Runners-up at torunaments

@Jason Morrella was speaking about this about 30 minutes in…

Do you think that they should announce runner ups for awards? As in, announce the winner and the other top finalists? Would you care if you were announced as a finalist?

Yeah, it would definitely boost my confidence in our notebook, interview, etc. (compared to the rest of my region).

What I would like is that they give you the rubric for Judged Awards. That would serve that purpose even better than announcing runners up, which could cause unnecessary tension

They already do that for the qualifying awards. Unless your region is different from mine.

Not in my region. The only reason I’ve ever seen my own rubric was when we were hosting our own tournament, and we directed our Judges to give out the rubrics. I think there’s a line in the Judging Guide that advises against it, for some reason

Oh wow, that’s pretty weird, every tournament I’ve been to hands out rubrics for the notebook

To be clear. As of this year that is actually specifically against the rules. Before it was just rarely done. Which is dumb.

Students and mentors need feedback.

Is there any official reasoning on this part?

I believe it is because they don’t want teams to be upset at the judges/event partners, and that they don’t want teams thinking they should have won instead based on compared rubric scores (rubric is just a tool for initial sorting, and every judge grades differently).

Feedback is important. If I require judges to give every team feedback I’ll need more judges. Rubrics are not the best way to give feedback, because they are then less useful as judging documents if you plan to give them back.

Let’s say you have two judges at a tournament working independently. One is judging notebooks and they average a 13. The other averages 20. They each then review and re-interview the top couple of teams and pick a winner. The rubrics themselves would then not be useful to you, and when you compared them with your friends who has the other judge you would be convinced the thing was rigged.

I am thinking of giving notes to the judges to indicate what categories the students do best and worst in, without actually giving numbers. This would guide you as to what areas you missed and need to improve on, without giving the actual numbers and putting the judges on the spot.

That seems to make sense to me. When I tried out for my middle school’s baseball team (I know, sports, right!?), they said where you were particularly good and where you needed improvement. Of course, the only particularly good attributes I had were hustle and that type of thing, but playing baseball for years did at least teach me that you always run EVERYWHERE between the baselines, and that’s carried over into the rest of my life for sure.

But, on the topic, at least knowing where I needed to improve was good feedback, and knowing what I did well was nice, too.

What I’m concerned about is getting the most feedback without causing strain on Judges. I can say from experience that, at least in my region, it can be extremely difficult to get Judges. I agree that its a bad metric, but its better than nothing

I think feedback is important. However, letting teams know that they were runner ups only benefits those teams. There are many other teams at competitions that could benefit from feedback as well.

I understand the argument against providing the rubrics back to the teams. What about this: call a coach’s meeting at the end of a tournament and provide feedback to the coaches. The coaches can then filter it as they see fit and deliver the message to their teams. Of course, veteran coaches already know all this - so it benefits the rookie coaches. In my “rookie” year, I had no idea what was needed.

Doesn’t it also benefit every team to have more examples of quality work in there region. Team 473 will know that these 5 teams all had good notebooks that can be learned from.

Yes. But there aren’t a lot of opportunities for teams to see other team’s notebooks in my area. They are turned in first thing in the morning at tournaments and given out at the end of the day (right before eliminations). After that, the top teams are busy competing and most other teams leave for the day. I’ve just never found a good time to search out a team and have them let us look at their ENs.

Honestly, when we were just starting out, I didn’t even know that looking at other team’s notebooks was a “thing.” I guess I thought they’d be more private about the contents - so I never even thought about asking to look at another team’s notebook. I don’t know how many other rookie coaches might have the same mindset. I mean, the Dallas Cowboys certainly wouldn’t ask to look at the Redskin’s playbook.

I take offense at this statement that you can never trust judges. Seriously way over the line. Recruiting and retaining volunteers is difficult to begin with, but attitudes such as this one does not make the task easier.

Very disappointed.

I should have been a lot more clear. Your comment is definitely fair. I will delete the original post.

I more meant most judges are affiliated with teams and if your goal was to keep a new mechanism secret from any teams, showing a judge is counter to that. Anything you bring to an event is fair game and public information.

I don’t think there is nor should there be judge- team confidentiality. What there should be is confidentiality between judges. If a judge says something to another judge in the room that isn’t information that should be shared with teams without their permission. If a team says something to a judge though, that information is in the public domain.

Several Thoughts:

  1. Here in Wisconsin, we rarely have judges that are affiliated with teams in the competition at a particular event. When it does happen, we ask them to recuse themselves from discussion or deliberation regarding the team they are affiliated with.
  2. I wholehearted agree with NOT returning the rubric to the teams. They are merely a tool and with several judges filling them out, Judge A might give different numbers than Judge B. As pointed out by Sankeydd above.
  3. Coaches/Mentors who want their teams to produce a really good notebook should be going through the rubric with their teams prior to or at the start of their season. The document is available to all on the RECF website.
  4. It is also important to educate teams/coaches/mentors that the Design Award is NOT meant to be a performance award. It is an award given to the team that best displays the Design Process. It is possible (not likely), but possible for a push-bot to win the Design Award, if they have done an extremely good job of following and documenting their design process.
  5. At the EP Summit, the possibility of have some sort of feedback tool was discussed and will be looked into. However, it is important to note the difficulty of implementing it. Typically, the way judging is done (for Wisconsin anyway) is to have 1-2 judges (depending on the size of the event) do the initial sorting and ranking of the notebooks. Ones that are obviously not contenders are placed in a pile and not looked at again. The contenders are ranked and then cross checked by one or more additional judges. The top 5 (reached by consensus) will be interviewed in the pits to gauge the their ability yo describe their design process. The judges will then revise their ranking of the top 5 and move on to their other judging responsibilities. It is sometimes a very hectic and busy time and just from that time constraint it is hard to see just when judges would have time to fill out a feedback form.

They actually don’t do that in Oklahoma. The only rubric i ever got last year was from State, and from our own competition that we hosted. I thought about making a point to ask judges for the rubric back once we were done with an interview, but idk how that would go over.

Judges should not be discussing anything about teams that they interviewed with other teams.

Unless there is evidence (not innuendos) that judges are sharing information about teams, I would trust that my discussions with judges are held in the strictest confidence.