I know that there is no “official” limit on team numbers, but what is the recommended maximum per team? I am thinking that 10 is the most you can have without tripping over each other and being redundant. Any recommendations?
The reason I am asking is because we have 35-45 interested applicants (not all will be on a team, though) for next year, and our school approved us doing 2 teams. Our teacher will need to know how many people we can take, and if I come along and suggest even more teams, well, it won’t happen.
I think having a team of 10 each is plenty (bordering excess). Assuming 3-4 for the build team, 2-3 for the programming and another 3 for driving or some other purpose, 10 should be more than enough for a team. We have 4 people on our team, with everyone switching roles.
A lot depends on what it means to be a team member on your particular teams. If you can assign a single kid to a specific task such as Keeper of the Notebook, CAD guru, etc. then you might be able to keep 10 kids honestly involved. I’ve heard of teams having kids that do nothing but Public Relations, Community Outreach, or videography, etc. However, the teams I’ve seen in which 8+ kids are all trying to build and design tend to turn out Rube Goldberg machines that operate like something out of an OK GO video. With that many kids on a team, you need to break up their roles into defined duties. One of the kids on this forum said they actually give their applicants tests - driver tests, programming tests and such. Sounds a bit harsh, maybe, but with only 2 teams and that many applicants, you might consider establishing some sort of threshold.
My team had three members and we were fine. just make sure everybody gets along in sack attack we had four people quit on one team because the captain had to control everything. I probably wouldn’t let more than five on because you have two drivers a programmer and a scout and one do it all. I say that because we have limited space to work in and ten people cant work on one robot at once.
I would say 7. Once you have more than that, kids start feeling left out. Not every one can participate. When you have too many, older kids don’t let the younger kids do anything. This is my experience, and opinion on his topic.
EDIT: Keep in mind, this year we plan to have 5-6 people. We have 5 active members on our team.
Our club has between 15 - 20 people on it and we host 5 robots. Having a small person to robot ratio allows everyone time to work on the robot and learn more. Also no one is standing around doing nothing because they can always go and work on something. Even when we have a lot of people in our room in a day, there are people standing around. Our club also benefits from having many people too, because if 1 robot needs to be built in a few days, we can have everyone work on it so then it is like having 15 people on it.
I agree. I try not to have more than five on each team. It forces everyone to really get involved. Everyone is responsible for keeping up with the notebook, they have input on design, and it reduces like what was stated above people standing around doing nothing. I have had teams where that happens. One or two do the work and the others are there to hang out. When competition days roll around and judges walk by, guess which people they start asking questions to? Yep, the ones who know very little about what is going on. I have had teams in the past when I did BEST where I had forty on a team. One team on the notebook, one team on display, website, and build. I had kids on a robotics team who did not ever get to work on the robot due to all of the other stuff you had to do to try and win a BEST award. That sort of defeated the purpose of having a robotics class. So I switched to VEX and haven’t looked back since. As long as I keep my numbers low, I have fewer conflicts and the kids learn more because everyone’s hands have been on the robot. Everyone has had to do the notebook. The hardest part is having to turn kids away, which is why I have tryouts. I wish I had an unlimited budget, but that will never happen and you have to do what is best for the program overall. I allow 20 kids on my competition teams, mainly to prevent overcrowding and due to resources. It’s sad when I have to turn them away.
We typically have 3 to 5 people on each team, with 3 to 5 teams total, depending on how many people we have in a given year. I’ve found that it’s almost impossible to have more than three people working on the same robot at the same time, and the other two people are normally programming and scouting during competitions. We typically have a programmer/designer/driver (me!), a builder/quality control person who refines the design and makes it practical, a builder/secondary driver, and a log keeper/scout. We also tend to have people bounce around a bit, so if one team is doing something like programming where only one or two people are working, the other members migrate to another team that may need help building, or is doing repairs during a competition.
2-3 people per robot is the ideal number. Once you get more than 4-5 they start becoming redundant, and often feel useless because there is nothing for them to do. Just my opinion.
Also remember that of those 35-45 applicants, half of them will come to more than one meeting, and maybe a quarter will stick with it. So you could probably make it work, but I would prefer 3-4 smaller teams.
Yeah 10 seems a lot, the point is also to have everyone doing roboticd, not just updating a Facebook page or filling in an engineering notebook while only half of the group builds and programs the robot.
I started the season last year with three teams and 22 students. I ended the year with 12 active students (3, 4, and 5 on the teams). The team of 3 was too small for my liking, especially at large events like the state championships.
It really depends on the capability of your team members. Probably even ten kids that are new to vex cannot outperform a two people experienced team. A good, coherent team really depends on qualities more than how many people being present.
If i am to estimate a maximum number, i would say about five or six. It is really hard to find a group of people that can teamwork harmoniously than a brilliant mind. Therefore, small groups that help each other out frequently is our way to go.
Edit: When i am talking about teams, i refer to specific workgroups that bring forth only one robot, rather than a whole club.
I have 22-24 students each year. I host 6 teams with that. Two of them are my varsity team and they are both 4 person teams. More than that and it gets to too many kids not working. For the other 4 teams I am ok with 3-5 on each team. 10 would be way too many.
You could probably just take all the applicants, and start with 20 per team. Then over time more and more of them would stop coming and quit Vex because of lack of interest and not getting to do anything on the robot until you have 5 people per team.
It’s too bad you can’t do more teams, the ideal team size for keeping everyone involved is probably around 3.
Also, how did you get so many applicants? I might be helping out with a new community team this year, and they’re having a hard time finding people that want to do Vex.