Minnesota held its first regional (qualifier) tournament this weekend. The state divides our kids up into two divisions: Division 1 (4-6 grade) and Division 2 (7 & 8 grade). We had 16 teams in Division 1 and 9 teams in Division 2.
The scores for this early regional were about what I expected. I would have been surprised to see many scores above 100. Most scores for the day were between 90-100. If everything went right for our team, our top score would have been 138. But, of course, nothing ever goes right at the tournament. Our path to the East side of the board kept failing and we consistently left 23 points on the board because of it. Our best score in our 3 scoring runs was 98.
Minnesota also runs a head-to-head tournament in the afternoon and we were able to score 110 and 105 before we were eliminated. The high score in the tournament was 149. The Division 1 teams outperformed the Division 2 teams.
I didn’t see any team attempt the thermometer or timer and only a few teams went after the rats. Most runs consisted of retrieving the fish and knocking down the bacteria containers.
I expect the scores to go up a little in the tournaments in the coming weeks, but not by much. There are so many missions with small points this year, it will be hard to get higher scores. I heard many teams expressing frustration with the small point values assigned to the missions.
By the time our state tournament rolls around on January 28, the average scores should be around 150 with top scores near 200. But it’s hard to say. If the FIRST organizers wanted to keep scores low this year, they definitely accomplished that goal.