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.

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:

The Robot Performance is the 2 1/2 minute run on the mat. You get three runs and the top score is taken for your team score. The other three portions of your score are determined by judges.

The judges use a set of rubrics, or criteria, to guide them on what to look for when evaluating your team. While the link I provide here is for 2010, they remain pretty much the same from year to year. However, it wouldn’t hurt to read the rubrics for the current year, just to be sure.

In my next few posts, I’ll talk about each judging category and give some example questions your team might be asked at the judging sessions. You can probably come up with some of your own by the rubrics, but it always helps to know what previous teams have been asked. Rehearse the questions with your team and your team should be well prepared.

3 responses. Wanna say something?

  1. Dean Hystad
    Nov 11, 2010 at 13:20:10

    Technical judging (programming, robot design and game strategy) is more a presentation than a Q&A. You need to make sure to point out all the cool things you robot does so the judges can award points for them. An easy way to do this is to demonstrate the robot doing some missions and talk about what the robot is doing. If you use a sensor to locate a line, or a bumper to know when you run into a model make sure you tell the judges. We may not catch it on our own.

    You should also talk about other solutions you tried. If you have enough LEGO, leave old attachments assembled and show them to the judges. If you don’t have enough parts, take pictures. Judges are impressed by teams that have an organized approach to solving problems. They are also interested to see how your ideas went from intuition to prototype to final revision.

    Judges will also ask questions. If you have a lot to say about your robot they ask a few questions. If you have nothing to say judges will ask a lot of questions. Almost all the questions the technical judges ask follow this pattern:

    1. How does this thing work?
    2. Where did you get that idea?
    3. What other things did you try?
    4. Why did you pick this idea over the others?

    You will also be asked questions about problems the robot has. This is not a negative. If you have a probem which is clearly identified and you have made a good effort to solve the problem it may even be viewed by the judges as a positive. The robot game picks which robots do best at the table. Technical judges are more interested in your engineering.

    I never judge teamwork or research, so leave commenting on those topics to others.

  2. Dean Hystad
    Nov 11, 2010 at 13:26:57

    Only in Minnesota is programming give so much weight in your overall score. Everywhere else programming and design are viewed as a one, with programming being woth less than 25% of your technical score. At several tournaments across the world the judges don’t even peek at your program. I guess outside of Minnesota robots don’t require programs to run. Must be a different version of the NXT.

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