If your kids had already started the competition training- research, some robot design, contemplating the missions, etc.  I would take them to the tournament.  Nothing deflates a child like wasted time and effort when it involves work. 
  My advice to the team below to "not enter" was based off of a team that had not started anything yet- no robot, no training field, no research project- with 2 weeks to go. 
        If you have something- anything-, let them hash it out in front of the judges. They will better understand what needs to happen next year.  My kids were far more self driven and seemed more in command of this year's team with the experience they got with just one year's competition under their belts.  
    If your research got derailed for any reason, get them to practice telling the judges what they learned from their research journey; how it changed and why, and what research would still like to do.  It's kinda like a science fair project in that respect- the projects that turned out as the hypothesis predicted don't always win.  Sometimes the kids who figured out they needed more input, but can explain what they learned so far, are the top dogs in the race.  At the end of your presentation practice time, have mock judges; yourself, parents, siblings, and always get the kids to speak up if they aren't asked, "what did you learn from your research?" They should volunteer the best tid bits if they aren't directly asked about it.  
     Perhaps go in with the attitude that is a trial year and expect your team to uphold the FLL core values.  Anything can happen as far as awards, but for us, that wasn't the point of our first competition and the kids came away with a greater understanding of the general experience, a good attitude and a drive for this year's competition.
 Good luck to your team,

From: Brian Hardy <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 9:58 AM
Subject: [VADCFLL-L] Very new team

Hi all, 

I saw this response to Rajesh's book question and now I have doubts about competing this year. 

We are a division I completely rookie team - we've had our robot kit a couple week longer than Rajesh, but that's about it. The team is getting into the project and has just started building a robot, but neither is approaching presentable as rapidly as would be necessary to do terribly well (the project has had to take a radical turn, as they'd chosen a food and factor that don't often combine in a way that causes contamination - both have issues, just not with each-other - They COULD have a robot in time, but only if everything they try works the first time - Did I mention they and I are complete rookies? I'm not holding my breath).

So, we're registered for a local tournament (on 11/12), should we take whatever we have at that point, or go as spectators? (If spectators, some guidance on how to cancel would also be most helpful).

And, thanks to all of you who take the time to answers all these newbie posts - I've found them all to be most respectful and extremely informative.


To UNSUBSCRIBE or CHANGE your settings, please visit https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-l.html and select "Join or leave the list".
VADCFLL administrative announcements are sent via VADCFLL-ANNOUNCEMENTS-L. Visit https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-announcements-l.html to subscribe.