News and Updates


What's new for 2018


Teacher-to-Teacher Tips


Houstonfest Scholarships


Scholarships at State


Tips for Pair Discussion


Arrival at Hogg Middle School


Bubble Soccer


Lunch options


Plays will be performed at Houstonfest


Daily log of changes to state-qualifier list


Photo Gallery 2014


Important Dates


Wed., Jan. 17, 2018:  Regular deadline to submit registration spreadsheet in order to pay regular price of $10/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 1/24).


Wed., Jan. 24, 2018:  Final deadline to submit registration spreadsheet for late price of $12/student and deadline to postmark payment.


Mon., Jan. 29, 2018 Proof sheet of entries sent to teachers for final verification and changes.


Tue, Jan. 30, 2018 Research Papers due to David Kniess by 11:59 p.m.


Wed., Jan. 31, 2018, 8:00 p.m. Deadline to submit changes (adds, drops, substitutions).  After this point, no more additions or substitutions will be allowed in individual events.  Substitutions in group events may continue in emergency situations.


Thur., Feb. 1, 2018: Videos due to Mark Johnson by 6:00 p.m.


Sat., Feb. 3, 2018 Houstonfest !


Fri., Feb. 9, 2018 State online registration due by 11:59 p.m. in order to qualify for early-bird price of $10 per student.  Online registrations submitted after this point incur the regular registration fee of $12 per student.  Also, deadline to apply for the Mary El-Beheri Memorial Scholarship.


Fri, Feb. 16, 2018 State online registration due by 11:59 p.m. (regular deadline). Also, postmark deadline for State payment, regardless of whether you completed your online registration by the early-bird or the regular deadline.


Sat., Feb. 24, 2018 Texas State German Contest, Texas State University, San Marcos.


Sat., Mar. 3, 2018 Houstonfest Scholarship applications due.


Fri., Mar. 9, 2018 Gail Cope Scholarship applications due.

Bubble Soccer


Stay tuned for news about whether Bubble Soccer will be offered in 2018 and,

 if so, how it will be structured.


Jump down to the day-of procedures


Jump down to the schedule


A super-fun addition to Houstonfest 2016 was bubble soccer - played while wearing a giant inflatable plastic bubble!  Katy High School became the first ever Blasenfußballmeister of Houstonfest.


Bubble Soccer will return in 2017, again sponsored by and benefiting the Heights High School GAPP exchange. Here are the procedures, which are substantially different from 2016:

  • Each school may enter up to 2 teams. Enter by filling out the number of teams (1 or 2) that you want to enter on the main registration spreadsheet. If you decide to enter Bubble Soccer after you've submitted your regular registration, don't worry. Just email director Rustin Buck to let him know how many teams you want to enter.

  • Each team can have between 6 and 12 players (any mix of boys and girls), and each team will play TWO games in the tournament.  If you have 6 players, they all get to play in both games. If you have 12 players, each gets to play in one of the team's two games. If you have between 6 and 12, some get to play once, some twice. It's up to you how to work that out. You do not have to submit the list of names when registering. Alternates can and should be lined up in case a particular player who plans to play is unavailable at the time of a game.

  • Cost per team (not per player) is $60. You may include the payment for Bubble Soccer with your regular Houstonfest registration check or you can send it separately (check made out to "Houstonfest").

  • A schedule will be published ahead of time so that teams will know days in advance when their two games will be. If there are conflicts with other group events, they can be worked out in advance, but on the day of Houstonfest, games will not be moved around. Teams will need to play when scheduled.

  • There will be no playoff games at the end of the tournament. The winning team will be the team with the largest cumulative goal differential at the end of its two games. In the case of a tie, we'll have a tie-breaker of penalty kicks on the stage at the awards ceremony.

  • Bubble Soccer is for fun and pride (and some kind of trophy) but not for sweepstakes points.

  • Every participating student must hand in a signed release form on the day of Houstonfest. Students 18 and older can sign their own forms; those younger than 18 must have their forms signed by a parent/guardian. The form for minors and the form for adults are in the same document. We are going to be very strict this year: every person who suits up must hand over a release form that day; no release, no play.

  • A maximum of 15 teams will be accepted into the tournament, in the order in which registration is received. If more than 15 teams attempt to register, schools registering two teams will be asked to reduce to one team (and receive the corresponding $60 for the second team back).

  • Heights High School German teacher Mark Johnson will determine the schedule and manage the event.

If there are conflicts with scheduled group events, players should 1) see if they can switch within their teams, if the school is fielding 2 teams, and then if that doesn’t work 2) tell Mark Johnson ( what the slot with the conflict is. Once we get the conflicts we can try making switches.


Instructions for teams: Bubble Soccer will be in the Practice Gym.  Upon arrival, all 6 players will present themselves to the check-in desk and hand in their waivers. They must arrive 5 minutes early, so they can hand in waivers and start getting into their bubbles. They will play for about 10 minutes. At the end of the game they will de-bubble and leave the gym. This year there will be no spectators in the practice gym. Last year a couple of spectators got clobbered by players. The players were protected but the spectators against the wall were not. Spectators must go upstairs and watch from the railing overlook. The only people allowed in the practice gym are players, players on deck, volunteers running the games, and the employees who operate the bubbles and referee the games. There will be bouncers at the door directing people upstairs to watch and allow players in. The intake desk will also be in front of the door, staffed by a couple of people. Each team will have a manila folder for tracking waivers and games played.


The last 2 games (“scratch games”) will feature the Heights 2 team that has some empty slots for kids who missed their slots during their assigned times. These will be filled on a first-come, first-serve sign-up basis. Come by and sign up for those at the check-in desk after you miss your game as soon as you can. There will be no refunds for kids who miss their times and do not get a slot in the scratch games or other empty stand-by slots. Kids with waivers can also fill in empty slots on a standby basis at any game, with any team, but they must pay five dollars if they are not playing with their team, so a refund can be issued to the kid missing his slot. We also suggest that all teams have substitute players ready to go with waivers in hand in case you have no-shows, and they can reimburse their teammates who cannot make their slot.


It would be wise to appoint a team captain who has the cell numbers of all the team members and alternates so that missing people can be tracked down and/or replaced.  Your games have to start at the scheduled times, whether you have a full team or not.


There will be an Elfmeter-shootout for the championship between the two teams with the highest cumulative goal differential in their two games, on stage in the auditorium before the awards ceremony (without bubbles).


8:15 – Clements 1 vs. Kingwood 1

8:30 – Katy 1 vs. Taylor

8:45 – Katy 2 vs. Clear Creek

9:00 – Morton Ranch vs. Willis

9:15 – Seven Lakes vs. Clements 2

9:30 – Taylor vs. Katy 2

9:45 – Tompkins vs. Clements 1

10:00 – Willis vs. Heights 1

10:15 – Clear Creek vs. Katy 1

10:30  - Kingwood 1 vs. Tompkins

10:45 – Clements 2 vs. Kingwood 2

11:00 – Deer Park vs. Seven Lakes

11:15 – Kingwood 2 vs. Morton Ranch

11:30 – Heights 2 (with some empty slots) vs. Deer Park

11:45 – Heights 1 vs. Heights 2 (with some empty slots)

When is the next Houstonfest?



February 3, 2018,

8:00 a.m.


Where is Houstonfest?


Hogg Middle School

1100 Merrill Street

Houston, TX 77009

(2018 only)


Link to Texas State German Contest