In each of my years in FLL, I've seen rookie teams do well and advance to the Championship tournament--and win awards there, too. Each team has its own strengths and the tournament format gives the team members a chance to show what they've learned, achieved and how they've grown.
Not to be glib, but the best way to advance to the Championship tournament is to win the Champion's Award for your division at your regional tournament, i.e. to be strong across all areas of Robot Performance, Robot Design, Project, and Teamwork. Although there isn't some magic score needed to advance to the championship, these are the criteria that are used to evaluate a team's performance.
Since VA/DC FLL has a two-division format, it's complicated to predict the chances of a team advancing to the championship, but it is possible to do a rough estimate.
If you look at the list of teams competing in regional tournaments this year, you can see that there are 359 teams. Experienced coaches know that there were close to 100 teams invited to the championship last year. So approximately 1 team in 4 can get an invitation. Again, please remember that this is just a rough estimate and the specifics vary for each regional tournament, depending on the number of teams competing in each division.
On Oct 27, 2010, at 2:58 AM, Heather Kemmerly wrote:
> I am a rookie coach, and my team asked me the other day, "What do
> we have to get at the Regional competition, in order to go to the State
> competition?" I, of course, did not have an answer for them. If someone
> would be so kind as to let me know, I'd appreciate it. I have expressed
> to my team that anything we accomplish will be a success and that I am
> very proud of our team no matter what. We had a late start and everyone
> is new. I think they are doing fantastic, but I can't blame them for wanting
> to know the answer to their question. I'm glad they are thinking big. No task
> is unachievable. I admire thier enthusiasm.
> Team #4911 "Bionics"
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