Now is a good time to go back to your problem and re-read Part A, Part B, and Part C by yourself, make sure you are clear on the three parts and then re-read it with your team to make sure everyone is clear or can make adjustments.
Primary—At this age, focus on A. The Problem. Make sure the kids to have developed a skit about the main points. Then as a coach, focus on B. The Limitations so you can keep their ideas within these rule limitations by reminding them of the limitations. The kids are too young at this age to understand all of this, which is why it is non-competitive.
Div I—Print a copy or two (one for each member in older Division I, and Division II) to go through it line by line. It can be a check, check, check, oops—add, check, etc. type of exercise. Most of us like to check off what has been addressed or mastered and this can serve as a middle of the year road map. For teams that are running smoothly this can be a great confidence booster and catch any missed or incorrectly understood elements. For teams where there is some disorganization of thought this can help to get back on track.
- THE PROBLEM—Read this paragraph to make sure the team is on the right path. There are two parts to the problem—creative emphasis and spirit of the problem. Be sure the team is clear on both and can ‘meet the spirit of the problem’ as this is the required.
- LIMITATIONS—Know these now, not later. I will go into more depth later on some of these, but note problem clarifications (your problem captain can be an excellent resource), time limit, cost limit and required elements. This is the part where you MUST, MUST, MUST go through it number, and letter within number so missed elements can be figured out now.
- SITE, SET UP and COMPETITION—The most important part of this is knowing the dimensions of your site so there are no surprises. DO NOT expect more room than what is stated. There is limited space so not everyone can get the ‘best’ room. BE prepared.
Div II, Div III, Competitive—In addition to each of the above it is critical to keep up with any of the national clarifications on a regular basis. Often questions or clarifications from other teams outside of Colorado will lead to a national clarification. In order to be competitive and not lose points, or worse, get penalized, team members should closely look at each limitation.