Tournament Teams and Coaches,
It's been 9 weeks since the World Class Challenge was released, and
over the next four weeks over 500 teams will compete in the Virginia-DC FLL
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 ways to improve how people learn, as well as how to build and
program robots--just like you! It will be a busy and fun day.
What will happen in judging? What are the judges looking for, anyway?
The judges will all be using the World Class Rubrics to let you know
what they see. The rubrics are available on the web in the "Judging and Awards" section of the main FLL
website at http://www.firstlegoleague.org/event/judging
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. (see the bottom of page 4 of the Challenge)] 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 World Class 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 almost always have a desk or a
table of some sort available.)
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.
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!
Optional--Core Values Poster/Robot Design Executive Summary: The FLL Judging and Awards page mentions an optional Core Values poster and Robot Design summary. We do not require these in Virginia-DC FLL. As several coaches have commented, these types of poster
can be used to enhance visibility for other teams and judges of the key aspects of your team's demonstration of the core values
promoted by FIRST or your design principles and proces. They can be displayed at your pit and brought into the
judging session to help facilitate discussions. Mostly, thinking about what you would put on a poster will help your team to review what you'd like to discuss with the judges.
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 skills that your team does well,
and ones where you can look to improve.
Judging Etiquette for Coaches and Mentors
Judging in Virginia-DC is not open to
spectators. (Note that some tournaments may have more open judging
because of their specific host facility.)
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 in the "About Judging" section of http://www.firstlegoleague.org/event/judging
. In our tournaments, 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
Note that the awards listed in the Awards Description document are given at large tournaments, such as our Virginia-DC championship tournament. At regional tournaments, we'll have a Champions award, overall awards for Robot Design, Project, and Core Values, plus Judges' Awards and special recognition. (The number of awards is limited by the number of teams competing in a division at a tournament, so not all of these may be awarded if there are only a handful of teams in the Division.)
Lastly, each tournament has been assigned a certain number of invitations to the Virginia-DC Championship. These invitations will be given to teams that do well on the Champions' Award criteria--showing excellence in all areas of the World Class Challenge. (By the way, the invitations are "virtual". You'll get an email after all 3 weeks of tournaments are finished with instructions about registering for and attending the Championship tournament.)
P.S. This time I really have attached a sample scoresheet. As you can see, it looks a lot like the online score validator posted at the FLL website.