As we approach the start of regional tournaments I wanted to take
a few minutes to talk about how the tournaments determine awards winners and
which teams advance on to the Championship Tournament. This is a long explanation but I hope it will
answer many of the questions that we get each year about awards and advancing.
The number of teams advancing is determined based on the number of
teams in each division at each tournament. The same percentage of teams
is used for all tournaments and for both divisions (so the more teams in
a division, the more teams advance). The percentage is based on
the total space that we have at the Championship tournament so we cannot
accept additional teams. Each tournament also receives awards to
give out based on the number of teams in each division at their
FIRST Lego League has a policy that teams can only receive one
judged award (and all awards are considered judged except for the robot
performance award) so the only way for a team to win 2 awards is for one of
them to be robot performance. All tournaments will have 1st place
Champion, Robot Performance, Robot Design, Research Project and Core Values but
some tournament will have additional awards (2nd places and/or Judge awards),
depending on the number of teams in each division. All awards are
handled separately for each division. All award decisions are made by the
judges in a deliberation process where all teams are discussed.
The robot performance award is based on each team's top score.
Championship awards and the three judging areas are based on the judging
performance (teams are ranked against each other and discussed during judge
deliberations). These rankings are NOT released to the teams (a FIRST
policy) but we will return the judge comment forms to the teams at the end of
the tournament. In addition to performing best overall across all
three judging areas, a team should be in the top 40% of robot performance
scores to win the Championship award.
Advancement is based on the same criteria as the championship
awards. The team(s) that perform the best overall for the three judging
areas and are in the top 40% on robot performance will advance (the number
advancing determined by the number of teams in a division at a tournament).
This may mean that if more than one team in a division advances, a team that
did not win any awards may advance if they did better overall than some of the
teams that won in specific areas. It may also mean that a team that wins
an award does not advance if they did not do as well in other judging events
and/or there are not enough advancing spots available. Tournament
directors do not determine how many advance (we dictate that to them) and
cannot add additional teams.
I hope this helps explain the process for those who are
unsure. The best way to understand it though is to go through it so I
recommend that those interested in experiencing it firsthand volunteer to
judge at an event. It is NOT a conflict of interest to volunteer at
an event that your team is not participating in and we're an all-volunteer
organization that runs on a not-so-small army so we're always looking for more
help. You can submit a volunteer interest form and find more information at
http://va-dcfll.org/volunteer/volunteer-form/ or you
can contact the tournament director directly for an event that you’re
interested in helping at.
Thanks and we look forward to seeing the almost 500 teams that are
signed up for the 25 regionals in November. It should be an exciting
VA/DC FLL Regional Tournament Coordinator
Newport News and Norfolk Regional Tournament Director