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

Schedule comes out about a week before Globals!
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.


DIHQ offers housing arrangements, but teams may find their own lodging.

Can all the parents stay with the children?

You can have as many people as you would like stay with the kids. Your team has an abundance of housing options through the Global Finals housing page. Choose what works best for your team and spectators. .

Our school is requiring that we bring additional school personnel.  Your team chooses the housing so you can add another room to your team’s registration for additional school personnel or work out housing however you need to in order to provide rooms for everyone associated with your team.     

Are we only allowed a certain number of rooms for our team?  

No! You choose how many rooms you need to accommodate your group.

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.


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 in the afternoon.   Does that mean that everyone stays in their housing through Sunday morning and everyone leaves Sunday morning or can we leave after the closing ceremonies on Saturday afternoon?

When you reserve your rooms, you will add the check in and check out dates, just like you would for a regular hotel reservation. Be sure to stay for closing ceremonies so you don’t miss out on the fun!

Is it possible for a Mom to have a toddler stay with the team?

Yes, your spectators can be any age.

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 and can not be customized for each team member.  If your team has reserved lodging from Tuesday to Sunday,then the room that is vacated by your team member leaving on Friday will still be charged until Sunday.  All rooms in the booking require the same check in and out dates.

Will teams be in rooms next to each other?

Hotels can not guarantee that you will be next to each other or even on the same floor.

Can I book our lodging through another hotel (not associated with DI) or rent an AirBnB?

Yes, but you will not have access to the transportation that is offered to teams for traveling between the convention center and the DI housing options.

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.  Please call DIHQ for more information about transportation.

If we do not register for housing for the team through the DI website, do we still have to pay fthe $5,500 registration fee?  

The $5,500 is not for housing- it is for everything described under team registration.  Yes, it still needs to be paid.


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 teams to go to Globals. The registration fee per team is $5,500.

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. The registration fee of $5,500 is separate from housing.

Do we have to pay it all up front or do we have more time to fundraise?

There is a $1,500 deposit that must be made before your registration is considered complete. You can continue to make payment up until the day you arrive at Globals.

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 Amy.

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 fee per person.  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 in Kansas City.

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.

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 registration 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)?  

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?  

Contact DIHQ

What is the time for registration when I get to Kansas City?

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 only the number of tickets needed for the team and team managers in their packet – to sit in the Virginia section. All spectators need to sit in General seating. Each spectator would need to have an Event Pass to stop by Will Call at the Sprint Center before Opening Ceremonies. Spectators can pick up both opening and closing tickets at the same time.   If other teams are not using their tickets, you can use their extras. Team members participating in the Parade for Opening Ceremony will not need their tickets.

Can one person pick up the spectator tickets?

Yes! However, they must have everyone’s event passes.  They can receive one ticket for each event pass they possess.

Did you say team managers and team members have to go to the Sprint Center to pick up tickets?

No, team managers and members will receive their tickets to both opening and closing ceremonies when they go to registration.


DI Box and Ballers Bash: Is DI supplying any materials? I was wondering if the costume is created before the “Bash” or during.

If your team is going to create costumes – they do need to supply their own materials or make them before they arrive. 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 “bash” starts. There is a costume runaway where teams can show off their creations!

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 other than purchasing pins beforehand to trade with.  You can also purchase pins from the ADs, Laurie and Amy, at Globals while supplies last!

Are there activities to do each night while we are there?

Yes, there are scheduled events each night.

Will there be activities after Closing Cermonies?

Yes, there is still lots of fun to be had after closing ceremonies!

Excursions & Workshops

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

If you book a field trip be sure to put in a special request under Scheduling when you register the team or wait to book your adventure after you find out the schedule. Workshops are first come, first serve so no need to sign up early.

Event Passes & Meals

If we have spectators that aren’t staying with us…. how do I go about getting passes for them? 

You can sign up for spectator passes when you register your team or up until the deadline with a late fee. If you purchase event passes for them at registration or after the dealine there is a late fee for each additional person you register or change.

Can you pre-order meals?

Yes, there is an option during registration to preorder meals. There are also food trucks that will provide meals each day if you don’t want to pre-order meals.

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 don’t need to purchase passes, but you do need to register them before the registration deadline in order to avoid the late fee.

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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