Tournament Thoughts

After attending this tournament this weekend, Ms. Tammy and I created a video to remind us of all things we want people to be sure to know.  I have compiled it into this post so you don’t have to watch a video!  😀

Tournament Protocol/Thoughts

  • Be respectful
  • The judges are human and are not to be questioned.  Any disrespect, including questioning of the judges, vulgarity in or around the ring or poor attitudes in any fashion will not be tolerated.  Remember you are representing the school.  The judges are Volunteers who have devoted their lives to the martial arts.  Getting people to judge a tournament is a tough gig for the promotors.  Help them feel that their sacrifice of time is appreciated by respecting them.
  • Feel free to ask one of the parents who have gone to a large tournament before questions about tournaments
    • Meredith’s Mom:  Nicole Hunsader
    • Dalton’s Mom:  Tammy Midden
    • William and Benjamin’s Mom:  Lori Conner
  • or Digitego are the websites that are most often used for tournament registrations.  In (Battle of Atlanta), make sure you allow me to connect to your registration.  I will try to send you a request if I see that you’re registered and have not allowed me access to your registration.  For Digitego (US Open), I don’t know how to share information.
    • PLEASE FORWARD ME ALL CORRESPONDENCE AND FULL DETAILS OF YOUR REGISTRATIONS FOR ALL EVENTS.  (I don’t need your hotel reservations or Disney Ticket receipts.)
  • These are incredible events, and while we went to a regional tournament this weekend that had 12 rings, the Battle of Atlanta is a National Tournament will have 24-30 and the US Open is an International Tournament and will likely have 30-40 rings.  
  • A ring is a 6×6 or 5×5 matted area for the competitors to perform.  There will be a minimum of three judges and a scorekeeper.  Ring numbers should be visible at each ring.  There will be three judges chairs and a table with a television and computer for the scorekeepers.  Ring assignments may be available prior to the event.
  • When it is time for your division, you will be asked to check in with the scorekeepers.  Listen for your division, listen for your name to be called, check your email or text messages often for any notifications of ring assignments or changes.  After you have checked in, there will be a shuffle for order of performance.  They will then bow in the competitors.  You will wait quietly on the sideline for your turn.  Quietly imagine doing your form, running it through your head.  Cheer for other competitors, bow in and out of the ring, be powerful.  All competitors will perform, then there will be a few moments for the judges to arrange their scores and scores will be awarded.  Before the awarding, they will likely line all the competitors up in order of performance.  When it is your time to be scored, step forward in a neutral stance until the final score is read aloud by the scorekeeper, then bow and step back in line.  Awards will then be given.  If your name is called, step forward and the judges will let you know what to do from there.  If your name is not called, keep that positive attitude.  Remember, there is only one winner in each division.  That does not make you a loser.  It just means that you get to improve.  Be sure to shake the judges’ hands after they have given scores and handed out awards.  (There should be a line of competitors that shake the judges’ hands, but there may not be, so be sure you go ahead and do that even if they don’t remind everyone to.)  Be gracious and congratulatory even if you don’t win a trophy.  Good attitudes make a huge different.  Be proud that you made an effort to come an INTERNATIONAL tournament!  You are being scored against competitors from across the globe, so be proud of yourself!
  • Should you get a first place, you may be asked to stay for the Grand Champion runoffs for your age group.  Listen to the announcements or consult the ring assignment board.  You should also get a notification or email if Uventex (Battle of Atlanta) is used with your ring assignment and tentative division time.  Many times we judges are so focused on making it a positive experience for all the competitors, we may forget to tell our first place competitors about the runoffs.  Sorry.
  • If at all possible, please do not ask the scorekeepers or judges questions.  
  • Be patient and listen to announcements over the loudspeakers. 
  • Sometimes your ring number will change, this is an effort to expedite your experience at the tournament.  Do your best to not be frustrated.
  • Bring lots of patience.  There may be internet issues, students may be in another ring competing or there may not be enough VOLUNTEER/QUALIFIED judges or scorekeepers available.  You may think the old pen and paper way is better, but I can guarantee that going back to the old method is much more difficult.  Once things are running smoothly, things will zip along.  Judges and scorekeepers are there on a volunteer basis because they love the sport and they are trying to make it a positive experience for all the competitors.  Be respectful and show compassion.
  • Ms. Crissi will likely be judging or assisting in different areas in addition to competing.  She will probably not be able to answer your questions.  Please seek out one of the parents who have attended other tournaments.
  • There may or may not be participation awards.  As we are explained to in our judging certification, imagine you and three friends go for the same job, each one of you is interviewed.  There is only one job…and three are still looking for a job.  (One winner, three losers…it’s life.)
  • Watch others and encourage others.  Cheer for people when you see something you like.  It’s always a rewarding experience to celebrate others.  Don’t just focus on how well you did or did not do.  Be proud of yourself for getting out there and participating!
  • Watch the pros!  Make sure you get to see all the amazing talent that is out there.
  • Be aware.  Be aware of what’s going on.  DO NOT WALK THROUGH A RING IF THERE IS COMPETITION GOING ON!    Try to walk in the carpeted areas and stay out of the way of the judges, competitors and scorekeepers.
  • Do not be annoying. It is super cool to get pictures with pros and friends.  Be sure to give them their space.  Be gracious and thankful.  Be respectful of their time.  When they are about to compete or have just competed is not the time to ask for a photo or autograph.  If they have headphones in, DO NOT BOTHER THEM.  They are trying to get in the zone.  There will be many opportunities to interact with them throughout the weekend.  When in doubt, get with Kyleigh or Brandon about whether to ask for a photo or introduction.
  • Contain your belongings.  We bring a cart with all our stuff, which includes bandaids, pain relievers, etc.  So if you have a minor injury, or your uniform gets wrinkled or you need a hair tie, feel free to check Ms. Crissi’s tournament bag.  Please return anything you may have taken from the tournament bag when you are done.  You may want to have something similar for your family.  We will not be taking care of anyone else’s stuff in our cart.  It’s not that big!  This is a family friendly event and while I probably wouldn’t leave my wallet in my cart, we have never had any issues with theft. (Knock on wood.)
  • Check back often for updates.  I will add things as I think of them.


Things to Be Aware Of:

  • When you register, send your receipts to Ms. Crissi by email.
  • Ms. Crissi will go to the tournament office and collect registrations for everyone.  At the US Open, she will also handle any pre-ordered tee shirts.  You can pick these up from her at a time and location designated closer to the tournament.  At the US Open, it will be during the Paul Mitchell Experience.
  • Try to be involved in the events that go on at the tournaments.  At the Battle of Atlanta, there is a Competitive Edge Seminar on Thursday.  At the US Open, there is a Paul Mitchell Seminar.
  • Attend the Night Show!  In Atlanta, seats are not reserved, however at the US Open, I am working to see where the best place for all of us to be is.  There are cheap $5 tickets you can get with your admission to the US Open, yet there are discounted seats closer as well.  I am waiting to figure it out.
  • Bring Snacks.  There will be times when you are waiting for your division that you get hungry.  Bring fruit, granola bars, water, juices in a bag for you to snack on.  There will probably be some sort of tournament food, but it is likely not “power food” and will often be overpriced.  We usually bring breakfast food to our hotel room and have a pretty good breakfast of fruits, eggs and whole grains to fuel us for competition.  We also drink lots of water heading up to the event.
  • Get your hotel rooms early.  Several times the hotels sell out.  US Open has rooms available, Battle of Atlanta does not have any available rooms, however there are several hotels in the area that are relatively close.
  • Pre-Order Shirts if possible.  Check back often to see if they are available.  I will also do my best to announce it.
  • Don’t be in a rush to get anywhere.  Plan your time wisely.  Relax and be prepared.
  • Go through your provided packing list.  This will help you not forget important things, like weapons, your belt, your uniform!
  • We will have a packet of information that will have lots of fun stuff for your road trip!  Enjoy the road trip!
  • Attend our Tournament Prep Classes!  Pay attention to the announcements so you know when to attend and what to say to introduce yourself to the judges.
  • Send your Paul Mitchell Registrations and T-Shirt Orders to Ms. Crissi!
  • us open 2018 schedule of events with tips

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