Beyond the


January Creative Journey Newsletter


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Creative Journey Newsletter

The Qualifying Tournaments are here, what do I need to know?

Don’t miss the last webinar in our series! Tournament Day Webinar: Wednesday, January 17, 7pm

This is a special opportunity to learn from alumni and NorCal Problem Captains about what to expect during tournament time.

The Tournament Day Webinar will feature experienced World Finalist team members who know what judges look for in team paperwork. Learn how to make your paperwork work for your team! Also, learn from State Problem Captains what to prep and how to prepare.

Try to have at least one coach and one team member attend!

Register Now

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULES: Qualifying Tournament schedules are posted on the NorCal Association website. Coaches and administrators will also receive a copy of the schedule by email approximately two weeks before the tournament date.

GETTING THERE: Agree with your team about whether you will meet to carpool OR you will meet at the competition site. Make sure every team member knows WHEN to be in the staging area for long-term and when to check in for spontaneous.

OUTSIDE ASSISTANCE: Many outside assistance penalties occur in the staging area just before long-term. Make sure your parent helpers know not to touch ANYTHING or point out that things are broken. Best practice is to get the team to staging, make sure they have their paperwork, then leave the immediate area. They’ve got this!

Get More Tournament Tips

Be a part of the awards slideshow

Please send pictures of the team to be included in this year’s Awards Slideshow shown prior to the start of the Awards Ceremony and later posted on YouTube after World Finals.

  • Please only send 1-3 pictures of the team (posed or in action, preferably in costume)
  • in full size or large jpg format
  • to
  • by the Wednesday before your tournament

Include in your email

  • Membership name
  • Problem Number, division
  • Qualifying Tournament number

The kids love to see themselves in the slideshow!

Coach & Team Codes of Conduct

Submit your Coach and Team Codes of Conduct ONLINE TODAY

Ethical conduct requires you and your team members to make conscious choices and decisions. Team members should always act with respect and sportsmanship and treat others professionally regardless of their gender, ability, or cultural background.

We ask that you and your team members review the following Codes of Conduct and submit the completed form online prior to your tournament. Thank you for submitting TODAY!

MUST be received online prior to tournament to participate.

Codes of Conduct

An OFFICIAL Reminder: Make your paperwork shine!

Your friendly volunteer Officials want to remind teams & coaches that preparing perfect paperwork is one of the best ways to ensure a smooth tournament day! Remember to read the problem thoroughly for what paperwork is required, and come prepared with multiple copies as indicated. Your team will need:

  • Team Required list – 4 copies
  • Outside assistance form – 1 copy
  • Cost Form – 1 copy
  • Style Form – 4 copies

Teams should complete all paperwork themselves, although coaches can help act as “scribes” for Division I teams by writing down what the team wants. Your Officials can’t wait to see you – and your beautiful paperwork – at the tournament! Templates for these forms and FULL instructions can be found on the national website.

More Paperwork Tips

What are teams doing right now?

Coaches take a big deep breath, smile, and remember the team has got this!

This is go time! Team members are splitting up those must-complete jobs and getting them wrapped up. Coaches may be thinking, “I don’t think this is going to come together.” This is all completely normal. Here’s what teams are doing now:

  • Reviewing problem specifics to make sure the team isn’t missing something important.
  • Following a task “to do” list and scheduling itself so that there is time to complete the necessary tasks
  • Practicing Spontaneous! It can be a fun break amidst all the other teamwork.

Read Full Article

Check the clarifications system!

Clarification are updates, amendments or further explanations of Long-Term Problem limitations. They are written by Odyssey of the Mind HQ and made public for all members.

General Clarifications take precedence over published problem details and the rules in the Program Guide, so it’s important that teams keep current on all general clarifications issued throughout the year.

There have been a couple of General Clarifications posted!

View Clarifications

Our tournaments run on volunteer power

Do you know a high school student who needs volunteer hours?

A huge THANK YOU to all coaches for making sure that your team’s judge & volunteer were registered on time. As you know, we cannot hold tournaments without our fabulous volunteers and judges.

We are still in need of volunteers for two-hour shifts on both tournament days. NorCal Odyssey of the Minds is a registered non-profit and can sign off on required student volunteer hours. Know someone?

Contact Our Volunteer Director