If you’re a Destination Imagination veteran, you have heard us say many times that we can’t hold a tournament without the help of our volunteer Appraisers. This is really true! Every team doing Challenges A-E and projectOUTREACH® is required to provide an adult Appraiser (age 18 or older) who spends one Saturday in January or February getting trained, one full day at the Sub-state tournament, and one full day at the State tournament. Every Rising Stars!® team is required to provide one adult volunteer who serves up to a half day in a non-scoring role at the Sub-state tournament, and does not need to have advance training.
Although Team Managers often ask a team member’s parent to step in as an Appraiser, there are many other ways to find one. Read How to Find Appraisers for suggestions. You may wish to share Top Reasons to Be an Appraiser with anyone you ask to serve in this capacity. We also welcome adults who are NOT representing a team to become an Appraiser. If you would like to become a Friend of cre8iowa by serving as a non-team affiliated Appraiser, please contact Keith Kutz at email@example.com.
The main role of an Appraiser is to keep an open mind in order to discover areas in which to “praise” teams by awarding them points. That’s why ApPRAISErs are called Appraisers. Appraisers set the tone of the tournament to a great extent. If they are happy to be there, then that is evident to the teams and their spirit is infectious. The scores you award teams at tournament provide them with critical feedback they need to evaluate themselves, to improve their solution at the next level of competition, and to set goals for their next Destination Imagination season.
It is definitely fun to watch teams’ creative performances and to award them well-deserved points. Many of our Board members, in fact, began their volunteer experience with Destination Imagination as Appraisers; most of them serve as tournament officials today (in addition to wearing other hats). At Destination Imagination Global Finals, it is considered to be a privilege to be selected as an Appraiser. You can see how some Appraisers celebrate the fun by participating in a Team Manager & Officials Challenge at Global Finals.
When you check in at Appraiser training, you will sign up to appraise a Challenge that is different from the one the team you represent is doing. Challenges focus on technical, scientific, fine arts, improvisational, structural or service learning areas, or—in the case of Instant Challenge—on on-the-spot problem solving. You can find a preview of the Challenges HERE, and can see what practice Instant Challenges look like by visiting our Instant Challenge Library. You’ll get an overview of the Destination Imagination program, become acquainted with the difference between objective, subjective and zero scores, learn all about the Challenge you will be appraising, and experience how to work together as a member of an Appraisal team.
Speaking of Instant Challenge, this week’s newly-released Instant Challenges include:
By becoming familiar with the same rules that teams follow, you’ll help us to create a fair and consistent playing field for every team at tournament. You’ll take what you learn at Appraiser training to the Sub-state tournament, refine your skills and learn some new lessons, and apply them at the State tournament, where the first place team in every Challenge and Level earns the right to advance to Global Finals. In a sense, you are doing the same thing that teams are doing, i.e., both of you are improving your performance from one tournament to the next. You’ll have a chance to evaluate teams for creativity, teamwork and problem-solving, and will nominate some teams and some individuals for exceptional creativity, expertise, DI spirit, community service and other areas.
Several points to keep in mind about being a DI Appraiser are that you are making a commitment to the team you represent by serving as an official. The team is not allowed to advance to the next level of competition without your completion of training and your service at both tournaments. You will spend the entire tournament day at the site of the Challenge you are appraising, and will not be able to leave the site until the last team has performed and your Head Appraiser or Challenge Master excuse you. Your free lunch on both tournament days is provided by Students for a Creative Iowa. Teams who have a single Team Manager must be accompanied by that Team Manager at tournament, who may not also serve as an Appraiser. Appraisers can choose on what day to attend training, as follows. Check-in begins at 9:00 a.m., and training runs from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Jan. 26, 2013 – Kirkwood Community College (Iowa City)
- 1816 Lower Muscatine Rd., Iowa City, IA 52240
- Check-In: Room ICCR 255
- Feb. 2, 2013 – Kuemper Catholic High School (Carroll)
- 116 S. East St Carroll, IA 51401
- Check-In: Cafeteria/Hallway
- Feb. 9, 2013 – Ames Middle School (Ames)
- 3915 Mortensen Road, Ames, IA 50014
- Check-In: Commons
If you have never served as an Appraiser (or even if you have), and would like to have a better sense of what to expect as an Appraiser, you will benefit from visiting DI University. This is a free online training that gives you an overview of the program and explains some of the roles that Appraisers fill. It is not a substitute for learning about the Team Challenge you will appraise at tournament, since that information is provided at your official Appraiser Training, but it definitely helps to paint a picture for you. The two modules that will benefit you most include “Being a DI Appraiser” and “Rules of the Road.”
As we get closer to tournament, you will find updated Appraiser information, on the Appraiser Information page on our Web site. For now, you’ll want to add these 2 tournament dates to your calendar:
- March 9, 2013 (Saturday). Sub-State Tournament. Ames Middle School, Ames.
- April 6, 2013 (Saturday). State Tournament. Ames Middle School, Ames.