Article Index

The Tournament can seem daunting to new Teams, new Team Managers, and Spectators.

It shouldn't!  Because we have lots of great tips on how to have a great time at the tournament without developing an ulcer, high blood pressure, or having a panic attack.

Read on for the details!


Secret #7

Basic Tournament Procedures:

  • Make sure you download and read the Tournament Travel Guide for Teams from the resource pages.
    It tells you what to expect at your tournament. Inside this Guide you will find information that includes what will happen at your Presentation Site and tips from teams and Team Managers on how to have a great tournament experience.
  • Check-in on time – at least 20 minutes before challenge time.
  • Structure (E) teams must check-in their structure 1 hour before challenge time.
  • After the challenge is over, remember the appraisers will discuss the solution with the Team.  Adults – including the TM – should stay back!
  • Come back to pick up your Team Challenge raw scores about 30 minutes after your challenge.  There will be a poster up listing which scores are available.
  • Once you have picked up your raw scores, share them with the team, but keep them to yourselves inside the team.
  • You have 30 minutes after you receive your raw scores to file any appeals through the DIalogue process, described in Rules of the Road.  After 30 minutes have elapsed since receiving your raw scores no appeals will be accepted.
  • Remember your raw scores are only one component of your final results, and other teams may not yet have performed. Gloating, or discussing scores in public is impolite – so don't do it!

Secret #6

Failure Proofing for Success!!

Follow these great steps to help failure-proof your team and be ready for any kind of breakdown!


List all the things that could go wrong!

  • Use team brainstorming to think of all the things that might go wrong!
  • Write everything down!
  • Ask open ended questions to prompt ideas!
  • Do not edit ideas at the time.

Determine how the potential problems are related to each other!

  • Group the problems from the brainstorming e.g. props, people, equipment

Add new things to your list!

  • Look for additions to your list
  • Combine items the team thinks are really the same
  • Do not delete anything unless the team is UNANIMOUS!

Rank the problems for the trouble they could cause!

  • Rank the potential problems for the seriousness of the result
  • Remind the team that small things can sometimes have disastrous results
  • Review each group and make any adjustments

Think of all the ways to prevent the problems or minimize them!

  • For each problem ask "if this happens we could….?"
  • Discuss problems that cannot be prevented, e.g. weather, crowd noise, etc.
  • Encourage your team to HAVE FUN, and be creative with their ideas… ad libbing always scores well!

Prepare a plan of action!

  • Include who, what, when, where and how!
  • Review the "disaster plan" periodically
  • Cause 'spontaneous' mishaps during practice to allow your team to practice the plan! A good example is deliberately leaving the batteries out of the tape player, or knocking over a prop during a rehearsal.

DO IT!! As with everything in life, success comes with practice… Practice… PRACTICE!!!

Secret #5

Make sure your team has a COMPLETE TOOL KIT with them at the tournament!

If there is any chance something might break, tear or disconnect be sure to have everything you need to repair it.

Secret #4

Plan to attend lots of performances and cheer on other teams!

Every team likes a big enthusiastic audience for its performance, the best way to assure this for your team is to be it for another team!

Teams learn a great deal from seeing how others have approached the same Challenge.

You should do this because it’s FUN!

Secret #3

Prepare the parents!

Be sure all team parents know:

  • When the team is meeting to go to the tournament.
  • Where the tournament is and how to get there.
  • Where the team is meeting at the tournament.
  • There are Tee shirts and pins for sale at the tournament that support the DI organization in your area – please make sure parents are aware of this.
  • Whether flash photography is allowed by the team.
  • The Destination Imagination interference rules.
  • What time the Team Challenge and Instant Challenge performances take place.
  • Team Challenge is open to spectators; Instant Challenge is NOT!
  • Tournament Rules of BEHAVIOR and SPORTSMANSHIP.
  • What, if any, jobs you are asking them to take on at the tournament.

Secret #2

Make sure your forms are filled out completely, correctly, and to your team's best advantage!

  • All Team tournament forms are available as Interactive Forms on our Interactive Tournament Data Forms page – its easier to fill them out and makes them easier for the Appraisers to read! USE THEM!
  • Make sure you have extra copies of Tournament Data Forms, Expense Reports, Declarations of Independence and any other paperwork required by your Challenge.
  • Bring blank forms in case you need to make changes.
  • Stop at the Registration Table at your Tournament to be sure you have all your forms!
  • Make sure your forms are worded to the team’s advantage!

If you want the Princess Costume scored for a Team Choice Element be specific!
Don’t say "costumes" if you really mean the "Princess Costume" — and don’t say the "Princess Costume"
if what you really mean is "the use of unexpected materials in the Princess Costume"!

Secret #1

The Tournament is a Celebration of EVERY team!

  • Be an advocate for your team.
  • Be supportive of every team.
  • Emphasize how much they have learned & how much fun they had rather than scores and placement.
Have fun with your team!

Remind your team (and parents) that the simple act of bringing a solution to show the Appraisers at a Tournament makes your team a winner!


Make a Tax-deductable Contribution