2022 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should all our team members log in for judging in one group? Or are all expected to log in individually? Is one option prefered?
A:  Either one log in as a group, or multiple logins are fine; there is no preference.  All those logging in should put their team number in their login name.  
Q:  Does everyone need to mask for the on-line interview?
A:  That is up to the local guidance and judgment of the adults present.  It is usually easier to hear clearly without masks, but there is no penalty or deduction either way.
Q:  Should we repeat the Innovation Project presentation during judging? The information on the FIRST website shows the presentation in the flow of the interview. Also, it is 30 minutes and not 25?
A:  We are modifying the interview since the project video was submitted online.  So the interview is only 25 minutes long, as outlined in one of the Newsletters. Do not plan to do the Project presentation again.
Q:  So we need to have all our code printed for the interview?  We could only include some of it in the artifact?
A:  The interview will focus on discussion of strategy, experiences, learning, etc.  It is not necessary (and can detract from the presentation overall) to try to share all the code details.  The artifacts should highlight things judges will want to follow up on.
Q: Should we bring the robot to the virtual judging? What if we are not all in one group?
A: Yes, the robot should be available in some way.  Running a mission is NOT necessary, or event advisable, so if you don't have a full table it won't matter.  But robot and attachments are important for someone to have.
Q:  What if there are technical difficulties, like someone losing power or internet?
A:  The JA will monitor the situation.  Reach out to the Tournament Director immediately or as soon as you can by whatever means are available to you.  We will work through it and make sure you get an interview!
Q:  When will we know our interview time?  And when will we be given the links for uploading our files for meetings?
A:  We hope to have all of this information in an email to the two coaches by Monday before the event, possible sooner.
Q:  What if we have a conflict with our interview time? What about coaches with more than one team? Can we make sure we are not intervieiwing at the same time?
A:  Generally, teams should be prepared for an interview any time between noon and 3:30 pm on the day of the event.  Tournament Directors may be able make small adjustments if you notify them in advance, and will try to schedule teams with the same coach at different times, and fairly close together.
Q:  Can parents log in to the interview?  And does the coach need to be present?
A:  In person interviews include the team and coaches only, and the coaches are not supposed to speak.  Students logging in from home will likely have a parent present, but they should not speak, prompt or otherwise participate in the interview.  Likewise, coaches are going to be present in nearly all cases, but should not be actively prompting, correcting or directing the team.  The judges want to hear directly from team members.

Q: Is there an Award Ceremony or anything after the interview? When will awards be announced?
A:  There is no ceremony or announcement on the day of the event.  Awards will be announced on the Tuesday following the event.  Look for details in an upcoming Newsletter.


Q: For Core Values, will students be doing an activity during judging?
A:  No.  There will only be some conversation around Core Values and the content of their video.


Q: What does it mean for judging if my event changed from Hybrid to Remote?

A:  REMOTE events have all the submission requirements (Project Video, Core Values video and Robot Design artifacts) that were outlined for ALL judging.  This has not changed. Judging is virtual and will be conducted the same way for all events.
Q: What do teams in Remote events do for the Robot Game?
A.  REMOTE events, whether originally planned as remote or changed last week, require an additional submission of video(s) for Robot Game.  The guidelines were provided in the last email, and the exact number and more details will come out this week (probably 2 runs in 2 videos). 
Q: Why are some teams competing in person for the robot game, and other submitting selected runs as video? How is that fair to the teams?
A: All teams in a given event are either in person, or all are remote. So competition at an event is based on the same situation for all the teams in that event.
Q: When are the submissions due? 
A: All submissions are due by 8 pm on the Thursday prior to your event weekend.  Due dates are not, therefore, the same for all but this deadline is the same for all tournaments.  Thursday evening will also be the time for a Coaches Meeting for all teams attending a given event.
Q:  What can I do if none of my coaches are getting the Newsletter?
4.  It is clear that not all coaches are getting the Newsletter. There could be any number of reasons, and efforts are being made to get everyone connected.  In addition, the full content of the newsletters and summary guidelines are here
Q: What do I do if I have not been contacted about my upcoming tournament?
A.  Your Tournament Director, using the email in your FIRST dashboard for Coach 1 and Coach 2, should contact you within 4 weeks of your event. If you have NOT been contacted, email mdflltournament@gmail.com with your name, team number and assigned tournament.
Q:  Could the date of my event still change, or could the event shift to remote at the last minute?
A:  Events on the weekend of 12/13 February and later MAY change to fully REMOTE before the end of January.  Teams should be notified at least two weeks prior to a change to REMOTE.
Q: What do I need to submit prior to the event date?
A: For all events, submit an Innovation Project video, a Core Values video and Robot Game artifacts.  See the newsletter Issue 1 from December for more. For REMOTE events, submit Robot Game video.
Q:  The Robot Game video guidelines seem to be from 2021. Is that correct?
A:  Yes, and teams that submitted last season will recognize the guidelines. They are the same.