Clothing and Personal items:
Along with tournament attire, (see Wildcat Forensics Handbook) bring a change of comfortable clothing such as jeans or shorts and t-shirts to wear to change into once your rounds are over. Students often have to wait several hours for other debaters who’ve advanced into finals. Change as soon as your rounds are finished so you don’t keep other team members waiting once all the debaters are through. EVERYONE will be ready to leave immediately.
Speaking of tournament attire, it’s best for boys to wear a lightweight undershirt. It absorbs perspiration and makes for a more professional look in general. Need I mention socks and underwear?
Remember to bring phone chargers, preferably labeled with names. By the end of the tournament, phone batteries are toast and kids have to share whichever chargers are available or whichever phones are still alive.
Bring at least $20 in cash for concessions. Often the only food available will be pizza, chips, candy and canned drinks. The concessionaires do not take credit/debit cards! Have a credit or debit card on hand for restaurant meals, or of course, enough cash to cover those meals. Count on about $10 per meal.
Students may not have an opportunity to get food outside the auditorium. Coaches and chaperones get busy judging rounds or working tabs. Unless the coach or chaperone has enough free time during the tournament to drive to a restaurant or grocery store, students have no way to leave the premises. Occasionally there may be a fast food place within walking distance, but there is no guarantee. Besides, there is usually not enough time between rounds to go off campus.
It is considerate to; at very least, buy some drinks at the concession tables. Concessions are a fundraiser for the host school.
If you’re concerned about getting healthy food, pack a small, insulated cooler.
Most of the hotels where the team stays offer free breakfast. By getting up fifteen minutes earlier, you can have a decent meal. A word to the wise: when coach says have your bags packed and ready to go in the morning, bring them down with you to breakfast. If you don’t have time to sit and eat, grab a box of cereal, yogurt or a piece of fruit on the way out the door. DO NOT load up a tray and expect to eat off your lap in the car.
Clean up after yourself. It’s the considerate thing to do. The same goes for cafeteria tables. Before you checkout, do a room check. You may be surprised to find a wallet inside the nightstand, ear buds under the bed, or a favorite shirt on the hook behind the bathroom door.
If you are told you’re leaving the hotel at seven a.m. that means walk out to the car at ten ’til seven, put your bags inside, get in and wait. If the chaperone is late, stand outside the car and wait.
Early = on time.
On time = late.
Late = missed opportunities and broken dreams!