We have compiled a number of good questions from TMs and parents and included the answers right here.

Schedule Coming Soon!
Remember: Virginia Team Members who attend the first Virginia Performance of Thursday, Friday and Saturday
will receive a special 5TH PIN!

Download the DIVA Global Finals To Do List

Consent Forms

Are the TMs and parents supposed to fill out the over 18 forms? How about children under 18 but not on any teams like siblings? Or are the forms only for the actual team members participating in the challenges?

All forms are agreed to electronically with the exception of the Parental Consent form. In order to do this, Team Managers will have to enter email addresses for each parent or child as part of the online registration process. Each person will receive a custom link where they can read all of the disclaimers and check that they are read. A team cannot reserve until each disclaimer is checked as read. Due to possible language barriers, it is okay for one email address to be used multiple times.


UT makes all the housing arrangements, not  DI.

Does Virginia request housing in dorms or hotels? Can all the parents stay with the children if they pay the full registration fee for themselves and their child?

You can have as many people as you would like stay with the kids. We don’t have a choice regarding whether we are in dorms or hotels. But, I would recommend you take whatever housing VA gets – since that is part of the fun for the kids! If parents want to stay with the team – and that is up to the parents – they purchase the same package as the kids would. You can see that there are different packages. So, if they want the package with only food – that would be different. If they want the package with food and housing that would be the same package as the team package.

Our school is requiring that we bring two additional school personnel.  This will give us 6 team members, 1 manager and two adult chaperons.  I can group the kids in two rooms but I do not want to stay in a room with two other adults that I do not know.  I have requested on the reservation form that I have a private room in the same building as the kids and I will pay any additional fee for this.  Do you know if this can be done?

If you know in advance that your team cannot meet the occupancy requirements in either a hotel or residence hall, there are some steps you can follow. First, if you are bringing a school administrator who must have a private room, you may find it easier to get a single room for that person in a hotel using the Family and Friends Housing options. This would guarantee the administrator a private sleeping room while allowing your team to meet the occupancy requirements of team housing. If Family and Friends housing is not an option for your team, please contact 856-974-0263 to explain your needs and explore other options.

I have a total of 14 people in my group to be housed; are we all going to be together?  What if we specified on the registration we would prefer a hotel?

You can actually put in a special request for a hotel if you have a large group.  It doesn’t mean they will accommodate you, but they will know you prefer a hotel.  Also, you would have to pay a $4750 registration fee if you choose our own housing over the one provided by DI. Learn More

Will we only be allowed 2 rooms for 8 people in a hotel as well? The girls on my team are not “little girls” and I was wondering if we would only be allowed 1 room for 5 of us?

For eight people, you will get 2 rooms in a hotel. If there is another team you’re friendly with you can do a housing request to be housed near that team – then you’ll have more rooms you can mix and match with.

For five people in a room they will bring in cots if needed.  I know it sounds tight, but we have a lot of teams to house and this has proven to be the best way to make sure we can fit everyone.

Are there rules for chaperones and the elementary aged as far as male chaperone with boys and etc.?

We do not regulate that. Your school/district may have guidelines, though. The only thing we require is 1 team manager per team. If you have 2 teams, there must be 1 adult assigned to each team. Beyond that, it is entirely up to you! You can bring as many spectators as you choose. Each package that is purchased will be housed together, with the team. You will receive a block of rooms as described in the Global Finals guide.  Learn More

With 6 team members, and 2 managers it looks like we would get 3 rooms.  We will need a third adult to pay for one of the $775+ packages if we want an adult in each room.  Do we have to know for certain which parent is the third adult by this weeks registration deadline, or is that something that can be determined closer to the event as long as we have a paid package for a third adult? 

You can add that person as soon as it’s determined.  The registration deadline is to have at least a $1500.00 deposit in, as well as some team members’ information.  This lets us know you are really intending on coming.  You can make changes (additions/cancellations) in the system until May 1, 11:59 pm EDT. Payment forms are check, credit card, money order, wire transfer or purchase order. After May 1, all changes for Housing Packages will incur an additional $59 for that person.

Changes made between May 2 and May 9 must be sent via email to askdi@dihq.org or faxed to 856-881-3596. Changes made after May 9 will be done on-site at Registration upon Team Manager check-in.

I see that closing ceremonies occur on Saturday late afternoon.   Does that mean that everyone stays in their housing through Sunday morning and everyone leaves Sunday morning or is everyone leaving after the closing ceremonies on Saturday afternoon?

Everyone stays until Sunday morning. After closing, there WILL be a party for the teams.

I have a team of four boys and one girl (my daughter). I have another team mom who may attend so that we can have two females together, if needed. What can you provide about mixed sex rooming…can my daughter and I share a room? Or should we expect males and females to be on separate floors?

Different schools/districts have different guidelines for overnight trips, so we need to be extremely flexible.  In the Global Finals Guide it says that if your team is assigned to a hotel there is an average of 3 people in a room.  If there are extra paid people they will provide roll-away beds to increase room volume.

  • 6 people – 2 rooms
  • 7 people – 2 rooms
  • 8 people – 2 rooms
  • 9 people – 3 rooms

 For residence hall housing, group your team members into groups of two to four. If there are fewer than two in your room assignments, be prepared to have roommates from another team. If your group has more than four people who wish to stay together, rollaway beds are available to increase room occupancy.

 Knowing these are the room breakdowns, the rest is up to you. We give the team managers the keys and they decide who sleeps where. Learn More

Can the adults rotate out of the dorms?  We have two Moms who are each available to chaperone ½ of our stay.  Do they have to each pay the full registration price, or can they switch off staying in the dorm?

When one of the spectators leave and the other comes, the late arrival just needs to go to TRECS to get credentials. Please make sure you put these notes in Special Requests so we are expecting the switch

Can we switch out kids? We have one child on the team who will be staying off campus with parents for 2 nights. Can a sibling (not on the team, but who has a meal pass) stay in the dorm in place of our absent team member?

No, this is not allowed.

Is it possible for a Mom to have a toddler stay with her in the dorm, and do we have to pay the full registration price for the toddler?

If the toddler is under 4 years old – the toddler is free but would stay in a bed with the parent and eat off the parent’s plate… in other words – they don’t get their own bed or meal.

One of our team members has to leave Globals on Friday for a soccer tournament.  The question is about their accommodations and pricing… will they be pro-rated? 

The packages are not pro-rated. They all run through Sunday.

My husband and older son might come on Friday and could possibly take over the room being vacated by our teammate.  Would that be OK?  If so, I guess I can just book the room and then decide how we use it….but please correct me if that’s wrong. 

You don’t need to book the room at all. Booking the package lets UT know how many people are staying on campus (hotel or dorm), and they will give you the amount of beds you need. If you are referring to Friends and Family accommodations your best bet is to go through UT directly to get the group rate. Then when the team member leaves on Friday they can check out of their hotel room and stay with the team. They will still need to purchase event passes, though.

Will teams be in rooms next to each other?

As long as you do a housing request to be roomed with the other team, you will be put together. It is very important that you do the housing request.

I see that closing ceremonies occur on Saturday night.   Does that mean that everyone stays in their housing through Sunday morning and everyone leaves Sunday morning or is everyone leaving after the closing ceremonies on Saturday night?

Everyone stays until Sunday morning. After closing, there are parties for the different age groups – An elementary party and a Teen party.

If I have only 4 team members plus myself going – that would be less then the $4,750 fee required if you don’t house with Globals – that is not a minimum amount if you do housing, correct?  You just pay the package per person and that is it, right?

Yes – you just pay the package per person

What is the price if the parents only want to walk around with the kids on campus for the three days?

If the parents just want an Event Pass and not the lunches – the cost is $95. If they want the lunches for all three days – the cost is $175. See this page for more information.

If the parents want to come for the event (the team performances, the parties, the expo, and everything else going on), but they do not prefer to be housed with the team, they can make housing arrangements through Family and Friends. This is a group rate hotel plan only. Event passes will still be required to access the event.

I have a disability and walking is a significant challenge.  I rely on handicap parking and accessible buildings.  I will also need to count on these same accommodations for my housing at the Global competition. I am unsure as to how to guarantee that I will be housed in a hotel that is ADA compliant.  

All of the hotels we use are compliant with ADA rules. You must list your request when you register the team. We take these requests into consideration when making the housing assignments and make every effort to meet the request.

When registering, and I picked the Standard package, the housing said: Tues-Sat.  Does that include housing for Sat night or do we have to check out Sat am? I saw the Closing ceremony doesn’t start till 4pm and will go a couple hours so hoping to stay overnight Sat.

All packages go through Sunday morning.

If we do not register for housing on campus for the team, Do we still have to pay for on-campus housing?  I checked FAQs and registration information about this but I am more confused now. One FAQ answer seemed to indicate that we would have to pay $4750 irrespective of choosing housing or not— is that true?  

The $4750 is not for housing- it is for everything described here under team packages with meals only. Choosing this options means you prefer to arrange for your own housing, but the team needs to be scheduled for the event, have an area in prop storage, shuttle access, access to the parties and events, etc. 

In the FAQs this is mentioned multiple times, but I can’t find any link to it on DIVA site or Globals. We have some people that will stay separate from team and made a reservation already at a local hotel, but I’m wondering if there are better/closer deals through DI. Thank you.

You can find the information at http://www.globalfinals.org/family-friends/

I don’t know about pricing for the hotels, but you can go online and see what they have to offer.


I have input all the information for my team, but I don’t see them as registered.

Please check the following:

  • Did not click RESERVE button – AND/OR
  • Put your people in and did a $1500.00 payment, but haven’t supplied an emergency contact number or an official event business contact number. That is keeping you from going into Reserved status.
  • Make sure you enter Arrival Days for all of the attendees

Is there a “registration” fee for globals or is that taken care of by DIVA?

DIVA does not pay for globals teams. I wish we could – but we do not have that money in our budget.

Do you know how much the registration fee is?  (Not housing, etc., just the registration fee?)

All the pricing info is in your Global Finals Guide as well as on the Global Finals website housing and registration are one fee – this includes $1500 deposit which goes towards the total cost – and then it depends on which day you go down.

We have a $1500 deposit before April 7th to secure a spot at Globals, but then it says the final payment is by May 1st but does not say what that payment is.  Do you know how much we will have to pay by May 1st?

It depends on when you go down and what packages you purchase for everyone. Take a look at the housing choices.

Do the TMs get confirmation of payment after they register?

The team manager gets immediate confirmation if there is a credit card payment done online. If they mail in a check/purchase order, the team manager will not get a confirmation when it’s posted, but they can log in and check the status.

Last week I went to the site and applied a Purchase Order (PO) payment.  Today I went back to the site to make an additional payment and noticed that the PO payment is not showing up.  Are they waiting to actually receive the PO before applying to account?  Did this mess up our $1500 deposit?

The only payment to show up immediately is a credit card payment – otherwise, it takes a little while to process. They do need to receive the signed purchase order before they can apply it. Once it’s applied it will show up as a purchase order. Your purchase order can be applied as a deposit – it will reserve your spot. It does not need to be a check/credit card payment in order to reserve. PO’s or credit card payments must be received in full by May 1st.

I’ve completed everything up to the payment page for registration.  There is no separate space/button.  I presume, therefore, that simply paying $1500 in the regular payment form is how we cover our deposit.  Correct?

You are correct. You use the Pay tab, and just enter $1500.00 to cover your deposit.  If you want to go in and apply another credit card payment later, you can do so using the same steps.

If you choose to send a purchase order, you can fax it to 856-881-3596, or mail it to

Destination Imagination
Attn: Global Finals
1111 S. Union Ave
Cherry Hill NJ 08002

Does the $1500.00 have to be paid with a credit card? 

You can pay by check, purchase order or money order. Send the payment to the above address

I tried to register our team on the Global website, but when I click the register button, it won’t take me any further.  Do I need to do anything else at this point other than let you know?  Just want to make sure I don’t miss any deadlines.

You have to confirm your attendance by clicking on the link provided in your email before you can register. If you did not receive your email, inform your ADs Laurie or Adam

Does each team member have to buy a housing package in order to participate? It would be cheaper for one of our team members to buy just meals, and we would still have 8 full price registrants (5 kids, 3 adults).  Or, does every team member have to pay the housing package price in order to avoid the $4750 registration fee?

To avoid the $4750.00 off campus fee you need to have housing packages for the amount of team members plus 1 team manager (5 team members plus 1 team manager = 6 mandatory housing packages).  We don’t regulate who they are assigned to, so if spectators do purchase these packages and they need to count toward the total that is fine. So, if that team member needs to stay offsite with a parent, he can still participate.

IF we choose to stay here and pay the $4750 registration fee… does that cover my kids’ event passes?  What about the team managers?

From the page on Registrations in your Globals book: NOTE: If a team decides not to stay in Destination Imagination/UT housing, a $4,750 registration fee must be paid to Destination Imagination and included when the team registers online. The fee includes Event Passes & all meals for all team members and one Team Manager.

I know that our team will be going to Globals, but what I don’t know is whether all my team members will go.  Do you have to have a commitment from every team member before May 1, or can I say “yes” we’re going, but not sure if all of us are going?

You can make changes up until the May 1 deadline. Starting May 10, no refunds will be issued for cancelled individual registration packages. All changes for Housing Packages (arrival dates) will incur an additional $50.00 per person fee.  Cancellations and changes must be submitted by the Team Manager via e-mail to globals@dihq.org or by fax at 856-324-4371. Starting May 10, non-refundable cancellations and changes can only be made in the Registration and Orientation Area at time of check-in at TRECS in Knoxville.

Our team’s funding is going to come, in part, from several different sources within the school system (gifted program, principal’s fund, superintendent’s fund, etc.). None of these folks can write a check to an individual and all have to get receipts to show where the money went. Can that be worked out?

Yes. The payment tab has a hyperlink for Click Here to print an invoice. That invoice will show all payments posted, the amount and the payor name.  The checks should be made out to Destination Imagination Inc, and should have the team number in the memo line.

Can we make multiple payments until the May 1 deadline? The rationale is that then each parent can use his/her own credit card to pay a portion of the full amount until the entire amount is paid. Can that be done??

Absolutely. They’ll go to www.globalfinal.org to log in and make a payment. They need to know the team number in order to have it applied correctly.

How do we proceed if someone needs to cancel her registration?  If she does decide to cancel, how soon would she need to do so and still receive a full refund?

Cancellations must be submitted by the Team Manager via e-mail to  globals@dihq.org or by fax at 856-324-4371. Starting May 10, no refunds will be issued for cancelled individual registration packages. All changes for Housing Packages (arrival dates) will incur an additional $50.00 per person fee.  Cancellations and changes must be submitted by the Team Manager via e-mail to globals@dihq.org or by fax at 856-324-4371. Starting May 10, non-refundable cancellations and changes can only be made in the Registration and Orientation Area at time of check-in at TRECS in Knoxville.

If a Housing and Meals Package is added after Tuesday, May 1, there will be an additional $100 fee for that package. Starting May 7, no refunds will be issued for cancelled Event Passes, Event Passes with all meals, Event Passes with Lunch, and Day Passes. Refunds for team cancellations prior to May 1, will be processed 6 to 8 weeks after the event, less cancellation of $750. Cancellation fees are not transferable. 

If our team has the deposit of $1500.00 and can’t get the final amount, will they be able to get their money back?

If the entire team cancels before that date, Destination Imagination will refund all registration fees except 50% of the $1500 deposit (i.e., $750).

One of the other Team Managers said recently that if you pay in full by a certain day you can get in a faster registration line? Can you tell me what that date is?

If your team completes their registration paid in full (or purchase order to cover the entire amount) and have no housing/packages changes by May 1, 11:59 pm, you will be eligible for Express Check-In at the event. If you do have changes or payments to be made onsite we will still do our best to get you through team registration as quickly and efficiently as possible. But even the changes and payments line moves pretty quickly, so no one should panic if they aren’t eligible for express.

The team manager has an unavoidable schedule conflict for Wednesday and Thursday. If possible, she would like her team’s competition days for Instant Challenge and Central Challenge to be scheduled for Friday and Saturday. In her absence can she appoint one (or perhaps more) of the team parents to be assistant TM(s)?  The assistant TM(s) would be registered at the tournament with the same A package as the team members, and would perform all chaperoning and other TM duties.  Please advise on how to proceed.

You need to log in to  www.globalfinals.org and do 2 things to best get these needs met:

  1. On the Team Info tab, select another adult to enter as “other”. Do this by clicking on the Modify tab. This person should be added to the Attendees tab with a role of Alternate Team Manager. If you choose to have more adults accompany you, the rest will need to have Spectator credentials.
  2. On the Special Requests tab, put a note in under Schedule that you have specific dates that the team will need to do their team challenge and instant challenge. Our schedulers will see these dates and work around them.

Since the same team is going for two challenges…. How do we do that on the registration form?  We will not need food and housing for the second challenge we have it with the first. 

The best thing to do is register half the team under one number, and half the team under the other number. Do a schedule AND housing request letting them know that these two numbers share team members so that they can stay as one unit.

Which package is the full package? I am thinking it would be any of the packages listed in the booklet we received when we received our bag at Globals?

The two Meals with Housing and the two Meals without Housing are all full packages. If teams purchase the Meals without Housing, they must still pay for their housing outside of the $3750 or $4750 price. The $3750 package includes event passes for up to 10 people, and the $4750 includes event passes and all meals for up to 10 people. Any additional people have to purchase their spectator event and day passes as they prefer.

Only those who purchased the all-inclusive package will get shuttles to and from their housing location. Teams that purchased the Meals without Housing will need their own vehicle to get to and from their housing location.

What is the time for registration on Tuesday?

When you register for globals, you will select a day a time period you want to register your team

If for some reason our account with DI is overpaid through donations where the check is made out to DI, can money be returned?

It depends on the proportion of the donations to the total:

  • If we receive more than the DI charges, (a refund is due) and if the donations are 100% of the payments we receive, we could not send any funds back to the team.
  • If we receive more than the DI charges, (a refund is due)  and if the payments are a mix of donations and non donations, we could send up to the amount of non donations back.

If we have a company willing to make a substantial donation to our team is there a way to take advantage of DI’s 501c3 status and claim a tax write off for their contribution by writing a check directly to DI with our team name in the memo line?

Per your question to Destination Imagination Inc (DII), below find information about donations.  Destination Imagination Inc does not provide tax accounting advice, and the taxpayer is advised to seek proper tax accounting advice.

Destination Imagination Inc (DII) is a 501c3 corporation.  We receive donations to support several teams every year.  When donations are made to Destination Imagination Inc. for a Global Finals Team, it is considered a ‘restricted donation’.

For DII to accept a donation, it must be in the form of a check made payable and mailed to Destination Imagination Inc, have the word ‘donation’ on it, the team number and the event, “Global Finals 2015” on the check.  We can accept any amount.

Our EIN (tax ID) is 22-2415554.  It is not required to be on the check, however, you or your donors can use it on the site to see the Destination Imagination is a recognized charity.

The donations we receive for specific teams can only be used for charges from DII for that team.  The charges are the registration and housing packages. In all cases, the donations must be received in the same time schedule as non-donation payments.  Pledges are not donations.

The most likely scenario is as follows.  Assuming a team’s housing packages cost $5600, and the team raises donation checks to DII of $2000, then the team owes $3600.   The team would pay $3600.  The donors have paid $2000. If the packages for the team total $5600, and the team raises checks to DII of $6000, then the team does not owe DII.  However, we do not send the $400 to the team.  DII, as a 501c3, must prove that the restricted donated funds were spent in accordance to their 501c3 status, and if DII sent the overage back to the team, DII could not control how the funds are spent.

If the team raises donations to DII of $5000, packages total $5600, and the team has paid $2500 already, then it is a timing difference and DII would refund the team $1900.

Without going deep into non-profit taxes, “donations over the DII charges can cause issues.” The rule we use is as follows.  We can’t take in donation money and send it back to a team.  We can send their own money back.

Whether a taxpayer’s donation would be considered a charitable donation by the IRS is ultimately the responsibility of the IRS and the taxpayer.   For charges that originate from Destination Imagination Inc, such as Global Finals charges or Team Pack purchases, we ask that the donor write a check payable to Destination Imagination Inc, and identify the team and team member that it is to be applied to.  Destination Imagination Inc will apply the funds accordingly.  Since we cannot determine the relationship of the donor to the beneficiary, in the case of Global Finals, a team, it would be up to the donor to determine if it is truly a charitable gift, or it is simply a payment for services.  For instance, and as we understand it, a parent who pays for their child to attend an event would not be eligible to take the payment as a donation.  If the taxpayer is truly a third party, then the donation would be eligible as a charitable donation on the third parties’ tax return.   The relationship of the donor to the beneficiary is key.  Ultimately, the donor’s tax return is their responsibility.

Since DII’s staff guards the Destination Imagination Inc’s status as a non-profit for our community at large, a reasonable review has to determine that the check is a donation and not a payment from a parent or guardian.  Individuals and corporations are responsible for their own tax returns, and ultimately, the IRS will determine if the donation is allowed.

Hope this helps your team, and of course we always encourage our teams to let the donors know how they did, along with a ‘Thanks’ for their support,


What do we need to do to make a scheduling change after the final registration date?

You will need to make that request when you register your team on-site.

Will there be Main Challenges on Wednesday?
Yes – Challenges start on Wednesday morning

Are Main Challenges and Instant Challenges scheduled for all days (Wednesday through Saturday)?

Main challenges and ICs are scheduled any day from Wed – Sat. Typically, they will be scheduled on different days. 

Opening Ceremonies

Do you know how tight we are in the seating at opening ceremonies? 

Each team receives 9 tickets in their packet – to sit in the Virginia section. Any extra people need to sit in General seating. Each of these people would need to have an Event Pass to get in.  We hate to break up teams, but this is the only way to assure we can fit everyone fairly.  They can give the 9 tickets to whomever they want, though. If other teams are not using all of their 9 tickets, you can use their extras. Team members participating in the Parade for Opening Ceremony will not need their tickets.


Costume Ball: Is DI supplying any materials? I was wondering if the costume is created before the “Ball” or during.

If your team is going – they do need to supply their own materials. DI is not supplying materials. But, the team should have fun with this!! There are really cool colors of duct tape now – even tie-dye!! And – you don’t even have to use duct tape!! Your team can create their costumes at globals or at home before they leave – but either way – they should create the costumes before the “ball” starts.

If a team member’s sibling comes to globals are they allowed to join in with the activities that the team is participating in? For example… pins? Is there a cost associated with that?

Anyone with an event pass can participate in any of the events. There is no cost to pin trading.

Will still be the after parties on Saturday night – after Closing Ceremonies – for the teams?

Yes, there are still the after parties on Saturday night.

Field Trips & Camps

Obviously we, as a team, don’t know our competition schedule yet. How would I go about registering for field trips or camps if I don’t know a time/date of our challenges?

If you book a field trip or camp, make sure you put in a special request under Scheduling when you register the team.  Let us know when the field trip is, and your team will be scheduled for a time that works for them.

Event Passes & Meals

If we do not stay on site …. how do I go about getting passes for the parents?  I saw a $175 pass….is that to all 4 days events or only one day?

The Events Pass Lunch Only package – the one for $175.00 is for Tue – Sat plus lunches for each of those days.  You can purchase Event passes in advance. If you purchase them on site – there is a $25 fee on site at Registration. See http://www.globalfinals.org/registration-packages/

If Parents only buy the events Pass without the meals, can they pay cash in the dining hall if they want to eat the occasional meal with the team?

We do not have meals for sale at the dining hall, but there is a downtown area within walking distance where they can go to purchase food.  There are a few snack vendors (popcorn, dippin’ dots, etc.) that are onsite, but nothing you would consider a meal.  If they want to eat with the team it’s encouraged that they purchase a meal plan.

If we decide to stay here and not purchase the meal plan….can we just purchase meals on site as needed?

No – you cannot eat the meals without a specific type of event pass – it will indicate the type of package you purchased. Each person gets a colored wristband that matches the dining hall and has the registration packet encoded in it – that is what allows you or anyone to eat the meals.

If we do not stay on site …. how do I go about getting passes for the parents?  I saw a $125 pass….is that to all 4 days events or only one day?
The Events Pass Lunch Only package – the one for $125.00 is for Wed – Sat plus lunches for each of those days.  You can purchase Event passes in advance. If you purchase them on site – there is a $5 fee on site at Registration. See  http://www.globalfinals.org/registration-packages/

I have a family with grandparents in that area who would like to come for the day….how do I go about buying passes for one day for them?

You can purchase Event passes in advance. If you purchase them on site – there is a $25 fee on site at Registration.  They would probably want the Day Pass package.

My son has a severe allergy to peanuts and tree nuts.  What is UT’s food policy?  

Answer from UT:

We make every attempt to make all of our meal plan units on campus completely nut free.  Our nutritionist, Dr. Carol Costello, works with all of our food vendors to ensure that no nuts or nut oil are used in any units providing food for our DI teams.  However, the campus does have a number of units doing cash sales that would not be nut free.  If your son only consumes food provided for Global Finals guests, he should be fine.  This includes any snack items provided at any of the social gatherings or parties.

We want to purchase event pass with lunch per person but arrange for hotel and rest of the meals on our own. Can we do this? If so what would the registration fee of 1500 cover?

The $1500 is a deposit, not an additional fee. It ensures their spot at GF18.

Dietary restrictions: we have some members who are vegetarian (no fish/seafood, no meat, no chicken/poultry, no eggs. But milk and cheese are ok). If we buy meal passes, will there be food options to meet these dietary needs? 

Yes, for sure. If anyone on your team has dietary issues, make sure to mention it on the team registration under Special Requests, Dietary. It will ask you to let us know who it is in reference to, and the dietitian will contact you if she needs to. There are a lot of people with allergies to eggs, gluten, etc, so they are already prepared to accommodate this type of thing.  

Transportation & Parking

Is there a bus that travels to Knoxville?

There is a bus service that has incredible rates to Knoxville.  Megabus.com has roundtrip bus fares from Washington, DC to Knoxville for $30.00/person roundtrip.  It is approx a 9 hour trip.  Quite affordable at this rate although parking in DC might be an issue and it doesn’t help w/ props

I have a question regarding transportation to the convention center. Will there be shuttles to and from center?

Yes, they have great free bus service on campus. You will get all that info at registration.

Will parking pass allow access to all parking areas or there are restrictions on parking places for teams staying off-campus on their own? 

They will receive a parking pass that should meet their needs during the event. If they have any issues with their pass, they can always call the GF event office (24-7), and it will be addressed quickly. 

If we plan to stay in a hotel with parents, will parking at UT be difficult on a daily basis?

When you get to registration at UT, you will receive parking passes for the cars so you can park on campus. I don’t know how difficult it will be to park, but I haven’t heard any issues regarding that. 

I do recommend the team staying with the affiliate – it is much more fun for them that way. We won’t know where VA will be housed until about 1 week prior to Globals. 


Do we have to supply an appraiser for Global Finals?

No, Global Finals Appraisers have already been selected. Is it an application process and each appraiser must be experienced and have appraised at regional and/or state tournaments. Teams are not responsible for providing appraiser.

Corporate Sponsors

One of our team’s fundraising ideas was to allow a corporate sponsor to buy advertising space on our prop bus that we use in our main challenge. It would not alter the budget adversely and it would neither add nor subtract to our solution in any way I can think of. I can’t find anywhere in the rules prohibiting this but I thought I better ask before seeking a sponsor to do this.

This is fine since you are not selling the brand name. Sometimes teams put corporate sponsors on their team t-shirts too, as long as it is not the affiliate t-shirt.


My parents have been questioning the general expense and value of Global Finals.  I told them that I thought renting the stadium and all the classrooms and paying the food people etc. at a university really would be expensive. Is there anything you could say that addresses this issue. 

It’s a great question!! You are correct. Having a tournament or any event at a university is VERY expensive. In fact, the state tournament used to be help at VCU years ago – but it cost us over $5000 just for one day – this was over 10 years ago. And – that is without housing or providing food for 1400 teams plus supporters – assume about 15,000 people! Renting any space is expensive – and we were charged for use of tables, we had to pay custodial fees, and DI has to also pay for security – which can be quite costly.

Most of the costs of GF do not come from DI but from the setup, hotels, security, prop storage, food, volunteer and staff housing, and facility rental to include the entire Knoxville Convention Center. Over the past two years, costs continue to climb but DI does not mark them up, just passes them through.

 As far as the experience – it is a once in a lifetime event for many people and one they will remember forever. Where else can these kids meet other kids – like them – from all over the world??!!! Teams from China, Korea, all over Canada and our country, Scotland, Turkey, Poland, England, Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, Singapore, Qatar….. These kids will never forget this experience and the new friends they make. There is nothing else like this! You can check the events schedule at http://www.globalfinals.org/campus-events/

In fact, one year one very experienced high school student, was invited to NY to not only see the play “Wicked” – but was invited backstage to see how they did makeup, sets, props, everything! And – this is the weekend of Memorial Day – which overlaps with Global Finals. She said that she would pass that up to go to Globals. And – she HAS been to Globals before – she valued going to Globals over another once in a lifetime event!! Her team was not advancing to Globals – but she was willing to make this decision prior to knowing how her team would do at the state tournament.

T-Shirts & Pins

Do we need any other t-shirts besides DIVA shirts they are each getting?  Is that worn for opening ceremonies?

Yes – every team member, TM and supporter (if they buy shirts) wears their affiliate shirt (with State Champions on the back) for opening and closing. Make sure you order them for your team. Also – make sure you order pins if they want them – it really is quite the “other” event!

Regarding the pins, is it typical for each team member to buy several extra sets to begin trading?  You don’t get any other pins except the state set, right?

The teams typically buy some pin sets to trade. We will have more with us – if we don’t run out before Globals. Many teams will buy more at Globals from us if we still have them.

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