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November 2008

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From:
KevinHines <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
KevinHines <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Sat, 22 Nov 2008 15:17:55 -0500
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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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