Coach Checklist

A Coach’s Checklist for the Odyssey Season Adapted from the LA Basin Region - Thank you, Bob Anderson! This is a detailed coach checklist that lets you know what to anticipate and put into your Odyssey schedule for the season. It is not a “how to” step-by-step coaching guide, but it does focus on some of the nuts and bolts of the operation you might not find in other documents on this website. Required Registrations and Fees
  • National Membership Registration ($135 per membership, discounted to $100 for 2nd )
    • Do this over the summer or at the beginning of the year.
    • Register online here.
  • State Membership Fees ($75 per membership)
    • You should receive an email from the state board giving you information about the state dues. Pay these fees by December, please. You school contact will receive an email from the state treasurer. CA State fees may be paid on the state site.
    • If you have any questions about state fees, please contact the State Fees Collector directly:
                            Janis Dewar
                            193 Hemme Ave.

                            Alamo, CA 92508
                               Email: jdewar94507@yahoo.com
  • Regional Tournament Registration ($65/Div I-III, $45/primary team)
    • Registering for the tournament is open in early December. Deadline for Regional Tournament Registration is Jan. 16. Make sure to pay your reg. fees by Feb. 2
  • Judges Registration
    • You must find a judge for to represent your team.
    • Judges need to commit to 5 hours of training on a Saturday approx. 3 weeks before the regional tournament.
    • Judges will be busy all day at the regional tournament. They will not be able to see their associated team compete.
    • Should your team advance to State Finals, judges must be ready to judge at State.
    • The sooner you start recruiting, the easier your life will be!
New this year - If your judge registers by Dec. 19, you will receive a $10 rebate on your regional reg. fees! BUT...if your judge registers AFTER Jan. 16, you must pay an additional $15.
Beginning of the Year
  1. Read the program guide on the national site. It changes every year.
  2. Meet with parents. Hold a mandatory meeting at the beginning of the season. Be sure to stress the outside assistance rules. (The simplest parent rule is: Parents may not discuss any aspect the problem solution with the team at all.)
  3. Stress to everyone, parents and team members, that the team must provide a judge for the tournament. This is critical, plan ahead!
  4. ALL coaches must attend a training this fall. Check out the regional website  to register and for more information.
First Few Meetings
  1. Did you read the program guide on the national site? If not, do so. All coaches must read it, cover to cover. Encourage your team to do so as well. (You will also receive a print copy of the program guide with your registration packet.) One good idea: assign a section of the program guide to each member of the team. (Spontaneous, Style, Long Term, First Half of Rules, Second Half of Rules, etc…)
  2. Be sure to read the glossary of the program guide again! It is important and will really help the team understand the requirements and scoring once they choose a long term problem..
  3. Talk about teamwork, and set up some operating criteria now while there are no disagreements (fingers crossed!). Try out a few teamwork activities.
  4. While establishing how the team will function as a group, stress that on time attendance at all meetings is very important. Anyone who cannot attend a meeting needs to let the coach(es) and their teammates know as soon as possible.
  5. While establishing how the team will function as a group, stress that on time attendance at all meetings is very important. Anyone who cannot attend a meeting needs to let the coach(es) and their teammates know as soon as possible.
  6. Read materials concerning outside assistance with the team.
  7. Stress that there can be no outside assistance. Tell the team not to discuss the problem with their parents.
  8. Talk about budgeting and cost. Emphasize that nobody should buy anything without checking with their team members. Many teams collect $15-$20/member at the beginning of the Odyssey season; this becomes the basis for the team’s treasury and helps them budget. At the end of the season, if there’s any money left, many teams use it for part of their team celebration!
  9. Create a Receipt Folder for all receipts for purchased materials. You will need these receipts when the team completes the Cost Form.
  10. Go over spontaneous rules and strategies, and practice some problems at every meeting.
  11. Check out this year’s Long Term problems. Let the team read full problem description, not just the synopses.
  12. Once the problem is chosen, everyone should get a copy and everyone should read it from front to back.
  13. Make sure that teach team members has a Team Folder for important documents such as the chosen long-term problem, the Program Guide, team schedule, etc. This is a good place for keeping any notes.
  14. Let the team know they will need a judge for the tournament.
    • This shouldn’t be a parent since judges don’t get to see their own children perform.
    • In the fall, team members should starting asking teachers and adult friends.
  15. Teach creativity through team building activities and spontaneous. Yes, it can be taught. Always encourage the team to think outside the box!
  16. Talk about style, make sure the team understands they must also have a some sort of skit, even in the most technical of problems.
Mid Year
  1. Did you pay your state fees?
    • (You should receive an email from the state association. If not, contact the state treasurer directly).
  2. Did you set a hard deadline for completion a few weeks before tournament?
    • Try to schedule a dress rehearsal. This adds an incentive to get done early and makes a huge difference. Teams will inevitably realize that they forgot a required element or something isn’t working out they was they originally thought it would.
  3. Make sure you’re keeping up with the clarifications for your problem.
  4. Does the team have a judge yet?
    • Time is running out for this, better find one quickly. Don't incur that late fee!
  5. The team should start thinking about their style form now. It’s a big part of their solution. Remember, nothing that is being judged for the long term solution can be part of the style elements chosen by the team.
  6. Every coach and team member should be assigned to read the entire problem again. It is easy to miss something critical.
  7. Our region has a Spont Day on January 13. Emails with sign up information will be sent out to Program Coordinators; this info will also be posted on the regional website. . This event is extremely popular; in some years, all 36+ slots have been filled within the first two hours after registration opens. Registration opens on Dec. 21 at 3:00. 
  8. Be sure to practice spontaneous at every meeting.
As the Tournament Approaches
  1. Read any Redwood Region emails that come your way, and check the regional website frequently.
  2. Make sure your judge registered for training and attended the training.
  3. Ask your team if they want to enter the Redwood Regional T-Shirt Contest, with an entry deadline in January.
    • Team members can enter as many designs as they wish.
    • The winning designer receives a free t-shirt!
  4. Register for the regional tournament.
    • Register by January 16th.
    • Register online at the Member Area at odysseyofthemind.com.
    • Pay online at redwoodomer.org or send a check to our regional treasurer.

            Our Regional Treasurer’s Info:
                              Betsy Clarke
                            Redwood Region Treasurer
                            5400 Yerba Buena Dr.
                            Santa Rosa, CA 95409
Email: mamatoe3@gmail.com
    1. Assign a parent (or more) to make sure lunch and snacks are available on tournament day.
      • We may also have food available for purchase at the tournament. More info in the Super-de-Duper Email that comes out before the tournament.
 
    1. Hold a mandatory pre-tournament meeting with all team parents. Be sure to discuss:
      • Outside assistance
      • Everyone is a winner
      • Arrival time (Early!) and departure time (Late – after the Awards Ceremony)
      • Be sure to congratulate your kids (We mean real congratulations, not “It’s okay honey”. No matter how they did, they completed a very hard project on their own.)
      • Be thankful and appreciative of every official at the tournament. Everyone running the tournament is a volunteer. There are no paid positions within this organization.
 
  1. Go through the 20 Questions List with your team. This is important!
  2. Assign a parent to plan a post-tournament celebration sometime the week after the tournament. Make sure the whole team can make it, and the coach can attend and just relax.
At the Tournament
  1. Make sure you bring the following in a folder for each team. Be sure to keep extra copies for yourself.
    • 4 copies of the style form
    • 4 copies of any list as described in section B and H in your problem
    • 1 copy of the Cost Form, filled out as specified in the program guide
    • 1 copy of the outside assistance form, signed by everyone
    • Coach(es) Code of Conduct form, signed by all coaches. Make sure the signed Team Code of Conduct Form is also available upon request.
    • optional: any team specific clarification
  2. Bring a repair kit with tape and any tools the team may need to make repairs.
  3. Be sure that your team has everything listed in section H “The team must provide” of the problem.
If You Make it to State Finals
  1. What you need to do right now (Immediately!)
    1. Congratulate the team! (and the coach!)
    2. Make hotel reservations for the Friday night before the tournament and the Saturday night of the tournament.
      • The tournament starts early and the awards run late. We strongly advise a hotel for both Friday and Saturday night.
      • Do this right now, immediately. Yes, NOW. Two hours from now may be too late! Hotel rooms run out. You’ve been warned!
  2. What you need to do soon
    1. Plan how to get the team and props to the tournament.
    2. Schedule practices between now and the tournament.
      • Continue to practice your solution. The team should plan and make improvements based on scores from the regional tournament.
      • Teams are allowed to change any aspect of the solution. This is your opportunity to improve upon the work already done. Scores can guide this as well. Teams definitely NOT allowed to “borrow” any cool elements from another team’s solution.
    3. Register your team via the “Member Area” at http://www.odysseyofthemind.com
      • If you have special schedule requests or any health considerations for your team, be sure to put them in the appropriate box when you register.
    4. Be sure to use those score sheets to improve your solution!
    5. Visit the state website at http://www.calomer.org for news of the tournament and keep up with our regional website. Be sure to refresh both pages to make sure you have the most up to date information.
    6. If you want to order pins, be sure to send them in by the deadline. Pin trading helps students to meet others. See the pin order form handed out to advancing teams. Pin ordering is something we strongly recommend.
  3. Make sure you bring the following in a folder for each team. Be sure to keep extra copies for yourself.
      • 4 copies of the style form
      • 4 copies of any list as described in section B and H in your problem
      • 1 copy of the material values form, filled out as specified in the program guide
      • 1 copy of the outside assistance form, signed by everyone
      • optional: any team specific clarification
      • Also needed for CA State Tournament: 1 copy of the media release, signed and filled out. Even if some parents don’t want to sign it, you should fill it out for the rest of the team and bring it to the tournament.
If You Make it to World Finals!
  1. What you need to do right now (Immediately!)
    1. Congratulate the team! (and the coach!)
  2. What you need to do soon
    1. Plan how you are going to pay. Assume about $1,200 per person.
    2. Plan how to get the team and props to the tournament. You will need to crate and ship props, or pay to have that done. This is also expensive. In the Bay Area, for the past several years, coaches have banded together to ship props at a significantly reduced rate. If this is available, we’ll get this opportunity out to WF teams right away.
    3. Schedule practices between now and the tournament.
      • Continue to practice your solution, and make improvements, based on your scores from the state tournament.
      • Teams are allowed to change any aspect of the solution. This is your opportunity to improve upon the work you’ve already done. You can use your scores to guide this as well. Again, teams definitely NOT allowed to “borrow” any cool elements from another team’s solution.
    4. Register your team. World Finals registration instructions are given at the meeting after State. Register online in the Members Area at odysseyofthemind.com.
    5. Be sure to use those score sheets to improve your solution!
    6. Visit the World Finals webpages Area at odysseyofthemind.com for news of the tournament.
    7. If we can help in any way, please contact us.
    8. Order pins. I cannot stress enough that pins are a big part of World Finals. Order pins!
    9. Consider being a host to an international team. It is a wonderful experience for your team, something that shouldn’t be missed.
    10. Please make sure that parents understand the following:
      • World Finals is setup for the teams. A lot of what happens there may not be all that interesting to parents. We don’t recommend that parents come for the whole week!
      • On the other hand, we do recommend that the team go for the whole week, and that they stay together in the dorms. It is a worthwhile experience that they may only have once in their life!
      • Tickets for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies are sometimes hard to get. Be sure to get them as early as they are available.
    11. When going to World Finals, consider the following questions:
      • How are you going to manage your team? We suggest keeping them together as a group (builds team cohesion).
      • Which long term presentations are you going to watch?
      • When are you going to unpack your materials? Something may have broken, do this ahead of time.
      • When are you going to practice?
      • Where are parents going to stay? Get reservations early. We suggest that teams stay in the dorms; this is a very positive experience.
  3. Make sure you bring the following in a folder for each team. Be sure to keep extra copies for yourself.
    • 1 copy of the membership card
    • 4 copies of the style form
    • 4 copies of any list as described in section B and H in your problem
    • 1 copy of the material values form, filled out as specified in the program guide
    • 1 copy of the outside assistance form, signed by everyone
    • Any World Finals–specific forms
    • optional: any team specific clarification