Summary:

  • Teams can go directly to their PIT table – no need to wait in any line and there is no process of “TEAM CHECK-IN”.  PITs open at 7:00am.  Coach will receive team buttons at the Mandatory Coaches Meeting at 7:30am and we will verify individually with the coach who is present  (team members and coaches)
  • IMPORTANT FOR PENINSULA:   You will likely have to climb stairs!  If anyone on the team has physical limitations, you will need to account for extra time to locate and use the elevator –  apologies in advance for this.
    • For Peninsula Championship,  all of the judging rooms are a significant distance away.   You will need to add extra time ahead of your team’s first judging session.

 

VERY IMPORTANT: The pit areas will be open to the public.    This means that your team should have someone to hang out at your pit table while the team is at judging and competition rounds.  Be aware that the public will have access to all areas except for judging. Each team is responsible for their “stuff” and hopefully we can watch out for each other, but please don’t count on it. You will have access to your pit table through your 4th robot game round.  Please make a point of returning to your pit table immediately after your final round and start cleaning up – we are expecting you to help to get your pit table and chairs downstairs and stacked neatly for pickup.

 

 

Robotic Performance Competition & Scoring:

  • The latest Q&A {aka Game Rulings and Updates} is the official word and the head referee will make final determinations based on version posted on the Friday before the championship tournament at noon, pacific time.
  • Each team will attempt the robotics challenge in 4 separate rounds during the tournament day – there is no practice round!
  • There are 3 pairs of competition tables – labeled RED1, RED2,  WHITE1, WHITE2 and BLUE1, BLUE2
  • Robot performance awards will be based on the single highest score, with ties being determined by 2nd, 3rd and 4th highest scores.  If this does not break the tie, then we will award multiple trophies as needed.  We will do a coin toss (or something similar) to determine which team gets the trophy on the day of the tournament.   We may have difficulty in ordering additional LEGO trophies at this point in the season but we will do our best to do so.
  • IMPORTANT:  Each team may have only team members on the competition floor during their performance rounds. There will be a very small designated area for the team to stand on the competition floor near the team’s table and the team is not allowed to roam out of the designated area.
  • IMPORTANT:  Similar to previous years, no coaches/mentors will be allowed on the competition floor.  All coaches/parents/mentors/non-team members need to be sitting in the stands!  Not standing near the “barrier” but sitting in the stands so that everyone may see.
  • Each team will have their robot inspected prior to every round. The robot inspection table will be on the competition floor at the team entrance.
  • Reminder that only 2 team members may be at the competition table at a time except during catastrophic events such as the robot falling apart.  Rotating between team members is absolutely fine and encouraged – just remember that when a new member rotates in, the other has to rotate out.
  • The team will queue in their PIT area according to the pit queue manager and then will be sent to the competition area. Note that your competition round may be earlier or later than scheduled. It is important to stay alert to changes and have someone at your pit table at all times that knows where the team is.
  • It is a good idea to designate a single team member as the score reviewer. We will ask the referees to go over the scoresheet with the team member and then have the team member sign off on how it is marked.
  • If the team has a question about a robot score sheet, a team member (not the coach) must bring it to the attention of the head referee immediately, before leaving the competition table and before signing off on the form. The head referee’s decisions are final. There is no escalation for the competition scoring beyond the head referee.
  • If there is a problem with the robot score as entered (and displayed), please assign a team member to nicely ask for the head referee to review the score as entered.  It has happened that there is a translation or entry error in entering the score itself to be displayed, so just calmly ask for it to be reviewed if you suspect an error. We will have a “Question Box” area marked off for 1 or 2 team members to stand in if they have a question for the head referee about the score.  Again,  this is for a team member,  not a mentor, coach or any other non-team member.
  • The robot will not be allowed to continue to run after the 2.5 minutes is completed. When the time is up, no further action of the robot will be counted.
  • Note that teams can not bring extra robots, motors, game elements,  laptops etc to the competition floor area. A team may only bring to the competition floor the maximum electrical pieces as defined in the “Materials” section of the Rules. You may have your entire LEGO kit and multiple robots at your pit table. The restriction is on what items you bring to the competition floor.
  • If your team’s strategy includes picking up your robot, please just let the referee know ahead of time.
  • Remember that the team may not touch the field, the mat or any field elements before, during or after their competition round.  Intentionally resetting or checking a field element by the team is explicitly not allowed.
  • The team is responsible for asking the referee to check the mat and game elements before their round to ensure that all elements are fully dual-locked and setup properly.
  • You may not bring a laptop up to a PIT practice table or the competition tables – only robots allowed.
  • NO BLUETOOTH ENABLED AT ANY TIME!
  • We will not be using overhead lights on the competition tables.
  • You are welcome to calibrate your light sensor(s) during your normal “1 minute” setup time prior to each game round.  Remember that you can not interact / interfere with the game field during this time and we will ask you to limit this to near the BASE area and not throughout the field.
  • We will have a small “TV Tray” at each table to hold robot attachments that have been removed from the field.  You may not bring your own table – if you want to use a table,  you must use the one provided.
  • We ask that all scoring field elements, in order to be view-able by the referee, may only be in one of 3 places:  1) On the challenge table  ; 2) Visibly – on the side table or 3) being held by one of the two team members actively at the challenge table.   The rules say that nothing may be on the floor.

 

Judging:

You need to be queued for judging  ~10 minutes prior to your judging sessions.

  • Judging will be done in 3, 13-minute sessions scheduled every 20 minutes.  This is longer than what you (or the judges) have had previously.
  • The 3 judging slots are for judging the Project (P), Robot Design (D) and Core Values (C).
  • The team will have 13 minutes with each judging panel and then the judges will have 7 minutes to deliberate / evaluate the team according to FIRST rubrics. This means that the team will be out of any judging room for at least 7 minutes in between judging sessions.  Note that the team may be exposed to the weather during this time!
  • You must attend all judging sessions at your scheduled time.  We do not have time in the schedule for re-arranging team judging slots.
  • The 13 minute session is the entire time that your team has with the judges for that topic. This means that all setup/tear down, presentation and Q&A must occur within the time frame.
  • We recommend a project presentation of no more than 4-5 minutes to allow amble time for the judges to ask questions.
  • There will be a challenge table in each robot design judging room, but it will not be lighted.
  • We are not allowing any non-team members (adults, parents, coaches or mentors) to attend the judging sessions.
  • Each judged area (robot design, core values, and project) has 4 parallel groups of judges. Your team has been assigned to one of the groups and all 3 of the rooms are reasonably close to each other.
  • Bring all materials (all programs, robot(s) and all attachments, all of your project presentation materials and any material to hand to the core values judging) needed for all judging when you go for your first judging session.  You will not really have time in between judging sessions to return to the pits get items – especially at the East Bay and Peninsula championships.
  • IMPORTANT : Although rare, it is possible that the judges will need to have callbacks. This is at their discretion. If callbacks are needed, they will do their utmost to take into consideration your team’s schedule.
  • All of the judges will be specifically visiting the Pit Area sometime between 2-3pm   –  please try to make sure that you have 1 team member present (except if the team is on the competition floor or similarly prescheduled activity).
  • Space is generally  limited in the judging areas, so take this into consideration when planning out your project presentation!
  • You will be presenting to a panel of 2 to 3 judges.  We are unable to use any equipment that may exist in the room and we are unable to promise access to electrical power, etc.   Please take this into consideration.

 

What to Expect

  • Emergency Contact Number for the day of the tournament is:  (510) 517-8826.  Text is best but leave a message if you have to call and no one picks up.
  • After the team’s 4th competition game round (sometime between 3:30 and 4:45pm), we need you and the assigned volunteers to focus on clearing the PIT areas – please help.  We will not start the closing ceremony until all PIT areas are completely clean.
  •  We will not provide any team signs or identification but we recommend that you create one to help with team identification.
  • Cancellations CANNOT be accepted. However if you know that you can not attend, the earlier that you can tell us the better, as it may give someone else a chance to come. We can not give refunds even if a replacement team is found.
  • Individual team schedules can not be changed. It is a convenience to the teams and their families to post them early (typically posted at least 1 week prior to the tournament) – please don’t make us sorry by requesting changes. Teams were randomly assigned
  • The pit area is OPEN to the public.
  • Officials (judges, referee, and field crew), the media and some VIPs will be wearing identification for access to the competition floor. NO OTHER PERSONS WILL BE ALLOWED INSIDE THE COMPETITION AREA EXCEPT DURING THEIR TEAM’S ROUNDS. There are no exceptions to this rule.
  • Plenty of bleacher seating will be available at most competitions.
  • Participation medals will be handed out to each team member and 1 or 2 coaches/mentors during the day along with a team photo opportunity!  Your team has a pre-determined time slot.  If the line backs up or if you don’t feel like you have enough time to get between activities, you can go after 2pm but you must complete this by ~3pm.
  • If you bring a team banner/poster, please only hang it on the wall with painter’s tape (aka Blue Tape) only. Please do not use any other kind of tape or adhesive.
  • We would recommend bringing something to cover the surface of your pit table – it may have “rough edges” and someone could end up with a splinter.  It is likely to be wood.
  • Absolutely no food or drink is allowed in any gyms  –  we need everyone’s help in making sure that our hosting facilities do not get mad or charge additional cleaning fees.  We need everyone’s help on this one!
  • If you need to hang out at the PITs for your team, we do recommend that you bring a folding chair with you for the PIT area as seating maybe limited.
  • Referees and Judges have the final say on all calls.
  • After the team’s 3rd robot game round, each team member will vote on a set of fun, additional optional awards [more info on Kids Choice Award here].    Teams will not be able to vote for themselves – so please prep your team.
  • Coaches or other adults that argue/discuss/deliberate/revisit/question/interact or talk  with any referee, judge or other official will be asked to leave! Many times parents and/or coaches don’t realize the intensity of their questioning. We do not want any of our volunteer judges or referees to engage in discussions with anyone other than team members.   We are serious about this.
  • If someone that is not a team member has a question that is not about the robot game and was not addressed in the morning Coaches’ Meeting – then have a nice person  gently ask the Tournament Director or Floor Manager.
  • Please make sure that you and all people associated with team behave or stay home.  IT IS ABOUT THE KIDS !
  • We encourage teams to use their downtime to:  observe and ask other team about their robots and projects in order to vote for the Kids Choice Awards!   Also, teams can watch other teams compete, tour the pits, eat, practice the team’s own presentation, or make final tuning modifications to their own robot or programs.
  • Food and drinks (water, soda) will be sold on site at a reasonable price. More information about lunch items will be available shortly.
  • The event is open and free to the public. Please invite your team’s classmates, teachers, school board members, local media and your colleagues.
  • Tournament souvenirs may be sold at the tournament.  We are still looking at more options.
  • FLL is a kid-directed activity and all aspects are required to be done by the team members themselves and not the mentors, coaches or others. We will have “roaming” judges wandering the pits and other areas to watch for both positive things such as Gracious Professionalism as well as the negatives such as over-involved parents or coaches. Please do not undermine your team’s chances to be recognized with an award for their efforts.
  • Note that the championships will have a zero tolerance in place for non team members touching robots,  touching computers, etc.  To casual observers  (and our roaming judges) this generally looks like someone else – ie not the team – “doing the work”.    Keep your hands off of project materials,  robots,  LEGO elements,  computers, etc, etc. Remember it is about celebrating the teams’ accomplishments – not yours!
  • Remember, everyone at the tournament is a volunteer and doing the best they can. Please respect each other and let our volunteers know how much you appreciate their efforts.  Remember that we can not put on a tournament without volunteers – please treat them well.
  • Please take note of the weather conditions and have a plan for protecting the team’s presentation and robot from the weather.
  • We will be following FLL guidelines in how the awards are given.
    • A team may win up to 2 awards only if one of them is for Robot Performance.
    • The Champion’s Award is based on equal weighting of Core Values, Robot Design and Project for teams that are in the top 40% of the robot game.
    • We do have special recognition awards including the Kids Choice Awards and similar  awards that are not part of the official FLL awards and are completely independent of these guidelines.

Please make sure to check this  web site for additional information and/or updates: