FLL Tournament Teams and Coaches,
It's been 9 weeks since the Senior Solutions Challenge was released,
and over the next three weeks over 500 teams will compete in the
Virginia/DC Qualifying tournaments.
What should you expect? You'll visit with three different sets of
judges to show them what you can do. You'll take your robot to the
competition floor at least 4 times to play the Robot Game. You'll
meet lots of other teams who have thought about how people can
be independent, engaged and connected, as well as how to
build and program robots--just like you! It will be a busy and fun
What will happen in judging? What are the judges looking for, anyway?
The judges will all be using the Senior Solutions Rubrics to let you know
what they see. The rubrics are in your Coach's Handbook, and on the
web at http://firstlegoleague.org/sites/default/files/Challenge/Combined%20Rubrics.pdf
Most judging sessions in VA/DC FLL are about 10 minutes long. They
each have different formats.
Project Judging: During the first five minutes of the session, you
set up and present the project presentation that tells about your
research problem, solution, and sharing. [Yes, setup time is part of
the 5 minutes.] For the rest of the session, the judges will ask you
questions about your research and solution so that they can understand
all the things that you've done.
Make sure to read the requirements in the Senior Solutions challenge that
describe what you'll need to do to be eligible for awards. Teams are
expected to do their setup without adult help, and to have everything
that they will need for the presentation (except we'll supply a desk
or a table.)
Core Values Judging: The judges will give you a few minutes to work
as a team on a secret task. Then they'll spend about 5 minutes asking
you questions so they can see how your team understands and lives the
FLL Core Values. By the way, the secret task is just for fun--the
judges are really mostly interested in how you work together.
Robot Design Judging: Be ready to talk about what your robot can do,
and how you designed it and programmed it to work on the Challenge
missions, and why you made the choices you did. The judges will have
a Robot Game table, and will probably ask you to demonstrate one or
two of your favorite programs.
Lots of experienced teams like to use one of their last meetings to
practice being in the judging sessions. Maybe you'll have the chance
to show your families everything your team can do.
Your tournament will give you a schedule telling you when you are
supposed to be at judging and at the tables. Try to be there 5
minutes ahead of time--that's the gracious and professional way to
behave. You should wait quietly until your team is asked to
enter--the judges have to spend some time between teams in order to
mark down their evaluation. You'll get those judging sheets back at
the end of the day to provide feedback about what your team did well,
and where you can look to improve.
Judging Etiquette for Coaches and Mentors
FLL Judging in VA/DC is not open to spectators. (Note that some
tournaments may have more open judging because of their specific host
Each team is permitted to have two coach/mentors in the judging room
as observers. A third person may also be present, serving as a team
historian, with a camera or recorder. Observers are expected to
minimize their disturbance of the team by not speaking and staying to
the sides or back of the judging room. Some teams may choose not to
have observers during judging.
Gracious Professionalism applies to all attending the tournament
(team members, coaches, parents, spectators, volunteers, etc.). Our
purpose is to celebrate the accomplishments of all FLL participants
during the season. Please remember to focus on that.
Judging and awards are discussed at http://firstlegoleague.org/event/judging
Awards are given in each age Division. In accordance with FLL policy,
teams must participate in all 3 judged areas (Project, Core Values and
Robot Design) and the Robot Game to be eligible for any Core Awards.
In addition, teams are only eligible to win one judged award at the tournament.
We'll celebrate and recognize the achievements of all teams during
our closing ceremonies, so be ready to cheer!
VA/DC FLL Referee Advisor
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