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This was a specific topic during last night's coaches teleconference with Scott Evans.
 
During last night's teleconference, Scott Evans mentioned that the upper limit is a "hard limit" and that the lower age is a "soft limit". Scott also mentioned that there have been 8 year olds and some 7 year olds in the past. In my opinion, I think the enforcement of the lower age limit is determined by the region and tournament.
 
References:
 
The official rule, #2, (http://firstlegoleague.org/sites/default/files/Challenge/FoodFactor/FLL2011_Robot_Game.pdf) says to refer to the Coaches' Handbook (http://firstlegoleague.org/sites/default/files/Challenge/TeamResources/FoodFactor/CHB%202011%20Ch%202%20web%20res.pdf):
 
2 — PARTICIPATION
• The maximum allowable team size is ten members, not including coaches and mentors.
• See the FIRST LEGO League Coaches’ Handbook for allowable ages.
 
Depending on your location, the rules are different. For international teams, the age limit is 9-16 and for US teams, the age limit is 9-14.
 
The Children
Your FLL team will have up to ten children, ages 9 to 14. To be eligible, a child cannot be older than 14 on January 1 of the year the Challenge is announced. For example, a student who turns 15 in May of 2011 would be eligible to compete in the 2011 season, whereas a child who turned 15 in December 2010 would not. Children can be members of only one FLL team per season.
 
Best of Luck!
Bill
 
-----Original Message-----
From: First Lego League in Virginia and DC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Stuart & Lori Roll
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 12:33 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: EXT :Re: [VADCFLL-L] Competition Age Restrictions/Requirements
 
Interesting question - and one I hadn't seen before.
 
Steve, I think your interpretation on minimum age is a pretty good one.  It
says you have to be 9 to participate but does not say when you had to have
turned 9 in the past.
 
I think you are leading people astray, though, regarding the "January 1
rule".  This is a regional rule (only two regions in the country use split
divisions, as I understand it) and it has always been explicitly stated that
it applies to the *current* year.  So, if anyone on your team was 12 or
older on January 1, 2011 then your entire team must compete in Division 2
this year.
 
Stuart
 
-----Original Message-----
From: VA/DC Referee Advisor
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 12:09 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] Competition Age Restrictions/Requirements
 
This isn't my area of expertise, but:
 
FLL guidance (Coaches' Handbook):  FLL is a program of exploration for
9 to 14 year olds.  To be eligible, a child cannot be older than 14 on
January 1 of the year the Challenge is announced.
 
VA/DC FLL guidance (Q&A, Divisions):   If all your team members are 11
or younger as of January 1, then they are a Division 1 team. If at
least one team member is 12 or older as of January 1, then your team
is in Division 2.
[I believe that this applies to the January of the Challenge
period--i.e. the January 1 of the year *after*  the Challenge is
announced.]
 
So, the 9-year-olds you describe will be eligible to be on a team.
 
Steve Scherr
VA/DC FLL Referee Advisor
 
On Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 11:40 AM, Missi Lackas <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:
> I would like to verify how stringent the age requirements are. I have boys
> that are close to 9 1/2 years old right now that joined the team last may
> when they were 9 and a few months. Is it true that they cannot compete
> this
> November if they were not 9 as of January 1st 2011?
>
> I am not able to look this information up at the time and thought this
> might
> be the most productive and best informed place to start anyway.
>
> Thanks for any help you can offer.
>
 
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