I want to get a better handle on Excellence Award Requirements. The “top 5 or top 20%” type references seem really specific, like they are hard rules. At the end of “Deliberations” it says “the minimum Excellence requirement of submitting an Engineering Notebook”, that makes it sound like the “top 5…” are guidelines. I also understand that if there are no good Excellence Award candidates then the award should not be given.
I am wondering if the top 5 or top 20% for Design Award, 5 or top 20% for skills, and top 10 in qualifying are hard and fast rules, or if they are guidelines to what an Excellence Award winning team should look like.
In an example, say a certain team is #1 in qualifying, they dominated the entire day. The team has the best notebook by far. Their skills score is 6th place (or 25th percentile) or maybe even 7th. Should that team be considered for the Excellence Award or not?
The official Game Q&A often stresses is not possible to speculate on every possible situation referees may encounter at an event. Similarly, it is not possible speculate on every situation judges may encounter in this forum.
The two portions of the judges guide quoted are dealing with two aspects of the Excellence Award judging process. The first quote refers to the process that judges are to use to determine the Excellence Award at events and the criteria they are to consider.
The second quote refers to the portion of the guide which instructs judges that they are always expected to apply qualitative judgement during deliberations. The last sentence in the second quote above is intended to address those special, and we hope rare, cases where very few or no teams submit notebooks. The judges guide clearly states that teams must submit notebooks and the process outlined for determining Excellence requires notebook evaluation. The last sentence is simply reinforcing the point that there may be certain situations where no Excellence award is given at an event.