Team Management At competitions

I have a team of about Fifteen people and we are trying to create a system that will link everyone on the tam to each other. Any ideas?

Can you clarify what you mean? Are you looking for communication methods, or time management and organizational tips?

We use very old fashioned strategies at competitions: buddy system, chaperones with check in requirements and a defined schedule for each team member. We don’t rely on cell phones too much for students, but more for adult (mentor, teacher, chaperone) communication.

Are you thinking more like cell phones or more like handcuffs?

Team tweet or ropes?

We use Text message blasts

We follow a strategy much like Cynette described. Add to that, everyone must be present in the stands in the same spot for all our matches. Also, those not working the pit or driving have an assigned shift for scouting data (at Champs add manning Chairman’s Booth). If you are walking around alone (sans buddy or group) and not on your way to an assignment or bathroom break you get to spend some quality time with a chaperone doing whatever they want (for an hour or two).

Having assigned team meeting times or check in times is very helpful when there isn’t always cell signal.

Well it might not be the most practical, but walkie talkies with team colors/logos would be pretty sweet.
Alternativly, You could go with chaining students to the bleachers. If they scout exceptionally well, they could be unteathered for a couple minutes. But, otherwise… well, you won’t have to worry about having your seats taken.:wink:

I think walkie talkies would work. You leave one in the stands, give one to each of your drive team + human player, and have one in the Pit. The idea is that each part of the competition containing your members have a non-failing method of communications. Coordination and wearing something destinctive helps to find people too. For instance, Metal Mustangs are known for our silver cowboy hats. Look through a crowd, and we’re pretty darned easy to spot. Worst comes to worst, take the buddy system to the extreme. I hear handcuffs are cheap around this time :wink:

All but the very best walkie talkies (plus ear pieces) become useless in the loud surroundings of a typical FRC tournament - The person on the other end simply doesn’t hear you. I assume that the OP is talking about an FRC team

Al, I understand why you do that; but… Whenever we try to let students enjoy competing in a 5th Gear tournament, it seems there are always a few players who cause their allies to forfeit or lose because their team has mandated that they must be in the stands for every FRC match - So to all teams/mentors who use that rule; on behalf of all the useful and inspirational activities that complement and enrich FRC tournaments; please consider granting a few exemptions or educating the students about the exemptions that you already have in place.

Talking to a college recruiter, being part of a 5th Gear alliance, helping another team or student all sound to me like they are more valuable than cheering during any one match.

PS: Just to be clear - Playing hacky-sack, or Nintendo DS, or flirting, or … Well, they don’t sound more valuable. Some things can only be done/found easily or fortuitously at an FRC tournament or similar event, others are available anytime.

My team, the killer bees, used to be able to do that with our antenne. However, now because so many people wear them at compititions we must rely on other factors (such as our bright yellow shirts). Overall, though really not a bad problem to have at all, lol.

In all seriousness though, our team is run pretty loosely at compititions. Kids who arn’t scouting or on the pit crew can go and do pretty much whatever they want although staying in the stands is encouraged. The single biggest “rule” is that everybody has to be togeather to cheer for the robot during matches (I’m not really sure why you wouldn’t want to watch and cheer on your robot anyways, but thats just me). I would say that the buddy system is not manditiory but team members tend to stick togeather anyways so its not really a problem.

Also I think you’ll find that if you let students have “free roam” of the compitition instead of chaining them to the stands you find that they’ll for the most part stay in the stands of their own accord, as opposed to forcibly being there and wishing to be somewhere else. I know this is the case on our team.
Psychology: the Engineering of the mind… sort of.:rolleyes:

Back when I was on 330, the standard was pretty much be at the venue at opening (or when you were supposed to be there), show up at the pit at lunch and closing, and don’t leave the venue except with a buddy. Oh, and check in with a chaperone/parent before leaving the venue. Buddy system was not required in the venue.

Hotel standards were similar–be in your room by curfew, unless otherwise authorized, and travel with a buddy if you weren’t going to another team room.

Beyond that, cell phones are pretty handy. (I was sent to the Georgia Dome from the pits one year-- something about not enough scouts–but when I got there, one of the adults sent me back due to a cell phone call from the pits. Someone wanted to see me.)

Walkie-talkies may be handy, but if you’re seen using them, you’ll probably be asked to turn them off by FIRST staff. Last year’s Manual Section 3.17 reads in part, “Do not use walkie talkies.”

This would be quite effective for linking everyone together. Bathroom trips might prove difficult.

In all seriousness, we don’t really have much of a problem with keeping track of the team at an event, particularly championships. We rarely have enough people that there is anyone who has time to wander or be doing anything they shouldn’t be doing-everyone is rotating between scouting, pit duties, hall of fame, and eating.

I believe walkie talkies are not allowed at competitions any more.

I should have been more specific. The FTC team runs somewhat autonomous in that there are separate mentors/chaperones for that team during the competition day. While FTC students are encouraged to watch our FRC matches, we are flexible. FRC students are also reminded to cheer for the FTC team if they are not on scouting or Hall of Fame duty.

Team 1178’s rules are: Follow school, stadium and FIRST rules at all times, and everyone meets at the end of the day to arrange rides. Other than those two, we really don’t have other specific rules