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Competition Details - What to Expect

Updated January 8, 2007 8:30 PM

  • NEW (8Jan) : We are going to have an Alliance Round similar to what was done at the World Festival last year. This would be after the performance rounds. Details
  • Detailed schedule updated
  • Coaches' meeting moved up to 8:20am


Review the Tournament Checklist of things to bring - some things are different this year as compared to previous tournaments.

Details for completing your registration include paying your tournament fees.

New! We are asking each team to submit a one page Powerpoint slide (or equivalent in PDF form) that we intend to put up on the big screen before your match. All entries must be done in a manner respectful of FIRST values. We reserve the right to reject entries.

New! Any team that helps with setup (with at least 2 able adults) for at least 2 hours between 3-9pm on Friday night will be able to have early check-in on Friday in the Auxillary Gym.


Pre-Tournament Nominations for FLL Outreach Award, Volunteer Award and Outstanding Mentor Award

Playing At Learning is sponsoring a trophy - an FLL Outreach Award. This is an optional award and it is up to the championship tournament directors if it will be awarded for this year. The goal is to honor a person or group (or similar) that has done the most for supporting, encouraging and/or promoting FLL this year within the Northern California area. Email, with who you are nominating and why. Your nominee may be a youth or adult and you may nominate yourself.

We are asking teams to nominate their mentor or coach to receive the Outstanding Coach/Mentor Awards. Email, up to 3 paragraphs with who you are nominating and why. Your nominee may be a youth or adult.

We are asking for nominations for Outstanding FLL Volunteer Awards. Email, up to 3 paragraphs with who you are nominating and why. Your nominee may be a youth or adult.

IMPORTANT: These awards are open to everyone participating in FLL in Northern California this year and you do not have to be part of any of the qualifying teams that will be competing at the official tournament to be considered.


When and Where to Arrive:

The tournament is Saturday, January 20, 2007 at San Jose City College, 2100 Moorpark Avenue San Jose, CA 95128. Team check-ins will be in the Auxillary Gym starting at 8 am.

ALL teams check-in at 8am in the Auxillary Gym.

There is ample parking behind the Library and Student Center in the student parking lot on the North East side of the campus off of Moorpark Avenue. There is also a drop off horseshoe that can be used in case of rain but the STAFF Parking lot directly in front of the GE buildings is reserved and can not be used for team or visitor parking. See detailed campus map. This is the same parking areas as last year.

There is a mandatory All Coaches meeting (for all teams) with the Referees starting at 8:20 am in the multiuse room (colored green in detailed campus map) attached on the south side of the Main Gym. All last minute details will be covered during this one meeting - plan on having the coach or a co-coach attend.

To check in, You will need to know a couple of things - There will be separate tables for AM Group versus PM Group - please know which one you are in AND you will be asked for your team name. Important Note: Some team names are very similar, please also know your team number to exactly identify your team.

You must submit NEW signed liability waivers for every team member and coaches. We do not have access to the qualifying liability waivers as yet - so you will need to bring new signed ones.

You will be asked for a cellphone number so that the team can be contacted if needed for judge callbacks. Turn in your SASE if you have it (for judging feedback). You will be handed floor passes, and a tournament program.


VERY IMPORTANT: The pit area will be open to the public. This means that your team probably should have someone that can hang out at your pit table while the team is away. Be aware that the public will have access to all areas. Each team is responsible for their "stuff" and hopefully we can watch out for each other, but please don't count on it. Also like last year, you will have access to your pit table all day and not just during your performance times.

If you brought a team banner/poster, please hang it in the Auxillary Gym with gaffer's tape only. Please do not use any other kind of tape or adhesive. A small amount of gaffer's tape will be available. Locally, Orchard Supply Hardware carries gaffer's tape.

ALL coaches (or their designated representative) must attend the mandatory coaches meeting at 8:20 am, regardless of when your team's actual robot performance session is scheduled.

Participation medals will be handed out to each team member and coach in the Main Gym during the closing ceremony. We will have a team parade to start off the closing ceremony. This is different than in years' past.

Each team is responsible for making sure that their robot is inspected prior to their first competition round. The robot inspection table will be in the Auxillary Gym reasonably close to the check-in tables.

Robotic Performance Competition & Scoring:

  • Each team will attempt the robotics challenge in three separate rounds during the tournament day
  • Robot performance awards will be based on the single highest score, with ties being determined by 2nd and 3rd highest scores. Please review the scoring sheet (link coming soon) that will be used. If this does not break the tie, then there will be a single tie breaker round at the end of the day.
  • Review the latest Q&A posted on the FLL site for clarifications and official rulings.
  • Each team may have only team members and 1 coach on the competition floor during their performance rounds. There will be a very small designated area to stand on the competition floor near the team's table and the team or coach is not allowed to roam out of the designated area.
  • Reminder that only 2 team members may be at the competition table at a time except during catastrophic events such as the robot falling apart and at the referee's discretion.
  • Bring your MC team intro card if you have one when going to each of your competition rounds. This is a way to highlight sponsors or even something fun about your team.
  • The team will queue in the Auxillary Gym according to the pit manager and then will be escorted to the competition area. Note that your competition round may be earlier or later than scheduled. It is important to stay alert to changes and have someone at your pit table at all times that knows where the team is. [The only exception is the first 3 matches of AM teams as they will queue in the main gym immediately after the opening ceremony]
  • It is a good idea to designate a single team member as the score reviewer. We will ask the referees to go over the scoresheet with the team member and then have them sign off on how it is marked.
  • If the team has a question about a robot score sheet, a team member (not the coach) must bring it to the attention of the head referee immediately, before leaving the competition table. The head referee's decisions are final. There is no escalation for the competition scoring beyond the head referee.
  • If there is a problem with the robot score as entered (and displayed), please assign a team member to nicely ask the scorekeeper to review the score as entered. Note that the spreadsheet that computes the score is the official version from FIRST and does compute scores correctly. It has happened though that there is a translation error in entering the score itself to be displayed, so just calmly ask for it to be reviewed if you suspect an error.
  • IMPORTANT: The robot will not be allowed to continue to run after the 2.5 minutes is completed. When the time is up, no further action of the robot will be counted.
  • Each team is responsible for making sure that their robot is inspected prior to their first competition round. The robot inspection table will be in the Auxillary Gym reasonably close to the check-in tables.
  • Note that teams can not bring extra robots, motors, etc to the competition area in the Main Gym. A team may only bring the maximum electrical pieces as defined in FLL Rule 8 under Materials to the Main Gym (the competition floor).
  • If your team's strategy includes picking up your robot, then let the referee know ahead of time.
  • Remember that the team may not touch the field elements during the competition round. This is particularly important if you team is used to resetting field elements during practices. Intentionally resetting a field element or trying to grab a misplaced buckyball is explicitly not allowed.
  • Your team will have a team flag sign (pole made from PVC) that is to be taken with you when you go to compete. In particular for the first group of six teams that will queue in the Main Gym following the opening ceremony, please bring your flag sign with you to the opening ceremony.
  • You may not bring a laptop up to a PIT practice table or the competition tables - only robots allowed.

MORNING (AM Group) Robot Performance All pit numbers 35-64 are in the AM group. You will need to have your robot checked for compliance before you go to compete in your first round. If you need to calibrate a light sensor, you will be given at most 2 minutes on a challenge table to do so prior to the start of the morning rounds between 8 and 8:45am. This is a tightly controlled calibration-only check. You will not be able to do practice runs on the competition tables. You will have access to the PIT practice tables between 8 and 11:30 am only. Your team will have a flag pole with a team sign displayed on it that will be used to identify your team when you go to compete in your three rounds. After your last round, please help us by handing it off to the PM group pit numbers.

AFTERNOON (PM Group) Robot Performance All pit numbers 1-34 are in the PM group.You will need to have your robot checked for compliance in the pit area before you compete - this can be done after 10am. If you need to calibrate a light sensor, you will be given at most 2 minutes on a challenge table to do so prior to the start of the afternoon rounds between 12 and 12:45pm. This is a tightly controlled calibration-only check. You will not be able to do practice runs on the competition tables.

IMPORTANT: You will have access to the PIT practice tables between 11:45 and 4 pm only. Your team may not use the PIT practice tables at all in the morning.

After the AM Group last round of competition, your team will need to get one of the flag poles from the AM Group. Your team will have a flag pole - and you need to put your team sign on it. This will be used to identify your team when you go to compete in your three rounds in the Main Gym.



You will be queued for judging 10 minutes prior to your judging sessions.

  • Judging will be done in 3, 10-minute sessions scheduled every 15 minutes. Teams should be at each judging room no less than 5 minutes before their scheduled time.
  • The 3 slots are for judging the Project Presentation, Robot Design and Teamwork.
  • The team will have 10 minutes with each judging panel and then the judges will have 5 minutes to deliberate / evaluate the team according to FIRST rubrics (published in the coaches' handbook). This means that the team will be outside for 5 minutes in between judging sessions - please take note of the weather conditions and have a plan for protecting the team's presentation and robot from the weather.
  • You must attend all judging sessions - for example, you must go to the Research Project presentation judging room even if your team does not have a project presentation.
  • The 10 minute session is the entire time that your team has with the judges for that topic. This means that all setup/tear down, presentation and Q&A must occur within the time frame.
  • We recommend a project presentation of no more than 4-5 minutes to allow time for the judges to ask questions.
  • There will be a challenge table in each robot design judging room, but it will not be lighted. If you need a well lighted table to demonstrate a feature of your robot, please bring a hand held spotlight or similar with you. [or volunteer to bring a lighted table to be used.]
  • Judges may, at their discretion, exclude non team members and coaches from the judging area.
  • Each judged area (robot design, teamwork and research project) has many parallel groups of judges. Your team has been assigned to one of the groups and the set of rooms for your group are close together to minimize walking distance between each session.
  • Bring all materials (all programs, robot and all attachments, all of your project presentation materials and any material to hand to the teamwork job) needed for all judging when you go. You will not have time in between judging sessions to get items.
  • You will have access to your pit table during your Judging Session (AM or PM).
  • IMPORTANT : Although rare, it is possible that the judges will need to have callbacks. This is at their discretion. If callbacks are needed, they will be scheduled after 3:30pm and will take into consideration your team's schedule.
  • Space is limited in the judging areas - it really is best if the team only attends the judging.

What to Expect

  • (4Jan) : After your last performance round or after the judging sessions (sometime around 4/4:30pm), we will have a crew of volunteers focused on clearing the PIT area - please help by getting your table clear.
  • (8Jan) : We are going to have an Alliance Round similar to what was done at the World Festival last year. This would be after the performance rounds. Details
  • Emergency Contact Number for the day of the tournament is : (510) 517-8826.
  • Cancellations CANNOT be accepted. However if you know that you can not attend, the earlier that you can tell us the better, as it may give someone else a chance to come. We can not give refunds even if a replacement team is found.
  • Individual team schedules can not be changed. It is a convenience to the teams and their families to post them early (typically posted at least 1 week prior to the tournament) - please don't make us sorry by requesting changes. Teams were randomly assigned with deference given only to the distance being travelled.
  • Teams will be given only a few minutes (before their AM or PM session starts) to check the lighting conditions on the competition tables to allow for light sensor calibration only . All other practice should be on the pit practice tables and only during your allowed time.
  • The pit area is OPEN to the public. Here's the layout (link coming soon) of the pit areas that includes the pit table numbers.
  • Officials will be wearing specially marked Tshirts or specially marked lanyards. NO OTHER PERSONS WILL BE ALLOWED INSIDE THE COMPETITION AREA EXCEPT DURING THEIR TEAM'S ROUNDS. There are no exceptions to this rule.
  • Bleacher seating will be available in in the Main Gym (Competition Area). We don't plan to pull out the Auxillary Gym bleachers this year (we did last year). We do recommend that you bring a folding chair with you for the PIT area as seating will be limited.
  • 4 chairs will be provided to each team at their pit table.
  • Referees and Judges have the final say on all calls.
  • Coaches or other adults that argue/discuss/deliberate/revisit/question with any referee, judge or other official will be asked to leave! Many times parents and/or coaches don't realize the intensity of their questioning. We do not want any of our volunteer judges or referees to engage in discussions with anyone other than team members. We are serious about this - there is campus security available if needed. Please behave yourself or stay home. IT IS ABOUT THE KIDS !
  • The schedule is designed to be "relaxed". We encourage teams to use their downtime to: watch other teams compete, tour the pits and see the other robots, eat lunch (not in the pit area), talk to the other teams about their projects, talk to their alliance partners about strategy, practice the team's own presentation, or make final tuning modifications to their own robot or programs.
  • Food and drinks (water, soda) will be sold on site at a reasonable price. All of the profit goes to helping the tournament. We are limited to selling only fully packaged items. We will sell pre-paid whole pizzas to be delivered over lunch to teams (large, cheese only). An order form will be available in the morning.
  • Since we don't want to pay for new gym floors, there is a strict policy of no eating or drinking in any area with a gym floor (even if it is covered) - this means the Main Gym, and the Auxillary Gym.
  • This event is open and free to the public. Please invite your team's classmates and your work colleagues.
  • If you have someone that you think might be interested in learning more about sponsoring FLL, please let us know as there is a VIP reception at 2pm but we need to know ahead of time to get an invitation to them.
  • We will be using multiple buildings on campus. The Auxillary Gym will host the PITs. The Main Gym will host the opening ceremony, the robotic performance rounds and the closing ceremony. The GE buildings will host the Judging Rooms. The MultiPurpose Room (the green room) off of the Main Gym will host a public "community room" for general hanging around along with the coaches' meeting.
  • Raffle tickets and Tournament souvenirs will be sold at the tournament include a pin, the Justin Case animation video of this year's challenge and several versions of tournament DVDs. Pre-orders are being accepted.
  • Again, coaches and parents are asked to refrain from engaging in confrontations with any tournament officials or volunteers. Such confrontations can lead to a team becoming disqualified and/or the coach or parent being barred from the tournament area.
  • FLL is a kid-directed activity and all aspects are required to be done by the team members themselves and not the mentors, coaches or others. We will have "roaming" judges wandering the pits and other areas to watch for both positive things such as gracious professionalism as well as the negatives such as over involved parents or coaches. Please do not undermine your team's chances to be recognized with an award for their efforts.
  • Remember, EVERYONE at the tournament is a volunteer and doing the best they can. Please respect each other and let our volunteers know how much you appreciate their efforts. Remember that we can not put on a tournament without volunteers - please treat them well.
  • We will be following FLL guidelines in how the awards are given.
    • A team may win up to 2 awards only if one of them is for Robot Performance.
    • The Champion's Award is based on equal weighting of Robot Performance, Teamwork, Robot Design and Research Project Presentation.
    • The Research Presentation Award winner is the team that excels in the areas of Research Quality, Innovative Solution and Creative Presentation. The Robot Design Award winner is the team that excels in not just Robust and Innovative Design but also in Robust and Innovative Programming.
    • An invitation to the FLL World Festival (International FLL Festival held in April in Atlanta during the FRC national championship tournament) goes to the First Place Champions's Award winner. If the first place winner can not attend and the second place winner also can not, then any team participating in the NCaFLL state tournament is allowed to apply to FIRST and a lottery will be held to determine the team that will represent Northern California. Note that there is a separate registration fee required and the attending team is responsible for all costs.

Please make sure to check the web site for additional information and/or updates:

Tournament Schedule    UPDATED: 8jan

SJCC campus map

8 am
  Team Check-In in Auxillary Gym
8 - 8:45 am
  AM Light Sensor Calibration
8:20 - 8:50 am
  Mandatory All Coaches Meeting in Multipurpose Room (attached to south side of Main Gym)    "Green Room" on map
8:45 am
  Opening FLL Ceremony in Main Gym - All Team Members
9:00 am-12pm
  FLL Judging Sessions (morning)
9 - 9:50 am
  AM Performance Round 1 in Main Gym
    Break 1: Nina&Justin Case video
10:10 -11 am
  AM Performance Round 2 in Main Gym
    Break 2: Teams slideshow
11:10 am - 12pm
  AM Performance Round 3 in Main Gym
12 - 12:45 pm
  Lunch Break - FRC BOT demo from Leland HS and Jim Beck - talk about college scholarships!
12 - 12:45 pm
  PM Light Sensor Calibration
12:30-3:15 pm
  FLL Judging Sessions (afternoon)
12:50 pm
  Break 3: Nina &Justin Case video
1 -2 pm
  PM Performance Round 1 in Main Gym
    Break 4: Teams slideshow
2:10 -3:10 pm
  PM Performance Round 2 in Main Gym
    Break 5: FVC Demo
3:20 - 4:20 pm
  PM Performance Round 3 in Main Gym
4:25 pm
  Break 6: Nina & Justin Case Video
3:30-4:45 pm
  Team Callbacks, if any
4:30 pm
  PIT Clean up / Tear Down & Judging Rooms all cleaned up
4:45-5:15 pm
  NEW! Team Alliance Round
5:15-6:15 pm
  FLL Closing Ceremony
  Team Parade - medallions handed out
Special Guest Speaker
Announcement of 2007 Theme
Award Ceremony
6:15 - 7:45 pm
  Competition Floor Clean Up / Tear Down

Thanks for reading all of this and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Mark Edelman and Jill Wilker
Directors, Fremont Regional FLL Tournament

Educational Enrichment Through Play
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Last Updated: 01/10/2007 9:14 PM