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Sreeni,
No offense taken (I have served as judge, head judge, and as a coach this season). Your comments are actually quite common, and we hear similar things each year. I really suggest that you try to get involved as a judge at the state tournament in two weeks, or serve as a judge at some regionals next season. You will see that the training does indeed try to get the judges up to speed on what is expected of the teams, but there really can't be any specific training related to the theme of the challenge. The volunteer judges receive about one hour of training prior to the tournament, and there is online training also available for them. But all of the training is related to the administration of judging at tournaments in general. When you are limited to volunteers, you take what you can get. Sometimes we get lucky and get judges with a good background in the subject material. For instance, here in Virginia/DC we have a lot of tech industry, and we usually have no trouble finding robot design judges that have a good background in mechanics or programming. But for something as specific as Into Orbit, it just ins't realistic to think you are going to get NASA and/or space experts who may (or may not) have a better understanding of your team's presentation at every regional event across the state.

Again, I also strongly suggest judging at other FLL events in order to get a better appreciation of what is needed to do this. Your team will do better with your new insight. As we say, volunteering as a judge really is the best kept secret in FLL coaching.

Thanks.
Skip

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On Sun, Nov 18, 2018 at 2:16 PM Sreeni Konanki <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
As mentioned in my email, its not a complaint to gain something. Its only that suggestion to organizers that having better guidance to judges or to use judges interested in specific area than anything else. Please do not consider this as a complaint or sour grapes. I absolutely agree that kids learnt a lot in the process of competing and we take it forward. Team had loads of fun.

Thanks,
Sreeni

On Sun, Nov 18, 2018 at 11:21 AM Phil Smith III <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

We’ve all been there—some of us on both sides of the table. I’d add that:

 

Judging is not only hard (and volunteer), but VERY time-constrained. Like life. Sometimes things are going to get missed. A judging glitch is an opportunity for the kids to learn that things like this happen. Bosses are unfair, life is unfair, people are unfair. Dust yourself off, think about how to avoid it next time (per others’ suggestions), and keep going. Remember that there are lots of regionals, too: the top-ranked project at regional A might have been the bottom-ranked project at regional B.

 

Did the team learn from doing the project? Win!

 

Did the team learn from the poor feedback or lack of understanding from the judges? Win!

 

Did the team have fun? Win!

--

Phil Smith III

 

Coach, The Capital Girls (retired)

Judge Advisor, 2006-2018 (and beyond, I hope)

Team 1900 (2002)

Team 2497 (2003)

Team 2355 (2004)

Team 1945 (2005)


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--
Thanks,
Sreeni Konanki


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