FAQs

Can kids from different schools be part of the same team?

Yes, as long as they are all Moraga residents, since this program is sponsored by Moraga Rotary. Please note that the division of the team is based off of the grade that the oldest member of the team is in. Moraga OM teams are not sponsored by any Moraga schools.

Can anyone coach a team?

Yes, anyone older than 18 can coach a team, and you can have up to 3 co-coaches. Generally a parent or a sibling of a team member coaches, but technically anyone can be a coach. The coach doesn't need to have any building or design experience since the coaches aren't supposed to help with solving the problem. It's highly recommended that the coach read the program guide to get familiar with the guidelines and rules before they start coaching.

Is coaches training mandatory?

Yes, for both new and experienced coaches. The problem-specific training is very helpful because you can get some of your clarifications answered there. 

Is Spontania Mania mandatory?

No, but it is highly recommended for your team to participate in it so they can experience working through multiple spont problems in the same format as the tournament spont problem. 

How often should the teams meet?

It is totally up to the team, but usually, teams start meeting once a week for about 2-3 hours from October to December. From January onward some teams meet twice a week depending on how much work is left to do. It is generally a good idea to include some spont practice in every meeting. There are links to some example spont problems on the "spontaneous problems" page of this website.

How much does it cost to participate in this program?

Each problem has an assigned budget (either $125 or $145 depending on the problem) which the team cannot exceed while solving the long-term problem. The teams only list in their cost form what materials they used in their final solution, even though they may have spent more money while building. It's always a good idea to use recycled materials for which the cost becomes the garage sale value of the item. For brand new materials that you buy and use, you only need to list the cost of the portion of it you used (ex: if you bought one yard of fabric and only used half of it, you only put down half of the price it was). Cardboard and paper are considered free. For the cost of other items, you can look at the program guide. 

Other than the cost of materials, there is a team registration fee (~$75), a spontania mania fee ($10), and the cost for snacks and tools used in meetings. You will have to pay travel and lodging costs if your team makes it to the state or world tournaments. This year's NorCal state tournament is in Santa Rosa, so lodging is optional.

What is the difference between the membership fee and the team registration fee?
If there are two teams in the same division doing the same problem, there would need to be two separate membership numbers. However, if there are two teams in the same division doing different problems, you only need a total of one membership. Moraga Rotary pays for the membership fees for all the teams. This membership fee includes membership in the national OOTM and NorCal state organizations. 

The team registration fee, however, is to register for the regional tournament. Each team has to pay a team registration fee. There is no team registration fee for the state and world tournaments.

How do clarifications work?

Please look at this link for the explanation of general and team-specific clarifications:

https://www.odysseyofthemind.com/clarifications/ 

How do teams get OM t-shirts, and when do they wear them?

Team/coach t-shirts are paid for by Moraga Rotary. Generally, the Moraga OM coordinators will email the coaches in January to get a head count of the team members and the size for each shirt. Teams usually receive their t-shirts a week or two before the tournament. They can wear the t-shirts for the spontaneous portion of the tournament and the awards ceremony. 

Can a parent do the work if a tool is not safe for kids to use?

Parents can show the kids how to use a tool, but they can't do the work for them. If a tool is not safe, then it is better to look for an alternate solution to the problem.

Can a coach and/or parent watch the spontaneous performance at the tournament?

No. The only people allowed in the spont room are the spont judges and the team members. The team members are not allowed to reveal what the spont problem was to anyone (including the coach and parents) until the day after the tournament.

Can parents carry the props and sets to the tournament location?

The parents are allowed to help the team members carry the props and sets all the way to the performance room entrance. The kids then have to carry the props inside the room to the team preparation zone, and onto the stage during their performance. However, the parents are allowed to help clean up and move the props off of the stage area after the performance is done. That being said, it is a good idea to build your props so they can be transported easily and can fit through a normal classroom door.

Where in the school do the performances take place?

Problem 1 usually takes place in a school gym. The other problems and the primary problem usually all take place in a normal classroom. The size of the area that you have to perform in is given in the long-term problem description.