@Luo: I agree with your point about the exclusion of alternates and assistant coaches. My team brought 31 students to nationals, with 4 coaches. We do not attend the banquet or the ice cream social, so we were not aware of the amenities exclusions, however our seating arrangements at opening ceremonies (but most importantly at awards) made us feel awful. We had seats on the floor, but were given only 16 seats for our competitors and our head coach. This left 16 of our team members, who are every bit as important to our team as those who had the luck to compete at nationals this year, sitting separately from those on the floor. We have gotten this arrangement at almost every national tournament I have been to, save 2010 in Illinois.
I understand that there is not enough space on the floor for every team to bring 35 people, the problem is that we are not allowed to sit all together in the bleachers either. We have been told year after year that our 16 people need to sit in the reserved seats while the others find seats in the bleachers, because it would take too long for potential medalists to make their way to the stage. We would gladly sit together in the bleachers, as a team, however our coach has a level head and does not wish to offend any of the organizers who put so much work into the arrangements.
I would greatly appreciate if we did not encounter this situation in the future, but I do not know to what extent it is possible to avoid this. I suppose there isn't much my team can do about it besides complain on the boards and be disappointed when, for another year, our team is not allowed to celebrate the end of our year at the awards ceremony together.
Harriton High School Science Olympiad