Multiple submissions and Regional decisions.

Hello CDers,

I have a question that I’ve been pondering as I’ve watched the Chairmans Award winners this year. Knowing that we are, for the first time, allowed to submit at multiple regionals, are you finding the judges are giving a greater weight to teams who have historically presented at a particular regional?

Something that I don’t quite understand is that if a team does not win the chairman’s award at their first regional, then win it at their second regional, they should already know that they are not going to win it at internationals because they were beat at their first regional. It strikes me as odd that FIRST is allowing this to happen. Our team was taken completely by surprise by this at our second regional and almost had to have different people present because they had other obligations. What are other people’s opinion’s on this?

Just because a team doesn’t win in a team’s prior regional doesn’t mean they won’t win at Championships. There could be quite a few reasons a “better” team doesn’t win the first time. Maybe something bad happened in the interview. Maybe they forgot to include something about their team. In fact, I’m willing to bet a team that wins Chairman’s at their second regional is going to be the one to win at Championships. Teams that submit for Chairman’s at a second regional is going to have more time with judges and more practice.

In our case, our first regional was our non-local regional. We usually submit at the Bayou. Now - in that case - we were submitting at Alamo and whenever you are up against teams that have raised 5 Million to start a STEM Center (Can I just say that Cryptonite makes me proud to be a FIRSTer). . . you don’t expect to win.

Still - when I’ve looked at a number of the regionals, it does seem that judges are leaning towards giving the award to teams that traditionally attend that regional. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing but it may help teams better analyze the scores returned to them.

Thoughts?

My team may not have much of a shot at CCA, but this is definitely true for us. Our submission at Northern Lights was put together in less than a week, we didn’t have handouts, and we literally assembled the poster board the morning of the presentation. Our presentation at North Star will be significantly more polished.

Having a second presentation is going to help teams tremendously. We (1058) got a perfect score on the judges review sheet, but we simply lost to a better team (3467). The one improvement the judges suggested for us was to add some sort of wow factor to make our presentation more memorable. Since we can now do multiple submissions, we have a chance to improve upon that and not have to be up against such a deserving team in 3467 (although there are still some great teams at our second event.) Definitely get that Judges Sheet!

I’d agree that a team with more presentations under their belt is more likely to win at Championships. They’ll have a better idea of what works to persuade judges, as well as just being more comfortable in the presentation room.

On a similar note, I think this is going to make the competition at Champs a lot stronger. There are too many examples to count of “better” teams getting beaten at regionals by different teams that struck a chord with the judges, and with the old system that would have meant that the “better” team was done for the year. With the new system, they’ll have another event or 2 to win at, meaning that fewer deserving teams will miss out on a trip to Champs.

One thing I have noticed regarding judging this year was that at the NY Tech Valley Regional (which was awesome for an inaugural event) they had multiple streams of judges. This is to be expected knowing that a regional could potentially have over 50 teams needing to present in one day.

From judging FLL locally, experience tells me this is not as ideal as having only one stream of judges. To an extent, the winner will be decided over which stream of judges was most willing to fight for the teams they believe should win.

I’m not saying that in this specific example that the team that won wasn’t deserving, and I don’t ever see that being the case in scenarios like these. But perhaps there is an extended room for error with this new approach.

For example, if a team is the strongest contender for the Chairman’s award, but they select the stream of judges who may be less experienced or more passive when deliberating a winner with the other stream of judges, one could somewhat safely say that that team did not receive an entirely fair shot at the award.

This has for a long time been the case at Championships, but it is also assumed that all of the judges at worlds are some of the most qualified individuals in FIRST.

What have other teams found with having multiple streams of judges?

I think that there are teams who compete at Chairman’s who aren’t necessarily Chairman’s worthy just yet, and I think that being able to compete at multiple districts/regionals will only serve to help. Getting more than one set of feedback I think will help a lot for the teams that are working their way up.

As for the multiple streams of judges, that may present somewhat of a problem of maybe catching presenters off guard. This is only our second year competing for Chairman’s, and last year’s presentation was very formal. So when the judge’s this year asked us, both of us who had presented last year, to sit, we were very caught off guard.

I think the problem may lie in that every judge is different. Some judges adhere strictly to the five minutes presentation, five minutes of questions, but then there are some who ask questions the whole way through, or just adhere to the ten minute time limit.

It was most likely partially a fault of our own for being so caught off guard being as our second year presenting, but this may affect other teams in which it’s their first or second year presenting too.

Just for some historical perspective, we have won Chairman’s three times all at different regionals (09 Coloarado, 10 Oklahoma, 13 Alamo). As far as I am concerned, teams “who have historically presented at a particular regional” will have absolutely no bearing on the winner. This will be the first year for us to present at a regional we have presented to before (Colorado).

There are definitely different perspectives on what an individual judge might see value in during a chairman’s presentation or in response to a question. Although there are rubrics and criteria defined by FIRST, any judging is a subjective task. Therefore, I would definitely not believe that if you do not win at your first event that you are less likely or unworthy of winning at a subsequent event or at championships. I also agree that the increased amount of feedback that you get from different groups of judges at each event can only serve to improve your presentation and prepare for a championship level presentation.

I have a question our team is in the middle of a debate about. We presented and won at our first regional. Is there any purpose or reason to sign up and present again at our second regional? Is this even allowed?

If you’ve won Chairmans, you are not allowed to present again at your second regional - limit one RCA per team per year. (Which is why we didn’t present at KC, for example). You will, however, get to present at Championships.

Thanks. We knew we couldn’t win a second award, but I think they were hoping to get more practice in front of the judges.