FLL Tournament Teams and Coaches, It's been 9 weeks since the Senior Solutions Challenge was released, and over the next three weeks over 500 teams will compete in the Virginia/DC Qualifying tournaments. 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 how people can be independent, engaged and connected, 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 Senior Solutions Rubrics to let you know what they see. The rubrics are in your Coach's Handbook, and on the web at http://firstlegoleague.org/sites/default/files/Challenge/Combined%20Rubrics.pdf 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.] 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 Senior Solutions 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 supply a desk or a table.) 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. 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. 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. Tournament Schedule: 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 what your team did well, and where you can look to improve. Judging Etiquette for Coaches and Mentors FLL Judging in VA/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. Awards Judging and awards are discussed at http://firstlegoleague.org/event/judging 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 the tournament. We'll celebrate and recognize the achievements of all teams during our closing ceremonies, so be ready to cheer! Steve Scherr VA/DC FLL Referee Advisor -- To UNSUBSCRIBE or CHANGE your settings, please visit https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-l.html and select "Join or leave the list". -- VADCFLL administrative announcements are sent via VADCFLL-ANNOUNCEMENTS-L. Visit https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-ANNOUNCEMENTS-l.html to subscribe.