The vote counting is in and the final scores from our Destination Imagination Regional Tournament in Reynoldsburg were just posted late tonight at the Central Ohio Region 4 Website. As we anticipated, it was a razor thin margin between the top three teams. Despite our personal best performances, our Varsity Imagination Corporation was narrowly edged out of 1st and 2nd place and therefore just fell short of advancing to the State Championship on April 11th at the Mount Vernon Middle School.
The good news was that our Varsity team was the only team among the 14 in their division to earn a perfect score in the Instant Challenge part (25% overall score). Our Performance Instant Challenge is actually a far more accurate measure of Improv skills than the Central Challenge which can be prepared for with canned skit fragments. It may be better for overall scoring to go in with well-rehearsed skit fragments, but in real life true Improv skills of quickly thinking on your feet and bending any situation into a funny story in real time will prove of far more lasting value.
Our Varsity team ended with an overall score of 380.7 for 3rd place. Unfortunately, simply forgetting to incorporate one element in our last skit (Symphony location – 15 points) cost us 1st as we were only 4 points short of 1st (and 2 points or 0.5% shy of 2nd place). Incidentally, 380.7 would’ve gotten us first place if the Varsity team was in the next older Middle School division, so I think we competed against quality teams in a particularly talented year.
( One Yard Short in Superbowl XXXIV – New Orleans 2000)
The junior varsity Imagination Corporation came in 6th overall with a score of 344.4 which was a great showing for a rookie team working together for the first time. This team was evenly split between girls/boys, 3rd/4th graders and had kids from wildly differing backgrounds (from drama to a wrestling state champion). Next year the varsity team graduates into the middle school division leaving the junior varsity team to compete in the elementary division alone. This impressive rookie showing bodes well for the future.
Congrats again to our 2014-2015 Wiggin Street Elementary Destination Imagination Teams for a fun season, learning together and new personal bests:
Varsity Imagination Corporation
Westin Porter (5th grade) – Comic Genius
Beckett Pechon-Elkins (5th grade) – Supporting Teammember
Trey Stetler (5th grade) – Passion for Winning
Devin Beckett (5th grade) – Physical Comedy Award
Jon Stebbins (5th grade) – Most Improved
Junior Varsity Imagination Corporation
Dash Lepley (4th grade) – Energy and Enthusiasm Award
Miah Rodriguez-Hedeen (4th grade) – Creative Art Genius
Emily Springer (4th grade) – Drama Queen (in the good sense)
Mateo Pechon-Elkins (3rd grade) – Leadership Award
Sabina Hawks (3rd grade) – Outstanding Rookie
Felix Brooks-Quijada (3rd grade) – Bravery outside Comfort Zone
I’ve gone over the game day tape and have reviewed a number of other winning videos which I’ll share with the teams on our Monday chalk talk and celebration lunch. We’ve been relative purist in our improv training by eschewing canned scripts and point bookkeeping. Instead, we’ve focused on traditional improv exercises and studying professional improv artists (all 4 of them) in YouTube clips like “Whose line is it anyway?” that are child safe (all 4 of them). Without losing the real-world value and spirit of Improv, there is low-hanging fruit we can get next time by slightly adjusting our training to the distinctive point-based DI Improv system.
Finally, we should give a big thanks to our Wiggin Street Elementary academic adviser Ms. Waugh and Pamela Faust from the Provost’s Office at Kenyon College. Without them volunteering as judges at our Regional Tournament yesterday, our two teams would not have been allowed to compete. In addition, without Ms. Waugh’s weekly commitment to Destination Imagination and offer of her classroom, we would not have a place to meet throughout our season.