banner I have been a Lego League coach since 2007. This year, I wanted to document the season to give rookie coaches a resource to help them through to competition. The process can be intense, but it can also be a lot of fun for you and your team.

I hope to cover enough through my posts, but if I leave anything out, please feel free to leave a comment, or contact me.
Nov
26th

Motor Tip #2

Author: fllCoach | Files under Programming

Smooth Motor Movement You may have noticed that if you put two motor blocks together with a certain duration of degrees, the robot does kind of a stutter-step. It pauses for a split second between blocks. There is a way around this to produce smooth motor movement. First, let’s do it the obvious way. Create […]



Nov
21st

Regional Champions

Author: fllCoach | Files under Competition

Part of the reason for all the competition discussion the past few weeks is that my team got an early draw this year. Our competition was yesterday. Most of the other regional competitions in the state are in the first and second weekend of December. I am happy to report that my team did very […]



Nov
18th

Competition Preparations

Author: fllCoach | Files under Competition

Some final thoughts about preparing for your competition: Here in Minnesota, our competitions go for the better part of the day. We are expected to be there from 8am to 5pm. It ends up being a long, exhausting day, but very fun for the kids, and hopefully for you, too. Our competitions are divided into […]



Nov
16th

Teamwork Judging

Author: fllCoach | Files under Competition, Teamwork

The last judging category is in Teamwork. As I mentioned before, in Minnesota’s regional tournaments, the Project and Teamwork judges are in the same room and take turns asking questions. I would be interested to hear if other tournaments are the same way. As with the other judging categories, the rubrics from FIRST are in […]



Nov
15th

Project Judging

Author: fllCoach | Files under Competition, Research Project

For the Project judging, your team will walk in and set up for their presentation. When all has settled down, the judge will tell the team to start whenever they are ready and start the timer. They are given 5 minutes to do their presentation. Depending on the judge and the tournament, some judges will […]



Nov
11th

Technical Judging

Author: fllCoach | Files under Competition, Programming, The Game

When you get to technical judging, there will be a Game table set up just like at the performance runs. There are generally two judges: one to judge your robot design, and one to judge your programs. Your team will be asked to run their missions and describe what is happening with their robot. They […]



Nov
10th

Judging Rubrics

Author: fllCoach | Files under Competition

To continue with the theme of preparing for your tournament, I thought I would talk about judging. Your team score will be composed of the following: Robot Performance (best of 3 runs) (25%) Technical Design Robot Design (12.5%) Programming (12.5%) Research Presentation (25%) Teamwork (25%) The Robot Performance is the 2 1/2 minute run on […]



Nov
9th

Preparing for The Game

Author: fllCoach | Files under The Game

I’ve been reading lately that a lot of regional/qualifying tournaments are coming up in the next few weeks, so I thought I would take a break from programming tips and post about how to prepare for your Game performance. The Game performance is the 2 1/2 minutes you have to complete all your missions. If […]



Nov
4th

Following a Line – The Program

Author: fllCoach | Files under Programming

Hopefully you’re team has taken my last post and tried to program a line following program themselves. It’s not that difficult if you take some time to think about it. I’ll outline the program here and you can see if your team’s program is the same, or even better. Remember that when following a line, […]



Nov
2nd

Following a Line

Author: fllCoach | Files under Programming

On most FLL competition mats, there will be thick black lines placed strategically around the board. Most of these lines are put there to help you complete a mission. A few are there to fool your robot. Either way, you’ll probably want to do some line following in order to complete a mission or two. […]