I'm not sure where your competition is, but ours are always free and open to the public. The judgings are closed; but the robot rounds worth the watching! My kids' parents usually like to stay and watch. It is often helpful to have someone around when you have kids - especially younger kids - in an open environment. Plus, the competitions are generally pretty laid-back. MY kids usually have a fair amount of free time on their hands. They usually spend it checking out other teams, roaming, and playing together. The competition that we frequent has a huge tree out front. My kids take the opportunity every year to climb that tree and play around/near it when they are on breaks! I generally require a buddy system so that no kid is left alone and unaccounted for. Your mileage may vary!
I've got a first year team that's competing next weekend. I'm trying to get a better feel for the logistics of tournament day. Do kids usually have at least one parent per kid hang out the whole day? It looks like the actual competitions are fairly closed, so parents won't be able to watch much. I guess it's more a question of whether my fellow coach and I want to be responsible for wrangling the team by ourselves all day. What do other people do? Thanks.
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