2021-2022 Tournament Information

Illinois Affiliate Tournament will be held in person this year!

Affiliate Tournament Fees are $100.00 for all competitive Illinois DI teams. If a team chooses not to provide the required adult Volunteer to act as an Official at the tournament, the team will pay an additional $250.00 fee.

The Illinois Affiliate Final Tournament will be held on April 2, 2022 on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. All Competitive Illinois DI teams are invited to participate. Early Learning/Rising Stars teams will have a separate event in the Northern Chicago suburbs, and will be contacted.

A Destination Imagination tournament is the ultimate celebration of creativity and innovation, and is an opportunity for kids to connect with and support other creative thinkers who participate in the program. Each year, volunteers help run more than 200 DI tournaments around the world.


Destination Imagination tournaments are open to all teams registered with DI. At a tournament, teams will compete against other teams in their Challenge Level (Elementary, Middle, and Secondary) and Challenge Category (i.e., Scientific, Fine Arts, etc.). This year, all teams in Illinois will be invited to participate in the in-person, scored Affiliate Final Tournament to be held on April 2, 2022 at NIU in DeKalb.  The top-tiered teams from each Affiliate qualify to participate in Global Finals, our culminating international tournament that takes place each May and includes more than 8,000 kids from 15+ countries. With more than 17,000 people attending the event, Global Finals is the world’s largest celebration of creativity. Global Finals will be held In Kansas City, Mo, from Saturday, May 21 through Tuesday May 24.


A Destination Imagination Team Challenge is an open-ended project that teams work on over an extended period of time, usually 2-4 months. We offer seven new Team Challenges each year: Engineering, Technical, Scientific, Fine Arts, Improvisational, Service Learning (Project Outreach) and Early Learning Challenge (Rising Stars!). Our Early Learning Challenge is noncompetitive.


Each Team Challenge includes a set of specific requirements your team must complete in order to solve the Challenge. This is called the team’s Central Challenge. These requirements in the Central Challenge could include a combination of technical, scientific, theatrical, engineering, fine arts and improvisational elements. Teams will often have to do research in order to fulfill the requirements in each Challenge. Many teams also participate in skills workshops or work with mentors and parents in a specific field in order to learn new skills needed to design and build their Challenge solutions.

In addition to the Team Challenge requirements, teams will also incorporate certain elements, called Team Choice Elements, into their solution. Team Choice Elements often have a meaningful connection to the team’s solution and are a chance for them to show off their skills, talents, interests and areas of strength. These elements can be anything and often range from a small prop to a vehicle steering system.


Instant Challenges are short problem solving activities (usually less than 10 minutes) that help strengthen students’ quick, creative and critical thinking skills. They may be performance-based, task-based or a combination of the two.

At a tournament, teams will solve one Instant Challenge in addition to showcasing their Team Challenge solutions. Instant Challenges are kept secret until the day of the tournament. Because Instant Challenge is worth 25% of a team’s overall score at a tournament, teams often practice different types of Instant Challenges throughout the season.

Categorised in: Tournaments, Volunteers and Alumni