Judging awards to elementary teams in a "mixed age group" tournament

Just finished a tournament. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough elementary school teams in the tournament, hence our team competed against middle school teams. The kids did extremely well: They are the youngest team, their robot has the simplest design in the whole event, yet they scored #2 in skill challenges. However, at the end, they came home empty-handed.

I understand the rule for qualification spots… but I feel that completely ignoring the age group factor and not even considering a non-qualifying award in such a “mixed” tournament is really discouraging to the younger kids.

As an EP I keep a spare Amaze and Build Award in my event supplies when a team almost gets one of the standard award sets. Some events they get used, other events they don’t.

Good job on skills have them keep on it!

Thanks Foster!

I have set up events in the past that were both. Oftentimes I had to combine the events because I didn’t get enough until Elementary teams. Event Partners want separate Elementary awards because that really is what is best for the kids. I’ve seen the frustration on their faces when they have to compete against the middle school kids. Every year it gets a little better with more Elementary teams, and whenever I can do elementary as their own tournament I feel pretty good about that.