Teams, Coaches and Coordinators:

The R14 tournament is fast approaching! We are excited to see you and your teams on Saturday, February 29 at Independence HS. A few final notes before the tournament:



  1. Independence HS is located at 23115 Learning Circle, Ashburn. This is a brand-new school, so your GPS may not know about it. As a marker, Brambleton MS is across the street. Plan accordingly!
  2. Parking may be tricky. There is no parking in the loop in front of the school; it is reserved for unloading props only. Also, please do not block the buses. Athletic teams and other school activities still occur, even during the tournament. Buses need to be able to get in and out of the school.
  3. Select a meeting spot for your team. Note that the front lobby gets rather crowded and might not be the ideal meeting place.
  4. There will be concessions at the event — fun Odyssey items to purchase from the region, as well as food concessions graciously hosted and provided by student groups at Independence HS as a fund-raiser for their activities.



  1. Make sure your team has their forms (1 Outside Assistance, 1 Cost Form, 4 Style Forms, 4 Required team lists – see your problem for details and read, read and re-read the program guide!) Make sure you have enough copies. Make a backup packet! 
  2. You should check in at your long term and spontaneous sites 20 minutes prior to your performance. Please do not check in any earlier, to avoid crowding.
  3. Please have each of your team fill out an emergency form. These need not be turned in; keep them with you during the tournament just in case they are needed. The forms can be downloaded here:
  4. Media Release: We’d love to be able to share photos of the day on our website or with the local press, but want to ensure we have the right permissions. As LCPS does, we are going to an opt-out model. Please complete this form, indicating the team’s agreement or opt-outs, and turn it in with their team paperwork at staging. The document can be found here:
  5. Remember that Outside Assistance rules continue throughout the tournament. Makeup, repairs, etc. are the responsibility of the team. You may help the team move the sets into the building and staging area, but once they are in, they are the responsibility of the team until after the judges have talked to the team post-performance. Additionally, sportsmanlike conduct applies not just to our students, but our parents as well. Please remind your parents to be kind, courteous and encouraging to all of our students and volunteers, and to be great stewards of Independence HS, which has been kind enough to allow us to be there.


Scores and Awards Ceremony

  1. Raw long-term scores will be available from head judges at your problem site about an hour after your performance, along with judging feedback. Don’t forget to pick these up — the sticky notes accompanying the scores are the best part! Look for a sign near your performance site that will let you know when your scores are completed. Only registered coaches may pick up the scores. Spontaneous scores will be available online immediately following the awards ceremony. Additionally, we will post the final scores in the cafeteria immediately following the awards ceremony. Coaches only, please! 
  2. While there is no scoring and no awards for primary students, we will still recognize their performances with a ribbon and provide judging feedback. Primary teams may attend the awards ceremony, but it is not required, and can make a long day for younger kids.
  3. The banner parade will begin lining up at 5:40 outside the gym. Look for school signs in alphabetical order; students and coaches will parade in and sit on the floor for the awards ceremony. The stands will be open for parents, siblings, relatives and friends (and coaches who would rather not sit on the floor!) Fair warning: the parade and ceremony are LOUD! 
  4. Teams advancing to the state tournament will meet immediately after the awards ceremony in the auditorium, where information packets about the state tournament will be provided to the advancing teams.


Enjoying the day 

  1. If you need assistance during the day, be on the lookout for our tournament directors in bright pink or yellow logo polo shirts, and our board members in light blue logo polo shirts. First aid can be found at the information desk, and tournament directors and board members will be contactable if immediate help is required. 
  2. Cheer on every team! Yes, this is a competition, but every team who has made it to the competition has proven their creativity and stick-to-it-iveness and deserves a great day showing off their solution.
  3. We owe a special thank you to the staff of Independence High School. They have graciously welcomed us into their school with open arms, and we are appreciative of their generosity. Do your best to thank them for their hospitality by treating the school well: clean up after yourselves, and leave the school even better than you found it. Whether it’s lunch, snacks, drinks, make-up or props – make sure it is cleaned up. Additionally, take care in the performance spaces. Be mindful of equipment like Promethean boards, musical instruments, things on the stage, gymnasium floors and the cafeteria. 

Finally, and most importantly – HAVE FUN! You’ve worked really hard, now SHOW IT OFF! We can’t wait to see what you’ve dreamed up for us! Good luck and enjoy the day!


Sheryl Lemma
Tom Coate

Regional Co-directors, Regions 14 & 16

Odyssey of the Mind