Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about staying on campus, competition, dining at World Finals, and more? This page offers tons of information to guide you during your experience at World Finals. If you can’t find the answer you need, email!

World Finals Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best resource for information about Odyssey of the Mind World Finals for participating teams?

The World Finals packet has information about Iowa State University, Ames, housing, prop shipping and more.
I’ve heard a lot about pin trading, what is it?

Odyssey of the Mind Associations offer team members pins to trade while at World Finals. Pin trading is a great way to meet new friends from all over the world and to create a collection to help you remember your World Finals experience the rest of your life.
Can parents, siblings and others stay in housing with the team members and coaches?

Yes! Parents are encouraged to stay with teams in the dorms. While filling out your Team Housing Registration Form simply add anyone wishing to stay in the dorms in the allotted space. The price is the same.
What is the cost to stay on campus?

Wednesday arrival package will be $650 per person.
Tuesday arrival package will be $735 per person. This includes room, meals, shuttles around campus, access to all events and the registration fee. If choosing to say off campus, the fee is $3000 if registering within two weeks of your tournament. This fee includes everything mentioned above other than room and meals.
Can we select different housing packages?

Yes, your team is allowed to mix housing packages.
Is there a discount for young children?

Yes! Children 2 and under do not need to be included on your housing form. Since most twin beds are bunk-style, a pack and play is recommended.
How long can we stay on campus?

You can select from two housing and meals packages—arriving on Tuesday or Wednesday, with both checking out Sunday.
Do we have to pay a registration fee? And how much does it cost?

If your team selects housing packages equal to the number of team members plus one coach (no matter who uses the packages), the fee is already included in the cost. If staying off-campus, the fee is $3000 if the team’s registration is submitted within two weeks of your associations’ competition date and $3500 if it is submitted after that date.
What is the payment deadline?

All payments must be made by April 28.
How do we get to campus from the airport? Do you provide a shuttle?

Round trip shuttle service is available for Odyssey teams from both the Des Moines (DSM) and the Eastern Iowa (CID) Airports. The shuttle will run between the airport and registration site at the Iowa State Center. Shuttles will be scheduled to accommodate Odyssey group arrivals and are not available at regular intervals or to other destinations. Delayed flights will be accommodated as quickly as possible. Service is available Monday, May 23rd through Sunday, May 29th, 2022. Click here for more information or to make your shuttle reservation. You can also download a flier of full information found in the “Know Before You Go” section.
Where is team registration?

All coaches must register their teams at the Iowa State Center Scheman Building. From I-35, exit west on Highway 30 (exit #111B). Traveling west on Highway 30, exit north onto University Blvd. Traveling north on University Blvd, turn west (left) on Center Drive. Turn into the Iowa State Center parking lots. Maps are included in the Arrival tab of the “During World Finals” section for your reference.
What are the hours for Team Registration?

Team registration is open on Tuesday from 2 PM until Midnight and Wednesday from Noon until Midnight. Team registration will also be available on Thursday at Odyssey Information located at the Scheman Building 1st floor lobby.
What do we do if we arrive on campus after registration closes for the day?

For those arriving after registration hours on Tuesday or Wednesday, please stop at the ground floor of Scheman, located in the Iowa State Center Complex. Staff will direct you to the appropriate location to check in. For those arriving for registration on Thursday, please go to the Information Desk in the Memorial Union. Registration materials will be available for pickup at this location.
Are the dorms air-conditioned?

Some residence halls have air-conditioning; however, we cannot guarantee air-conditioned lodging in advance. The average temperature in Ames at this time of year is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the weather forecast to make sure you pack the right clothes!
Is there any place I can connect to the Internet when I’m on campus?

Campus has wireless internet access available to you across campus. All of residence housing has plug-in access to the Internet using the data jack, so be sure to bring an Ethernet cord if you are planning to plug in for non-wireless access. ISU has a service that allows campus visitors access to the Internet during their visit to browse the web and check email. Click to see full details.
Can special dietary needs and/or food allergies be accommodated at the dining halls?

Yes. Most of our dining centers are able to accommodate individuals with these allergens: dairy, egg, fish, shellfish, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and soy. When registering, if anyone in your group has food allergies, please list the member’s full name, contact telephone number, email address and list the allergens (see above list) for the medically-required dietary needs on the Lodging & Meals reservation. If you are requesting Halal or Kosher diets, please complete the form using the same process as above. Those who are unable to self-manage their special dietary needs, such as Celiac Disease, will be assigned to a specific dining area. Many other dietary needs or preferences (such as for those who are diabetic, vegetarians, etc.) can be accommodated simply by choosing appropriately from the wide variety of choices that will be available at each meal. These types of needs should not be listed on the Lodging and Meals reservation.
Can parents staying off campus eat in the same dining hall as the team?

Of course! Individual guest meals can be purchased at the entrance of the dining centers with cash or credit. If you are dining not on a package, the costs are: Breakfast: $10.80/Lunch and Dinner: $13.90
What kind of meals can we expect in the dining center?

You will be assigned to a specific dining center for your meals. All persons who have purchased Odyssey of the Mind housing or meal packages will be issued a color-coded wristband allowing them into the appropriate dining center. Meals typically include a selection of entrees, hot and cold side dishes, salad bar, fresh fruits and vegetables, and a variety of deserts and beverages. ISU Dining may choose to substitute some meals as pick-up-and-go meals when appropriate (notices to be shared at arrival).
What time are the dining halls open?

Tuesday, May 24 dinner through Sunday, May 29 breakfast
Breakfast*……………………………… 6:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
Lunch…………………………………. 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Dinner…………………………………… 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
*Sunday………………………………… 6:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
Our team is arriving after the dining halls close; however, the package we purchased includes dinner that day. Will dinner be provided?

If you plan to arrive after the scheduled dinner hours, we encourage you to make plans to eat prior to arriving or explore the many great dining options available to you in the community.
What is the penalty if we cancel our housing reservation?

There is no penalty if you cancel your reservation by April 28. Cancellations after April 28 are subject to a 50% penalty. Unfortunately no refunds can be given after May 6 as your room has been booked.
Can we make changes to our housing reservations if we reserve our space now?

Absolutely! Please enter your information as quickly as possible. You can modify your housing reservations through April 28.
What types of rooms are used for housing?

Your team will get the actual experience of living like college students! Teams will be housed in traditional style residence hall housing (the majority in double-occupancy rooms), with additional placements in triples, if available. When completing the Lodging/Meals Reservation Form, please indicate only medically-required housing and dining needs that may affect placement.
Will a team member be housed with someone he/she does not know or with another adult?

In order to accommodate all teams it will be necessary to assign one person to every available bed. This means that if a team has 9 persons assigned to rooms with a total of 10 beds, there may be a person from another team of the same gender and similar age assigned to the remaining space. An adult will not be assigned to a room with a team member unless requested on the housing form.
Will males and females be housed together in the same residence hall?

Males and females may be assigned within the same residence hall room if requested. Males and females may be assigned within the same suite or apartment, but not within the same sleeping room unless requested.
Will I be provided linens?

Yes! In an effort to make your stay easier each person will be provided with a pillow, pillowcase, sheets, blanket, 2 towels, 1 washcloth and soap. Daily towel exchanges will be available at a centralized location. Feel free to bring your favorite pillow or blanket if you wish.
Are laundry facilities available?

Yes, laundry facilities are available within the residence areas.
When will we know where we’re staying?

When you get to campus and register for your housing you will receive your housing assignment.
Who will I room with?

When you fill out your Lodging and Meals Reservation Form you can request your roommate. We will do our best to accommodate you.
What if I lose the key card to my room?

Be sure to keep track of your keys!
At check in, you will receive an envelope with all your keys, use this as a handy resource to gather them all to turn in at check out. Keys must be returned at check-out; charges will be assessed for unreturned keys (up to $175). If lost keys are found, turn them in to one of the 24- hour residence hall desks or to the Odyssey information desk.
Can anyone enter the residence halls?

Only ISU staff and Odyssey of the Mind teams and coaches assigned to the residence will have keys to the residence areas. Participants are not allowed in Department of Residence areas that are not assigned to their group unless accompanied by a responsible host registered for that area. If you have guests you must behave appropriately and respect the other teams. Unruly behavior should be reported to the resident assistant, ISU staff, or Odyssey Information promptly. A 24-hour Conference Desk will be located in each residence area.
Our team would like to stay in a hotel. Will you help us with those arrangements?

The Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau has compiled a list of nearby hotels.
Can teams staying off campus use the recreational facilities?

Yes, the registration fee covers all of the events and recreation opportunities at World Finals. Team members and adults staying on campus are permitted to participate in recreational activities at listed Iowa State University facilities. Team members must provide the medical release form to participate in any recreational activities. Towels, racquets, basketballs, etc. may be checked out at the recreation centers.
Who can attend the competitions and ceremonies on campus and how much are the tickets?

Everyone is welcome to attend and the event is free to the public. For the Opening and Awards Ceremonies you need a ticket to enter. Participating teams will get their tickets when they sign in at the Odyssey of the Mind registration desk. Spectators who are not staying in Odyssey housing may pick up their complimentary tickets on the day of the event at the Odyssey Information Booth or at the Arena Box Office the evening of the event. [Only one ticket per person will be distributed. This helps prevent over-distribution of tickets by giving mass quantities to more than one person from the same group.] You must sit in the seat designated on the ticket.
Will I need a vehicle to get around campus?
There will be a free shuttle service throughout the competition connecting the residence halls, central campus, and the Iowa State Center. Learn more about shuttles here.
Do drivers need a parking permit?

Teams in residence housing on campus will be able to park in assigned areas adjacent to or within easy walking distance of their living area at no charge. Those not staying in the residence halls should park at the Iowa State Center south of the main campus. There is no charge for parking in this area and a free shuttle is provided to central campus. Additional parking adjacent to central campus is available at the Memorial Union parking ramp with hourly rates. Other university lots are assigned to university staff and are restricted areas. See more about parking here.
Can I get a handicapped parking permit?

Only state-issued handicapped parking permits will be honored in the unrestricted lots.
We would like to drive our RV to campus. May we park on campus?

Individuals are not permitted to stay in RVs and Campers on campus.
We are chartering a bus to get to campus. Where do I tell the driver to park?

If your team is chartering a coach to bring you to Ames, please make the following arrangements with your driver. When on campus, the charter should park in the general lots south of the Iowa State Center. At registration, pick up information on permitted pick up/drop off locations on campus. Parking is not allowed for buses on central campus, and waiting times are not allowed. Coaches will need to call when their party is assembled to be picked up, since buses will only be allowed to wait while being loaded. Be sure to exchange cell phone numbers with your driver in case either your driver or the team need to make arrangements for an alternate meeting place.
When can we check on our props? If we are driving our props to campus, where do we deliver them?

Check your carrier’s website to see if your shipment has been delivered to Iowa State University Central Receiving. You may check the Iowa State University tracking website to see the status of where your prop is located at ISU:
Props will be grouped according to problem division and delivered to the designated prop storage area near each competition site by Wednesday, May 25th. Any oversize carton (larger than 32” wide x 72” tall x 8’ long) received will be kept at the central receiving location and teams will be responsible for moving it to the competition site. DON’T FORGET YOUR TOOLS TO OPEN YOUR PROP CRATES AND TO REASSEMBLE YOUR PROPS!
A Prop Information booth will be available Tuesday and Wednesday during registration at the Scheman Building. On Thursday and Friday, the Prop Information booth will be at the Memorial Union.
Should your shipment not be in the designated storage area, please visit the ISU prop tracking website: or call 515.230.1308.
If you are driving your props to campus, you should deliver them directly to the storage room for the competition site. Please inquire at the prop information table during registration. Learn more about prop storage and download a prop shipping label here.
How do we arrange to ship our props home?

Teams who wish to ship materials home must register such request with the ISU Prop Information booth for proper guidance. All teams are responsible to pre-arrange for PREPAID OR C.O.D shipment of any materials requiring return. All returns must be properly packaged and have a prepaid return shipping label AND an orange ISU “RETURN” label attached to each carton. A completed Bill of Lading (BOL) must be attached to the carton/crate(s) for all freight returns. Props requiring return should be left in the prop storage rooms to allow for ISU Central Receiving to pick up and stage for carrier pick up at Central Receiving. Do not request a carrier pick up at the prop storage location. Schedule return shipments with your carrier after June 1.
What if I have questions about Iowa State University or Ames?

If you need general information prior to arrival, please go to If you need information that is not available on our website, please call 515.232.4032 to leave a voice message including your name, number and inquiry and someone will return your call as soon as possible. For information after arriving on campus, stay up to date using the World Finals app, check in at the information desks at Registration and the Memorial Union, or stop by the residence hall conference desks where you are staying.
When will the competition schedule be available?

The tentative competition schedule will be available on May 3rd at noon EST until May 6 3 PM EST. The final competition schedule will be posted on Tuesday, May 10 at 10 AM EST.
How do I contact my child once the team arrives on campus?

Most cell phones work on campus and in the residence halls. Prior to leaving home, be sure to leave a list of all team members and chaperones and any cell phone numbers with family members. Distribute a list of cell phone numbers to all your team members. Note that the Ames area code is 515. Team members should call home and give family members their residence hall name, room number, and the 24-Hour Conference Desk number for that area. In the event of an emergency at home, the number for family members to call is the ISU Police at 515-294-4428. ISU Police will assist in locating the participant.
Is there a health center on campus in the event of an emergency?

Yes, there is an extensive list of Health Services and a required medical release form in the WF packet found in the “Know Before You Go” section.
Will any of the events be broadcast online?

Opening Ceremonies, the Graduation Ceremony and the Awards Ceremony will be broadcast as a live webcast during the event. Stay tuned to the World Finals website and our social media for updates and broadcasts. The footage will also be posted shortly after the ceremony on the World Finals media page.
Who is eligible to participate in the graduation ceremony?

High School and College students missing their graduations because they are attending the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals are invited to participate in the graduation ceremony. Due to time and space restrictions, we cannot invite all students to participate. To participate in the graduation ceremony, please sign up before April 28. Graduates are encouraged to wear caps and gowns for this ceremony. However, everyone is encouraged to attend the event in order to support their fellow participants and see Dr. Sam and OMER!
When will we see the team’s scores on the website?

The team’s scores will be available on the website immediately after the Awards Ceremony ends on Saturday evening.
What is OMER’S News and where can I find it?

OMER’s News is the daily Odyssey of the Mind World Finals Newsletter. The first edition is available when you arrive on campus and new editions are digital only and will be posted on our website each day of the event.
How do I get around campus? Are there shuttles while on campus?
Yes, there is a free shuttle open to all participants and guests. There is no wristband required, simply download the shuttle route brochure and explore ISU!