Houghton Mifflin HarcourtHistory Channel

Thank you for registering for the 2017 National History Bee & Bowl / US History Bee / US Geography Olympiad / International Geography Bee / National Sports and Entertainment Bee National Championships! We’re just a week away from the start of the big weekend in Washington, DC and Arlington, VA on April 20-23, and I wanted to check in with a number of updates on various matters.

I apologize for the extreme length of this email, but as there are no fewer than 7 events that constitute Nationals, it contains many important points and answers to questions we have been receiving, so please read it through in full! Well over 1000 students will be competing throughout the weekend, so your cooperation in making sure you understand how the tournament works is greatly appreciated! Please also review the updated general Nationals information here.

First, while everything is coming together well for Nationals, we have been dealing with a number of drops in terms of registrations. We have extended the individual event registration deadline one final time until 11:59pm EDT Saturday night. After that point, we need to set the draws, and it is not only a major inconvenience, but also unfair to other students in the draw (as the draws are seeded to ensure a fair tournament) if students or teams drop. Thus, any drops until Saturday night April 15 at 11:59 EDT, while not welcome, will not incur any financial penalty, and we can refund in full. After that time, payment is still due in full for any dropped teams or students in any event – even if you haven’t submitted payment yet (which you should have, as the official payment deadline is this weekend too), you will still be liable to pay it. That gives you 2 full days to reconfirm with your students if you need to, and let me know if you are dropping if you must, but we cannot be dealing with drops on Nationals week – it is extremely disruptive.

Now, before anything else, if you have a team in the National History Bowl (including solo student teams) – please check and make sure you have the right number of teams registered for the National History Bowl in both the Varsity and Junior Varsity Divisions by going to the Teams Coming to Nationals Page here. If your numbers / divisions do not match what is on the page, you must email me as soon as possible so we can clarify things!

If you see a Madden rank next to your History Bowl team, congratulations, that means you’ve been preliminarily seeded in the upper third of the draw! The rank corresponds largely to your seed in the tournament, though we will make a few minor adjustments to the ranks over the coming week as we further review team lineups, stat results, add the remaining teams, and make a few minor adjustments for geographic balance in the morning pools. Madden ranks will only be final once the draw for the History Bowl is released around the middle of next week.

Please read further down in the email in terms of notes on the individual student events, though the current lists of registered students for each event are all in the attached Excel file if you need to quickly check those (be sure to click on the different tabs at the bottom of the file).

Next, a number of the points which are listed below require some degree of response from you, so when you are able to, please fill out the pre-tournament survey here which will help us keep track of your interest in various aspects of Nationals weekend. Please note that you may go back and fill in different parts of the survey at different times, if you don’t have all the information at once. Please do read through it though as soon as possible, so that you can obtain the requested answers as needed.

Note that an important item to indicate on the survey is if other people (i.e. parents, students, other coaches, etc.) should be receiving Nationals emails. If that is the case, please forward them this email, and indicate on the survey the additional emails to which the following General Emails for Nationals should be sent.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact me at this email address, and I will do my best to respond quickly. Beginning next Tuesday evening, however, all inquiries (including for geography events) must be submitted to help@historybowl.com as I will not be checking my emails from 12:01am on Wednesday, April 19 until 12:01am on Wednesday, April 26!

In no particular order, here are a bunch of important updates. Note that depending on which events you or your students are competing in, not all of this may apply to you directly:

1. National History Bowl – Begins Saturday 4/22 at 8:45am, Filler, and Standby Teams / Rosters / Where to Report / Etc.

Because of the way the National Championships is structured (more on specifics here next week once the draw is set), we need to have a multiple of 6 teams in each division (i.e. Varsity and JV). The Varsity field will have 144 teams; the JV field will be at 108.

Currently we are looking for four Varsity and two JV teams to fill up the draw. If you are interested in this, please email me asap! We can even discount the registrations fees by $100 at this point ($495 for a full team, $290 for a team of 2, $95 for a solo team – the other discounts for staff and buzzers still apply too), and these teams do not need to have qualified or even participated at regionals. If you were coming just for the National History Bee or the US History Bee, this is your chance to join the Bowl – there are numerous solo teams already in the field, and we have a separate prize for the highest solo team too!

As always, all team members must be in 10th grade or younger and from the same school / homeschool association (though public middle school students can play on the team of the non-magnet high school that their school predominantly feeds into). Priority will be given to full teams (3 or 4 or more players) and / or to schools/associations that do not yet have any team in either the JV or Varsity draw.

Once we get our multiples of 6, we will then look for standby teams to enter the draw if a team drops at any point up until Saturday morning. Standby teams need to be able to be within 10 miles of Arlington, VA on Saturday, April 23 at 8am. Standby teams are given variable pricing depending on NHBB’s needs to fill the draw – these are worked out on a case by case basis with me. With 24-48 hours, standby teams typically play for free, though earlier than that, they are likely to be given a discounted offer of registration.

A number of people have also been emailing me regarding changes to their rosters. We only need to know this when you check in at the Crystal Gateway Marriott on Friday, April 21 (more information on check in will follow in the next email), so please don’t worry about roster changes, or email me with information on this before then. Remember, there’s no need for students to have competed at regionals before they compete at Nationals – the only important rules are that JV teams must be all 10th graders and younger, no student can switch their affiliation once the official rosters have been submitted for good at check-in (changes up until 10:30pm on Friday are okay), and that teams at Nationals are not limited to a certain number of players (unlike at Regionals) so you can theoretically have 20 students on a team or whatever though of course only up to 4 play at once.

Finally, we have started to get questions in terms of where to report specifically for the Bowl. This will be conveyed in a subsequent email once the draw has been set, but all History Bowl teams should plan on being at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington by 7:45 am on Saturday, April 22! Most teams will actually need to report slightly later (we’ll confirm in an email next week exactly when), but being there early is a good thing. Check in is required the night before unless you have cleared that with us first. There is a space on the survey to indicate you are requesting a Saturday morning check in.

For students competing in the individual events on Friday or Sunday, you will be sent draws next week with room assignments for your rounds / exams. There is no check in process at the hotel for any of the individual events (i.e. US History Bee / Intl. Geography Bee / US Geography Olympiad / Sports & Entertainment History Bee / National History Bee)! Just report to where you need to be for Round 1 / Exam 1 when you need to be there. The draws will also be posted online and in multiple spots at the hotel.

2. National History Bee – Begins Sunday 4/23 at 8:05am, Registration closes at 11:59pm EDT on Saturday 4/15!

We have extended the National History Bee National Championships to be open for registrations through Saturday evening! Please sign up here as soon as you can if you haven’t yet done so. Please check here to see who qualified (you’ll need to click through on each event to see the full list of qualifiers; it’s not just the two winners listed for each tournament!). Don’t forget to sign up for the Consolation Bee too for any interested students who will be at Nationals already and would like to play, but who didn’t qualify or compete at Regionals. The Consolation Bee is open only to students who didn’t qualify. Everyone who is competing in the National History Bee or Consolation Bee needs to plan on being in their Round 1 room by 7:55am on Sunday, April 23. Room assignments will be conveyed to participants in a subsequent email. Again, there is no official check in for the National History Bee.

Please verify who is registered from your school for the National History Bee and the Consolation Bee by checking the attached file and clicking on the “Natl. History Bee” and “Consolation” tabs at the bottom of the Excel spreadsheet! If you think someone should be listed and is not or is listed and shouldn’t be, please let me know asap! If you can’t access the file, email me to double check.

3. US Geography Olympiad – Begins Friday 4/21 at 12:40pm, Registration closes at 11:59pm EDT on Sat 4/15!

The US Geography Olympiad’s registration will close at the same time as the National History Bee on Saturday. Please sign up here if you haven’t yet – please use the second link on the page for geography events. Please check here to see who qualified – check with me if you have any questions. Everyone who is competing in the US Geography Olympiad needs to plan on being in their Exam room by 12:30 on Friday, April 22. Room assignments will be conveyed to participants in a subsequent email. There is no official check in for the US Geography Olympiad.

Update re USGO timing structure: You will note on the schedule for Nationals that there are now only two exams listed. That’s because in an effort to streamline the process, we are splitting the Multiple Choice Exam (which now will have 80 questions) into two equal parts, each of which will be done in conjunction with the other two parts of USGO. USGO itself will still be scored on a 3 exam basis (in other words, the Multiple Choice Exam is still its own component of USGO, but in terms of timing, we are now running with two 60 minute periods and a 15 minute break in between, rather than three 40 minute periods and two 10 minute breaks. It will not be possible to go back and change answers on Part 1 during Part 2, but during Part 1, you can work on either the Written Exam or the 40 multiple choice questions first. Same for Part 2 with the Cartographic Exam and the 40 multiple choice questions there.

Please verify who is registered from your school for the US Geography Olympiad by checking the attached file and clicking on the “US Geo Olympiad” tab at the bottom of the Excel spreadsheet! If you think someone should be listed and is not or is listed and shouldn’t be, please let me know asap!

Also! If you have students who want a shot at competing at Nationals in the US Geography Olympiad and who have not yet qualified, please email me asap, and I can send you the IGB/USGO National Qualifying Exam and Answer Key (if you are a student or parent reading this – you’ll need to ask a teacher or town librarian today or tomorrow to proctor it, and send me their name and email) It’s $20 per Exam, per student. This can then be paid for at the Nationals Help Desk, as time is short.

4. International Geography Bee US National Championships – Begins Friday 4/21 at 5:15pm – Registration closes at 11:59pm EDT on Sat 4/15!

The International Geography Bee US National Championships registration will also close at the same time on Saturday. Please sign up here if you haven’t yet, again, use the second link on the page for geography events. Please check here to see who qualified (anyone who has qualified in USGO has by definition qualified in IGB and vice versa) – check with me if you have any questions.

Update re IGB timing: In contrast with past years, we will run the US History Bee playoffs for JV in full and the Varsity Quarters and Semis before the IGB. So students’ Round 1 IGB rooms will likely not in fact be the same as their USGO exam rooms (also because some students are doing IGB and not USGO and vice versa). Students must be in their IGB Round 1 rooms by 5pm!

Update re IGB rules: The IGB rules file is being finalized (this will be complete by the next General Email), but it will work very similarly to the way the history bees works, just with geography questions (same rules regarding 1 point per question except in playoffs, 3 seconds for timing, -1 for the 3rd incorrect response before the question is finished being read in prelims, etc.

Please verify who is registered from your school for the International Geography Bee by checking the attached file and clicking on the “Intl. Geo Bee” tab at the bottom of the Excel spreadsheet! If you think someone should be listed and is not or is listed and shouldn’t be, please let me know asap!

Also! If you have students who want a shot at competing at Nationals in the International Geography Bee US National Championships and who have not yet qualified, please email me asap, and I can send you the IGB/USGO National Qualifying Exam and Answer Key (if you are a student or parent reading this – you’ll need to ask a teacher or town librarian today or tomorrow to proctor it, and send me their name and email) It’s $20 per Exam, per student. This can then be paid for at the Nationals Help Desk, as time is short.

5. United States History Bee – Begins Friday 4/21 at 8am, Registration closes at 11:59pm EDT on Sat 4/15.

Not to be confused with the National History Bee, the US History Bee will take place on Friday, April 21 during the day at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. We will have a record USHB turnout of close to 230 students (prior record was in 2015 with 187!) Please sign up here if you haven’t yet. Please click here to see who qualified – check with me if you have any questions. Everyone who is competing in the US History Bee needs to plan on being in their Round 1 room by 7:50am on Friday, April 21. Room assignments will be conveyed to participants in a subsequent email. There is no official check in for the US History Bee.

Update re USHB timing: In contrast with past years, we will run the US History Bee playoffs for JV in full and the Varsity Quarters and Semis before the IGB. Students must be in their USHB playoff rooms if they’ve qualified by 3:15!

Please verify who is registered from your school for the US History Bee by checking the attached file and clicking on the “US History Bee” tab at the bottom of the Excel spreadsheet! If you think someone should be listed and is not or is listed and shouldn’t be, please let me know asap!

Also! If you have students who want a shot at competing at Nationals in the US History Bee and who have not yet qualified, please email me asap, and I can send you the US History Bee National Qualifying Exam and Answer Key (if you are a student or parent reading this – you’ll need to ask a teacher or town librarian today or tomorrow tomorrow to proctor it, and send me their name and email) It’s $20 per Exam, per student. This can then be paid for at the Nationals Help Desk, as time is short.

6. Play in Games for National History Bee – Friday Evening 4/21 at 11pm

For anyone who has not yet competed on all 3 sets of Bee Regionals questions, who would like a final chance of qualifying in the National History Bee, these students may compete in the Bee Play In Game at 11pm on Thursday evening, 4/21 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. Yes, we know this is very late. It’s also the only time in the schedule available on Friday, and we’re extending this as a courtesy to those who couldn’t make it to one of 94 regional or state tournaments, so please be understanding regarding the late hour. Students planning on coming just for geography events, younger siblings who happen to be at Nationals, students who never competed at any regionals, and students who didn’t qualify for the National History Bee National Championships are all welcome to compete.

The play in game (one round of 30 questions) does not cost anything, but it is limited to the first 20 students in each age division who register on the survey or at the help desk at Nationals. The top 50% of students in each age division in the play in game for both B Set and A Set will qualify to compete on Sunday, 4/23 in the National History Bee. They must then pay the $105 registration fee at Nationals. You can sign up for the Play In Game on the Pre-Nationals survey, or, at the Help Desk at Nationals until 10pm on Friday until space is no longer available. Students who do not qualify in the Play in Game may sign up through lunch on Saturday at the Help Desk for the Consolation Bee by paying $50. Students who have signed up for the Consolation Bee who haven’t yet played A Set or B Set and who want to play in the Play In Game may do so. If they qualify for the Main Draw in the Play In Game, they must then play in the Main Draw, and not the Consolation (and pay the $55 difference at the Help Desk).

7. National Sports and Entertainment History Bee – Friday Evening 4/21, Registration closes at 11:59pm EDT on Sat 4/15 – OR WHEN FIELD CAP REACHED (likely prior to that!)

The National Sports and Entertainment History Bee is back again this year on Friday evening at Nationals from 8:45-10:45pm. This year the Sports and Entertainment Bee is one competition with both Sports and Entertainment questions. There are 2 prelim rounds with 40 questions each followed by a final round for the top 10 students in both the Varsity and Junior Varsity Divisions. There are only 3 JV and 8 Varsity spots remaining (there is a hard cap of 50 students in each Division – we will not be extending this under any circumstances for this year) in each division – first come, first served!

Robin Richards, one of the most experienced tournament directors in the country and the coach from Cedar Shoals HS in Athens, GA will be directing this competition – please direct all Sports and Entertainment Bee related questions to him at richardsr@clarke.k12.ga.us

Please sign up here for the Sports and Entertainment Bee using the main Nationals registration form. If you wish to check and see who is registered in the Sports and Entertainment Bee from your school, please see the attached file and check on the “Sports & Entertainment” tab

Note that all students at Nationals (and even those who are there just to watch) are welcome to compete – no qualification is necessary. The lone exception is that students competing in the International Geography Bee tournament are not permitted to compete in the Sports and Entertainment Bee, as the IGB playoffs and the Sports and Entertainment Bee overlap.

An updated question distribution file for the Sports and Entertainment Bee can be found on the website.

8. Lorenz Cup – Thursday Afternoon and Evening on April 20

On Thursday afternoon and evening, April 20, we are once again offering the Lorenz Cup for any teams who have not yet had a chance to play the A Set in the History Bowl. Uniquely, teams of 2 students from 2 different schools are welcome to team up for this. This is a Bowl only competition (the fee is $75 and can be paid on the spot in cash or check to “National History Bee and Bowl”) which can serve as a good tuneup for the rest of the weekend. The Lorenz Cup does not require prior qualifying, does not qualify students for the National History Bowl National Championships (the draw is basically set), and cannot be used to qualify for the International History Olympiad in 2018 in Berlin.

Please see here for further details (including the back story on the name of the tournament), and please sign up by this coming Sunday at www.historybowl.com/registration If the registration link is not working (at some point it will no longer show the event once it gets too close to the date), and you would like to play, email us at help@historybowl.com through Wednesday evening, and we will get you in to the draw (don’t worry about late fees – just be sure you have payment with you when you arrive). By Wednesday of next week, we will send along further details including where to meet to everyone who has signed up for the Lorenz Cup

9. Payments / Invoices / Receipts / Refund Policy / Clarifying Due Dates

The official payment due date is to have checks in to our address (see below) by April 16. We have said that late fees accrue at a rate of $25 per day. However, we will not impose these penalty fees as long as your check is in the PO Box in Tenafly by 5pm on Monday, May 1. So you have a full 2 week extension and a chance to send payments on Monday, April 24 after Nationals if needed. Thereafter, we will charge a late fee of $25 per day for any school / affiliation that has not paid in full.

However, no one will be turned away at Nationals for lack of payment. You can verify if your payment has been received at the Nationals check in desk and at the Help Desk, but I cannot further verify receipt of payments prior to Nationals.

Payments for all competitions (except the Lorenz Cup, Scrimmages, National History Bee / Consolation Bee fees only for students playing in the Play In Game, and outstanding USHB/USGO/IGB National Qualifying Exams – all these can be paid for at Nationals) need to be sent to:

NHBB / USGO Nationals

PO Box 875

Tenafly, NJ 07670

with NHBB (including Sports & Entertainment History Bee & US History Bee) payments made out to “National History Bee and Bowl” and USGO and IGB payments both made out to “US Geography Olympiad”. Bee and Bowl payments may be combined, but USGO and IGB payments must be separate from NHBB payments (the USGO and IGB payments themselves may be combined). Please indicate on a note with the check exactly whom the payments are for.

We have also received a number of requests for updated invoices. Due to time constraints, it is much easier if you just fill in an updated registration on the usual Nationals registration page. This will then generate an automated invoice. Please do indicate the names of students competing in each event if you do this, so we can ensure who is competing in which event.

Requests for receipts will be dealt with either at the Nationals help desk or in the week after Nationals, but not beforehand.

10. Scrimmage Matches

Scrimmage matches will run from 3:30pm-6:30pm on Friday. Each team playing a scrimmage match must pay $10 in cash at the scrimmage desk. The entire A Set and B Set and Rounds 9 and 10 of C Set will be available for scrimmages. Pending staff availability, we may open the scrimmage desk earlier, and/or reopen it on Friday evening after the Opening Ceremonies. There is no need to sign up in advance; just come to the scrimmage desk (at the top of the escalator in the lobby), and we’ll match you up with a team. Or you can come together if you want to play a particular team. Or you can scrimmage yourself. Scrimmages are open to anyone; including those not playing in the Bowl. It’s also possible to scrimmage as a group of students from different schools – you don’t need to all be on the same team. Or any team (scrimmage your parents/coach if you want!)

11. Small School Eligibility

If your team is eligible to compete for our Small School National Championship titles, you need to indicate this on the survey. Our small school definition is (taken from historybowl.com) defined as a non-magnet, non-selective public school with 1000 or fewer students in 9-12 or 800 in 10-12.

12. Prizes / International History Olympiad

With the exception of the US Geography Olympiad, the Lorenz Cup, and the Sports & Entertainment History Bee, prizes at Nationals this year largely consist of discounted or free admission to the 2018 International History Olympiad (also the site of the IGB World Championships) in Berlin. Of course we will also have plaques, trophies, and medals (and the eponymous History Bowls) to win as well. A summary of prizes will be sent in the next email.

Note that to qualify for the International History Olympiad, you need to either finish as a 3rd place team in your morning National History Bowl group, make the US History Bee playoffs, finish in the top half of students in either division for the National History Bee, be on a team that wins a Consolation Group, have been on a team that won a State or Regional National History Bowl competition, have been a player who won a State or Regional National History Bee competition or accomplish any of these things during the 2017-18 school year as well.

13. Large Number of Spectators

On the survey, we are asking teams to list how many spectators they anticipate bringing. Certain rooms have more spectator capacity than others, so this will help us facilitate room assignments if you are bringing a large group with you to watch your team’s matches. All matches are open to the general public to the extent that space is available, though in practice, it’s very rare for anyone to watch preliminary matches (through Saturday afternoon) who is not affiliated with either team in some capacity (parent, coach, substitute player, etc.)

14. Arrival at the Hotel / Parking

On the survey, we will ask you to provide your method of transit to Nationals, and what time you expect to arrive. We will not hold you to this though – it’s more to try and help you if you run into trouble. See here for further details on how to reach the hotel: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/maps/travel/wasgw-crystal-gateway-marriott/
If you are flying into Reagan National Airport, there is a free shuttle to the hotel – it’s about 5 minutes away.
If you are taking the train, you can use the Metro (the DC subway) to reach the hotel. Then get off at the Crystal City station – it’s a 5-10 minute walk from there.
Parking is likely available free of charge (it has been in past years, though you may want to confirm this again for this year) in the garages at the Crystal City underground complex after 5pm on Friday through Sunday evening. Unless things have changed, you can leave a car there overnight. Otherwise, you can park at the hotel, though it costs about $30 a day.

15. Rooms at the Hotel

At this point, all the hotel rooms at the Crystal Gateway Marriott have been booked. If you still need help with your booking at this point, contact me and I will do my best to sort things out. Since the official group rate has now expired, this will be more helpful than going through the hotel directly.

16. Buzzers and Staff

If you signed up to bring buzzers, and/or staff the tournament, please note that we are counting on you to do this! Our buzzer czars will be in touch with you regarding further reminders, but if you know you signed up systems you won’t be able to bring, please let me know asap.

Likewise, if you signed up to staff, but won’t be able to (this is not listed in the Excel file tabs, but if you don’t remember if you signed up to staff, email me, and I can clarify), I need to know that asap too. Our Staff Director Jason Russell will be in touch with further information on staffing, including mandatory staff meetings.

17. Requests on Playing at the Hotel (or not…)

The National History Bowl National Championships has traditionally featured matches at several sites in Washington, DC. This year, almost all (possibly, in fact all) matches will take place at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA.
If someone on your team has limited mobility, and thus it is important for you to play all your matches at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, you can indicate this on the survey.

If you have a strong preference to either a) play all your games at the hotel or b) try and get a chance to play at a site of historic or cultural importance (though note that Varsity upper bracket teams will be at the hotel no matter what all day), then please indicate this on the survey.

18. NHBB TV

We will once again be covering the tournament through our online Youtube channel which will feature coverage of selected matches as well as tournament reports and interviews with students. If your students are interested in being interviewed for NHBB TV while at Nationals, please indicate this on the survey. While we call it NHBB TV, students coming for the US History Bee and/or the US Geography Olympiad / International Geography Bee are welcome to do interviews as well.

19. Dress Code

This always gets asked about. In contrast with some academic competitions, the wider world of quiz bowl (of which NHBB/USGO is certainly a part) is casual. You are welcome to wear t-shirts and jeans at all times, though if you would like to dress up, feel free (there are always many teams who do, so you won’t look out of place if you go that route). Basically, wear whatever will give you the greatest confidence in your matches.

20. C Set for Practice

I have attached bowl rounds 1-8, of our 2016-17 Regional C Set for practice here. Other practice materials can be found on the website.

21. Birthdays

If you or anyone on your team has a birthday while at Nationals (from April 20-23 as long as whoever’s celebrating is physically present on their birthday), let us know and our staff will show up with a small gift. This is an item to indicate on the survey.

22. Opening Ceremonies

This year our official Opening Ceremonies on Friday evening (we know that quite a few events take place before then) will last slightly shorter than last year’s, as we wish to get everyone competing in the Sports and Entertainment Bee started with their rounds by 8:45pm sharp.
At our Opening Ceremonies this year, we will have an opportunity for those present to ask us questions about all aspects of NHBB / USGO / IGB etc.. You can also submit questions in advance on the survey. The Opening Ceremonies will also feature a review of our season, recognition of several outstanding coaches and staffers, a preview of the 2018 International History Olympiad and IGB World Championships in Berlin, the final match of the US History Bee Varsity Division, and of course, the “Opening Buzz” featuring last year’s Varsity History Bowl Champion, LASA from Austin, TX, and their Round 1 opponent from Saturday (TBD). Attendance at the Opening Ceremonies is by no means mandatory, but we have a great program in store and hope that you will be able to join us. Doors will open to the Opening Ceremonies by 7:00pm while the program will begin at 7:20pm and run until 8:20-8:25pm.

23. Slideshow

If your students won awards at regionals, and would like to be included in our Nationals slideshow showcasing teams from around the country, email photos of your students with their awards to help@historybowl.com We’ll run the slideshow before the Opening Ceremonies, and at various points during Nationals weekend.

24. Food / Dining

Some people have asked if the Nationals price includes food – unfortunately, the answer is no. Given the earlier staff meeting this year, we are also unable to have a reception on Friday evening as we have had in years past. Additional emails will contain recommendations for food options at various points during the weekend, though there is a food court in the Crystal Gateway Mall just below the hotel which is open on Friday and Saturday, and to a limited extent on Sunday morning.

25. Special Requests / Suggestions / Next Emails…

If you have any special requests for the weekend, please let us know on the survey, and we’ll do our best to accommodate them. Also, particularly if you have been to Nationals before, but even if this is your first time, we welcome your suggestions and feedback. If you have any words of advice, please let us know as we prepare for a very busy weekend. We have a great team of experienced staff working to give you and your team an amazing experience, and hope that you’re getting as excited as we are! Expect additional updates to follow between now and next Thursday (the next one should come on Sunday or Monday), though if you are on staff, or if we need to reach you for some specific reason, you may hear from us earlier.

Thanks for reading through (almost 6000 words here – but it’s a marathon of a weekend too), and I look forward to seeing you and your students soon!