In my tournament experience there is typically a team that has the highest score but did not advance.  To those not familiar with all components of FLL, it is confusing on how a team can have the highest score but not advance.  The Robot Game is the most visible but it is just one of 4 components of FLL.  Core Values, Project and Robot Design are judged using the rubric,  Don’t just focus on robot performance, the judging rooms matter. 


Key Points:

-          Each judging session is 10 minutes

-          Only 2 coaches/mentors and 1 historian is allowed with the team in the judging room

-          Robot Design Judging – teams will discuss the mechanics and programming of their robots.  Be prepared to run the robot and to show programs.

-          Research Project Judging – teams will present their research, problem, solution and how they shared their project.  Teams are allocated only 5 minutes to present.

-          Core Values Judging – teams are given a “surprise” 5 minute task.  After they complete the task, they will discuss Gracious Professionalism and Core Values.

-          Core Values is observed throughout the tournament, this includes parents – not just team members.  One of the best places to practice core values is at the practice table.

-          Most important – Have Fun! 


Challenge Project Update - -

GASSES: “TRASH” VS. “A TRASH PROBLEM” – Update. Your team is not allowed to choose a gas as your “piece

of trash” or “trash item” this season. For example, car exhaust or the carbon dioxide you breathe out DO NOT count as

trash. However, sometimes disposing of an item might cause a harmful gas to be released. For example, when food scraps

decompose in a landfill, they may give off methane gas. The harmful gas may be your team’s problem as long as your

original piece of trash is an allowed item.


Every week we sent out a core values challenge to help teams prepare for tournament.  If you are interested, sign-up at    This week the challenge is Stepping Stones.


If you have questions on Project, Core Values or Robot Design, post to the list serve.   Experienced coaches and judges will provide guidance. 



Scott Rakestraw

Judge Advisor

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