Coach preventing our team from entering handbook/journal

Has anyone had experience with a robotics coach preventing them from entering their handbook/journal in a competition? We won the design award 2 competitions in a row and our coach just told us she won’t allow us to enter our handbook from now on because that is a big part of why we are winning. We asked her why and she says if we aren’t entering it then her other teams will have a better chance of winning the design award. She has already given our handbook to the other teams to copy what they want out of it, so that’s really frustrating also.

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I haven’t had experience, but you should talk to someone about this. This isn’t fair, where this should be a fair sport. If your notebook is good, you deserve to win. Consult with your coach/mentor and if it gets far enough, the person in charge of them

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Okay that is weird and i would imagine illegal. Your coach should not be stopping you from winning. You should talk to the school and coach, and also if that does not work, dont bring your notebook. I don’t have experience but that is not cool!

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Her other teams should work harder to win.

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Yeah, that seems pretty unfair to you because I know how much effort goes into a notebook and you deserve to get the chance to at least enter it since you have worked so hard on it. However, if a single team gets all the design awards, depending on the competition, they could take a lot of tickets to states. That said, that also helps teams with high skill scores which, could really help some teams. Howeverc I do think you should be allowed to turn in your notebook

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Try to take it as a compliment, your team’s work is at such a high quality level that you need to eliminate that avenue for awards so that other teams can compete. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to pull your notebook, but I’m also not at the level of winning multiple judged awards.

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We have talked to her but she’s completely unreasonable. I think we are going to have to go over her head. I was just hoping someone else has had to deal with this. We don’t want to make her mad because I’m sure she will take it out on us, but it’s just not fair that we should be eliminated from competing because we worked hard on it.

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…Er, yikes.

If you guys aren’t on board for sharing your design, you shouldn’t be put into that position.

Why do I feel that is too much of a < G1> violation with the adult interfering way too much with the internals of the team/organization? Couldn’t you threaten with that?

Also, to be completely honest, saying honestly what happened to the judges or Event Partner is the perfect way to ensure that another team on your organization doesn’t get an award. If your sister teams are just copying your logbook, I can certainly tell you they don’t deserve to be considered for any judged awards.

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That sounds like a dictatorship, and not like a democracy.

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And we haven’t been total jerks about it. We offered to help the other teams and give them ideas for their handbook. We even said we would skip a couple practices to help the other teams improve their bots. We just don’t want to be completely copied or eliminated from even trying to compete.

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First maybe acknowledge all of the time your coach is putting into your robotics team., and that she probably has your best interests in mind. Before you go above her head, remember she might be your coach next year. Try to work with her first.

Is she letting other teams see your notebook so they know what a great notebook looks like? Remind her that you can only qualify for states once, and so winning multiple awards doesn’t take up anyone elses state slot. With multiple qualifications, there will be many state spots given out by skills scores then, so maybe the other teams can work towards that.
Suggest that if you don’t turn in a notebook, you will probably not get interviewed, and your team would like to practice the interviews as much as possible.
As the team leader, try to communicate again openly with her. Good luck!

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I’ve dealt with something kind of similar. The purpose is to have more teams go to state. It looks better on the program to have 4 okay teams and 1 really good team go to state rather than just 1 good team which is better than the other 4. I’d suggest to just leave it as it is for now. It doesn’t hurt anybody as ur already qualified for state and if the other teams go to state, they definitely won’t have have a better notebook than you.

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It’s a practice that I’ve seen across many programs. Some programs/coaches realize that beyond their own teams, they’re a part of a broader community whose mission is to encourage interest in a future in STEM across their entire community. I applaud that she’s helping other programs better understand how to document the design process, which is a mystery to many.

It’s the opposite of the win-at-all costs mentality we sometimes see. I think it is a breath of fresh air.

When you compete at State, your notebooks will be submitted. During the State Championships, you’ll still have the opportunity to earn the Excellence or Design award for a bid to Worlds.

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I had the same problem in 7th grade, the year before and up until this point we sweeping th competition away winning design and excellence all season, when it came to the regional comp that we could qualify for worlds in our coach said were not allowed to turn in a notebook. we end up winning without but the sum of the story of this is can you get a new sponsor?

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That’s breaking the Student Centered Policy iirc. At first I thought she was preventing you from entering it because she wanted you to win because of your robot, not your notebook (which i don’t see as fine, but more understandable). But not letting you enter it because she wants your sister teams to win is just plain wrong, she shouldn’t alter your success so that others can benefit. My advice is try and turn it in no matter what, ask for the notebook when you do entries, and turn it in. She can’t make you not compete, and if you’re removed from your schools program or they sabotage your bot or anything of that nature, your coach will most likely be removed from that position, and if your sister teams do anything, I believe that’s a G1 violation.

TL;DR: Turn it in, your coach can’t do anything about it

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It’s not about her wanting other teams other than her own getting a chance. She has told us she wants to do whatever it takes to get her 5 teams to state. And it might be a coincidence, but the team that she is giving our handbook to so they can “study” it is a team her daughter is on.
If someone else wins design it needs to be on a fair playing level. I would be ashamed if I won an award knowing I might have only won it because my main compeition was eliminated.

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She’s the school robotics coach so we don’t have any options on that.

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Someone on the team called Vex and they said it might be a G1 violation also. Sounds like we will have to tell the judges at the next competition and see what they say.

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I did this after that year but, is there anyway you can go independent?

I didn’t read close enough, I apologize. If the Coach is trying to maximize the number of team within her own program that make it to the State Championship, that is in the ‘win-at-all-costs’ mentality realm. I’d also consider it unethical.

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