World Finals FAQ

 Updated 05/14/17

In addition to the Frequently Asked Questions on the national website, here are contributions from our collective experience:

Q: When will the team schedule be published?

The World Finals competition itself takes place over 3 days. Teams will often have long term one day and spontaneous another day. Teams compete from Thursday morning (May 25, 2017) to Saturday noon-ish (May 27, 2017). The final competition schedule will be posted at this link on Tuesday, May 9.

Q: What to expect at the Opening Ceremonies?

A: This is an event that takes place in a large indoor stadium. It starts with a Parade of Nations, a little bit like the opening of the Olympic Games. First all international delegations, then each State in the U.S. (Texas comes towards the end). It is impressive to see so many countries sending teams to compete in the same problems as our teams.

 Q: Who participates in the Opening Ceremony team parade?

A: One representative from each team can march in the parade. Usually, this is popular amongst younger team members. If a team declines to participate in the parade, they can still attend the event from their seats and allow younger team members to march with a buddy. Do not miss this exciting event!  This is coordinated 2-3 weeks before WF.

 Q: Does one need a ticket for Opening Ceremony?

A: Yes. Everyone needs a ticket and they are free. Every team member and coach receive a ticket with their welcome packet. In addition, anyone else who has booked a housing package will receive a ticket in the same manner. All these pre-assigned tickets are usually in the Texas delegation seating area.
Visitors who stay in hotels are classified as "spectators". They must pick-up tickets in person, the morning of the ceremony at the Information Center (see site map). Spectators are seated where available, typically in the top section. If you want to sit with friends, you should get in line together.
Note: If you have extra tickets, please contact the TX Association Director to share with other TX teams. See contact list provided.

Q: What do we wear at the Opening Ceremony?

A: Anyone who marches in the parade or who sits in the Texas delegation area must wear the TX Region t-shirt (Pokémon - 2017).  Please remember to wear comfortable shoes - expect a lot of stadium stairs.

Q: Can I record my team's performance?

A: Yes! and in 2017, a recording area containing a stationary tripod is being taped off at each performance site.

Your team is allowed to designate one videographer who is allowed to enter the area and use the tripod to mount a recording device for your performance.

The tripod top will feature a standard screw-type camera mount (screw size is ¼ inch diameter, 20 threads per inch) with a removable clip that must be replaced at the end of each performance.

Please, follow these rules:

  • Only one person (videographer) may enter the area.
  • No one is allowed to move the tripod or the tape marking the area.
  • The videographer must leave the area when the team finishes its performance
  • The clip on the tripod used to mount a camera must be in place when finished.

Please make sure the next team is able to use the tripod just as yours was able to use it.

Q: What is the Creativity Festival?

A: Think of a spontaneous workshop on steroids. This is a mini-conference where each represented country or state has a booth. Some have activities, others test your skill or exhibit displays.  There is also a giant (We are not exaggerating) trophy with the names of all the World Finals Ranatra Fusca winners over the years.
Texas started the "Thank You Cards for Judges" booth in 2013 and it was endorsed by Sammy and received with great appreciation. We will continue this tradition, much like we do at HARO and State. TX Teams provide the volunteers (one adult per team) to man the booth for 3 days. If it is your turn, your team can consider going all together and work the shift in turns. Wear a team T-shirt and take your team picture while you are at it!
At the booth, we have a special gift for each team. It contains special non-market pins that teams get to keep as souvenir. This year's design is ... the food truck. Please plan to pick-it up.

The International Festival is hosted in the same location on Saturday. Foreign delegations have a small sales booth with souvenirs or products of their country.

Q: What is the Float and Banner Parade?

 A: The F&B Parade is a fun non-competing event for all delegations. It takes place on Thursday, at the same location of the Opening Ceremonies. Texas members will be wearing the cool Harry Potter glasses and house ties that everyone helped make during the State Competition. No tickets are needed for the F&B parade. It is free-seating for all guests. Everyone can attend the Float & Banner Parade event, even if you are not marching in the parade.

Q: Who participates in the Float and Banner Parade?

A: One representative from each team can march in the parade. Teams often send a different member than the Opening Ceremony but there is no rule. 
Usually, this is popular amongst younger team members. If a team declines to participate in the parade, they can still attend the event from their seats and allow younger team members to march with a buddy. This is also coordinated 2-3 weeks before WF.

Q: What do we wear at the Float and Banner Parade?

A: Anyone who marches in the parade must wear the TX Region t-shirt (maroon Harry Potter shirts in 2017).
The same T-shirt is suggested for family members. There is no assigned seating, the atmosphere is looser at the F&B Parade.

 Q: How is Spontaneous at WF?

A: All spontaneous problems will be held in the same building. Coaches are not permitted in the spontaneous problem rooms. One coach (or another adult assigned to the team) should accompany the team to the spontaneous building where they will be wait in the holding room. When coaches and teams report to the spontaneous building, the coaches will be informed where to wait for their teams when they are done.  Parents wait outside the building until the team returns. You will learn about "the tail".
Remember, no-one can talk about the spontaneous problem until after the Awards Ceremony.

Q: What to expect at the Closing Ceremony?

A: At the closing ceremony, International teams sit in the middle of the arena, U.S. teams sit in their delegation area. The ceremony includes a presentation of an annual Creativity and Spiritual awards. This is a high excitement event. The media team present a potpourri of photos and video from around the competition. When the lights go off, lots of teams have lighted or colorful or sparkling items. They announce the Awards by problem. The top 6 ranks get recognized and stand in their seats. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place and RF get awards.
For those who are not able to attend, check ahead of time the national website www.odysseyofthemind.com , there will be a live simultaneous webcast. Note: Lansing is one hour ahead of Texas.

 Q: Does one need a ticket for Closing Ceremony?

A: Yes. Everyone needs a ticket and the process is the same as for Opening Ceremonies. Tickets are pre-assigned to teams and housing package owners. Spectators must pick-up tickets in person, the morning of the ceremony, from the Information Center.
Very important: If you do not plan to use your Closing Ceremony tickets, please text the Association Director (see contacts list) in order to ensure they are redistributed to other Texas teams and Officials.

Q: What do we wear at the Closing Ceremony?

A: Each state contingent proudly sports their shirts. Every state has different colored shirt and the effect in the arena is of a patchwork quilt. The reason we ask everyone to wear the same shirt is to maintain this effect and not break up our block of color!
Anyone who sits in the Texas delegation area must wear the WF State t-shirt (yellow Food truck shirt for 2017) and teams wear the soda jerk hats that we have passed out at State Awards. Please do not wear it at WF until then. We like it to be a surprise. Consider wearing something underneath your WF t-shirt. OMers and adults have been known to trade T-shirts after the ceremony. Do your homework ahead of time and zoom in on the team with the coveted shirts. This is an excellent opportunity for foreign shirts swap and hats, hats, hats!
Please remember to wear comfortable shoes - expect a lot of stadium stairs.

Q: How about the "after Parties"?

A: After the closing ceremony, there are organized parties for each age group. Expect to send chaperones with the younger ones. There will be music, dancing, karaoke and the inevitable pin trading. Guess what, you see pin trading at the airport too, on the way out of town!!
The Coach Recovery Party is a ticketed event. Aptly named, it is an appreciation event for the coaches hard work. Do not miss it! Every coach needs a ticket to this event and the process is the same as for Opening Ceremonies. As we have requested for other ticketed events, please share your unused tickets with other Texas Officials and assistant coaches.

Q: Do we need to make arrangements to return our props?

A: Not usually. Behind each venue are several large dumpsters. It has become OM tradition for teams to go straight to the "dumpster ceremony" where they discard all the props that they have carried around for 6+ months. This brings a closure and eliminates the temptation for younger ones to bring back bulky souvenirs. Of course, it is up to you if you wish to bring anything back.

Q: Tips from experienced WF coaches:

A: For teams staying in the dorms: attach a small tag or label to each team members' dorm key with the coach name and cell phone so that lost keys can find their way back. You can get such key tags at dollar stores. Lost room keys will incura $75 fine to the person assigned the key.

A: For younger team members, consider preparing name badges on lanyards. You can find them in office supplies stores. Include all team adult contacts. Members should wear them at all times. The ones with a pocket or zipper allows them to also store important valuables and keys. 

A: For younger team members, consider down time each day. Whether it is a dip in the pool (pack swimsuits), a walk around town, of just games in a dorm room. A regular bed time is important, even if 10 pm is later than usual. Use your parental best judgment. You do not need to participate in every single event.

A: Ask your dining hall on the first day whether they can provide packed lunches. They may require advance notice but it may save you some time.