It seems that there is a little confusion between refs, judges, and inspectors these days. So, to clear this up (and help out the rookies who haven't been to an FRC event before), here is a list of key people and how to identify them quickly.
- Teams. The competitors, who wear brightly colored shirts, scream like crazy, and bring robots. Without them, there would be no competition.
- Referees. Volunteers who ensure game rules compliance on the field. They wear black-and-white striped shirts, similar to the ones in football.
- Judges. These blue-shirted volunteers decide who gets what award. It's a very good idea to talk to them.
- Safety Judges. Volunteers who monitor safety in the pits and on the field. They award the safety awards, hence the "Judge" title. Their green polo shirts are easy to spot.
- Inspectors. Volunteers who make sure each and every robot is in compliance with the rules. They wear "Crew" T-shirts.
- Other crew. More volunteers who do everything from field-reset to making sure that everyone has safety glasses in the pit to making pit announcements. They too wear "Crew" T-shirts.
- FIRST Staff-type People. The FIRST Technical Advisor (Vest with "FTA" on the back), Regional Director, and similar people do all of the background work at the event itself. Their dark blue shirts blend in at least a little bit, which fits their behind-the-scenes role.
Regardless of what they do, each of these people volunteers at least two--and in most cases, three--days of his or her time to help you compete. Please take the time to thank them for coming to the event. And call them by the correct title for the event.
(Yes, some individuals fill multiple roles at different events.)
To all the volunteers, no matter what you do--THANK YOU!