Tournaments- Stoa's Guide On How To Register
Registering for your first tournament? Here’s a handy list of must-dos and helpful tips to help you navigate it with success.
Tournament websites are available to peruse for details up to six weeks beforehand. You can find out which tournaments are accessible on the Stoa calendar and click on the individual tournament link to take you straight to their website. Once there, just follow the tabs along the side and you will find instructions on:
- Events offered
- Meal options (if any)
- Registration deadlines
- Fees and discounts (if applicable)
- Contact information for questions
- Host housing and nearby hotels
- Judging requirements and judge registration
- Extra items for sale (t-shirts, etc.)
- Additional student information (location of Extemp prep, for example)
- Enter your Stoa Affiliate Number when registering. Use the exact information to register for a tournament as you used when registering for Stoa. For example, if you registered with Stoa as Nancy L. Carpenter at 1234 Linda Drive, the software will not recognize you if you register as Nancy Carpenter at 1234 Linda Dr.
- Register to judge. Tournaments have different requirements for judging, so check the requirements carefully and register for your rounds as soon as possible. This helps the host club plan know how many community judges they need to recruit and when they will need them the most. If possible, bring your spouse or a friend to help judge rounds. Plenty of judges keep tournaments running on time and help parents not get burned out.
- When you get to the tournament, students should check in at the registration table first to let them know you’ve arrived. You will get your name badge, a map, and all of your questions answered. If you don’t check in, your students may be dropped from their events.
- Look through the website prior to registration opening, make all of your decisions beforehand in order to ensure a smooth registration.
- Plan to register within the first two hours of registration opening. Many tournaments, fill up quickly, so you may find yourselves on a waiting list.
- Give yourself plenty of time to register free of distractions.
- Book hotel / host housing and travel arrangements as soon as possible after registering so you won’t forget. Many cities may have limited accommodations nearby, or the city may be hosting other large events the same weekend that are vying for space.
- Plan ahead for food options. Time is tight at tournaments and there often isn’t time to go off-campus for food. If the host club does not offer a way to get food on-campus, you may want to pack a cooler and some snacks to tide you over. Plot out fast food places near the tournament, in case you have a chance to take a break mid-tournament. Don’t forget your water bottle!
- A week before the tournament, go through your checklist to see if you have everything: tournament attire is clean and ready to go (don’t forget to shine shoes!), plenty of pens/ pencils and paper for students and judges, meals, accommodations, and travel are set, students have all binders, boxes, and briefcases ready and up-to-date.
Have a great tournament!