Email Communication from VC's

Are volunteer coordinators reaching out to people regarding their judging assignments? I’ve heard from some people that VC’s are sending emails and offering guidance as to which events they believe are most in need of judges. I haven’t seen any such email so I’m wondering if it’s a regular practice, or just something that happened a couple times for people that I know.

If you have recieved an email from a volunteer coordinator, how long was it after you signed up before you heard from them?

If you haven’t recieved any communication from a volunteer coordinator, how long has it been since you signed up?

I have not heard from a VC but I also just signed up this past weekend.

I have heard from VCs of past events that I have worked asking for judges. I haven’t heard anything from a coordinator for this year’s judging and I signed up like a month ago.

Same here.

Unless you count a message from HQ asking if I’d be interested in being a JA, apparently they’re particularly short on those. (I declined for reasons.)

As I understand it, there’s still some uncertainty about how many teams will submit for each award (I’m guessing Chairman’s/Dean’s List are more certain than the challenges). As a result, they’re hesitant to assign too many people “officially” just yet. You’re more likely to get an assignment earlier if you have a history as a judge (as opposed to another volunteer role or no prior volunteer experience with FRC events).

I signed up for two different judging roles - I’ve been assigned for one of them, but not the other yet - and that one was just a typical assignment email with a note of more info to come - the same type of automated email you get in a normal year when the VC accepts you for a role at an event. I expect we’ll see a lot more movement on judging assignments in about 2 weeks :slight_smile:

This year VC’s are ony responsible for recruiting judges and making sure they complete FIRST Data Protection Traning. If you applied to judge for the at home challenges, those will come out a few days after March 4th, as FIRST does not know how many teams are going to compete in each challenge. If you applied to be a judge for a region based awards (such as Chairman’s and Dean’s List) you should hear from your Judge advisor and VC in a few days. Please also consult with the recent FRC Blog post 2021 Judging & Interview Process - Frequently Asked Questions, there is a FAQ seciton at the bottom for Judges.

Greater LA VC

It’s understandably a difficult situation for both sides. FIRST doesn’t know how many judges it will need so it’s difficult to start accepting people into the role, and people who signed up to judge aren’t hearing anything in response to their signups except that FIRST needs more and more judges. It kinda feels like applying to a job, not hearing from them for a bit, and then seeing the company post the same job posting online.

To top it off, VC’s roles seem to have changed from Volunteer Coordinator to Volunteer Recruiter, but the average joe signing up to volunteer doesn’t know that and still believes they should be hearing from the VC about their role, and that friends hearing from VCs means those friends have been selected.

There is only one thing to do in a time like this:

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I remember those form letters so well. Every one of the four paragraphs long.

  1. Thank you for your interest in “___________”
  2. We are impressed by your knowledge and experience.
  3. At this time we don’t have any openings that match your qualifications.
  4. Good luck in your search for a job.
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How did you get access to my inbox?


I signed up to judge maybe a month or two ago for both a local event, and some of the at-home events. As a disclaimer I have been judging for several years.

Regarding the local event, I got officially assigned about two weeks ago and got a follow up email a little over a week ago with slightly more info (this is the Greater SF/ Bay Area event). The JA said that interviews for the local awards will be in mid-March to early April and that she will be sending out a Doodle survey to figure out availability later on. She mentions that she is not able to see what other challenges specific teams are competing for, and asks us to try and be as flexible as possible when filling out the survey to help her coordinate times between teams and judges. She does ask for some help recruiting more judges, so my guess is that they are still a bit short.

Separately, I got an email from HQ almost two weeks ago letting me know that I was signed up for multiple events and if that was not what I had intended, to let them know ASAP. I have not been officially assigned, and the email said final confirmation of assignments will come in late February or early March. In a follow up email to this I was told that they expect judging to occur Mid-March through Mid-April and the JAs will work with your schedule to schedule interviews when you are available. They expect most to happen in the evenings and on weekends and buffered in about a month for the judging to occur so JAs can be flexible with the judges. They expect the time each judge to spend to be ~ 5 hours in total but may be less.