Northern California FIRST LEGO League Tournament Pit Practice Table policy
All of the items are common sense and reflect polite, sharing behavior. This sort of behavior is part of Gracious Professionalism which is a key part of FIRST and applicable to all FIRST teams. Teams that don’t treat other teams or volunteers with respect are likely to have a Core Values issue raised to the Judge Advisor.
1. Practice tables are shared and accessible. All FLL Challenge tables and/or field setup kits in the pit areas (even if brought by a team) are a shared resource. Practice tables must be located in areas set up or designated by the tournament director. These must be accessible to and equally shared with all teams participating in the tournament.
2. Practice tables are for testing. There is no programming of your robot at any time while at a pit practice table. Programming and other modifications to your robot are done at your team’s pit table. Reminder that no Bluetooth programming is allowed at a tournament at any time.
3. Safety first. No field setup kits and/or challenge tables may be put on the ground/floor without an explicit approval from the Tournament Director and Playing At Learning. In particular, this almost always becomes a safety/tripping hazard and likely would be a violation of local safety laws.
4. Don’t hog the tables. While a team is at a pit practice table, the expectation is that your team will only need a few minutes to test out at a program / or run a series of programs. A team may continue to use a table if no other teams are waiting, but should yield as soon as possible (and expected to be no more than 3 or 4 minutes with a maximum of 5 minutes) when another team needs the table.
5. No schedules. There are no sign ups or predefined “practice times” – this has not worked all that well as it does not take into account the reality of when a team may need to change or test out their robot. Also, don’t expect to have a monitor that enforces the sharing – be respectful and share nicely
6. Respect the volunteers. The team must be respectful of all volunteers – particularly the pit challenge table monitors and others helping to manage the practice tables. Any team or coach/mentor that is disrespectful towards any volunteer will have a core values issue raised to the Judge Advisor.
7. It’s about the kids. The expectation is that while the team is anywhere at a tournament that the entire effort is by the kids – this includes handling the robot, picking the robot up, directing which program(s) are tested and/or any other similar activity. Coaches/mentors that are seen as directing the team’s effort and/or handling the robot could have a core values issue raised to the Judge Advisor.
8. Share nicely. If any team is not sharing appropriately or has any other similar issue, this will also be reported to the Tournament Director, the Judge Advisor and Playing At Learning. This could be a reason for disqualification for any FLL award/recognition including advancement.
9. If you bring a practice table. It is recommended to put away any of the “small” mission elements such as those that start in base. Those LEGO elements are the ones that have the highest chance of being accidentally lost or misplaced, etc. The tournament’s ability to help with finding or replacing those small items is very limited.