Well, let's take a look at just how retarded we are. Let's use my upcoming "Build It Day" on Saturday, November 8.that really is retarded. i mean, how do they not look at when APs are? although im with gneissisnice, i already took world history and human geography and i personally dont have to deal with the other ones. but not everyone on the team can say the same...
First, November 8 is free at our venue. Not only "free" as in "available", but "free' as in cost. if i went with that date instead of other dates, it would save each team attending some $35-$55.
But wait-- that date is a home football game at the Big 10 college where we get almost half of our college-age help. SO let's move it to the week before. Nope. Half our management help has major school (employment) commitments.
The week after? No, can't get the venue. Not only that, but changing will cause us to lose our "seniority" as far as scheduling priority.
Week after that? Ha Ha Ha-- first day of deer hunting season in three states!
Week before? Homecoming at the school or some kind of big thing; venue is unavailable.
So, it's back to the 8th. While a sizable chunk of help can't attend, it's the best date available. Good thing, because NOW I find the Academic Boosters can't serve food on any of the other dates, and this isn't a town where the kids can go outside and run down the street a short ways to get lunch. Now I have to start the calling all over again (groan!), all over IL, IN, and MI to see what event heads are available, what event assistants & volunteers are available, and (alas) what events we can't cover due to a lack thereof.
THEN, armed with this list, I determine what and how many support people will be needed to cover what all necessary things (cutting wood and/or metal, hardware available, safety watch, etc), pass this list on to the local people, and then THEY locate the necessary people, tools and parts. I'm on pins and needles until I geta reply, since certain events get canned if certain help doesn't materialize-- Everyone wants to be in charge of an event, but a lack of support people will kill an event just as fast as a lack of Big Chief will.
SO, with supply-side all taken care of (fingers crossed that nobody cancels out), it's now time to see who shows up. The whole thing repeats itself-- hopefully there'll be no "lack of transportation" issues, no home football games, no college recruiting visits, no detentions, no AAU meets, no family reunions, no weddings, no tryouts, no funerals. . . the list goes on. And the obvious, no OTHER Science Olympiad activities.
Note that this is for a 4-state event with about 150-200 kids. Now try setting up something 25 times larger, like Nationals, with Host University scheduling tossed in.
In short, THERE'S NO DATE AVAILABLE FOR ANYTHING THAT DOESN'T CONFLICT WITH SOMETHING ELSE THAT'S IMPORTANT. Actually, we're lucky-- most Nationals have been scheduled the Saturday closest to May 19th. Reason is, especially during the earliest days, Armed Forces Day (weekend, actually) meant that a substantial pool of available help had an easier likelihood of getting time off to help. Also, most colleges have let out for the Summer, freeing up rooms & labs at a much lower price, and MS/HS nationwide are still in session.
And don't forget that you have makeup exams two weeks later. We don't. Plus, if enough want to take exams at Nationals, we've actually done that before once or twice.