So I’m three years into coaching my vex iq teams. We are the small school among three well established schools at every tournament and we’ve never earned a design award, judges award or excellence award. Mostly we’ve had the best of the best for robots although last year we took landed in the top three every tournament including state (South Dakota - entire division is about 45-50 teams). I chalked our lack of awards up to our teams hardly doing any work filling out their notebooks which made sense. I was one coach leading six teams and didn’t do much work on the nitty gritty side.
This year I finally got one of our teams who cared deeply to work on their notebook and they worked hard on their robot, and made an incredible design. They went from bottom five in the first tournament to second front the top at state after all qualification rounds were over. They were paired with the top group from all qualification rounds (and sadly they did their job but the team they were with (who had been nearly flawless all day) didn’t do theirs and we came out 4th.
They were sure they would at least get the design award. Their bot was the only one all day to never fail at stacking three. Theirs had clearly the most innovative look to their bot and could pick up three at a time to stack in a column. They didn’t get it and we’re beat out by a group that placed middle of th road in th qualifications and lower than them by far in finals.
This has become too long but I’ve been so disappointed for our group that I needed to see what others thought. If they had a solid interview which I believe they did from listening in, they were consistent the entire tournament at stacking, and they had at least a moderately effective notebook, wouldn’t that be enough to land them the design award or better?
It was especially hard because after they lost due to the top group failing to get their stack completed, the top group still earned the excellence award. It seems like it would be objectively easy to demonstrate this team as the ones to most consistently do their job during every qualification round.
If you have thoughts I welcome them! I don’t want to get overly hung up on awards but it was these kids last chance for recognition.