Just about every year my team (FRC Team 1501 T.H.R.U.S.T.) give out Peer Awards at the regionals and Championship.
Past awards, we have given out were: Best Rookie, Best Autonomous, Best Scorer, Best Climber etc…
Whenever we give them out, the receiving team is very grateful.
Until this past season.
We gave out three awards at Championships. One was Best Rookie. The team was very grateful and we made a new friend.The other two I will not name as you may be able to determine who we gave them out to after what I say next.
When we gave out one of the other two awards a student said rather sarcastically “Oh look another award”. I almost turned around and left.
I’ve heard that some teams will give out awards to try to bribe another team to pick them. We don’t. We rely on our scouts to tell us who deserves the awards.
I know allot of teams give out these kind of awards. We have received our share.
Do teams appreciate these awards and accept them graciously or are they just something else to have to take home?
Should we give them out at Regionals and not Championship? Maybe just give them to the rookies?
What are your feeling about giving/receiving these awards?
The above rant is mine alone and does not reflect the feelings of my team.
We tend to shy away from “Best Defense”, “Best Autonomous”, etc. type awards, because frankly, a lot of times it’s obvious who wins it.
We tend to give out more imagery, pit design, and favorite alliance partner type awards.
Last year we gave out an award for the best answer to one of our pit scouting questions (What superhero best represents your robot and why, with demerits for being boring and saying Batman or Iron Man ).
I should also note that we tend not to give out trophys or plaques - for the last couple years we have given out customized superhero capes (to go with our theme). They’re easy to wear or just hang up like banners. A lot of recipients seem to think they’re pretty cool.
What we did to avoid this thought was waiting until after alliance selections to hand them out, and have non-general awards if judging veterans. This year, if I recall, we had “Most Creative Appendage”, “Best Rookie”, “Best Assister”.
However, I do believe that rookies appreciate the awards more, which is why we give preference to rookies in these awards.
We make cool little trophies to give out. We try to give them out for cool or innovative ideas, or to teams that have had to overcome obstacles with funding/time/resources.
I think they’re great. They help build team relations, and they really drive home the gracious professionalism aspect of the competition and help set the awesome mood that goes along with FIRST.
As for the story in the first post, you should remember that a few students or even a few mentors do not always represent the entire team. However, it is the responsibility of that team to control its members and not to bring students who act like this.
I know there are teams who have told us that they were THRILLED when they received our peer awards. These are typically teams that don’t receive many awards, so maybe are less “jaded”. That is the reason we too try to give out awards that don’t replicate the official awards.
However, we have received our share our official awards, but our students are also proud when our team wins a peer award. Sometimes even more proud.
When we give out awards other teams seem kind and grateful and we’ve never quite had an experience like that. When we receive awards we are equally as grateful. Our awards tend to move out of the way of defense and offense but more of other things like ‘role model’, ‘best rookie’ and ‘safety’. I believe last year we gave out Role Model, Best Rookie, Safety, and Best Strategy.
We have our students try to come up with creative awards that combine our team, TORC and the game, and come up with peer awards that can be spread around. The best defense, the best offence, they will earn their awards from FIRST. Yes they should be gracious, but we are still talking high school students, so I am not surprised at your experiences.
I think this is similar to BigJ approach.
Most time we hand out our pit awards on Saturday, and we do it in the pits, most times the drive coaches and drivers are not around, so that takes some of the “pick me” tarnish off of them.
Here are the awards we came up with last year, and the teams that won them at our second event at Waterford.
Torque from TORC Award–for holding your ground against other bots
Team 1718—The Fighting Pi, Armada
Shooting the Moon Award–for having the highest shooting altitude
Team 2612 – Corsairs, Waterford
Frequent Flyer Award–for having yours balls always flying
Team 4998 – TESLA, Flint
No Smelly Pits Award–for having the best pits
Team 1 – The Juggernauts, Pontiac
Altitude Attitude Award–for showing spirit and staying true to your team
Team 3098 – The Captains, Waterford
Taming Award–for taming your opponent most of the time
Team 302 – The Lake Orion Dragons, Lake Orion
Mountain Climbing Award–for raising from a low rank on Day 1 to a high rank on the next
Team 3707 – Brighton Bug, Brighton
Are You Sure You’re a Rookie? Award–for the best rookie team
Team 5084 – FridgeBot Caveliers, Corunna
TORC Award–for The Outrageous Robot Creativity
Team 3538 – RoboJackets, Auburn Hills
In my experience, the only way to have a legendary team take notice of you, is to beat them.
I like the idea of team awards but they aren’t given out as much in Texas as I think they are in other places. I know several teams that have given them out in different years (including mine) but I’m not sure of anyone that has a big tradition of doing it every year, but I might just have missed it.
Whenever we did give out team awards I would always try to steer the team in to giving the awards to the teams that were probably not going home with any other hardware.
It makes sense to me that if you have dozens of blue banners hanging in your school, a team award isn’t going to be as valuable or noteworthy to you as a team that has been doing FRC for 10+ years and never won award. Not to say teams shouldn’t appreciate them because they should, but a team’s reaction and acceptance is going to be based some what on what they have done at that event and in the past. It may even be that way within a team, maybe the seniors aren’t impressed with the team award they won but the freshman who helped write part of the autonomous code could be overjoyed to win the “Best Autonomous” award from a team.
I second ShamWow’s statement. Just as you do not want your rant to reflect on to your team - I am sure the party involved does not represent his/her team. OR at the minimum I am certain that after reflection they would not want that reflected upon their team.
We received an award at Championships two years ago from Team Rush 27 - and we still proudly display it in our showcase at Becker High School.
Keep giving them - I am certain that they are appreciated by the receiving teams!
You should’ve taken the award back and left. Sounds like that team needs to teach that kid some manners. Just because you’re successful doesn’t give them the right to belittle others. Someone took the time to put work into that award and if they can’t appreciate it them they don’t deserve it.
I think peer awards are great. We have won a few and are always great full. We display them in our trophy cabinet. We hand out a helper award every year to the team that helps us the most. It seems ppl really appreciate it. If someone takes the time to make it and deliver it I wouldn’t inturpt it as a bribe.