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November 2009

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From:
VA/DC Referee Advisor <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
VA/DC Referee Advisor <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Thu, 5 Nov 2009 10:35:01 -0500
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FLL Teams,
  What should you expect at your FLL tournament?

  It will be exciting, fun, and filled with other people interested in the
same things that you are!

  Teams and volunteers will be great models of Gracious Professionalism --
you'll get to show all the things you have learned and worked on during the
season.

  When you go to your three judging sessions, the team members will do all
the talking with the judges.  VA/DC FLL rules allow the team to have up to
two coaches/mentors in the judging session as observers, as well as one
person with a camera or recorder as historian.

  When you go to the competition area for the Robot Game, the team members
will do all the talking with the referees--although the Emcee may talk with
Coaches and spectators, too!  Check with the tournament organizers at the
Coaches Meeting to find out if there is room for Coaches/Mentors/Historians
near the competition tables, and, if so, whether they stand with the team
away from the table, or have a special place to sit or stand.

  What is the hardest thing to remember?  You have been practicing at a
table for many weeks now, but the competition table is not the one at your
school or your house -- it "belongs" to the referee and not to you.  What is
different from practice?
- There is a limit of how many people stand at the table
- There are restrictions about what you can touch
- The referee and field attendants will reset the table
- There is a time limit for each match, and a lot of noise and cheering!
- You can ask the referee to do things on your behalf -- remove stray
objects, recover the robot
- If the robot moves something, you don't get to reset it and have a
"do-over"---but you do get at least three matches to get your best score

Here is a review of some of the rules.  They are all important, but these
sometimes confuse teams at tournaments:

9 - Match, 16 - Preparation:  When your team gets to the table, you get at
least one minute to set up and prepare.
17 - Muscle Action:  You may not move or adjust anything outside of base.
 This includes mission models.  You may certainly ask the referee to double
check them for you.

1- Participation:  Only two team members stand at the table at any given
time.  The rest have to stand back, and give the referee room to move
around.  Your team is allowed to change which members are at the table
handling the robot during the match ("tagging in/out"--you don't need to ask
permission.  Just have the current robot handler(s) move back to the team
and the new person(s) move up to the table).  We won't be surprised if
everyone on the team is cheering during the match!

5 - Field:  All mission models are supplied at the competition Table
14 - Mission Models:  Don't bring any Mission Models to the table with you
(or, at least, any confusing ones...)
BE CAREFUL NOT TO TAKE ANY MISSION MODELS AWAY FROM THE COMPETITION TABLE!

6 - Base, 18 - Start Position:  Your robot, and any strategic objects or
mission models it touches, need to start within the volume of Base (length,
width and height) each time it is started.

The Rules tell you three different times that you should not be touching,
cuddling, or adjusting your robot right before you start it.  So we really
mean it!  (A finger 1 millimeter away from the Robot is not touching it, of
course.)  So if you touch it, or try to redirect it after it starts, the ref
will have you restart the robot--but the match clock keeps ticking.
16 - Once your robot and its objects are ready to start, the last thing you
must do is to let go of it all.
18 - You must not be touching your robot or anything it is about to move or
use.
19 - You may not handle your robot, or anything itís about to move or use,
during or after the countdown.

8 - Missions, 9 - Match:  You have a 2.5 minute period for your robot to try
to accomplish as many missions as you want it to try.  You cannot reset any
mission models on the table during that time--you may only move things
around in base (or get the bonus loops, if you earn them).  The ref can take
things off the table that have been moved
27 - Field Damage:  It is not field damage and the field does not get
restored when your robot simply does things you donít like.

15 - Housekeeping:  You can store your attachments and strategic objects in
a box near the table.  You must keep mission models in view of the ref at
all times.  You can ask the ref for flexibility in where you store mission
models or strategic objects.

17 - Muscle Action:  Make sure to wait for your robot or an item it is
controlling to cross into base before you touch anytime, in order to avoid a
touch penalty and loss of mission models.

26 - Robot Damage:  You can always retrieve your robot and pieces of the
robot that break off.  Or you can ask the ref to do it for you

25 - Stray Objects:  The referee will remove stray objects upon your
request.  The rules allow you to do it under certain circumstances, but I
think it is always best to ask the ref to do it for you, or to check with
him/her before you do it.

34 - After the Match, 29 - Final Field Condition:  Don't clean up anything
until the referee says you can.  Leave all mission models on the table--the
referee and assistant will reset them.  One or two team members will be at
the table to check the field condition with the referee.  Don't leave the
area until the referee confirms that all the mission models are back on the
table.  If you have been allowed to move mission models outside of Base,
don't forget to ensure that they are all in Base at the instant the match
ends.

4- Wireless:  Do you know how to check if Bluetooth is off?  Does the team
know how to turn it off?

Steve Scherr
VA/DC FLL Referee Advisor

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