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General Coach FAQs

FAQs for Odyssey Coaches

When will teams know the timeslot for their volunteer coverage responsibility?

When the competition schedule is finalized, each team will be assigned a two-hour timeslot for which they must provide an adult to help with the logistics of the tournament. This may involve serving as a door monitor, helping with team or spontaneous registration, helping with concessions, or another role. The assigned time slot will enable parents to watch the team perform its long-term solution. The assignment will be sent to coaches – it is the coach’s responsibility to identify a parent or other adult to cover the assigned role in the specified timeslot.

What if a judge hasn’t been found and the registration deadline is soon?

A temporary/placeholder judge may be registered; this could be anyone, since this person will not actually be judging.  BUT these steps MUST be followed:

  • The final question on the judge registration form asks for information the judge wants to share.  This MUST indicate that this judge is a temporary placeholder.  The questions about problem preference or children in the tournament should be left as “I don’t know”.
  • Keep looking for a judge.  Remember that this person must be 18 years old by the day of the tournament and does not need to be associated with Odyssey of the Mind.  Please contact the judges coordinator if there are any questions or concerns.
  • As soon as the actual judge is identified, that person should register as a judge.  The final question should be used to indicate that this judge is a replacement for the temporary judge for the team, identifying the team and the temporary judge that is being replaced.   Contact the the judges coordinator if you want to make sure the change has been made.

What is Odyssey of the Mind?

The Odyssey of the Mind program brings together teams of up to 7 students to begin a journey of creative problem-solving, team building, and fun! As described on the international organization’s web site:

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and world level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.

During the course of the year, team members will:

  • Learn to work as part of a team
  • Develop communication skills
  • Take responsibility and complete tasks on schedule
  • Take calculated risks in the solution of complex problems
  • Develop confidence in their own capabilities and ideas

How do I start Odyssey of the Mind at my school?

We have prepared a list of ten simple steps to establishing an Odyssey program at your school. If you still have questions, please contact our school coordinator liaisons.

How do I find the information I need throughout the year?

While the international Odyssey of the Mind web site and the Virginia state VOICES web site have some great resources, you will find all the information you need right here on our NoVA North Region 9 web site.

You can also subscribe for email updates so that you’ll know whenever we add new information to the site. Just enter your email address in the field on the right side of the page.

What is the role of an Odyssey coach?

Coaches usually meet with their teams, made up of 5-7 students, and guide them through the process of “solving” their problem, while letting the kids take 100% ownership of their solution.

What is Creative Competitions, Inc., also known as CCI?

Creative Competitions, Inc. is the official name of the international Odyssey of the Mind organization.

What is NoVA North Region 9?

NoVA North is one of the regional Odyssey of the Mind associations in Northern Virginia. We were formerly known as NoVA West Region 13. In 2011, the region had grown too large to host a single tournament, and we split into Regions 9 (NoVA North) and 12 (NoVA South). We consist of a volunteer regional board that works with many other volunteers in the area to keep school coordinators up to date, assist coaches in preparing their teams for our tournament, train judges for the tournament, and host the actual tournament, as well as many other functions.

We hope you find this web site useful and that you’ll send our webmaster suggestions or comments so we can make it the best site possible.

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