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Before the Team Competes
t all competition sites, a Staging Area is used. A Staging Area Judge will meet the team here approximately 15 minutes before its scheduled competition time. Teams should have the required number of completed copies of their Style Form, Material Values Form, Outside Assistance Form, clarifications specific to the team's solution, and any other paperwork designated in the long-term problem. They must also have all items needed for their problem solution. The Staging Area Judge will check for clarity and completion of all paperwork and pass it to the Timekeeper, who will distribute it to the Problem and Style Judges. The Staging Area Judge will then check all props for safety, the team members’ foot coverings and the membership sign. The team will then have an opportunity to ask questions.

    The Staging Area Judge will explain the procedure for picking up the long-term raw score to the coach, who is then directed to sit in a designated area, if available. After that, no one may assist the team in any way until the presentation is completed. Once time begins, the team must clear the Staging Area within the first 3 minutes of its 8-minute performance time, unless a Check-In Area was used.

    At some competition sites, a Check-In Area may be used. If so, the team reports here initially, and this is where the Staging Area Judge collects paperwork, checks props, and so on. When dismissed by the Staging Area Judge, the team members will have 3 minutes to remove their materials from the Check-In Area and proceed to the Staging Area, where they will be met by the Timekeeper. Others may help move items into the Staging Area.

    The Timekeeper will introduce the team to the audience, and ask that all cell phones and other electronic devices are turned off. The Timekeeper will announce if the team will allow flash photography and/or videotaping of its presentation. No one, including the Timekeeper, may read a description of the team's solution aloud. If the team wants it read, it must do so during its competition time. When the Timekeeper says, “Begin,” the team has 8 minutes for setup, Style and the presentation of the problem solution.

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