Cheering, standing ovations, and required team actions during matches and awards

In the 2005 Lessons Learned: the negative thread, a debate came forth about teams who stand up and cheer. Issues were raised by people who said that they don’t like seeing people “required” to cheer for other teams. Other people said that it was not courtious to contine to stand and block the veiws of people behind them. There are a couple of facets to this debate, and I wanted to start a new thread to put them in here.

Since our team was singled out and it was said that we “required” our team to stand up and cheer, I will state our position on this.

Before our initial regional this year, we talked about cheering for other teams during the awards ceremony. I said something like “we will stand up and cheer for those teams, because we would appreciate it if they stood up for us”. I didn’t yell at them about this. It is simply something that we do. Follow us around for a year or two, this is something that defines what TechnoKats are. I’ll try to explain more in the next paragraphs.

We’ve been doing this FIRST thing for 14 years. We’ve had spirited teams, competitive teams, non-competitive teams, and “sportsmanship teams”. Over the past 5-6 years, we really have not been a spirited team. We are the ones who just sit in the stands, sometimes standing up to cheer when our team is on the field. We grumble when the team in front of us is very loud, but we also realize that we can move if we don’t like it. Heck, we have NEVER won a spirit award in those 14 years.

However, during the awards, we have been standing up to cheer our fellow FIRST teams on since we had a bad attitude at a regional in 1999. I remember it vividly… it was a defining moment for us. FIRST even made a docementary out of us and our pivotal attitude adjustment at that regional.

Here is my opinion on why we do this:

  1. We have won many awards. We enjoy seeing our friends on other teams win these awards. We honestly feel that if the judges think that this team deserves this award, the least we can do is stand up for them and cheer.
  2. We want to win an award too. We have pouted because we did not win a certain award. However, oddly enough, it feels better to stand up and clap for the other team who won the award we think we deserve. In my opinion, this is theraputic for us. I recommend trying it for other teams who think they deserve an award but believe they are snubbed.
  3. Award ceremonies are long. Standing up and sitting down 6-7 times during these ceremonies keeps us from falling asleep.
  4. This has become a TechnoKat tradition. Maybe this is something we should put on the backs of our shirts: “beware - this person will stand up and cheer for other teams during FIRST award ceremonies”.

So… I would agree that we are guilty to requiring our team members to stand for others when they get awards. It is a gentle requirement, though. Our student was wrong when they said that we would yell at them. We don’t yell at our students (well… there was that one year when 13 of our kids didn’t make grades and I YELLED MY HEAD OFF!).

Sheesh… sorry about the long post. Debate as you wish.

Andy B.

Right on, Andy!

I agree 100%

As someone said in the other thread “this is a high energy sporting event, not a piano recital” let’s treat it that way.

Cheering for other teams is a common courtesy. The least we can do is respect each other.

Cheering for a team that wins award shows it’s worth something, that people actually care. How would you feel if you received an award and it was dead silent? The only way people could make it more clear that they really don’t give a darn is if they booed you.

If you don’t like teams cheering around you, next time I suggest you sit in the end zones of the dome, as far away as possible, so YOU don’t ruin the mood of the competition.

234 has gotten in the habit of just automatically standing for a team that wins an award. And that’s a good thing, it should be almost an automatic reaction. When a team wins an award, you applaud them for their hard work and effort. You take the extra 5 seconds to stand up and give them some recognition.

I think it’s absurd to single out a team unless you’re doing it in a positive manner. All teams should stand and applaud an award winning team, it’s just that not all of them do.

MOE is another team that spends significant amounts of time “out of our seats” at a competition.

In between matches, during changeover and maintenance time for the field, we will get up and dance to whatever the DJ is playing. Once the match is ready to go though, we sit down for those behind us as the MC begins announcing the teams. We do cheer, not only for our own team, but for many others including friends, rookies we have helped, and others. In Galileo, the list of teams we cheered for was very long; we had many competitive friends in that division. We even had a request on Saturday from the UPS team (sorry I forgot the number) to cheer for them. They had a small presence in the stands (6 or 7 people) and wanted a loud cheer for their competition team. No problem, we helped provide it. TJ^2 came down during one of our matches and helped support our cheer with their water cooler drums, and we appreciated their encouragement.

Listen to the MC’s from each division, they want the cheering level and enthusiasm high. They will encourage it themselves when they sense a letdown in energy. These are geek sports and deserve a crown as loud and as spirited as any for human sport. (That term was “spirited”, not mean-spirited as many human sport crowds can become.)

During award ceremonies, our team will stand and cheer for every winning team. We do this out of respect for our competitors. We have met them on the field of competition, or in the judging arenas, and they have been recognized as THE Champion of those contests. As fellow competitors, they deserve the honor of having us acknowledge their winning efforts.

When I’m not wearing my green, I sometimes overhear people talking about my team with disgust in their voice. They say that everyone is standing up, dancing, and having a good time just because we want the team spirit award. This frustrates me beyond reason. A spirited bunch of high schoolers is something that is rather difficult to fabricate on demand. Most of the students I’ve had the pleasure of knowing are just out having a good time. The head scout, Bernie, is really a crazy guy in real life. He, along with the help of some crazy parents, are just having a good time. Actually, the crazy parents mentioned previously (Tom Z and Karen O especially) are supporting the team even after their kids went off to college in a far away land.

Is it so hard to believe that people stand up, dance, cheer, and have a good time because they truly are having a good time?

<edit> I said ‘most of the students’ without talking about the others. The students that aren’t in the stands having a good time are usually in the pits, on the competition team, or sitting in the stands quietly. Usually they are just sitting there because they are writing a scouting report, jumping up and down is not their thing, or they are tired, or what have you. Still others just like walking around the pits, playing outside with other teams, or hanging out talking outside of the arena where it is quieter. And then, of course, there is the 4% of people always in transition between the bathroom and eating. </edit>

We realized how much fun it was to win an award and have everyone “high five” us as we returned to our seats, so we have tried to continue that tradition at some of the regionals. It can be a safety issue, however, so I think the tradition has come to an end. :frowning: We usually do stand, though, to honor our fellow FIRSTers’ achievements when they win an award. It’s not as much of a “spirit” thing as it is an “honor and respect” thing.

It’s a tough thing to do but you are all my friends. If I didn’t win, then I am certainly going to fight back the tears and swallow my pride and CONGRATULATE YOU because I am happy for you! I am going to march over to your team when we lose to you in a Finals match and congratulate you for your outstanding performance. It’s what GP is all about. It’s what I’ve learned through FIRST.

I will make a post as one from a team that is just “getting it”. First let me say that the teams that have posted above, do not cheer because they have to. I have become friends with many over my 4 years in FIRST. They cheer because of what’s inside. A genuine love of FIRST and a real spirit of good will toward others. I have talked with a lot of the individuals and believe it or not they ARE contagious. The spirit does infect all that they come in contact with. Our team over the past season has changed from one that I could not move calling from the floor with a mic to one that was on the field leading cheers at SoCal. What a difference in the team spirit and attitude. I sure hope that it continues next year.

As an announcer I can tell you that there is nothing worse than a quiet field. It actually draws energy from everything. Where there is spirit, there is energy. I am a little selfish I know but as a 50+ person I need the teams to give out energy so that I can take it and do my job better. I love FIRST and all of those involved. I love the untapped energy that is running free at all FIRST events. This needs to continue. Don’t become doorstops and just sit there. Stand up and cheer for yourselves and others. That is FIRST, don’t change it.

Personally I don’t mind when teams stand during the awards ceremonies. It’s good sportsmanship, and besides, what else is there to do in the stands at that point? (It’s better than leaving in the middle of the awards. Would you appreciate it if someone left while you were being reconized?)

My problem (and I know I’m repeating myself with most of this from the other topic, and I apologize) with teams standing up is when they do so during matches. I think it’s neat when they’ll stand and cheer for their team when they’re being announced, and perhaps stay standing to cheer for the entire alliance, but please sit back down once they’re done announcing teams and the match begins.

I know they’re showing support for their team, but can’t the same be done while sitting? We know where they are, so is there really a true point to it? Some people are trying to scout, and it’s rather hard when they can’t see the robot to take notes. Perhaps this can be solved next year by setting aside certain sections upfront to allow one or two people from a team to sit and not be interupted. Also, not everyone in the stands are young adults and teenagers. There are parents, grandparents, and so forth who come to see their child(ren) play, and by standing the entire time, you’re denying them the fun that we get from the match as well.

Let’s show more gracious professionalism and just sit down during the matches if you’re not going anywhere. You’re just as loud while sitting as you are standing.

I must say, I agree with Jasmin on this one. People should definitely be courteous for the people sitting behind them during matches. Other people wish to see what your robot has to offer and can’t if you’re standing in the way. As for the award ceremony, people started screaming as soon as the person that was giving out the award said “and the award goes to”, completely keeping my team and I from knowing who received the award. Please, time your cheering accordingly.

Another topic that is very annoying to me (and others) : Big signs.
I don’t mind when big signs are hung off a ledge of some sort, but when they are held up in the audience by some members of a team, that is just plain rude.
Who are you trying to show that sign? the refs? the MC? the judges? the players? I fail to see the point of obstructing peoples view to only expose your “spirited” advertisement to a minority of those attending whatever regional or championship you are at.

I understand why people make big signs. I also don’t have a problem with them waving them in the stands. I do agree that they should not be doing so during matches. The same goes with standing during matches. If you go to a concert, any type of game or entertainment it is a common courtesy that you remain seated during the event. To jump up in excitement at an event when something happens is natural but to stand through the whole match is unnecessary and rude. You can still clap, cheer, show excitement, just sitting down.

I wholeheartedly agree with Steve here, but I’ll qualify that.

The last concert that I plunked down significant money to attend was Weird Al Yankovic in 2003. And apparently Al’s got one of those groups of die-hards that goes to every show and stands.

Of course, what did they do? They sat in the back of their section, where there was a convenient break in the seats so the folks further back could see Al, not the backs of their heads.

What am I getting at here? If 'ya just gotsta stand up for all three days (and you can somehow tolerate the wear and tear on your ankles), sit towards the back of the venue!

It’s been brought up before in another thread but I just want to add this suggestion here:

Cheering sections for teams that are on the field at the time…I remember at epcot and KSC they had sections in the front where teams could stand and cheer for their teams below the seating level, and people sitting behind them could still see over them. I know when I was still actively involved it used to be hard to control yourself from jumping up and down when 6 weeks of your life was down on the field.

Ok…now back to studying for finals :frowning:

Well said Mr. Baker, well said. Us at 384 have the same view as you do, we cheer for us and other teams at VCU not because we want to win an award but because we are excited about the competition. Do we tell our kids they should stand and clap for those winning awards? Sure do, so do other teams. But do we yell? Nope, only if they act disrespectful of others. If a students chooses not to clap or cheer, fine, but they will feel left out.

Personally, I don’t know why people even bring this up as an issue, we have better things to do than post about cheering on Cheifdelphi. What a team does for cheering or such is up to the team.

That’s my $.02

Now for a solution. We have over 50 people easy at VCU cheering for Sparky. At Champs we have much less. I mean you can barely hear anything on the floor! I agree with the suggestion above of creating cheering sections on the floor, but I’d understand if FIRST doesn’t create one due to space issues (space issues in the Georgia Dome?)

I observed your team at the championship with a certain degree of envy as our team sat in the stands with little enthusiasm. Your team spirit seemed genuine and unrehearsed; everyone was enjoying themselves. You provided a great role model for other teams.

Thanks so much for this thread Andy. I came across a similar situation, but even one step worse, in Atlanta this year. A Hall of Fame FIRST team (OK, it’s 103) was standing and cheering for their own robot and drive team during a match. A FIRST Ambassador asked the team to sit because others couldn’t see. A student politely explained that it was just during their match and that it was common for many teams to do this. The ambassador told this polite student that they weren’t demonstrating gracious professionalism by standing. Sigh. Thankfully this is an isolated incident.

This is a team that, six years ago, had nearly no visible team spirit at competitions. In 2001 this team began an incredible transformation. By 2002, it became common for the group to cheer vigorously for their own and other teams. Do we really want to ask these teams to display less enthusiasm and less support for others? My answer is NO. Standing and cheering at appropriate times might be a minor and temporary inconvenience to some, but looking at the big picture, this is behavior FIRST needs to have and needs to foster. Cheering for others is different perhaps, but we are about culture change, aren’t we?

i also know of a lot of video tapers to be in the stands and we get in the way wwhen ppl stand to cheer… and scouters . . my suggestion… why dont the scouters/ filmers for each team have their own section JUST for them < reserved (or on the front row) and not let anyone else sit there… so others aren’t in their way… i think that would be fair for both teams…

i know at each regional and at the champs, we always send our camera ppl on the front row… or really high up… but i saw some teams behind us in galileo trying to film… and i was like… are you nuts? … we have flags and we proudly fly the canada and US flag … and we have a couple smaller team flags… and really they should think about that before sitting there…

I agree, our team was always standing whenever our Drive Team and robot was around. We also were one of a few teams that gave standing ovations for award winning teams on Newton, i was very suprised to see veteran teams sitting and not cheering. We are a very spirited team and love to cheer, scream, and yell. We were told numerous times by another team that was sitting behind us to sit down, this was distressing for me because like i said we love to cheer. A judge at LSR described are team as the team with the Pshyco Fans, wich we take as a great complement.

When I was the lead videographer for MOE back in the day, we always had to prepare for people getting up in front of the cameras. I always set up my tripod right in the middle of my team and extend it up over the raised hands of my team mates in front of me. When the taping was done, I’d always lower it again so it doesn’t block everything. It was an easy enough work around. Additionally, with FIRSTs inclusion of media passes for team members makes the taping thing a lot smoother since you can get down in the restricted area around the field.

FIRST is taking care of the video people because a lot of teams use those videos for recruiting or sponsorship purposes. I’ve also been on the scouting side (if you are idle in the MOE stands, you will quickly be recruited by the scouts) of things. Again, I usually sit at the back of the MOE section so I’ve got a good buffer between myself and teams in front of us that might be standing up.

Enthuastic cheering for other teams…man, what a bunch of jerks. Haven’t these people heard of gracious professionalism? :rolleyes:

At many sporting events (the Indianapolis 500 comes to mind), all of the spectators stand at exciting points such as during the start and finish of the race, or when something exciting happens on the track. Nobody tells anybody else to sit down…if you want to see, you have to stand up too! Why should FIRST be any different?

Perhaps a location should be reserved for scouts or media people wanting to videotape matches, but for the most part complaining that you can’t see because other teams are cheering seems silly. Especially during the award ceremonies…what exactly did you want to see, anyway? :confused:

I have a perfectly easy and logical solution to this whole problem. We’ll take the Texas A&M method of having everyone stand for the entire game/day.

Seriously, though, I have no problem with standing Os and people cheering and stuff, but some consideration needs to be given to the people behind you. There are older and/or less able mentors in the stands and you could be sitting in front of them. If someone asks you to please sit down, think about doing so. Don’t assume they’re not standing just because they’re lazy or not spirited. If you had a teammate with a busted knee or ankle, you wouldn’t make him stand up every other match so he could see, would you? Or would you make him get up and change seats every few matches so you wouldn’t be standing up in front of him? Like much of life, there’s a balance to be struck between your own needs and desires, and those of others.