who worked on the structure Near Team Challenge venue 1 hour before performance time 10-15 minutes Only for Engineering Challenge.
Teams must bring their structure and their team-supplied storage container.
Prep Area All Team Members and at least 1 Team Manager. Just outside the the Team Challenge performance venue 20 minutes before performance time. 10-15 minutes Prep Area Appraiser verifies the team’s Tournament Data Forms; may ask questions. Team should bring all of their props, materials and equipment with them. No
Launch Area All Team Members;
Helpers may bring materials, but must leave promptly
Inside the Team Challenge performance venue, to the side of the Presentation Area Approximately 5 minutes before your performance time. About 5 minutes Separated from Performance Area by line of tape on floor. Team will wait here with their materials, props, and other equipment until announced / time begins. Yes
Presentation Area All Team Members Inside the Team Challenge performance venue About one minute after your scheduled performance time. About 15 minutes Team may enter when the announcer says “you may begin”. After the performance, the Appraisers will meet with the team and ask questions. Yes
Instant Challenge All Team Members and one Team Manager Varies by Tournament At least 20 minutes before your Instant Challenge performance time. About 40 minutes This is where the team will solve their Instant Challenge. Teams are reminded that no electronic devices, watches, cameras, phones, timers, etc. are allowed to be brought into the Instant Challenge room. No

Prop Zone Procedures

To implement the above rules, the following procedures will be followed:

  1. One Team Manager and at most one Team Member must report to Tournament Check-In upon arrival at the Tournament site. They will receive a Prop Zone Team Sign with their Team Name, Team Number, and Organization.
  2. Teams must NOT load props or equipment [henceforth “materials”] into the Prop Zone until after they have checked in, and received their Prop Zone Team Sign.
  3. The team must post the Prop Zone Team Sign conspicuously, preferably by taping it to a wall adjacent to their materials. Material that isn’t near a posted Prop Zone Team Sign may be discarded by custodial staff.
  4. The Prep Area Appraiser will verify that the team’s solution will not damage the facility. Solutions deemed potentially damaging will not be allowed to be used. The Challenge Master or Head Appraiser may interrupt any performance which is noted to be causing damage to the facility.
  5. The team must clean up any debris from the performance site immediately upon being dismissed by the appraisers, and must remove all of their material from the building within 2 hours, or before their assigned departure time (whichever is first)
  6. Do not take down your Prop Zone Team Sign when you leave; leave it on the wall where you were working. 
  7. The Prop Zone Monitor or Prep Area Appraiser will inspect the spaces that teams have used for cleanliness:
    • Teams that don’t clean up after themselves completely may receive score deductions.
    • Excessive mess or damage to the facility could receive a bill for the cost of cleanup.
  8. Any disputes concerning conduct in the Prop Zone should be reported to the Challenge Master and the Tournament Director for adjudication.

Site Policy on Helium-Filled Balloons

  1. Teams must have control over their helium-filled balloons at all times.
  2. Canisters or cylinders containing compressed gas may not be brought into the building; any filling of balloons must be done outside.
  3. The Prep Area appraiser will inspect each team’s solution to ensure that they have a means of keeping balloons under control, and will disallow their use if they determine that the means of control is inadequate, or likely to fail.
  4. Teams whose balloons escape will be required to retrieve them. Teams that cannot retrieve their escaped balloons will be receive a score deduction for illegal procedure, and will be charged for the cost of cleanup.
  5. Other non-flammable lifting gasses are allowed, subject to the same restrictions. Any use of flammable gasses is strictly forbidden.
  6. In the above rules, “balloon” shall be read to mean any floating vessel containing a gas.
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