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November 2008

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Sun, 23 Nov 2008 23:45:38 -0500
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All of this I understand.  However, with absolutely no feedback on the
three non-table aspects of FIRST, how is a team to have any idea how they
performed?  I am not advocating posting of scores in those areas, but the
effectiveness of any test or competition is to have information whereby you
can measure yourself.

As it stands now, having experienced two Regionals and one State
competition, our team is clueless as to how the judges evaluated our other
three presentations.  A simple check sheet based on the Rubics (without a
numerical score) would be most helpful.

Larry Sides
Madison Menagerie Robotics

Original Message:
-----------------
From: Eric Palmer [log in to unmask]
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2008 17:02:31 -0500
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] Tournament Scoring


I too want to second what Kevin and Cynthia has said.  As a judge, the
rubrics are important but we may end up with teams with identical scores and
then it becomes a matter of what stands out and how much.  

I like to FIRST rules about no more than one award + robot performance.
This creates the possibilities for more teams to get awards which can exit
them and motivate them.  And the teams that don't can see that with just a
little more work or unity they too can get an award. 



Eric F. Palmer
Judge, former coach and soon to be coach again (yea!)


[log in to unmask]
http://VitalJourney.org - Blog

-----Original Message-----
From: First Lego League Discussion [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Cynthia
Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2008 4:44 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] Tournament Scoring

I'd just like to second what Kevin said about the judging scores. While
attempts have been made to make judging objective by implementing rubrics
and numerical scores, presentation, teamwork, and robot design remain
subjectively scored. It's all about impressing the judges enough that your
team stands out in our minds at the end of the day. The scores help us weed
out the very best teams, but many times, several teams end up with identical
scores, and they all deserve the award. When it comes down to it, what
matters much more is giving awards to as many deserving teams as possible.

Hope this and Kevin's response help to clarify FIRST's side of things.

Cynthia
Judge

----- Original Message -----
From: "KevinHines" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2008 3:17 PM
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] Tournament Scoring


> Annette,
>
> Thanks for sharing your thoughts on posting FLL scores.
>
> The posting of scores is a topic which seems to come up each year, and 
> there
> are many good opinions.  Some coaches feel *all* scores should be posted,
> some coaches feel *no* scores should be posted, and many coaches feel
> somewhere in between.
>
> I'd like to reply to your thoughtful suggestion in a few parts:
>
>
> 1. FIRST Philosophy about Awards: I am a FLL Coach (in my 4th year), and I
> have also volunteered as a judge at FVC (the precursor to FTC) events (at
> tournaments in Florida)... the FIRST philosophy, as I understand it, is to
> give the awards for the judged categories to as many different teams as
> possible.  Thus, one team will not receive two awards for two judged
> categories, (i.e., Presentation, Robot Design & Teamwork).  This is 
> intended
> to motivate as many kids excited as possible to enjoy the experience, and 
> to
> have as many teams as possible feel good about their work.  The exception 
> to
> this rule is the Robot Performance awards, since the Robot Performance
> scores are posted publicly, so even if a team wins an award for a judged
> category, they can also win an award for Robot Performance.  When I 
> judged,
> there were a few teams which could easily have taken 1st or 2nd place in
> almost every category, but that would not make the other teams feel good, 
> so
> FIRST has things set up so that the judges deliberate, and select no more
> than one (judged) award per team.
>
> If the judging sessions' scores were posted at all, then at some
> tournaments, a few teams would dominate, and get most of the awards. 
> Thus,
> the judging scores are kept private, so that the awards, for the judged
> categories, can be distributed to as many teams as possible.
>
> Whether one agrees with this approach or not, this is the FIRST 
> philosophy,
> as I understand it.
>
> (Personally, I like the FIRST way of giving awards to as many teams as
> possible.)
>
>
> 2. Judged Events: These aren't really a regular sporting game, like soccer
> or baseball.  The opinions of the judges enter into the judged scores, and
> there's no way around that.  In this sense, the judged events are more 
> like
> figure skating or gymnastics scores.  Some people feel that a judged event
> is or is not really a sporting event like a game ... thus, posting judged
> scores is an area of contention.
>
> Again, I do like the FIRST way of giving awards to as many teams as
> possible, and keeping the judged scores *not* posted, is one way to
> accomplish this.
>
>
> 3. FLL Policy Decisions Come From the Top: FLL is not a democracy, and
> that's okay with me (most of the time).  I'm in my 4th year of coaching 
> FLL,
> and one thing I've learned about FLL, is that the important policy 
> decisions
> about things like what the public is allowed to see (for example: judged
> sessions & judged scores), are all decided at the top of the leadership
> structure.  If you can convince the state leadership, you may have a 
> chance
> of implementing a change.  Perhaps the state leadership might change
> something if enough coaches requested it, but I have found that the
> volunteers who run the state organizations are passionate folks who are
> doing work which they feel strongly about, and they really are doing what
> they believe is right for the children.  And that seems to include *not*
> posting the judged scores.
>
> I respect the amazing dedication, leadership and passion for helping the
> children, which our state organizers display regularly.
>
> However, I can't recall even one time that they changed a significant 
> policy
> decision, due to input from coaches (I will apologize if I'm wrong about
> this).
>
> I am impressed that the state organizers can find enough common ground,
> among all of us, to keep FLL going.
>
> They are doing an awesome job, and they have my appreciation.
>
>
> I wish you luck in your effort to make FLL even better.
>
> Thanks,
> Kevin
>
> Kevin Hines
> FLL Coach
> [log in to unmask]
> www.RoanokeRobotics.org
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: First Lego League Discussion
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Annette Holloway
> Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2008 11:13 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [VADCFLL-L] Tournament Scoring
>
>
> Just some thoughts about the emphasis on scores -
>
> I think it would be nice to have rankings displayed briefly at the end
> of the tournament for every judging category, and possibly have awards
> for the second & third  place as well.  That way the Lego table does not
> appear to be the most important thing.  Our team did incredibly well on
> their project, did not win an award, but it would have been very
> encouraging to know if they were second.  That additional feedback would
> be helpful for upcoming years.
>
> Annette Holloway
> NASA Ninjas
> Hampton, Va
>
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