Core Values is a great activity to work on durning the summer.  For rookie teams, Core Values is a judging component at tournaments.  In the Core Values judging room, a team is given 10 minutes and has two components - the challenge and Q&A.  


The team is given a few minutes to work a challenge.   Solving the challenge is not critical, it is how the team works together and approaches the challenge that matters.   To receive a weekly core values challenge and to see some examples, sign up for my weekly core values challenge at .  


Each team will have a Q&A.  The team will be asked about FIRST Core Values, Gracious Professionalism, Core Values and Coopertition™ as it relates to the team and season.   Judges are not looking for memorization, they are looking for how the team personalized and embraced FIRST Core Values, Gracious Professionalism, Core Values and Coopertition™ during the Animal Allies season.

Judging Criteria

Teams are judged in three areas: Inspiration, Teamwork and Grace Professionalism.   To understand the criteria, see the Core Values Rubric at .   At the end of a tournament, you will receive a completed rubric.

Core Value Observations

Teams are also observed throughout a tournament for Core Values.  Core values demonstrated or not demonstrated in pits, competition tables and all tournament areas matter.  

Weekly Core Values Challenge Newsletter - .  
FIRST LEGO League Core Values - 
Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition -  
Core Values Rubric (Judging Criteria) -  
Core Values Posters (OPTIONAL)

As your team researches Core Values, you may come across a Core Values Poster.   Our region does NOT require a Core Values Poster.  You are welcome to prepare a poster that shows how your team demonstrated core values throughout the season but it is NOT required or expected.

Also, many teams do team t-shirts.   A great core values activity is designing the team t-shirt as team.  

Scott Rakestraw

VA-DC Judge Advisor

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Previous Judge’s Note (July 18):

Welcome coaches and volunteers to the Animal Allies Season.  


As the VA-DC Judge Advisor, I want to help coaches and volunteers have a fun season.  I will monitor the list serve and provide updates and information related to judging during the season.

Animal Allies Release Date

Animal Allies will be released August 30th at 12:00 PM EST.



No animals will be allowed at tournaments.  The only exception is an active, working service animal assisting a person.  No animals, including service animals, should be used as part of a presentation.  Many tournaments are held at schools and animals are not permitted.   


Coaches’ Huddle

Coaches’ Huddle are monthly gatherings to allow coaches to collaborate.   The goal is to help rookie coaches.   To participate, fill out the form at .  Based on the response and volunteer host availability, we either do a virtual gathering or meet at regional locations.  


Judges/Judge Advisors Needed

We would like to improve the judging experience for everyone involved with FLL.  To start, we are looking to build a database of experienced judges and coaches.  We are also seeking people to serve on a Judge Advisory Panel.   To help with judging this season, please compete the form at .  


Scott Rakestraw

Judge Advisor

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Resources:  (Core Value Activities)  (My Coaches blog) - great team resources  - worksheets, printable mat and elements images

Scott Rakestraw

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