WFFA limits at District CMP

Sadly those of us in districts don’t have the opportunity to celebrate our mentors. We CHS used to be able to celebrate 3 team based mentors. Now we only get one. Somehow, I feel this a huge mistake FIRST is making.

Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it’s a decision made by the WFA committee. It’s group of people who have won the really heavy Möbius strip and is endorsed by and run interdependently of most FRC judging. I think as recently as 2013 I’m pretty sure that committee directly processed the submissions, and if that’s still the case they must feel overburdened. I do think it’s unfortunate and it feels like part of a shift in FIRST culture. It feels like we no longer recognize a number of really good people and a select few for being awesome, but instead we recognize everyone for being OK and a select few for being extra OK.

I suggest a new thread for this topic. Please keep this thread a running list of winners instead of a branching topic.

Split off from WFFA awards thread

In my opinion, this is completely absurd. Of 400 Michigan teams we’re only going to recognise one outstanding mentor this year? Colour me disappointed. At minimum, we ought to add another step for recognition, as was done for Dean’s List in district areas (plus allow teams to re-nominate any semifinalist to the district CMP as they can a finalist to the CMP).

I don’t think I’m breaking any rules -WFFA is not judged by the blue shirts.[1]

I also want to point out that winning is NOT the real part about recognizing the mentor. Merely being nominated is a huge recognition. I know when I was nominated it meant a ton of me that my students felt I’d had an impact. [3]. While I would like to see more folks be recognized by FIRST, I do think recognizing only one mentor in a district for WFFA but announcing all of the nominees is a GREAT compromise.

[1] Neither is the Safety Award (Red Shirts) the VOTY (Grey Vests) or the Highest Rookie Seed (Zebra Shirts[2])

[2] Ok, not STRICTLY true, it’s based on on field performance. But I had to stick with it for maintaining structure. Also, I like calling them Zebras.

[3] With more than whatever game piece I threw at them when they were being silly.

I have to agree that Districts have really lost out in this respect. I am not sure why this has to happen. In PNW before districts we had 4 Woodie Flowers winners… now we have just one…

What does it really cost to honor mentors like those that are nominated?
Too many are not given the credit they deserve. Why not, at least, have 3 represent the District the way we have 3 Chairman’s Award winners for the district? We would not be adding more qualifying teams or anything.

I guess I just don’t understand it.

I know many wonderful mentors from the District that deserve this recognition and I am sure that other Districts feel the same way.

Is the gray vest a New England thing? I think ours are navy or black here.

It would surprise me if the blue shirts were judging for it since the manual shows explicitly they don’t :).

MAR choses to recognize all the candidates nominated at each district event. I was unaware that other districts did not follow this trend.

I believe that he’s referring to regional committee markings. Those are the folks who generally present (and presumably judge) Volunteer of the Year.

Andrew, calling the refs “zebras” is just fine. Just don’t call 'em late for dinner (or visually impaired).

Yeah, I assumed they were all grey vests considering ours are still marked Regional Planning Committee…

And Sean, the recognition is up to how each district wants to handle it (much like reinterview at DCMP for Dean’s List) which, imho, is a mistake. I’d like to see all districts handled the same way for these awards. Consistency is important.

Frank/Cindy/Allen/Jamee take note - Please decree from on high that each district event must recognize the WFFA nominees and DL winners in a consistent manner worldwide. Also, please decide on a DL Finalist process for Districts and make it consistent. [1]

[1] I know sometimes these folks lurk CD, I will also be bringing these concerns up at the JA meeting at the end of the year.

From what I’ve heard recently, the WFA winners still process all the paperwork themselves. They break up into small committees for each area, read the nominations, pick one, and write up the text that is read off when the award is given. I imagine it’s a huge time commitment from those individuals.

That said, narrowing down the pool of WFFA’s going into champs has to make it easier to pick the next WFA. Remember, in addition to all of the WFFA’s from this season, there could be (and probably are) a significant number of renominations from teams with previous WFFA winners.

It does feel like all the awards should scale together at the district level- if you have 3 chairman’s teams, then you should have 3 WFFA’s and 6 Dean’s List.

This is so true. While I’ve never been nominated for WFFA, I have been nominated for the Compass Award (the FTC sort-of-not-really equivalent), and it means so much to me just that my students spent time that they could have spent on the robot or something else to recognize me.

At the two events I attended, two different things happened.

  1. At Blacksburg, they posted all the names on one slide of a PowerPoint. They did not announce the names. The names were so small we couldn’t read them.

  2. At Doswell, I think they skipped the slide.

I feel they should have three awards come DCMP. It only makes sense.

BTW:there wasn’t a volunteer award at either event. FIRST needs to take every opportunity to highlight and thank all the volunteers that make FIRST work. They shouldn’t be reducing them.

These sound like issues to take up with your local district committee, not FIRST. FIRST HQ doesn’t administrate how this portion of the awards ceremony is conducted. Your district has the power to influence how that slide is made and presented, and if volunteer awards are given out.

In MAR, each name is read off one at a time, and the nominee is asked to stand. Volunteer awards are given out at each event.

It is rather nice to have all the nominees recognized like that. At the regional level, you never k ow who was nominated, just who won. At least here in MN we also do a “mentor parade”, having all the mentors parade across the field and line up around it right before the award is given out. It’s a rather cool thing, I don’t know if it’s done elsewhere as well.

I think VoY is the only thing that FIRST is limiting here. I would not be surprised if the WFA committee asked for FIRST to have districts help the faucet of WFFA winners turn to a trickle so they are not covering what would literally be 100 essays every year. It’s not a decision that I would agree with but I don’t think we are in a position to affect change there.

I don’t know everything you are including on your Week 4 survey and it’s tangential to this tangent, but in mine I said that comparing the AV crew in NCASH to VABLA/VADOS, FIRST Chesapeake probably isn’t getting a real bang for their buck w/r/t quality and consistency of the AV production.

I believe that nominees are only mentioned at the team’s first district event - so perhaps the only teams that had nominated a WFFA candidate had already attended an event?

It’s actually more than that, I think, since previous winners are allowed to be resubmitted. I believe each team only gets to nominate one WFFA recipient for WFA consideration every year if I remember correctly.

That might be how it is done in New England but this is a procedure that is either not regulated or not being followed where Matt and I competed. I’m assuming it’s the first one.

They’re recognized at whichever event the team submitted the award for. Given that the essay deadline doesn’t change and there’s no interview process to account for, I suspect most teams just pick the first event.