Volunteers serving as Tournament Appraisers

2024 Appraisers and Volunteers

Information for Appraisers for 2024

It takes a small army to put on a successful tournament! ILDI tournament officials are dedicated volunteers, NOT paid employees, that give many hours of their time for the benefit of your children/student(s). They just cannot do this without our AMAZING team volunteer Appraisers!

Appraisers are the wonderful volunteers who actively engage with ILDI teams to provide a fair and positive tournament! Appraisers may observe presentations to provide positive feedback & award points, introduce teams at challenge sites, process team paperwork, usher teams to their site or even help in the score room. No special skills or talents are necessary to become an Appraiser, however, all appraisers are required to attend the Zoom Appraiser Training session where ILDI’s amazing group of Challenge Masters will teach you everything you need to know for a successful and fun tournament day!

Potential Appraisers Must be:

  • 18 years old and out of High School for scoring Appraisers
  • willing to read the challenge materials and Appraiser Guides sent to them prior to the zoom training
  •   available to attend the approximately 2 hour  zoom training session and complete the online training
  • available all day(typically 8am-4pm) on your tournament day
  • able to maintain an enthusiastic, positive, and encouraging attitude with teams and adults on tournament day.

What time commitment is needed to be an Appraiser?  Approx. 3-4 hours from home and then the tournament day – in person.

1. Mandatory General Training, Zoom call –  for experienced and new Appraisers, online -2 hours max.

2. Challenge Specific Online training from DIHQ in simple easy courses and reading the Challenge and Guides.  At Home, at your leisure – 1 to 2 hours

3. Online Zoom Meeting with your Challenge Master to discuss any questions you have about the Challenge, and to firm up your Challenge positions for the tournament. Approx. 1 hour

4. Tournament day – come 1 1/2 hours before your first scheduled team presentation, so you can get familiar with the room, the system, log in, and say hi in person to everyone on your Challenge Team.

Time needed at the tournament will vary depending on the position you qualify for and the Challenge we need you in. Some of you might have a very short day, and others will be needed from 8:30 to 3:30.

Mandatory Appraiser Training will be held ONLINE several different times – it has been a bit since we held training, so we want to touch base with everyone.  The biggest news for those who did not help at our one tournament in 2023 is that DI Scoring has gone paperless!!  DI has moved to an online scoring program that allows you to score from your phone, tablet, or laptop at the tournament.  We used it last year, and it is very easy to use, once you have been introduced to it. It utilizes WiFi in the schools, and is great!

ONLINE Zoom Appraisers’ Training: Early February to mid February –  Challenge Breakouts will be scheduled by your Regional Challenge Master to discuss Challenge in depth.

Regional Tournament:  Appraise at one  – February 24, 2024,  March 2, 2024 or March 9, 2024 -ALL DAY (typically 8am-4pm)   -Appraisers are given a snazzy shirt and treated to  lunch, snacks and beverages throughout

Teams will be assed fees for failed Appraisal support so PLEASE DO NOT FILL OUT THE FORM if you can not commit to both training and tournament day.

Don’t forget to bring your silly hat and enthusiasm on tournament day!

Frequent Appraisal question

Will our volunteer Appraiser be able to watch our team perform?

No. To ensure transparent and fair scoring at each Challenge site, Appraisers may only leave during scheduled breaks. This means Appraisers will not get to see their team perform.

Can our volunteer appraise in the same Challenge in which we are competing?

No. To ensure transparent and fair scoring, an Appraiser may NOT be assigned to their own child/family member’s challenge site. It is our policy that any Appraiser who is provided by a Team cannot be assigned to the Challenge which that Team is solving – even if that Appraiser is not a relative of a Team Member or the Team Manager. We trust our volunteers to be impartial, but we worry that having the Team’s designated Appraiser in the same Challenge – even in a non-scoring role – can create an illusion of impropriety, spawning doubt in the minds of other Teams [and their supporters] in the fairness of the Appraising process.

Our volunteer went through training last year or several years ago.  Are they required to train again this year?

Yes. Appraisal volunteers are required to attend training each year because all of the Challenges (and some of the Rules) change each year. Also, volunteers do not necessarily serve in the same capacity year to year. Plus, now we utilize Online scoring.

What if an appraiser does not attend training or fails to attend Tournament?

It take a small army of volunteers and Appraisal support to host a tournament. If an Appraisal volunteer fails to attend training and/or Tournament day, the team will unfortunately be invoiced for the full additonal $500.00 tournament cost

When will appraisers know what their role will be?

Volunteers will typically receive a welcome email 1-2 weeks prior to the February Challenge training date by their assigned Regional Challenge Master. Shortly following training day, Regional Challenge Master will contact their Appraisal team with tournament day role assignments.

What will Tournament day be like for the Appraisers?

Volunteers find this to be a very rewarding experience. It is a long day, but Appraisers are treated to snacks, drinks, lunch and a free shirt. They are well-trained and have plenty of support from veteran volunteers who serve as Head Appraisers and Challenge Masters.

What can High School DI Alumni do in ILDI?

We are excited to offer some great volunteer opportunities for High School aged Alumni. This year, high school alumni may appraise in certain non-scoring positions if they are not currently competing in DI this season, are at least 15 years old, willing to come early to the tournament, and They must have Tournament Director approval prior to registering.

High School Alumni, Freshman and Sophomore opportunities:

DI Alum Freshman and Sophomores, are encouraged to apply as a Rising Stars/ Early Learning Appraisal team member, Chill Out Room Official, Holding Room Official, or as a challenge site door keeper. (You may not be affiliated with a specific team for the Room Official role)

High School Alumni, Junior and Senior opportunities:

In addition to the roles above for HS Alumni Freshman and Sophomores, Alumni Junior and Senior are also encouraged to apply for: (You may not be affiliated with a specific team for the score runner or Holding Room Appraisal role)

Timekeeper/Announcer (Central Challenge or Instant Challenge)
Assistant Check in Appraiser
Assistant Prep Area Appraiser

HS openings are limited, so make sure you have Tournament Director approval prior to registering a DI HS Alum or you may risk slots being filled and  being assessed a late registration fee for not completing by the deadline….this opportunity is based on need and requires Tournament Director’s approval prior to registration.

What is the DI Appraisal Philosophy?

In Destination Imagination, it is the job of the ApPRAISErs and officials to award each team as many points as the team has earned. The emphasis should be on what the team members did produce, not on what they did not produce. Those who have volunteered to be Appraisers have the privilege of being an integral part of the process for each team. Appraisers who understand the goals of Destination Imagination, and who can elevate and celebrate the accomplishments of each team through conversation, gestures, interest and supportive appraising, will give the teams and themselves the best experience possible at the tournament.

You Don’t Want to Miss this Opportunity Because…

It is a great day of entertainment and knowledge that you have helped expand the minds of hundreds of children. Plus, you have the best seat in the house, you get a nifty t-shirt that is sure to delight and cause envy, and don’t forget about the free lunch.

Do you have a special talent? Do you love creativity? Do you like being part of something awesome? Of course you do! Why not throw a little of your shine at Illinois DI?

Volunteers make our Destination Imagination world go ‘round…no, really! We are a not-for-profit organization that relies on our talented, selfless volunteers to do everything from running our tournaments, to selling concessions, to appraising our teams. It takes hundreds of dedicated people to ensure that all the children who participate in this program are supported. This is where you come in!

The time you donate to DI allows our teams to learn new STEAM-based knowledge, hone valuable teamwork skills, and genuinely have fun. Our organization impacts children literally around the globe, and that takes some serious man-power. We can’t express enough how valuable you are to the process of making a lasting impact on future generations.

The amount of time you dedicate to our cause is up to you, and no amount is too small.

Listed below are just a few ways you can get involved (and don’t worry, we train you for it all!):

Team Manager: DI team managers work directly with a small group of children to help facilitate the process of solving and executing their vision for a challenge. You must be over 18 and be able to dedicate time after school each week to supervise your team. Team managers are often parents, teachers, and coaches (but that isn’t a pre-requisite). If you love spending time with children, and want to be on the front-lines of creativity, this is the volunteer position for you!

Coordinators: Coordinators look at DI from a slightly wider picture. Our coordinators support team managers to enroll teams in their challenges at the local and Affiliate (state)-level. Coordinators are often the middle-man between their regional/affiliate directors and the teams. They relay important
information and help keep teams on track for competition. If you have a talent for juggling many responsibilities and prefer the “grown-up” parts of an organization this is the position you’ll want!

Appraisers: In Destination Imagination, we don’t “judge”, we appraise. Appraisers have the amazing privilege to witness finished solutions to the challenges set for our participants. Appraisers have a front-
row seat to what the teams have worked months preparing. Appraisers score team solutions and talk directly with teams to get a full sense of what they learned and accomplished in their process. If you love the thrill of competition and want to get up-close and personal with amazing talent, then you’re an appraiser!

General Volunteers: Our tournaments regularly turn out hundreds of children ranging in age. With children come families, and hungry bellies, and questions, and…well, you get the picture. In order to make sure all our events go off without a hitch we need an army of dedicated volunteers willing to assist
in a variety of ways. If you just want to help in some way, and don’t mind selling snacks or registering teams, or helping with set-up/take-down, this is the position for you!

There are so many ways to help, and we appreciate each and every one of you that clicks the
“Volunteer” button.

Contact for volunteering with DI:  https://www.destinationimagination.org/volunteer/

Need some extra convincing that Destination Imagination is magical? Check out some volunteer testimonials below:

“I am both an alumna of this amazing program, and I keep finding myself spending more and more time volunteering for DI as a grown-up. As a participant, I learned the art of teamwork, how to improvise, and how to think outside the box. These attributes continue to impact my adult life every single day. To have the privilege to witness a new generation of children benefiting from this program is truly wonderful. I can’t wait for DI season to start each year! The group of volunteers develops a deep camaraderie too, where we can put the phones down and just witness unfiltered creativity. If you’re on the fence, I promise you will not regret volunteering for this program. It is the definition of fun!” – Meghan Jensen, North Suburban Special Events Coordinator/Appraiser

Categorised in: Volunteers and Alumni