The thing is that at least the first two awards then go on with more criteria, as does the third one–maybe not within their 1-line descriptions, but in their more detailed descriptions.
If I’m a judge whose background is Battlebots and is highly unfamiliar with FIRST (likely won’t happen) I might have a totally different opinion on a good Chairman’s Award candidate than, say, a judge who’d been on 191 back in the 90s or on a Hall of Fame team from the last 5 years.
Judges’ Award, OTOH, is one of the biggest mysteries in FRC, and usually the judges describe why it’s being given to a given team.
@LukeB I’d probably agree on that, especially on the second and third sentences. I can’t write that either. The problem is that when you write a metric that’s going to affect something, people that care about what the metric rates will alter their behavior to make their metrics better so they get the good stuff or what have you. See also: Safety Award. But in order to make the judging more effective, you do want some sort of guidelines. You probably want to place minimal examples and let the judges duke it out.