What is an Appraiser?

A volunteer who goes through our comprehensive training is called an appraiser. This person will volunteer on the day of the Regional Tournament. Every team is required to provide one volunteer.

The volunteer appraiser will be trained for a specific role and help with a specific Challenge. The volunteer might score teams, introduce them, process their paperwork, help in the score room, or usher teams to their sites. For a glimpse into the Challenges that the teams compete in click here. Teams who do not provide a volunteer and who have not paid the Appraiser Fee will not be scored at the Tournament. Teams who change their appraiser after January 5th will incur a $50 fee.

What are the requirements?

  • be at least 18 years old

  • no longer be in high school

  • attend a three-hour training

  • be available from 7am-5pm on Tournament day

  • team managers cannot be appraisers

  • appraisers will not be able to watch the team that they volunteer on behalf of

  • appraisers must register by following the instructions here

When is the training?

Training dates are typically in late January or early February. Detailed information will be in the calendar.

Should I provide a second volunteer as a back-up?

Do not provide more than one volunteer unless they are both planning on attending training and the tournament. Providing a "back up" volunteer on your registration form will cause logistical problems for us.

In early January we will start assigning the volunteers to the various challenges. We need a specific number of volunteers in each challenge. If we find out right before training that one of your volunteers is not planning on attending, we have to scramble to find a replacement (in order to have the correct number of people).

If volunteers drop out after training, we have no recourse for finding replacements (because training is over). In that case, the appraiser groups have to work short-handed. That is difficult on them and does not provide as good of an experience for the teams.

If your team is only planning on sending one volunteer through training and to the tournament, please only include one volunteer's name on the registration. Providing two names makes us think that we will have more volunteers at the tournament than we actually will.

If a problem comes up with the one volunteer that you provide, you can change volunteers until January 5th. Between January 5th and January 15th, you can make changes to your volunteer for a $50 change fee.

Our volunteer went through training last year. Does she need to go to training again this year?

Yes, volunteers are required to attend training each year because all of the Challenges (and some of the Rules) change each year. Also, volunteers do not necessarily serve in the same capacity year to year. Volunteers will learn about their responsibilities during training.

Will our volunteer be able to watch our team perform?

No. So that we maintain a fair, level playing field for all teams, appraisers cannot leave their assigned room to watch other teams perform.

Our volunteer is not available for the entire Tournament day? Can two volunteers split the shift?

No, the volunteer must be available for the entire day. Part of what provides a level playing field for all teams competing at the Tournament is consistency in Appraisers. All teams competing in one room can expect to have the same Appraisers, serving in the same roles, as every other team that they are competing against. Appraisers are assigned to a specific scoring position and are responsible for serving in that position for the entire day. Appraisers are trained to be consistent with all teams they encounter. Changing appraisers during the day would affect this process.

What if our team cannot find someone to volunteer on our behalf?

Teams may choose to pay an Appraiser Fee of $250 in lieu of providing a volunteer. Our Tournament requires nearly 300 volunteers, therefor we prefer to have teams provide a volunteer if at all possible. If you are having difficulty finding someone to volunteer under the requirements described above, please email us at

What if we need to change volunteers?

This is usually only possible prior to Appraiser Training. The volunteer information submitted with your Team registration must match the Appraiser's registration information. Volunteer registrations will be matched against Team registrations. If you need to change volunteers, please email us at Teams who change their appraiser after January 5th will incur a $50 fee.

What if an appraiser does not show up for training or at the Tournament?

If a team’s volunteer does not attend training or does not show up on Tournament day, the team will not be scored. Every one of the volunteers is necessary to hold a successful Tournament!

When will appraisers know what their role will be?

Volunteers will be contacted prior to the February training dates and be given their Challenge assignments. Shortly after the training, Appraisers are given their specific role.

Can our volunteer appraise in the same Challenge in which we are competing?

No. Volunteers must choose a different Challenge.

What will Tournament day be like for the Appraisers?

Overwhelmingly, volunteers find this to be a very rewarding experience. It is a long day, but Appraisers are treated to snacks, drinks, lunch and a free shirt. They are well-trained and have plenty of support from veteran volunteers who serve as Head Appraisers and Challenge Masters.