It’s nearly tournament day, and we have some important information to share. This is a long message, but hang in there to read all of it. Knowing this information and sharing it with your teams and supporters will make for a successful day.

Coaches, once you have read through this letter, you need to read the Coach’s Contract and to share its information with your teams and their families. Please send me an email at to indicate that you’ve received and will abide by the Coach’s Contract. You will need to turn in a signed copy of your Coach’s Contract in order to register your team on competition day.

Our tournament site, Pocono Mountain West High School is part of the Sullivan Trail Campus of Pocono Mountain School district. It is located on Route 940, about 1.5 miles west of Exit 3 from Route 380. The campus entrance is marked with a traffic light on Route 940. Click here for directions.  The doors open at 7:00 A.M.  Please do not attempt to enter before that time.

Teams with their props and scenery should proceed around the building to the left to the appropriate entrance for their particular problems. There is ample parking around the back and sides of the building. Attempts should be made to avoid the lot at the very front. Directional signs will be posted outside so that your teams may unload at the appropriate entrances. The order of prop unloading is as follows:

  • P5 Odyssey Angels (Blue)
  • P1 Ooh-Motional Vehicle (Red)
  • P2 Weird Science (Orange)
  • P4 You Make the Call (Green)
  • Primary Problem Hide and Peek (Pink)
  • P3 To Be or Not To Be (Yellow)

Map of competition sites (.PDF)

Storage areas will be designated in the school’s hallways, and each team will have its own assigned storage area. Please look for the signs. Team members are responsible for the security and storage of their props, equipment, and other items. We are all responsible for keeping the building as safe and clean as possible, particularly keeping open paths through all storage areas. Let’s not give the nurses any excitement on tournament day. Materials should be moved to problem staging areas no sooner than 30 minutes before the team’s Long Term performance. All costumes, scenery and props should be packed directly after the team’s Long Term performance. And every effort should be made to remove materials from the hallways and re-load them onto vehicles by no later than one hour after the Long Term performance. No food or drink is permitted in the storage areas. Each team should bring a trash bag for its own trash and should transport the trash back with them.

While your teams are unloading, coaches, please come to the front hall to register. Coaches must register their own teams at the tournament and may not pick up other teams’ packets. When you drop off your signed Coach’s contract, you will pick up your registration packet. There are three important tickets for your team that will be found in the registration packet. One will admit you to Long Term, one to Spontaneous, and one will get you your take-home packet at the end of the night, after the awards assembly. Please be sure to keep those tickets safe.

Report to your Long Term competition site fifteen minutes before your scheduled time. Have all paperwork completed and ready for the staging area judge to review. These include your registration ticket (picked up that morning), four copies of your Style Form, one Material Values Form, one Outside Assistance Form (You had NONE, right?), four copies of the Team’s Required List Form (as required), all team clarifications received, and any additional paperwork stipulated in your Long Term problem. After completing your Long Term problem and discussing the solution with the judges, clean up the site and remove all your costumes and props so that the next team can start on time in a clean site. Coaches, parents, or other non-team members may help with taking all materials from the competition area. Coaches or team captains may return one-half hour (or otherwise, as directed by the Head Judge) after their team’s performance for their Long Term raw scores. Be sure to keep additional copies of your paperwork for use at the next level of competition

Report to North Hall upstairs to register for Spontaneous fifteen minutes before your scheduled time. Coach, please register at the table, then wait quietly with your team in the designated holding area for Spontaneous. Remind your team to be respectful of others who are competing. Remind them that they may not discuss the Spontaneous problem with ANYONE, including you. No one other than the team and coach is allowed upstairs. No teams or coaches are allowed upstairs except immediately before and during their scheduled Spontaneous times.

Spontaneous and Style scores are not given out during the competition day, but will be available after the awards assembly. One person should report to the library after the Awards Assembly to exchange the ticket found in your registration packet for your scoring packet. The take-home packet will include a Style composite score sheet, the results sheet from the team’s particular problem and division, and certificates for the team members and coaches. Please put the ticket in a safe place, as you will not be able to pick up your scoring packet without it. Please send only one person per team to pick up the scores.

Judges, please report to your judging sites by 45 minutes before the first team performs, or otherwise as directed by your Problem Captain. When you report to your problem captain, you will be issued a judging t-shirt, ribbon, and lunch tickets. And even though I’ve nagged you about it before, I’ll say it again. Please re-read your Program Guide, specific Problem Guide, and any other materials your Problem Captains gave you on Judges’ Training Day. We are counting on you for excellence in evaluating the children’s efforts. Our Problem Captains were encouraged by what they saw on Training Day. It looks like we’re going to have some great judging teams.

Entertainment will begin in the gym at 4:30 and will last ‘til 5:30, when the awards assembly itself will start, but the assembly will not start until the halls are completely clear. Please show respect for the competition site, and help us keep it clean. Everyone should have a seat in the stands. No one will be allowed to sit on the gym floor. Please remember, we are prepared to show respect and good sportsmanship to all other competitors, coaches, judges, media, audience members, and tournament officials. All performers, speakers, and award recipients deserve a respectful audience. Please do not leave your places before the last award is presented and the assembly is dismissed. Please be sure that all team supporters are aware of this as well.

Do not attempt to enter any competition site after the Door Monitor has shut the door. Please turn off pagers and cell phones in any competitive venue.

Be sure that your kids inform any supporters who might possibly show up THE NAME OF THEIR PROBLEM. You’d be surprised how many sweet parents and grandparents come looking for their students who are “in the Odyssey of the Mind.” Really. We have about 750 kids who fit that bill, and nearly three hundred scheduled events for the day. Help us out here, please.

Program books and tournament souvenirs will be on sale throughout the day. Be sure to get yours early. Once again, the Pocono Mountain West High School cafeteria will be open all day with some absolutely delicious offerings for us. The menu is available on the website. Remember to enjoy all of the wonderful food only in the cafeteria. No food or drinks may be taken to any other part of the building. Everyone needs a place to sit when they go into the cafeteria to eat. To that end, no one or no one group may claim tables for longer than one hour. The cafeteria is not a team or family storage area. No one may camp out in the cafeteria. No one may use the electrical outlets there. Those who bring coolers or other food storage containers in for their meals, must bring them in just before they eat, and remove them directly afterwards.

In the event of a medical emergency, contact a tournament official immediately.

WHEW! That’s a lot to take in. Here’s the most important “do” for the day – enjoy yourself and have fun! We’re in for a great ride. See you Saturday. Break a leg!


P.S. Division III coaches, be sure your seniors check out the many Odyssey scholarship opportunities. Hound your kids to submit applications, especially for our own, Karl R. Schneck, Jr. Memorial Scholarship. Karl Schneck dedicated himself to the Odyssey of the Mind program. As a coach, regional co-director, state problem captain, and world finals official, he embodied the spirit of creativity and positive attitude that kindles Odyssey of the Mind. To reward students who think outside the box while solving problems in OotM and in every day life and to honor his memory, we are awarding a scholarship each year to a senior from our region. The monies collected at the tournament will be used for this scholarship. Together, we can honor Karl’s memory in the way that would mean the most to him.

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