The process of getting a team ready to show their Team Challenge solution or prepare to solve their Instant Challenge is known as Prep.
Historically, prep involved the team meeting with the Prep Area Appraiser. For Team Challenge, the team presented their paperwork (hand filled out forms) that the Prep Area Appraiser reviewed for completeness and accuracy. Instant Challenge did not have any paperwork supplied by the team. An appraiser lead them through the pledge that they would not divulge any information about the IC they were about to solve.
COVID-19 changed much of this as DIHQ moved to online variants of the paperwork. Teams now complete their Tournament Data Form, Expense Report and Prep Checklist using the Resource Area (more detail on the team view here).
Much of this prep information is designed to aid Appraisers in appraising the team's solution. How the information is consumed varies from tournament to tournament based on the tournament Mobile Scoring setting (described here under Key Properties).
If Mobile Scoring is not set, teams are instructed to fill the forms out using the Resource Area, but print out copies to take to the tournament. The tournament proceeds as it did historically with the forms hopefully being easier to read.
If Mobile Scoring is set, teams fill out the forms using the Resource Area but are not instructed to print them out. In this case the appraisers will access the forms online either through the Resource Area or the Mobile Client.
The Resource Area also supports reviewing the forms before the day of the tournament. A tournament can choose this option by setting a Prep Pre-check Deadline (set here). With a deadline set, teams are asked to submit their Team Challenge forms by the deadline. At this point the appraiser team will review the forms identifying any changes they would advise. Using the Resource Area to review submission is described here.
If a tournament has no Prep Pre-check deadline OR a team does not submit prior to the deadline, the team can still submit their Team Challenge forms. In this case, the Prep Appraiser will review them in the prep period just prior to the Team Challenge presentation. Resource Area support for this review is described here.
Instant Challenge has no Prep Pre-check deadline. The team can use the IC Prep Checklist to see and answer the questions on the checklist. These will be reviewed with an appraiser in Instant Challenge on the day of the tournament prior to solving the team's instant challenge.