A tournament is an opportunity for teams to learn, showcase their accomplishments, and celebrate their hard work throughout the season. Even if your team does not feel 100 percent ready, we encourage all teams to participate in a FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) tournament. This chapter will provide you with an outline of the tournament day, but expect the unexpected and focus on creating a fun experience for your team members.
FIRST® LEGO® League events offer a fun and exciting way for teams to learn, showcase their accomplishments, and celebrate their hard work throughout the season. Even if your team does not feel ready, we encourage all teams to participate in a tournament. In many regions, you will be responsible for signing your team up for the event(s) you wish to attend and paying any required event fees. Check with your Partner about what steps you need to complete in your region. It is important to understand the differences between the event types.
A Championship Tournament is the highest level of a FIRST LEGO League Official Event for Official Teams in an Official Region.
Qualifying Tournaments or “Qualifiers” are one type of a FIRST LEGO League Official Event for Official Teams and lead up to the region’s Championship. A Qualifier can advance teams directly to the Championeshsip or to an additional Qualifier level, such as in a multi-level or multi-country Qualifier system. Teams are only eligible to win awards or advance through the FIRST official event they attend each season.
Community Events encompass all other events outside of Official and Endorsed, which include events hosted by teams and the broader community such as summer camps, workshops and scrimmages not managed or controlled by the Partner, FIRST® or LEGO® Community Events do not qualify a team to attend a Championship tournament.
An Open Invitational/International is an Official Event hosted by a FIRST LEGO League Partner that includes invitations to teams from outside the Partner’s defined region. Opens are hosted by FIRST LEGO League Partners and abide by Championship standards.
World Festival is an Official Event run by FIRST and is the FIRST LEGO League component of the FIRST Championships. It is the global celebration of FIRST LEGO League teams from around the world.
Most FIRST LEGO League events are free to spectators and all are open to the public. Encourage parents, siblings, sponsors, and friends to attend and cheer on your team!
PREPARE FOR A TOURNAMENT
When your team attends a tournament, your robot will compete in 2 different areas: Robot Performance and Robot Design. Robot Performance FIRST® LEGO® League teams receive a numerical score during Official Robot rounds. The Robot Performance Award recognizes a team that scores the most points in the Robot Game. Your team’s score will be determined by the number of points the robot scores during scheduled matches. Your team will compete in at least 3 official matches and only the highest score from those matches will count. Aim to have a robot that can perform well consistently. Your team should not be discouraged by a single low-scoring match.
Robot Game details
The robot has 21⁄2 minutes to complete as many Missions as possible.
A referee oversees the action to ensure that everyone is following the rules.
Two Robot Game tables are attached back to back to form a full tournament table, so your team will participate opposite a team on the other side. You are not competing against that team. Rather, both teams will try to earn their own highest score. The robots are isolated from each other by table border walls, but there is always at least 1 Mission that allows for interaction between robots on adjacent tables.
Your 2 team members who operate the robot should follow the referee’s instructions at the tournament table. These are called technicians. They should not be afraid to ask the referees if they have any questions or concerns. Before starting, have them scan the field to make sure it is properly set up. If the technicians have a question about the field setup they should talk to the referee immediately. Once the match starts, it is too late to change the field.
Teams are allowed to rotate technicians during matches so that more team members get to participate.
If your team rotates technicians in and out between missions, make sure all technicians are prepared to change. Remember that the clock does not stop for technicians to change. Be aware that many tournaments do not allow coaches or team members who are not technicians into the area immediately around the tournament table. Coaches and additional team members will need to watch from the designated spectator area.
At the end of each match, the referee will ensure the scoresheet accurately reflects the condition of the field. The referee will then review your team’s scoresheet with the 2 technicians, including completed Missions and penalties. This is your team’s chance to bring up any difference of opinion. A student team member must talk to the head referee if there is any disagreement.
After the referee and technicians have discussed the scoresheet, a team member must sign it to signify the team’s official endorsement.
As in other competitions, the referee’s ruling on the field is final. Make sure your team and its supporters are prepared to graciously accept the referee’s final decision.
The FIRST® LEGO® League tournament experience includes 3 judged components: Core Values, Project, and Robot Design. The judging process is designed to evaluate each team’s accomplishments throughout the season and to provide feedback. Judges use a rubric for each area to record their feedback. The rubrics guide the judges through key criteria that reflect what is most important about the FIRST® LEGO® League experience. Rubrics also create a consistent way to differentiate between teams at different levels of achievement. Your team will be assessed as Beginning, Developing, Accomplished, or Exemplary in each category. The rubrics are not scoresheets. They provide insights into the information your team shared with the judges and where they excelled or might need improvement. Awards are guided by rubrics but are not issued by a “rubric score.” After the event, completed rubrics should be returned to teams to help them understand their strengths and areas for improvement. In addition, teams are encouraged to use the rubrics as a roadmap throughout the season. Pay close attention to the higher levels of achievement to understand the criteria that will help define a reliable, well-programmed robot design, a thoroughly researched and effective Project, and a high-functioning team that embraces the FIRST® Core Values.
Robot Design Robot Design judges will interview and observe your team. Some events require formal Robot Design presentations, while at other events the judges may simply ask your team questions. Have your team prepare a basic introduction to the robot and the roles each member had in designing, building and programming it. Robot Design judges will ask teams about their mechanical design and the programs they wrote. They will want to see and hear about any innovative techniques or strategies the team came up with to solve problems and complete Missions. Through their questions they will ensure that the children completed and understand all work associated with building their robot. Bring your team’s programs to the judging session. They may be on a laptop computer, tablet, or printed on paper. Judges may ask to review some parts of your team’s programs. There may be a competition table with Mission Models in the judging area. Your team should be prepared to demonstrate their solution to at least one of the Missions and talk about their strategy. Review the information about your tournament carefully and contact the tournament organizer if you have any questions. Pay attention to any information provided by your tournament organizer. Even when formal presentations are not required, some judges simply prefer to start interviews with a general, “Tell us about your robot.” Help your team prepare for different scenarios and make sure the team members are comfortable demonstrating the robot.
Core Values We expect teams to display the Core Values throughout the season. Tournament organizers, judges, referees, and others are expected to uphold the Core Values, too. Teams should receive the benefit of the doubt whenever possible. Teams will be given the opportunity to explain themselves if an issue arises. Judges or referees may ask your team questions about who worked on your robot or Project idea. Sometimes teams assume that another team could not have done the work they present without the direct involvement of adults. Remember that children are remarkably creative, and some are highly sophisticated at programming or software applications for presentations. Don’t assume that you know what another team is capable of, and don’t let your team members make assumptions either.
Prepare for a Tournament Unlike other areas of FIRST® LEGO® League, teams usually do not have tangible results (like a robot or a Project idea) to show to the Core Values judges at a tournament. Be prepared to talk about how you apply Core Values to all you do throughout the season. All teams operate differently, and teams can be successful with different styles. Some teams have a strong leader, and some have a democratic approach. Some teams assign each child has a specialized role, and other teams share all responsibilities equally. As long as team members understand and use the Core Values in their interactions, no working style is better than others. Judging Core Values judges will assess how well your team understands and integrates these values into their tournament, meetings, and daily life. Be ready with examples of how your team demonstrated the Core Values throughout the season. Have team members take turns sharing these examples in front of the group, and ask other children to give feedback. Remember to keep the feedback constructive. There are multiple formats for Core Values judging. Some events will rely on interviews, while others will use a hands-on teamwork activity. Your event may require teams to create a Core Values Poster as a tool to communicate with the judges, so check with your tournament organizer. Teams do not need to bring their robot or Project materials to Core Values judging sessions.
Project Each team has 5 minutes to present—including setup. Exceeding the time limit is a common mistake. Some judges will interrupt your team and stop the presentation at 5 minutes while others may shorten the question time afterward to compensate. Judges at a tournament will only consider what your team tells them, so make sure your team shows or describes how they met the requirements. Anything they want the judges to know should be included in your team’s presentation. After your team’s presentation, the judges may ask questions of your team as a whole or may direct questions to individual team members. Your team should be prepared for either format. To be eligible for Project awards, your team must:
Meet any season-specific requirements outlined in the Challenge.
Identify the problem your team chose to research.
Describe your team’s solution.
Describe how your team shared its findings with others.
Meet the format requirements:
Present live; teams may use media equipment (if available) but only to enhance the live presentation.
Include all team members; each team member must participate during the judging session in some way.
Setup and presentation must be completed in 5 minutes or less with no adult help.
Attending an Event
Applications A list of tournaments will be communicated by your region’s leadership. Teams apply either online or directly with the tournament organizer for most tournaments. Tournament application or assignment processes vary by region, so check with your region’s FIRST® LEGO® League Partner if you are unsure of the process. Some regions may not have a finalized tournament schedule until the season is under way. Go ahead and meet with your team in the meantime. If you do not see any tournaments listed in your area, contact your Partner for more information. Logistics Adult Supervision and Safety Make sure all team members are supervised at all times. Use a buddy system and have each child travel with at least one other person. Remind each person attending with your team that everyone is expected to demonstrate the Core Values at all times, including parents and guests. If any member of the team needs special accommodations, the coaches should speak with the Partner/ Tournament organizer prior to the event. In the event that you witness any kind of incident, medical or non-medical, please report it immediately to the tournament organizers. They may have questions or ask you to help them document what happened. Check-in Upon arrival, sign in at the check-in table to let organizers know you are there. Pay attention to messages from your tournament organizer about what forms are required. Keep your forms organized and ensure you have all needed paperwork when you arrive to help reduce the wait. Important Locations Make sure your team knows how to find:
Practice Table(s): Many tournaments provide access to a practice table where teams take turns running matches with their robot. If a practice table is provided, scheduling is often tight and teams may need to reserve a time slot to practice.
Competition Area: The competition area is where the official Robot Game tournament tables are located and robot performance matches are scored by official referees. Tournament tables will be set up in pairs. At each full table, 2 teams will compete side-by-side with their robots.
Judging Sessions: Judging sessions for Core Values, Robot Design, and the Project generally take place in rooms separate from the competition area. Your team will participate in each session at some point during the day, so make sure you understand where and when your team should line up.
Time Management Review the day’s schedule with your team. Make sure your team is ready and on time for each activity, judging session and robot round. This sampleschedule can give you an idea of what to expect.
The Coaches’ Meeting Many events hold a meeting for coaches at the very beginning of the day. A coach should attend or send an adult representative. Tournament organizers may discuss any changes to the day’s schedule or logistical concerns. This is your team’s last opportunity to clarify the rules before the competition begins. The Opening or Welcome Ceremony An opening ceremony helps set the tone for the day. Judges, referees, and special guests are introduced, the Challenge and scoring are explained, and tournament organizers tell teams about the day ahead. After the opening, teams not immediately scheduled for robot performance matches or a judging session should return to the pit to listen for queuing, use the practice fields for final robot adjustments, or prepare to meet with the judges. Some tournaments hold a welcome ceremony in the middle of the day instead of an opening ceremony. Make sure your team attends regardless of the timing. Robot Performance Rounds There are 2 types of robot performance rounds: practice and official. If your event offers practice rounds, they are optional but may help your team work out any last-minute issues. During the day, teams get at least 3 official rounds lasting 21⁄2 minutes each. Your full competitive team (up to 10 students) must attend each round, although only 2 technicians will be allowed at the tournament table. Judging Judging often happens in areas which are separated from the main competition areas to eliminate noise and distractions. Your full competitive team (up to 10 students) should report to each of these sessions at their designated time during the day. Make sure the whole team knows where all sessions are located and what time the team needs to be there. Teams meet with a panel of judges for 10 to 15 minutes in each judged area. Teams should always ask the judges if they are ready to begin before starting to set up. Some judging is done by observing teams in action. Check with your tournament organizer to find out what format they use if it isn’t mentioned in the information you receive.
There is usually a break between each judging session so teams can travel to their next location and judges can have a few minutes to discuss the team they just saw. A timekeeper typically ensures sessions remain on schedule. Some tournaments have restrictions on the number of adults that accompany children into the judging sessions and whether recording judging sessions is allowed. Please recognize that these rules are not designed to make the judging or performance process secret, but to ensure fair judging. Trust the children to represent themselves well. Awards Selection At the end of judging sessions, the judges meet to review all teams. When time allows, some events incorporate a second round of judging sessions referred to as “call-backs.” The length and format for these sessions is not prescribed and can vary significantly due to event and schedule constraints. Call-backs may be requested for many reasons, ranging from a judge wanting additional clarification about a team, Project, or robot to multiple judges needing to see closely ranked teams that may be in consideration for an award. Please be careful not to make assumptions about your team’s chances based on a call-back request. Many awards are decided without the need for them and a call-back never guarantees an award will be given. If your team is asked to participate in a call-back, be sure to find out whether the team needs to bring their Project, robot, or other materials. Judges may also visit teams in the pit. Be sure team members and a supervising adult are at your pit station if a visit is expected. Otherwise, cheer on other teams and share what you have learned with them. Prepare your team for a waiting period at the end of the day. This can be an ideal time for your team to pack up your pit table and displays and load up to leave after the awards ceremony. Your tournament may have a special guest speaker or run a Robot Game exhibition round to keep the crowd occupied while the judges make their decisions. Awards at official events recognize those teams that demonstrate extraordinary achievement in key areas central to the FIRST LEGO League mission. Coaches should help each team member to understand that the real reward is what they discover and learn, both from one another and through the FIRST LEGO League experience. The Closing Ceremony The closing ceremony is a celebration of everything the teams have accomplished all day and season. Be sure to plan to attend. Awards will be presented at this time.
Judges and Awards
Judges at events are usually volunteers, just like many coaches. They may be educators, experts in an area related to the Challenge, or perhaps a community member or industry leader who cares about inspiring children. The judging process at tournaments is overseen by a key volunteer known as the judge advisor. The judge advisor leads the judging team and works with the tournament organizers to ensure that the event meets judging standards. Just as the head referee determines the recorded score at the Robot Game tournament table, the judge advisor’s word is final when it comes to any judging questions or decisions at an event. If your team has questions about a judging session, please ask to speak with the judge advisor right away. Judges Are All Around In addition to evaluating teams using the rubrics during scheduled interview sessions, judges may also use less formal conversations and observations throughout the event to learn more about teams. Remind your team that judges may not openly demonstrate who they are, but their ears and eyes are wide open. Lending a helping hand to a team that forgot to bring something speaks loudly about your team’s understanding of Gracious Professionalism.® Judges will also consider any input provided throughout the day by referees, event volunteers and others who interact with the team. Help your team members to understand the process and encourage them to feel comfortable speaking with judges and other event volunteers.
Judging Subjectivity With the exception of Robot Performance, which is objectively determined by scores earned on the competition table, team achievement in all other award categories is subjectively judged. Even the most experienced and skilled judges will not assess every team in exactly the same way. Judges work in pairs or small groups to create more balance in the way they review teams. In addition, tournament organizers train their judges and use other tools to create a level playing field. Judged awards are inherently subjective and this is important for all teams to understand. Awards are determined through a normalization process, which includes deliberations and discussions.
Deliberations Led by the judge advisor, FIRST LEGO League deliberations rely on an in-depth discussion of all teams eligible for awards. Using observations and evaluations captured by the rubrics as one form of input, judges consider any and all additional team information gathered throughout the day. Team achievements are reviewed and contrasted as the judges engage in often-intense discussion to decide which teams will be recognized with awards. Judges work together as a team to create an initial ranking of award candidates based on a team’s relative strengths and weaknesses compared to other teams and the award criteria as defined in the rubrics. Once these initial rankings are complete, the judges enter the final phase of deliberations. Each Champion’s Award candidate is discussed. All judges vote to determine the winner. After this award is given, other awards are determined using the rankings from initial deliberations. Judges follow the distribution policy outlined in the next section.
Awards Distribution The goal of the FIRST LEGO League awards distribution process is to congratulate as many teams as possible who most deserve recognition at the tournament. With the exception of Robot Performance (which any team may receive based on the points they earn), teams may only win 1 Core Award per tournament. Judges must consider how to recognize the best set of award candidates. Sometimes this means an award may not go to the individual team with the highest ranking in a category if that team is already being recognized with another award. For example, if a team receives the Teamwork Award they will not also receive the Presentation Award even if they were initially ranked highest for presentation. They will receive the award in the area where judges agree they excelled the most. FIRSTLEGO League judges deliberate to determine how to recognize the entire field of teams in the most appropriate way possible, and to celebrate the achievements of all teams.
Awards Structure The Champion’s Award is the most prestigious award that a team can win at an official FIRST® LEGO® League event. It celebrates the ultimate success of the FIRST® mission. Core Values, Project, and Robot Design are considered equally important for this award. In addition, teams must earn Robot Game scores in the top 40% of teams at the tournament to be considered for the Champion’s Award. The remaining awards fall into 3 categories:
Core Awards: recognize teams in areas considered “core” to the FIRST LEGO League mission.
Special Recognition Awards: honor the service of individuals who support FIRST LEGO League and teams in an exceptional way. A team may win a Special Recognition Award even if they have also won a Core Award.
Each region has an allocation to nominate a team or teams for the Global Innovation Award. The final selection process for this award happens outside the competition season.
Optional Awards: recognize the most remarkable teams for which a standard award does not exist. These may take the form of Judges Awards or a separate local award with criteria established by an individual tournament organizer.
The selection of awards offered at tournaments may vary by event size and type, so please contact your local organizer if you have questions about the specific awards available at your tournament.
Awards Eligibility and Advancement Doing well on the rubrics and achieving a high score in the Robot Game are important for winning awards, but they are not the only factors. Your team also needs to follow the FIRST LEGO League Participation Rules and policies to be eligible for awards. Make sure your team and everyone associated with your team understands policies that may impact award eligibility. If you need clarification, the time to ask questions is before an event. Once on site, all decisions impacting award eligibility are determined by the local judge advisor and/or event organizer. Just like decisions made by the head referee at the table, their authority is final. Advancement In accordance with the Participation Rules, teams are eligible for awards and advancement only at the first official event of each qualifying level attended during the season. In most cases, event capacity within a region limits team participation to only one qualifying event each season. The qualifier advancement policy is based on Champion’s Award criteria. As described above, Champion’s Award criteria require that the team performs well in all three judged areas (Core Values, Project, and Robot Design). Teams are required to be ranked in the in the top 40% of official Robot Game scores to be considered for Champion’s Award and they must be ranked in the top 75% of official Robot Game scores to be eligible to advance. Contact your local Partner or Tournament Director to find out how many teams will be advancing from the event you are attending. (See the official Advancement Policy). It is possible for a team to receive a 1st Place Core Values, Project, or Robot Design Award but not advance to Championship if their Robot Performance score is ranked below the top 75% of teams at the event. A team may win 1st Place in Robot Performance but not advance to Championship due to not having performed well in one or more of the three judged areas.
Adult Intervention It is easy for anyone to get caught up in the excitement at tournaments, but they are the team’s opportunity to shine. Adults play an important role in coaching and supporting the team, but the team’s robot and Project must be the work of team members. If judges or referees notice adults directing a team’s performance, cuing the team, or prompting children, they may ask the adult to leave the immediate area. Judges are trained both to give any benefit of the doubt to the team and to recognize an overabundance of adult participation. A team’s inability to answer questions, or to make robot adjustments without the direct assistance of an adult, will be evident and will impact award eligibility.
Top 10 Tournament Tips
FIRST® LEGO® League is about what happens all season, not just on event day.Focus on what you’ve learned and how much you have improved since your season started.
Judges may observe your team at any time during the day.
Don’t be nervous. Teams and judges are there to learn from each other and celebrate with you.
Make sure your team and supporters demonstrate Core Values – even when things don’t go exactly as you planned. Remember, everyone you encounter is volunteering their time.
Make time for fun breaks throughout the day, especially before judging sessions.Have a cheer, a song, or a game ready to stay energized.
Get a good night’s sleep the night before the tournament.Be prepared for loud noise and a long day.
Go over what you want to say before going into your judging sessions, either out loud to team members or silently to yourself.Practice with the rubrics to see where you might improve.
Take the time to go around the pits and meet the other teams. Show your enthusiasm for their projects and robots. Your encouragement can mean a lot to another team.
Have fun!You’ve worked hard all season. Be proud of all you have accomplished!
Event Registration Process
A chance to shine! Each FIRST LEGO League season culminates with regional tournaments and championships where teams show off what they learned and invented, and compete with their robots. Some teams earn an invitation to FIRST LEGO League World Festival as part of FIRST Championship Houston or FIRST Championship Detroit, where teams from all over the world meet and compete. Events at every level offer students an amazing experience as they celebrate their hard work, have fun, make new friends, and are exposed to ideas and ideology that will enhance their lives for decades to come. FIRST LEGO League team members and adult coaches and volunteers all agree – season-ending events are the most amazing, inspiring experiences they’ve ever had. Where else can you make new friends, share ideas, solve problems on the fly, compete like crazy, and get pumped up over technology all while having the time of your lives? At FIRST LEGO League events, kids realize more than ever that FIRST is all about teamwork, sharing, helping others, and respect. Teams accepting grants from FIRST in Michigan, the MDE FIRST Robotics Grant, or sponsor specific grants are required to participate in one official FIRST in Michigan qualifying event during the fall season. Visit the EVENTS page of the FIRST in Michigan FLL website for a list of the season’s events. All Michigan FLL event registration procedures and dates subject to change as needed.
event registration key points
To attend an event, teams must be:
Aligned to the FIRST in Michigan progression of programs (comprised solely of Michigan upper elementary grade team members.)
Fully registered for the current FIRST LEGO League Challenge season (No temporary team numbers. Registered team numbers are numbers below 50000.)
Each team must have a Lead Coach/Mentor 1 and 2, who each must have cleared the FIRSTYouth Protection screening process before the event. This must be completed by October 19 in order for your team to be included in the final event team list.
FIRST LEGO League event registration is done at the local level with FIRST In Michigan and not through the FIRSTinspires.org team Dashboard. Teams will not see their event listed in their Dashboard, only on the MI FLL Team List
All event registration is processed through Google forms and lists included in this page. No registration requests, confirmations, or changes are made by email or phone. With over 600 teams registering for events, no exception can be made.
Teams are guaranteed a spot at one qualifying event. Each registered FLL team competes in only one qualifying event per season.
The qualifying event fee of $75 is paid directly to the event host on the morning of the event in order to participate. It is not paid by any grants, nor was it included in anything paid by teams previously.
Team names are downloaded at 11:59pm on Oct. 17. Make all team name changes final by this date. No changes will be made to team names after this date on the Michigan team list or event team lists, even if you change your name in your team Dashboard.
season key dates
2019-2020 Season FiM Tournament Registration dates
October 5 (noon) – Home qualifier pre-assignment is posted on the MI FLL Team List and Event Registration form opens.
October 7 (noon) – Event Registration forms will start to be processed.
October 11 (noon) – Unconfirmed (no form submitted) home event pre-assigned spots are released.
October 18 (noon) – Final event list is posted on the MI FLL Team List.
Event communication dates *Event specific information: payment method, concessions options, venue rules, and directions/parking.
Oct 19-26 – Nov. 9 tournament directors email teams with event-specific information*.
Oct 26-Nov 2 – Nov. 16 tournament directors email teams with event-specific information*.
Nov 2-9 – All remaining tournament directors email teams with event-specific information*.
See ADVANCEMENT below for full details.
Qualifying Events – All registered FIRST LEGO League teams in Michigan are eligible to compete in one Michigan qualifying event.
State Championships – Approximately 20-25% of teams will advance to one of three equal state championships.
World Championship (Detroit) – Each State Championship will advance its Champion(three teams total from Michigan.)
2019-2020 Season All teams remit an event fee to participate in FIRST in Michigan official events. This fee is paid at the door of the event. This fee goes directly to the event host and comprises the base of the event’s budget.
This fee is not covered by any grants.
Check or exact cash are accepted.
Event hosts will email teams with check payable information by two weeks prior to their event.
Visit the FIRST in Michigan site page for a particular event for specific event fee remittance information, available Oct. 19.
Teams will be pre-assigned to their “home” qualifier based on travel distance parameters that are then balanced among events. The MI FLL Team List will list this pre-assignment.
The Event registration form will open on October 5 at noon. Submit only one form per team.
The form will give the team the choice to either “keep” or “change” the team’s pre-assigned event.
A choice of “keep” will place the team at their pre-assigned home event immediately.
A choice of “change” will release that team’s spot at their assigned home event if another event space can be found for the team.
Teams that opt to change their home event can register their preference for an alternative qualifier event; team will be prompted to register their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th choice.
It is key to indicate all choices that you can as there is no guarantee that space will be available at a team’s preferred 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th choice.
Assignment is made when space is available until an event’s capacity is reached.
Teams will be placed at their higher ranked event if it is available over their lower ranked available event.
If a team’s provided ranked event preferences are all at capacity and no space opens up, the team will remain placed at their pre-assigned home event.
After event registration closes, all event assignments will be reflected on the MI FLL Team List.
On the deadline for the home qualifier registration process, unconfirmed (no form was submitted) home event spots will be released. If all teams respond in a timely manner, this date could be earlier.
The home event pre-assignment carries the only guarantee that multiple teams out of the same school/org. can be placed at the same event due to capacity constraints at events.
How does event pre-assignment work? The basic idea is that if you like your home event pre-assignment, then you don’t have to wait two weeks to find out whether you’re in, just fill out the form to accept it and start making plans. If you don’t like the event placement, it will look similar to last year for you, as you will again rank the events that you would like to attend instead in order and wait for your placement result. Just like last year, if your top choice events are later dates or in denser areas, you will have a lower chance of being placed there, because many other teams will be making the same choice.
Why is the event registration format for FLL being changed? There are several reasons the format was changed:
In previous years, teams did not know their event assignment until late in October. This way, the majority of teams will know their event date on the first weekend of October.
FTC and FRC utilize home event assignment, and this will provide more consistency in the registration process for coaches of multiple levels.
There are a large number of teams in certain areas with few qualifying events. Hundreds of teams would apply for the same few events, with many teams not receiving one of their top three choices.
All qualifying events cannot be hosted on the same date but must be spread across several weekends instead, but the majority of teams wanted to register for events on one date (the last date available) and were not able to receive one of their top three choices.
If I registered right when the form opened, why didn’t I get my first choice?Many people do the same, and there are hundreds of registrations when the form opens.
My event assignment didn’t change. Are you sure your got my registration form? If you have been placed into an event at all, I did receive your registration. Teams with no registration were dropped from an event. If no change was made, that means that none of your choices was available. This was especially likely if you chose few options, chose all later dates, or filled out your registration later.
Why am I driving further even though there is an event closer to me? There are several areas with dozens more teams than space available at events. Some teams will need to drive to adjacent areas to participate because of this. Several events, for example, are full with all teams within a radius of under 5 miles or all teams from within their school district.
There’s an obvious error in my placement (my team was not given an event placement, our event placement is hours away, etc.) What should I do? When registering over 600 teams, this will happen, but it’s usually easy enough to fix. Don’t panic! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your team number, the error, and a good phone number to contact you in case more information is needed.
Why are available qualifying events all in November? Because of the calendar this year, the two state event weekends are the only weekends available for events in December (Dec. 21 is too late as event hosts are beginning their Holiday Break.) The date corresponding to last year’s Dec. 1 events is Nov. 30 which is Thanksgiving weekend this year. There are two qualifying events being held in December because the event hosts could only accommodate that date and they are events with internal team populations who must have an event there. They are not open to general team registration or assignment.
What if I don’t feel like I will be ready to compete on Nov. 9 or 16? All teams who attend a Nov. 9 or 16 competition will have had a bit less time than teams who attend a Nov. 23 event. We must use several weekends to give event hosts a choice of dates and to utilize our volunteers and equipment, so some teams will need to compete on earlier weekends than others. Teams are welcome to fill out the tournament registration form to request a different event spot if one becomes available. Teams who do not show up to a Nov. 9 or 16 event will not be eligible for placement into a later event and will forfeit any grants which require event attendance.
I always go to the same event. Why was I assigned elsewhere? Is that because of the change in registration process? Some events don’t return and some new events are added, shifting the available event spaces each year. A change in event placement is likely because of this as we added many teams and many events in the past two years. The only way to guarantee that you attend the same event each year is for your school district or organization to volunteer to host an event.
I need to attend states on a specific date. Which event will advance to that championship? The advancement plan cannot be determine until all team event registration is complete and advancement proportions can be calculated. In general, teams from the southeast corner of the state attend Bloomfield Hills and others attend Mason, but that’s not a rule, as date is also considered. Also, because a third state event was added, the advancement plan will be considerably different that last year.
Preparing for Competition
Consent and Release Forms
Consent and Release Forms: Required at each event where a team member/coach/mentor is participating. Two versions for each person must be turned in at event check-in.
Team Roster: Required at each event where the team is participating. Turned in at event check-in. The Roster should include all team members/coaches/mentors in attendance at the event. There are two ways to produce a roster. Choose one. 1) Team Dashboard produced roster
There is a “quirk” where the option to apply to an FLL team for a student under the age of 9 will not be presented. In this case, the team member will need to have a signed paper version of the FIRST HQ Consent/Release form and be written in on the team roster.
Only the Lead Coach/Mentor 1 and 2 for a team can invite/accept team members through the FIRST Youth Registration System. The Team Admin role cannot do these functions.
On the Team Dashboard, under Team Contacts/Roster section, click “Contact Options”, choose “Print Team Roster”. On Team Contacts page, click “Print Roster”.
Team members/coaches/mentors not listed on the Team Dashboard produced roster must be written in.
Consent and Release forms requirement:
FIRST HQ Consent and Release Form:
Individuals who have a signed electronic FIRST HQ Consent and Release Form on record with FIRST HQ will have a “check” in the “Consent Form” column.
All other individuals will need to turn in a paper FIRST HQ Consent and Release Form.
FIRST in Michigan Consent and Release Form:
Signed paper form is needed from ALL team members/coaches/mentors in attendance at the event.
Download and customize for your team’s use. Include all team members/coaches/mentors who will be in attendance at the event.
Paper versions of BOTH the FIRST HQ and the FIRST in Michigan Consent and Release forms are required for ALL team members/coaches/mentors in attendance at the event.
In accordance with the Participation Rules, teams are eligible for awards and advancement only at the FIRST offical event of each aualifying level attended during season. In most cases, event capacity within aregion limits team participation to only one qualifying event each season. The qualifier advancement policy is based on Champion's Award criteria. As described above , Champion's Award ceriteria require that the team, performs well in all three judged areas (Core Values, Project, and Robot Design). Teams are required to be ranked in the in the top 40% of official Robot Game scores to be considered for Champion's Award and they must be ranked in the top 75% of official Robot Game scores to be eligible to advance. It is possible for a team to receive a 1st Place Core Values, Project, or Robot Design Award but not advance to Championsip if their Robot Performance score is ranked below the top 75% of teams at the event. A team may win 1st Place in Robot Performance but not advance to Championship due to not having performed well in one or more of the three judged areas.
All registered FIRST LEGO League teams are eligible to compete in only one qualifying event.
Approximately 20-25% of teams will advance to one of three equal state championships from their qualifying event. Each qualifying event will advance to one state championship. Teams do not choose a state championship event.
The advancement plan will be determined once all event team lists are final and will be posted to this site by 6 am on Nov. 9 before the first qualifying event begins. It will be based on current tournament registration at that time and will not change after that date.
Teams cannot change the event they are advanced to, and should notify the FIRST in Michigan FLL Director immediately if they are unable to attend so that an alternate team may attend in their place. The alternate team will be the next eligible team from the same qualifying event.
It is possible you will not be notified of qualifying for the championship until later because a team declines. Don’t disassemble your robot until after State Championships.
There is no registration for the State Championships. A list of qualifying teams will be sent from your Qualifying Tournament host. You will be automatically registered for the championship event.
There are no additional preparation requirements to attend the State Championship.
Each state championship will advance its Champion to the World Festival.