While we are sad that we were unable to have our regional tournament this year due to COVID-19, we are excited that 29/135 have decided to share a video of a dress rehearsal, practice, brainstorming session, or explanation of their team’s process. Trained judges will be viewing these videos and commenting on the videos, and that feedback will be sent to coaches late next week.  We welcome anyone who wishes to view these videos to check them out using the link below.  You may also share the link with family members and friends.  The video exhibition is password-protected and the videos are private and cannot be downloaded.  They will be taken down on Sunday night. We advise that when you watch a video, instead of clicking the play button right away, hover your cursor over the school’s name till it turns blue and click from there.  That will enable you to read the description of the team’s solution before you watch their video.  Please enjoy!


Nova East Region 11 is planning on offering partial refunds since we had to cancel the tournament on March 14.  Sadly, some of the funds submitted cannot be recouped, like judges’ t-shirts, facilities for judges’ training, awards, etc.  Also, while West Potomac High School is planning to refund our facility use fee, it has not done so as of yet.   It is likely that may not occur until after the crisis is over, so at this point we’re not in a financial place to grant those partial refunds.  We will put out an email to all coordinators on the listserv and post on our website when we are able to issue refunds and a form to fill out so the monies are directed back to person or organization who made the initial payment.  We appreciate your patience with regards to this.  If you are currently experiencing a financial difficulty at this time, please email, and we will try to expedite the process for you.

Video Exhibition – Please Sign Up!

Dear Coaches,

We know these are stressful, busy times, but we’re hoping teams will take advantage of submitting a video for the exhibition this weekend.  It could be a great way to give the kids a sense of closure and provide them with some feedback from judges.  We already have several judges who have volunteered to help with this!  We haven’t heard from many of you yet. We’re hoping you perhaps you were working yesterday to get permission from parents and look for the video footage, and perhaps fill out a team list form to upload.  We would love to have as many teams participate as possible.  Remember:

  1. We are NOT asking for teams to get together and perform it to take a new video.
  2. A video of a run-through, practice, brainstorm session, or even one kids talking about the solution’s premise, the props, costumes, etc. would be fine.  One team even had each team member do a short video of a themselves and their props and they strung them all together to submit.  (Video limit: 10 minutes total)
  3. You don’t even need paperwork if you don’t have any.  When you sign up it asks:

What text would the team members like to include on their video description for the judges? This will be a short paragraph to be displayed below the video.

         You could simply describe what they did briefly for any judge or team watching.

  1. All teams will have access to watch ALL the other teams that post, so they can get a feel for all the hard work everyone did.

We sincerely hope teams will decide to participate.  The forms to submit is:  And if you have questions, you can contact or


Nova East Region 11 is planning on creating a video exhibition for teams that have videos they can present of their long-term solution.

This is an opportunity for teams to present videos that THEY ALREADY HAVE. We are not suggesting teams try to get together to prepare a new video. Ideally, the video would be a run-through of their performance, but if you do not have this, you can submit partial presentations or even a team’s brainstorming session for review by the judges. You can also include a short video of someone on the team discussing their props and creative process. If you can bundle these together, that would be great, but submitting multiple videos is acceptable.  We sincerely hope that many teams will be able to participate in this celebration of creative problem solving.  If you have any questions about the process, please email Jaime at or  Dan at

Please stick to the 10 minute total time limit for all posted video(s).

The exhibition will take place March 28 – 29 and will be handled as follows:

(1) Make sure you have agreement from the parents of all team members to share their videos with our community for a 2-day period.  They will be posted in Vimeo in such a way that they cannot be downloaded.

(2) Submit your intention to participate here.

(3) You will then receive an email with a link to a google drive folder. Please place materials in this folder.

    a. Your performance video

    b. Optional: a short video discussing your props and solution.

    c. Your forms, if you have them, especially the team list form.

        Forms are available


(4) You have until midnight on March 25 to post your materials

(5) On March 28 in the morning, you will receive a link to the video exhibitions for each problem.

  a. The videos will be available for viewing on March 28 and March 29 and will not be downloadable.

  b. You can forward the link to friends and family for them to see.

  c. Access will be password protected but we will send you the password.

  d. During that time, judges will be reviewing the videos and making comments.

(6) By Friday April 3,  you will receive access to a document with the comments from the judges that you can forward and/or review with your team.


This is a message to VA OMERs, Coaches, Families, Volunteers:

By March 13th, the regional boards had decided to cancel the remaining six Regional Tournaments and the Virginia State VOICES board decided to cancel the State Tournament.  I believe it was an inevitable and wise decision but a very sad one to make as everyone worked extremely hard this season to prepare their team’s long-term problem solutions, sets, props, costumes, and presentations; prepare for a wide variety of spontaneous problems; prepare to host the region and state tournaments; and, prepare to go to the World Finals. We understand your disappointment so close to tournament time.

Since Governor Northam declared a State of Emergency, all Virginia schools are closed for several weeks.  Recently, our respective school superintendents informed us to prepare for extensions as warranted by the persistence of this virus.  Odyssey of the Mind has existed in Virginia for 38 years because of the support of the school districts and our volunteers. We cannot violate the school districts’ trust in Odyssey of the Mind by holding activities attended by large groups of people.

The Odyssey of the Mind World Finals has not yet been cancelled.  The VOICES Board has considered options for teams that want to continue competing this season as well as those teams that only desire to showcase their performances. All options that require a team or teams to gather are suspended indefinitely.  Although a team meeting is far fewer in number, we must have a clear conscience in respecting OMERs and parents alike to avoid spreading the virus unknowingly. Please join us in doing our part in preventing the spread of the coronavirus in our communities.

That said, the state associations are considering another set of creativity challenges from CCI that teams can solve without gathering in person.  I will present this option to the VOICES Board for the regional boards to consider implementing at the regional level. We will provide more details as they become available.

As each region operates independently, the Regional Directors will contact coordinators regarding the possible tournament registration refunds, based on their expenses that cannot be recouped.  For those teams who registered for the State tournament, those registration fees will be returned.

Our top priority is the health and safety of our OMERs, Coaches, Families, and Volunteers.

I have never experienced a pandemic of this nature in my lifetime.  Together we will persevere.

Odyssey of the Mind will persevere.

Praying for you and your family’s health and well-being,


David Tsuda

Director, Virginia Association

Odyssey of the Mind ©

2020 NOVA East Odyssey of the Mind Team T-Shirts

We would like to offer teams the opportunity to buy our limited availability adorable 2020 Pi Day t-shirts if they would like them.  The team shirts are light blue and the official shirts are garnet red. The t-shirts will be available for individual porch pick-up, or you could pay for priority mail postage to have the shirts shipped USPS to you.  Official Nova East Judges are being sent a sign-up from their problem captain to pick up their free t-shirts, but we also have some additional red official shirts available for sale for anyone who may want to purchase one.

Team T-shirt

Recognizing Teams for their Efforts

Many coaches and coordinators have been asking for certificates for their team members.  We have two options for certificates posted in our resources section We also wanted to suggest that when it is safe to assemble, you may want to get your teams together to give out certificates and perhaps ribbons from the dollar store.  You could even have them create their own ribbons with art supplies that fit their personality or the problem they solved.  We know teams are feeling sad about not being recognized for their hard work.  Please trust that our regional board is working with the VA State Odyssey Board and assessing ways to safely provide closure to this year’s Odyssey of the Mind season. We recommend you hold onto your materials and videos of team performances until a final decision is made on or before April 10, 2020.


After much consideration, Nova East Region 11 has decided to cancel its tournament at West Potomac High School this Saturday, March 14.  We feel that the safety of our participants greatly outweighs other concerns.  We simply can’t ignore the recommendations warning us against mass gatherings where the virus might be allowed to spread.  In addition, our organization is fortunate to have participants as young as six as well as volunteers who may be at high risk.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to postpone our event, but we encourage you to find a way to celebrate your team’s achievement.  Perhaps you could consider performing to a small group of family members or recording it to share.  Our regional board is currently investigating ways to give the teams a platform to share their performances.

When breaking the news to your team, remember to focus on the positive.   Most of what students gain from Odyssey of the Mind happens during practices as they are bonding as a team and coming up with creative solutions.  Nothing can take that piece of the experience away from them.  We know it will be terribly disappointing not to be able to share their hard work with our judges, but nothing can compare to the memories they’ve shared with their teammates.

Coaches, you have worked so hard as well.  Out of the kindness of your hearts, you helped make sure your teams were ready for the event.

Judges and volunteers, you were all prepared to make this event possible and we really appreciate your willingness to give your time and enthusiasm during training and at the event.

We applaud everyone for all their hard work and the work you will do in the weeks ahead to support your community.  Please move forward knowing that you have helped nurture our young people to become the creative problem solvers our world needs now and in the future.  We hope that you understand how difficult this decision was for us.  Please know it was done out of care and concerns for all the people involved in this wonderful program.


As of today, March 11, 2020, we are still planning to go ahead with the Nova East Odyssey of the Mind tournament on March 14 at West Potomac High School.  FCPS schools are still open.  Be aware that this could change.  We are asking that all tournament officials coaches, team members, and family members practice the following preventative actions to help stop the spread of germs.

*   Avoid Close contact with people who are sick prior to the event.
*   Stay home if you are sick.
*   Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze.
*   Clean your hands frequently with soap and water.
*   Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
*   Practice good health habits.

Please do not bring a sick parent, team member, or family member into the tournament.
A cough or sneeze does not necessarily mean a person is sick, but a fever does.  We are trying to move forward with this event, but need everyone to help us out by thinking of the health of others before you come to the event.  We have a wonderfully-helpful custodial staff at West Potomac, and in addition we will be wiping down sites with Lysol on Friday night and during lunch break the day of the event.  We will also remind people to wash their hands frequently. If you have serious concerns, remember that the final decision about whether or not to come is up to you and your teams.  We know everyone has worked very hard to get to this day, and we want it to be an enjoyable event with low risk to participants.

ATTENTION: Consider Videotaping Your Team Performance

  • We are strongly suggesting that this week when your team practices or completes a final dress rehearsal, get out the video camera and tape them. Then have them watch and become critics. (Be careful with this – the kids need to critique themselves- please don’t jump in with your ‘helpful’ ideas!)
  • We are working on some suggestions for securely sharing videos (that is NOT YouTube), so stay tuned.