SV Odyssey of the Mind - Tournament Info Newsletter


Silicon Valley Odyssey of the Mind Newsletter

I know this is a very long Newsletter but please take the time to read all of it, there is lots of important information!

February 25, 2018

If you are an experienced coach, you still need to read this as there is always new info each year.


 Please keep an eye on the weather forecast for Saturday, March 3. Right now it is looking 50/50 for rain during the tournament day. Some of the classrooms and venues have outdoor entrances only and you may need to carry your stuff some distance in uncovered areas.  Please plan for the weather and protecting your props & costumes. If the weather is wet or windy you will want to keep your props in your cars until just 30-45 minutes before your Long Term performance time. There will not be much covered space for more than one or two teams to line up near team entrances & there aren't any enclosed areas on campus to keep your props. Check-in, Sales, Food and Activities are planned to be outside so dress warmly if it is cold.  Bad weather is the biggest Spontaneous problem we can have for a tournament, but we are all Omers and will be creative on our solutions to deal with it! If it is raining, we may have to move the main Check-in Table and other open-air Quad activities to various covered areas. We will send out an updated map hopefully by Thursday evening if we have to make venue changes because of the weather. So keep checking the website Tournament tab for updates. Everyone think sunny thoughts for Saturday!



DATE: MARCH 3, 2108

LOCATION: Carlmont High School

ADDRESS: 1400 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont, CA 94002

SCHEDULE: Long-term performances from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Long-term Problem performances are open to spectators so please enjoy watching & cheering other teams while you are at the tournament. Performance site doors will be kept closed during each team's performance so if you get to a site during a performance please wait until the door is open and don't knock on the door to disturb the performance in progress. Spontaneous competition is NOT open to spectators, coaches, parents or anyone except team members. 

There is a Tournament menu (with sub-menus) on the front page of the website which has up-to-date information on the tournament, including the tournament schedule and downloadable map of the campus to locate your problem rooms. Please visit that web page often to keep current. You will also find a link to General Problem Procedures and Procedures for Spontaneous from the national Odyssey of the Mind Fall 2017 Newsletter.   There may be slight variations of procedures at regional and state competitions due to different site constraints at the facilities. For example, we recommend that you report to the problem check-in area 30 minutes before your long-term performance time, rather than 15. That way teams are lined up and ready to go on time. 


Each team will be asked to provide a "door-monitor" for the performance following their own. Anyone watching the team's performance can take on this task. Coaches please designate someone associated with your team to be prepared to do this for the next team. The door monitor can stay inside the performance room and will ensure that the audience entrance door is closed as soon as the Announcing judge begins announcing the next team and remains closed until the performance ends. This process allows each team an un-interrupted performance. Sometimes we have the luxury of scheduling volunteers for this task but not this year, so please adhere to this Odyssey etiquette rule.


All of the Long-term Problem venues have hard floors/no carpeting. Most of them are standard linoleum tile-type school flooring. The Primary problem and Problems 2, 3, 4 & 5 are in large classrooms. Problem 1 is in the Dance Studio which has a beautifully finished hardwood floor which we must be careful not to scratch or stain. Several of the classrooms are science classrooms and have various high school science equipment on the cabinets & counters at the sides of the rooms. We expect all participants and audience members to respect school property and not disturb any classroom equipment. We are very grateful to have this campus available to us for our tournament and we need to treat it well so that we leave a good impression with our hosts. We also ask that audience members take all of their trash out of the classrooms and dispose of it in appropriate trash bins outside on campus.

All of the Long-term Performance venues have 2 doors. One for teams & one for audience. Only the coach and team members should check-in with the Staging Area judge at the Team Entrance for their performance time. Please direct all others that may accompany your team to the Audience Entrance while the doors are open between performances. Once a performance begins the door will not be opened for late comers, to prevent disruptions during performances.

There are no oversized double doors. All of your props & backdrops must be able to fit through a standard classroom door.

This Campus is on a hill and there are a LOT OF STAIRS! When looking at the Campus Map, Alameda de Las Pulgas (where most of the parking is) is at the bottom of the hill and The Student Union and E wing classrooms (where Spontaneous is held) are at the top.


We recommend your team arrive at least an hour before their first performance (First teams of the day shouldn’t arrive more than 1 hour before as there won’t be much going on besides setup). This will give them a chance to scout out the location of their long term performance and the Spontaneous area. The team should be ready at the staging door for their long term problem at least 20 minutes before they perform, complete with all paperwork, props and costumes. Give the paperwork to the children to hand to the Staging judge. Remind parents that they should not be doing hair or makeup or helping to setup the props. They can help carry props to the staging area but that is all.  Many of the check-in areas are outdoors, so please be prepared for whatever the weather is while waiting in line.


All coaches need to check-in and pick up your team packet when you arrive. You will also turn in the team’s Media Release forms at Check-in. Coach packets will only be given to the head coach named on the team registration. The packet contains critical tickets your team will need for claiming your raw scores and for entering the Spontaneous area. Your packet also contains Participation pins for the team members. The Check-in table also serves as Check-in for volunteers, General Information table, Lost & Found and first aid kit.

The Check-In/Information/Lost & Found table will be located in the Quad Area just above the football field in the center of Campus.

There are 3 distinct check-in steps for teams:





Coach Check-in

Head coach (only)

As soon as you arrive well before any of your team's scheduled competition times to pick up team packet & turn in Media Release forms.We will only give the packet to the registered head coach.

Main Check-in table in Quad

Long-term Performance

Team & coach

At least 20 - 30 min. before your scheduled time, with all props and paperwork, in costume and ready to perform. Team will hand in the rest of their forms to the Staging Judge.

Team Entrance Area for your Problem & division


Team & coach

Approx. 15 min. before your scheduled time.     Must have Admission Ticket found in team packet head coach picked up at coach check-in.

Spontaneous check-in table in Spont. Area in the Upper D & E wing.



Each team should bring:

  • Media Release Forms for coaches and each team member signed by team member's parent (to be handed in by the coach at Coach Check-in in the Quad area).

The following forms are handed in by the team at the Long Term Performance check-in

  • 1 signed copy of Team Code of Conduct form (all team members need to sign this)
  • 4 copies of the Style form
  • 4 copies of the required Team List for problems 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Primary 
  • 1 copy of the Cost form completely filled out and totaled
  • 1 signed copy of the Outside Assistance form
  • any private clarifications your team has received (if applicable)

You may want to bring copies of receipts for items on your Cost form for the staging judge to review if requested. Please pay particular attention to the Style form and fill it out completely before you arrive. Some of the style categories are "free choice of team". This means the team must select a particular style item for the judges to judge. They cannot select anything that is already being scored in the long term problem requirements. Also be sure they fill out the bottom of the form with a synopsis of how their style enhances their performance. New teams seem to forget this part. Finally, bring the outside assistance form completely filled out. If the team had no outside assistance, the word "NONE" should appear in the center of the page. Each child should sign the form themselves, certifying that they had no outside assistance. Include all students who contributed to the problem solution regardless of whether they are in attendance at the tournament.


Problem 4 teams must weigh-in their structure and submit it for inspection about an hour before their performance time. Check the schedule for your assigned weigh-in time. Teams are allowed to make adjustments to overweight structures, if there is sufficient time before your performance time. The weigh-in room location will be emailed to Problem 4 coaches soon. Only 2 team members are allowed into the weigh-in room (no coaches).


All teams will perform their spontaneous problem in the Spontaneous Area rooms shown on the map. Teams should present their spontaneous admission ticket at the Spontaneous Area check-in table about 15 minutes before their assigned time. You will be called when the judges are ready for you so stay close to the check-in table. Only the team members enter the restricted spontaneous area. Once the team is finished, they will exit from the restricted area. Parents and coaches should wait there. Please keep noise to a minimum near Spontaneous in order to minimize distractions for the teams who are solving their spontaneous problem. For Divisions I, II, and III five team members will participate in the spontaneous problem. Additional team members can choose to stay in the room with their team-mates or leave and wait in the holding room. Primary teams may have all team members participate.


These vendors have graciously agreed to donate some of their proceeds to Silicon Valley Odyssey of the Mind to help us continue bringing this great program to the children of Silicon Valley. We thank them for helping us with our event and supporting our program! We hope you enjoy the convenience of having food available on campus and support these businesses that are helping to support us.

The following food trucks will be on-campus for either breakfast or lunch time. Here is a link to the Menus

Chutney Mary's: serving breakfast items and coffee, chai, mango lassi, misc, beverages at 9 am and Indian fusion fare for lunch.

Gold Rush Eatery: serving lunch including various burgers, sandwiches, salads, fries, drinks and root beer floats.

Teams can also bring a picnic lunch or go out to lunch at one of the local restaurants. There are outdoor tables scattered around campus, a few in covered areas, most not.


We will be selling Odyssey of the Mind trading pins and other souvenirs at the sales tables in the Quad area at the center of the campus. We will have an exclusive Silicon Valley Region  space themed pin available (maybe you have seen the preview pictures on our website or Facebook page!) There is a very limited supply so they could be hot traders at the State and World tournaments! For those of you who pre-ordered pins you may pick up your orders at the Souvenirs Table. We will also be selling a commerative pin of Omer as a firefighter. All of the proceeds from this pin will go to help teams who have been affected by the wildfires in California this year.


There will be a selection of T-shirt and sweatshirt styles for sale to commemorate this year’s tournament. Prices vary. Yes, all of the participant's names will be on the back of the shirt. Highlighters will be available for the kids to highlight their team and add personal touches to their shirt. Its lots of fun to watch your t-shirt being printed! 


We will have a table where teams can stop by to help decorate the Membership poster that will be carried by each membership group in the Awards Ceremony parade. We may also have a photo booth station where teams can have their picture taken with their props, etc. , which we will post in an album on our Facebook page after the tournament! We may have other fun activities as well. We are still working on that. The Activities and Sign decorating booth will be in the Quad area unless it is raining.


The Award Ceremony will begin at 4:30 p.m.

All teams and their coaches will gather at 4:00 p.m. to line up by school/membership group in the area marked on the map near the gym for the parade into the gym.   Each group will carry their decorated Membership sign and march together to be announced as they enter the gym. Schools/Groups are welcome to bring their own signs or banners to identify their group in the parade. Family members and other spectators should take seats in the bleachers in the gym before the Awards Ceremony begins.  Coaches walk in with your team. Teams will be seated on the gym floor. (Sorry coaches you get to sit on the gym floor with the kids.)  We begin the Award Ceremony with the Primary teams so that they may leave after their awards if they choose. We expect all teams and spectators who stay once the competitive teams  Awards Ceremony begins to show their Odyssey Spirit by being respectful and supportive of each other and stay to the end of the ceremony rather than leaving in the middle which becomes very disruptive and noisy. Please make sure the spectators associated with your team are made aware of this policy. The Awards Ceremony lasts about an hour and the kids are generally quite excited. Our sound system is not always up to the level of the crowd noise so we ask for your cooperation in helping to settle the crowd noise quickly after cheering winning teams, so that we do not have to delay the proceedings to quiet the crowd. We look forward to honoring all the kids who have worked so hard all year!


The advancement guidelines are set each year by the State Association. The guidelines may change from year to year to accomodate as many teams as possible at the State tournament venue. Click here to view the Advancement Guidlines. Coaches with teams advancing to the State Tournament at UC Riverside in Riverside, CA will receive a packet of information about State Tournament registration while the team receives their awards during the awards ceremony. There will be no advancing team coach meeting after the awards ceremonies.

For teams going on to State we will also need your judge to judge at the state tournament.


Volunteers will receive a reminder email with their job position and time-slot on Thursday evening. The reminder will be sent to the email address your volunteer used to register and/or sign-up on the SignUp Genius. Volunteers need to check-in before their assigned time at the check-in table where they will receive instructions on where to go for the assigned task. If they have a time slot after 3:30 they should sign-in before the check-in table closes around 3:30 if possible so they can receive instructions for their job.


You are encouraged to invite spectators to come and view the Long-term problem performances. Applause and cheering is certainly welcomed. These kids have worked hard all year, now it’s their time to show off what they have accomplished. Please be sure to hand out the schedule and campus map (with the location of your performance marked) to any spectators you invite. Make sure your spectators know the official name of your membership, and the problem and division in which you are competing (e.g., INDUZ FREMONT A, Primary Problem: We're Cooking Now Team #3). If someone shows up at the check-in/information table and asks “do you know when and where my niece Suzie is performing?” we will be unable to help them without this information! (You would not believe how many of those there are every year). Also make sure your spectators get to the performance site a few minutes before the scheduled performance time so they can enter the room before the door is closed. Late spectators will not be allowed to enter during a performance. Try to make sure your team gets a chance to watch some other teams perform in other problems or age divisions. It's always entertaining and interesting to watch what everyone else does to solve their problems.


There are multiple parking areas on the school campus and two entrances to the campus. The largest parking lot is directly off of Alameda de Las Pulgas in front of the school at the bottom of the hill. The other fairly large parking lot is accessed by turning into the driveway next to Cranfield Road and turning right. There are 2 smaller parking lots further up the hill accessed from the entrance opposite El Verano Way. The parking at the top of the hill behind the Student Union & E Wing are reserved for judges parking and other activities that will be on Campus that day. The driveway to access that parking is narrow & one-way so it is advised that you don’t aim for those as they will be filled by the time teams get there. There is also quite a bit of parking along Alameda de Las Pulgas in front of the school.

If you have to park in the surrounding neighborhood, please be respectful of neighbor’s driveways and obey posted parking signs. Plan a little extra time for finding parking and getting to your venue. 


Since the performance venues are fairly far from the parking and up the hill there will be two  drop-off zones for teams to drop-off/pick-up their props that will be staffed by volunteers most of the day to help people find their way. These are 10-minute loading zones only.  Do not leave vehicles unattended in these loading zones. Drivers may have to search a while for parking after dropping off so if your team is too young to leave on their own plan to have an additional adult to stay with the team &/or props while the driver goes to park. There is still a bit of a walk to most of the performance venues from the drop offs so be prepared to carry your stuff a little ways and possibly up or down stairs. We will try to have directional signs posted to help you find your way around.

  • For Primary, Problems 1 & 5 Drop-off: Enter campus at the driveway next to Cranfield road and proceed up the hill to the drop off area just beyond the Student Drop off circle shown on the map.

  • For Problems 2, 3 & 4  Drop off: Enter the Campus at the driveway across from El Verano Way. Proceed past the Softball fields and then turn left and go past the Performing Arts Center. The Drop off Zone is at the far end of the small parking lot  under the administration building.


Do not dispose of/abandon any props, backdrops etc. in school trash cans or dumpsters. Please take home anything and everything that you bring. We need to be courteous to our hosting school so that they will continue to invite us back!


Barbara & Barbara

Co-Regional Directors

SV Odyssey of the Mind