I will be facilitating a workshop again this year on “Warm Up to Judging at World Championship” as part of a scrimmage for Championship-bound teams in the Mid-Atlantic area. I have a ppt filled with best practices, and past workshops have included great suggestions from teams.
I’m a big believer in preparing for judging, just like spending practice time driving your robot.
Post one suggestion from your judging lessons learned from past Championships to pass on, and I will include it in the presentation.
No cost to attend, but please only sign up if you are certain you will come.
It will be a day of playing many matches. When you are ready to play, stand in line. We will load the field 4 teams at a time, and get in as many matches as possible during the day. The goal is to gain drive experience against other teams. We will score matches so teams know how they did in a match, but we will not be tracking rankings. We will have no declared winners. Everyone wins with the experience they will gain.
I have a hint that one of our team parents got from Judges at the 2012 WC (and I think she herself was a judge in the 2010 WC). Apparently judges like to see each team member have their own engineering notebook, rather than one for the whole team. This is so they can see that every member of the team is learning and documenting their experience on the team, rather than just one or two powerhouse members doing all the work, helped slightly by several mindless minions.
This method has won our team 2 Design Awards at regional tournaments (despite some sad tournament performance), so it definitely won’t hurt to try it.
Prepare to adapt to your judges.
Our second vex competition for example, we had a presentation planned to discuss topics before questions came. However, the judges were very interactive and went straight to questions. Our Last vex competition however the judges were new, less interactive. As a result we had to offer out ideas we would normally mention and intentionally end responses broadly to spark another question from a judge or a comment from another team member.
A time saver in the interview we have used is to shake the judges hand and tell them your name, how many years you have been in robotics/Vex, and your role on the team (if you have one). This eliminates the first three questions that are usually asked by the judges saving about thirty seconds which could be crucial if you have a lot of things to accomplish in your interview.
Another thing to do is dabble into everything your team does and not just focus on one component unless it is at worlds and you are a specific award interview.
This helps to get the judges interested and want to come to your table because they could hear something intriguing and come to find out more about it such as a specific way you use a sensor or a unique way of designing your robot.
Sent out another wave of these from requests received since April 2.
Heading out to another robotics events for the next 4 days and will be off email.
If there are any other requests, will go out on April 15.