Picking a Theme

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A theme and title are typically needed before the rallye is finished. This is because the flyer (and calendar posting) are needed far in advance, so they can be printed and mailed.

What Theme?

Common sources of theme are:

  • A Movie (classic, loved, hated, or upcoming)
  • TV Show (ditto)
  • Book (upcoming book list), Song, Dance, Video, or other popular culture meme
  • Game (e.g., Clue)
  • Sport
(A football themed rallye can place importance on a sign with the word "pass"; a tennis themed rallye, the word "court.")
  • School or College (fraternity, college selection, etc.)
  • Comic strip
  • Profession (e.g., attorney)
  • Politics
  • Geography (e.g., names of presidents and states are common street names)
  • Religion (e.g., names of saints are common street names)
  • Technology
  • Holiday
  • Vacation spots or activities (place names are common street names)

Remember that your rallye should be solvable by -- and fun for -- those unfamiliar with the theme. Do not depend on "external information" that is not widely known. Provide that information for rallyists who need it.

How does a rallye use its theme?

Besides the rallye's title and flyer artwork, a rallye's theme often shows up in a few (but not lots, and never all) of these ways:

  • Consider adding clip art to your GIs, even if it is only attractive and not crucial to the rallye.
  • Story or Introduction
  • Bonus or Note (or other floating instructions) can be named for characters or items from the theme, or can refer to streets (by name or description) that are pertinent to the theme.
A Wizard of Oz rallye placed importance on a road named RAINBOW;
It's a Wonderful Rallye, on CLARENCE.
A Christmas themed Rallye listed "good little boys and girls" (street names).
Palo Alto has a "King Arthur Court".
  • Terms used for U-turn, Opportunity to turn, Intersection, Checkpoint, score sheet, vehicle etc. may be themed. (If you have a "student ID," you don't have a "car number.")
A sailing rallye might use "come about" instead of U.
Ideally, you won't have to tell the rallyist when or where they'll encounter the road.
  • "Monsters" or other characters that rallyists encounter or who change signs or rules on route.
  • Checkpoint saying (of course)
  • Checkpoint activity (shoot a basketball, putt a golf ball, . . .)
  • Trinkets or giveaways, gimmicked or not (Zuzu's petals, gold nugget, diploma, . . .)
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