Coaching during alliance matches

Good Afternoon,
During and alliance match, are adults allowed to “coach” students?

Well, they could try. It would likely be at least frowned upon and the judges should notice (forget about judged awards).

I tell them yes, you need to be 6 feet behind the team. Which they can’t do because the fields face the stands and the scoring tables are behind the fields, behind the roboteers, and nobody but the ref and the score people are allowed there. So it works out.

Our regional support rep told parents to stop doing it at States.

This is such an interesting topic. In what sport do we limit coaching from the sidelines? The Golden State Warriors “showed a lack of respect for their opposing team” by letting the players coach. But, we get in trouble when we yell ANYTHING from the stands. I have refrained from coaching, because I was told it was frowned upon, but once, this year, my second grader was obviously upset and nervous before a match, and the match just wouldn’t start (I think they were discussing scoring from the previous match). So, he’s standing, ready to begin, and the stress is getting to him. So I made a comment to make him smile (something about a pink dinosaur or something). And, I got in trouble for it, from the ref. I definitely wasn’t coaching, and the match hadn’t started yet. There wasn’t even a ref at the table. I personally believe that there should be much more crowd interaction. I like yelling at the kids, and embarrassing them! So do they. It shows them that someone is there that cares for them. I don’t know where the line is, but I don’t currently believe that it is in the right spot.

I’ve stopped matches in the past and told people to stop sideline coaching.

I encourage everyone at the events I organize cheer for and celebrate every match, but sideline coaching is against the rules and not allowed.

Just playing devil’s advocate here, but where in the rule book does it say sideline coaching is not allowed? In searching for the word ‘adult’ in the rule book, it comes up with six references:

Definition of Student: Student – Anyone born after April 30, 2004 (age 13 or lower) or enrolled in grade 8 or lower on April 30, 2018. Anyone enrolled in grade 9 on April 30, 2018 is only eligible to participate on a VEX IQ Challenge team when enrolled in a middle school or district, which includes grade 8, but not grade 10. Students are the individuals who design, build, repair, and program the Robot, with minimal **adult **assistance.

So, students are the ones with design, build, repair, and program the robot. But, it does specify that adults can assist. Why does that assistance stop when students are at the field?

Rule G1: All team members, which includes all students and **adults **associated with a team, are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful and positive manner while participating in the VEX IQ Challenge. If team members are disrespectful or uncivil to staff, volunteers, or fellow teams at an event, the team may be Disqualified from their current or upcoming Match. Judges may also consider team conduct and ethics when determining awards.
In all aspects of the VEX IQ Challenge program, the Students make the decisions and do the work with **adult **mentorship. The VEX community prides itself on being a positive learning environment where no one is bullied, harassed, berated or places unnecessary stress upon students and/or event volunteers. Stressful and challenging situations are viewed as teachable moments to model positive behaviors and good sportsmanship.

So, Rule G1 states that the students make the decisions with adult mentorship. Why does that mentorship stop when the students are at the field?

<G17> **Adults **may assist Students in urgent situations, however **adults **should never work on or program a Robot without Students on that Team being present and actively participating.

So, Rule G17 states that adults may assist students, but that the student must be present and actively participating. I would say a robot, being driven during a match, by the students, indicates that the students are present and actively participating.

<T1> Referees have ultimate authority during the event, including all three types of Matches. Their rulings are final.
a. The referees are not allowed review any recorded replays.
b. Referees will review the field at the end of each Match and accurately record the game score. If there is a disagreement with the scoring, only the team Drivers, not an adult, may share their questions or concerns with the referee. Once the field is cleared for the next team, the Drivers can no longer dispute the Match score.

Rule T1 states that all concerns must be brought up by the students, so they are the ones taking ownership and responsibility for the match. It also only refers to the end of the match, not during the match.

So, in all six instances of the word adult, it never states anywhere in the rules that adults can’t coach from the sidelines. I also can’t find an official Q & A about it, although that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Why would you do this?

Can you also state as to what are you considering as “coaching”.

Please quote the rule. Thanks!

When the parents are in the stands and they say something to their kids that’s really hard to regulate. While student conduct should be on point all the time, disqualifying students from all judged awards for the sake of one parent of one of the team members is extreme. I have all parents in the viewing area just like everybody else.

So given that plenty teams qualified for US CREATE OPEN, I have looked a little into what’s this about and realized CREATE has quite a different rule book. At CREATE, adults are pretty much relegated to sit in a nearby coffe shop. An IQ team is expected to have two drivers and a student coach. Adult touching robot (even carrying it) is banned. If the students really need critical help with the robot, there are dedicated help zones, where an adult could help them.
Now, I am not agains such rules, once they are clearly spelled out and enforced (though even CREATE states they can’t really monitor and care what happens home).

The trouble is when CREATE like rules end up being silently enforced on RECF tournaments. That goes against the practice, against expectations.
Especially with elementary kids, there are cases where adult help is necessary. Anyone who tried to push a long axle through a new 8-toothed sprocket could testify. But there were cases like a mentor being shouted at and threatened with disqualification for helping the elementary kids (present and engaged) move a shaft (that went across their whole robot) a little to center it, so the robot would pass a very strict inspection…

(By the way, I told my students that I like the CREATE approach and that I am no longer going to ask them if they replaced a battery or run their skills yet. They sprung to action, started negotiating the student coach, enumerated all the responsibilities, all the things that they should do during a tournament and aggreed to create a check list of those so they could share all the responsibilities efficiently)

I for one hate the CREATE rules while simultaneously respecting their right to do what they want at their events.

We have a stack of bent long axles…
We have had robots placed on the table without battery packs…

I’d like to clarify my comment from above. If the coach is going to go “left, down some, down some more, close, up, up, good, now back up and spin, forward, forward, left, stop there, down, open, back” then I’m not for that, that is what the driving partner is for (and we practice that).

If the coach is going “battery in? Robot on? Running Claw2 program? Are you and the other team set on Strategy?” then I’m good with that. I often tell roboteers “Remember, drive with a purpose”.

I mentor a lot of elementary students, and the basics sometimes are hard.

@daddycrusader – Nice post about the rules.

@nenik – I’m all for student led organizations, when there are students that can lead. Not so much when there isn’t.

Second paragraph of G1. Adults shouting instructions across a room would fall under “placing unnecessary stress” on students.