It is helpful, especially for younger or inexperienced teams, for each member to have a designated role when solving Instant Challenges…

Successful IC performances have more to do with teamwork than just thinking creatively (although that certainly helps). With a young or inexperienced team, try to come up with different “roles” or jobs for each to have responsibility for in the IC. The Team Manager should NOT assign these roles, but rather describe them and ask the group who it thinks would be good at each role, or ask who would like to try each. If nobody volunteers, have them draw roles from slips of paper for a few times and see if they fall into anything that is comfortable. Or if they’ve chosen roles and it doesn’t seem to mesh, then that’s the time to insist that everyone try a new role.

Note that some of these roles might have more than one team member assigned, and that some team members might be assigned multiple roles.

Potential roles could include:

  1. The rule person. This person reads the IC on paper and throughout the solving is the person who refers back to the written Challenge to be sure they are solving as directed and following rules. Many an IC has run aground when a team has an amusing presentation, but talks in a nonverbal, or touches the tape that can’t be touched, or changes the item that “can’t be changed.” The rule person keeps the focus on what is allowed.
  2. The points person. This person makes sure the team is getting the most points possible. [for example, if the challenge said 10 points for a skit and 50 points for each creative costume, the rule person would remind the team that costumes were most important, point-wise, esp. if they got stuck writing a skit and forgot to dress up.]
  3. The timekeeper. This person is responsible for keeping track of time during the challenge.  Note that timing devices may not be brought into the Instant Challenge venue.  Teams must rely either on a clock in the venue [if present], or maty ask an Appraiser for the amount of time remaining.
  4. The laugh meters. Often more than one person volunteers for this, but this is a job to be sure that the skit or whatever is funny (assuming it is supposed to be funny) and suggests quirky actions, character voices, funny lines and whatever else tickles their fancy. Do you have a ‘class clown’ on your team? This is the perfect job for them!
  5. The engineers. These team member specialize in the technical aspects of the solution, and know how to adapt the available materials to building tall, strong, wide, long etc. as required to solve technical aspects of task-based challenges. 
  6. The idea/teamwork facilitator. This is the moderator of the group, who makes sure that everybody is participating and encourages the less-outgoing kids to speak up, and asks the babbling kids to “hold that thought” while another idea is heard. This person makes sure that there is some order to the teamwork and participation; if several people want to talk, this person identifies people in turn to speak, so that everyone gets a turn. WARNING – don’t pick an overly ‘bossy’ person for this job!
  7. The “what if?” person. This person listens to the first two ideas and then says “what if…” and adds on or changes one of the ideas. Even if they don’t do this in a tournament, this is great practice for thinking outside the box. There can be more than one “what if?” person. [example: someone says the skit can be animals in a zoo. The “what if?” person says, “or what if it can be animals on a farm?” and the 2nd “what if?” person says “what if it was an ANT farm?” and so on…]
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