What should you expect at your FLL tournament?
It will be exciting, fun, and filled with other people interested in the same things that you are!
Teams and volunteers will be great models of Gracious Professionalism -- you'll get to show all the things you have learned and worked on during the season.
When you go to your three judging sessions, the team members will do all the talking with the judges. VA/DC FLL rules allow the team to have up to two coaches/mentors in the judging session as observers, as well as one person with a camera or recorder as historian.
When you go to the competition area for the Robot Game, the team members will do all the talking with the referees--although the Emcee may talk with Coaches and spectators, too! Check with the tournament organizers at the Coaches Meeting to find out if there is room for Coaches/Mentors/Historians near the competition tables, and, if so, whether they stand with the team away from the table, or have a special place to sit or stand.
What is the hardest thing to remember? You have been practicing at a table for many weeks now, but the competition table is not the one at your school or your house -- it "belongs" to the referee and not to you. What is different from practice?
- There is a limit of how many people stand at the table
- There are restrictions about what you can touch
- The referee and field attendants will reset the table
- There is a time limit for each match, and a lot of noise and cheering!
- You can ask the referee to do things on your behalf -- remove stray objects, recover the robot
- If the robot moves something, you don't get to reset it and have a "do-over"---but you do get at least three matches to get your best score
Here is a review of some of the rules. They are all important, but these sometimes confuse teams at tournaments:
9 - Match, 16 - Preparation: When your team gets to the table, you get at least one minute to set up and prepare.
17 - Muscle Action: You may not move or adjust anything outside of base. This includes mission models. You may certainly ask the referee to double check them for you.
1- Participation: Only two team members stand at the table at any given time. The rest have to stand back, and give the referee room to move around. Your team is allowed to change which members are at the table handling the robot during the match ("tagging in/out"--you don't need to ask permission. Just have the current robot handler(s) move back to the team and the new person(s) move up to the table). We won't be surprised if everyone on the team is cheering during the match!
5 - Field: All mission models are supplied at the competition Table
14 - Mission Models: Don't bring any Mission Models to the table with you (or, at least, any confusing ones...)
BE CAREFUL NOT TO TAKE ANY MISSION MODELS AWAY FROM THE COMPETITION TABLE!
6 - Base, 18 - Start Position: Your robot, and any strategic objects or mission models it touches, need to start within the volume of Base (length, width and height) each time it is started.
The Rules tell you three different times that you should not be touching, cuddling, or adjusting your robot right before you start it. So we really mean it! (A finger 1 millimeter away from the Robot is not touching it, of course.) So if you touch it, or try to redirect it after it starts, the ref will have you restart the robot--but the match clock keeps ticking.
16 - Once your robot and its objects are ready to start, the last thing you must do is to let go of it all.
18 - You must not be touching your robot or anything it is about to move or use.
19 - You may not handle your robot, or anything it’s about to move or use, during or after the countdown.
8 - Missions, 9 - Match: You have a 2.5 minute period for your robot to try to accomplish as many missions as you want it to try. You cannot reset any mission models on the table during that time--you may only move things around in base (or get the bonus loops, if you earn them). The ref can take things off the table that have been moved
27 - Field Damage: It is not field damage and the field does not get restored when your robot simply does things you don’t like.
15 - Housekeeping: You can store your attachments and strategic objects in a box near the table. You must keep mission models in view of the ref at all times. You can ask the ref for flexibility in where you store mission models or strategic objects.
17 - Muscle Action: Make sure to wait for your robot or an item it is controlling to cross into base before you touch anytime, in order to avoid a touch penalty and loss of mission models.
26 - Robot Damage: You can always retrieve your robot and pieces of the robot that break off. Or you can ask the ref to do it for you
25 - Stray Objects: The referee will remove stray objects upon your request. The rules allow you to do it under certain circumstances, but I think it is always best to ask the ref to do it for you, or to check with him/her before you do it.
34 - After the Match, 29 - Final Field Condition: Don't clean up anything until the referee says you can. Leave all mission models on the table--the referee and assistant will reset them. One or two team members will be at the table to check the field condition with the referee. Don't leave the area until the referee confirms that all the mission models are back on the table. If you have been allowed to move mission models outside of Base, don't forget to ensure that they are all in Base at the instant the match ends.
4- Wireless: Do you know how to check if Bluetooth is off? Does the team know how to turn it off?
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