Welcome to the 2019-2020 FIRST LEGO League season City Shaper!
You are receiving this message because you are a contact for a team registered for FLL this season.
My name is Colleen Shaver and I am the operational partner for FLL in Massachusetts. In this role, I'm responsible for managing the competition season for all FLL teams in MA. While the events will be run primarily by FRC teams around the state, ensuring teams have access to register for events, ensuring the quality of events, and managing the registration and advancement process are all part of my duty. I'm here to help you through the process, so if you have any questions don’t hesitate to email me!
- Robot Design Judging: There will no longer be a competition table in the judging rooms. Demonstration of your robot is now done strictly through your on-field performance. In this judging session, teams should be prepared to talk about their engineering process, explain concepts in greater details, etc.
- Because of this, the Robot Design Executive Summary is OPTIONAL BUT STRONGLY ENCOURAGED in Massachusetts.
- To Robot Design Judging, you are still expected to bring your robot, a digital or print copy of your code, and any other supporting materials. Engineering Notebook is welcome but also not required. Both the Notebook and Design Executive Summary would be helpful in the judges getting to know your robot and the process better.
- The Core Values Poster is OPTIONAL in Massachusetts. Teams are welcome to create it and bring to events, but it is not required.
- Starting in the 2019-2020 season, advancement and Champion’s Award selection will be made using a new criteria.
- 25% Robot Score Rank: Teams are ranked 1-X (X=total teams at the event) based on their highest score at the event, then that rank is divided by the number of sets of judges within any discipline at that event (to normalize with other ranks)
- 25% Robot Design Rank: Teams are ranked 1-N (N=total teams see by that set of judges) in overall Robot Design
- 25% Project Rank: Teams are ranked 1-N (N=total teams see by that set of judges) in overall Project
- 25% Core Values Rank: Teams are ranked 1-N (N=total teams see by that set of judges) in overall Core Values
- The Judge Advisor will collect all these ranks, add them up, and sort low to high (so someone that receives 4 rankings of #1 will have a score of 4, which is the best possible score). The top team will be the Champion’s Award winner. The teams immediately below will become the teams that advance to the Championship events.
- Exact number of teams advancing from each event will be published prior to event registration opening.
- Scrimmages are unofficial events for which any team can sign up for. It does not impact your ability to register for an official event.
- Practice Interviews Day (11/9): Hosted by FRC 6328. This event gives teams the opportunity to practice their judging sessions and receive rubric feedback .
- Blackstone Valley Scrimmage (11/23): This event will give teams the chance to practice the full FLL experience, on competition tables, etc. Register via the FIRST website.
- All MA FLL events are listed on the FIRST website. They are reposted at the bottom of this email as a courtesy.
- To register for an event, you MUST have TWO screened Coaches/Mentors listed on your team. Complete the process NOW, as it takes time.
- Event registration will be opening on 10/1. Instructions will be emailed out as registration will not happen on the FIRST website.
- Registration will remain open for two weeks. You may submit your event preferences anytime in that two weeks for equal consideration with all other teams.
- Once that registration window closes, event assignments will begin. This usually takes an additional 1-2 weeks to complete. Those who want the 11/23 events as their first choice may get assigned before the window closes. No other events will be assigned until it is closed.
- We will have 1 or 2 Sunday events. If your team requires being placed in the Sunday event, you may email me indicating as much. Otherwise, emails requesting certain preferences or asking to change preferences will be ignored (during the two week window you CAN edit your preferences by following the same link/procedure). It’s hard enough to keep track of where 400 teams want to go, but even harder when there are 2-3 different coaches per team emailing me asking for special requests or consideration.
- Here’s some guidance to assist you in the process:
- We have plenty of space for all teams, however certain events will fill and teams will have to choose different events if they want to ensure they get assigned.
- Select as many events as possible in your preference list.. I.e. Select all events your team could attend. Selecting only one event will not guarantee you placement in that event, and will risk that you get no event!
- If you want to ensure you can play on a certain date, you have to be willing to travel for it. For example, if you can only attend a 12/7 event, plan to put ALL 12/7 events on your list, even if you’d have to drive an hour+ to get there.
- Priority will be given to LOCATION (I.e. Teams who are closest to the event get priority). If your teams doesn’t even select your closest qualifier as an option, you’ll always by default be second tier in consideration for all events.
- Last year, the vast majority of teams got their 1st or 2nd choice event. But it is not for certain.
- Certain events fill more slowly because of their location, their date, or the fact that they are new. In those cases, anyone regardless of location who puts it as their #1 choice is likely getting in…. So that’s about the only way to ensure you get a certain date. The events I imagine being in that situation this year are our events on 11/23 and 11/30
- This is an example of how the event assignment process works:
- I go to a certain event, say Revere, and I look at the list of teams who put it as their number one choice.
- If the number of teams selecting it as #1 is LESS THAN the total number of spots at the event, everyone is likely to be assigned.
- If the number if teams selecting it as #1 is MORE THAN the total number of spots available, I sort by distance to the event (and also consider proximity to other events) and choose teams in that manner.
- After making assignments, I move on to another event. Any team who did not get assigned a spot in their #1 choice will have their #2 choice now considered as their top choice for assignment in a different event.
- It’s a giant puzzle and the process isn’t perfect, but we do the best we can!
- Another note is that we work toward an even distribution of teams across events. In other words, we try not to run one event at max capacity while another event barely has enough signups to run a tournament. This year, since team registration is lagging a bit behind, we have set the max capacity of ALL events to 24 teams.
- We anticipate an approximately 30% advancement rate from Qualifiers to Championship. This will be finalized soon and you will be notified prior to event registration opening exactly how many teams will advance from each event, and which Qualifiers will advance to which Championship.
Here is the tentative event schedule for 2019 (subject to change):
Worcester 1 Qualifier
Worcester 2 Qualifier (tentative)
Championship: Teams will advance from their qualifiers to the Championship based on their performance in the Champion's Award category. This means to advance, you must participate in robot rounds and all judging rounds, score in the top of robot scores at that event, and impress judges across several categories. We will once again have two Championship events in MA, on 12/14. One at WPI and on in Newton. Which Championship you advance to will be based on which qualifier you attend. More info on advancement, including the number of teams advancing from each event and to which Championship, will be emailed to teams later in the season.
In general, I promise I will email you all the necessary info on event registration and advancement in due time. In the meantime, if you have questions on other topics, please send me an email and I’ll do my best to assist!
Welcome to FLL and keep up the great work!
Colleen Shaver BS ’04, MS ‘08
Director, Robotics Resource Center at WPI
From: "Shaver, Colleen M" <email@example.com>
Date: Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 9:42 AM
To: "'mafll@wpi. edu'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: MA FLL: Welcome and Registration Reminder
This message is being sent to all paid teams registered LAST SEASON as well as in the current season.
For those of you who participated last year but have not yet registered for this year, this is a reminder that registration is open and the challenge has been released. I encourage you to register soon so you can order your field set and have ample time to work on the challenge. If you are a previously registered team and will not be participating in the 2019-2020 season, this is the last email you will receive from me (no need to request to be removed, etc)!
For those teams registered for the 2019-2020 CITY SHAPER season, welcome! My name is Colleen Shaver and I am the Operational Partner for FIRST LEGO League in Massachusetts. I am here to help your team navigate the season whenever possible, but most importantly to help you learn about, prepare for, and get registered for qualifying events.
I have already received several inquiries regarding event registration. It is not yet open and typically opens in late September. You will be provided with ample lead-in information before registration opens, and then information throughout the process. We have events all throughout MA from Agawam to Revere. We plan on having qualifying events on 11/23, 11/30, 12/7, and 12/8. The Championships will take place on 12/14.
There will also be scrimmages held by various groups. Scrimmages are unofficial, practice events for your team. While you can only attend one qualifying event, you can attend as many scrimmages as you want and it is highly encouraged. There is a confirmed scrimmage on 11/23 at Blackstone Valley Regional HS in Upton, MA.
Once we have finalized all the dates, we will post the events on the web as well as email the list to teams. When registration opens, you will provide a preferred assignment list for those events. We typically are able to assign most teams their 1st or 2nd choice event. Priority is given to teams in geographic proximity to an event.
Please reach out if you have any questions and I will do my best to help you find the answers!
Colleen Shaver BS ’04, MS ‘08
Director, Robotics Resource Center at WPI