VA Coaches and Teams: Congratulations on qualifying and competing at the World Finals level of competition. You and your team experienced the return to the World Finals with almost 800 teams from across the U.S., Poland, Switzerland, Mexico, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, France, Germany and South Korea. You participated in-person long term problem performances complete with live judging teams, WF spontaneous competition, Creativity Festival, International Festival, Opening Ceremony, Float and Banner Parade, Award Ceremony, Arm & Hammer interaction, and most certainly WF pin trading etc.

One of the most valuable experiences at Odyssey of the Mind World Finals is learning from watching other teams’ performances in higher divisions and other problems.  And hearing comments like “How did they do that?” or said, “I didn’t know you could do that”, or “I can do that!”  And were fortunate to witness out-of-the-box creativity (i.e., Why is this solution so different from the others?).  Please capture the team’s creative thoughts that occurred during WF for next season.  I also ask the coaches and team members to share their experiences with school mates and other Odyssey teams that did not advance. Assess the importance of the team’s spontaneous performance to the overall placement in your respective problem and division.

A hearty congratulations to the following teams and coaches whose teams’ performances were recognized at the Award Ceremonies.  I believe these teams did not come to the WF expecting to win.  They were knowledgeable of the level of competition to expect and improved their performance by stepping up their creative out-of-the-box skills in problem solving, skit concept design and development, and integration of set-costume-props.  I am sure all teams will leverage their new knowledge from this WF experience.

VA Top 10 finishers:

Problem 1, Div 2, 4th place: Grafton MS (Coach Diana Demosiuk)

Problem 2, Div 1, 6th place: Women in IP (Coach Kirsten Braun)

Problem 3, Div 2, 6th place: Belmont Ridge MS (Coach Doug Cossa)

Problem 4, Div 1, 8th place: Poquoson ES (Coaches Norm Remchuk, Jason Norville, Emalee McAdams)

Problem 4, Div 2, 2nd place: Poquoson MS (Coaches Norm Remchuk, Troy Wojewoda, Cassidy Larson)

Problem 4, Div 3, 3rd place: Poquoson HS (Coaches Norm Remchuk, Heather Goode)

Problem 5, Div 2, 7th place: Martinsville MS (Coaches Greg Hackenberg, Liz Lynch)


I have a very special shout out to all of Norm Remchuk’s co-coaches for their valuable contributions of time, talent, and dedication to the Poquoson teams resulting in Norm accomplishing a crowning moment of 20 years of coaching.  Jason, Emalee and Cassidy are also members of the Div III team.

I will share with you an additional World Finals performance measure of VOICES teams I started when I started as AD.  I am proud to report that ALL 23 VA teams that competed in the 2023 World Finals finished in the Top 34 placements (not teams) of their respective problem and division.

30% of the teams finished in Top 10;

52% of the teams finished in Top 20;

74% of the teams finished in Top 30; and,

100% of the teams finished in Top 34.

Please remember, 226 VA teams competed at the Regional Tournaments; 71 teams advanced and competed at the State Tournament; and 23 teams advanced and competed in the World Finals.  Although the U.S. and International Associations are not identical in structure, I consider 100% of VA teams finishing in the Top 34 most remarkable in light of the WF competitors advancing from several thousands of Odyssey teams worldwide.

This is a major accomplishment!  The coach’s role is always crucial in preparation for World Finals and during World Finals.  The coach sets the schedule to repair and assemble the set, rehearsals, WF activities, pin trading, and manage team energy levels and expectations.  I am glad I was able to meet many of the coaches and several parents during the 4 days of WF.


Congratulations to ALL for a successful season!!   Enjoy a great summer!

Cheers, Dave

P.S. A video of the 202302024 Problem Synopses is posted to the Odyssey of the Mind website.


David Tsuda

Director, Virginia Association

Odyssey of the Mind ©