Is your team getting ready for their first tournament and not sure what to expect? With all the time you’ve spent preparing for the big day, it’s natural to feel excited (and maybe a bit anxious)! Continue reading for some suggestions to help set the stage for your MASTERPIECESM event!  

The main goal of an event is for the team to have fun and to feel that their work is valued. There’s a checklist to help your team prepare for their tournament in the Team Meeting Guide.  

Watch the Prepare for your MASTERPIECE Event video for some tips and tricks on having a successful tournament day. FIRST LEGO League is more than just the Robot Game -don’t forget about Robot Design, Core Values, and the Innovation Project! This video will walk you through what to expect, from presenting your Innovation Project in your judging session to how your Gracious Professionalism® can shine. What you learn together is more important than what you win! 

The FIRST® Core Values are part of everything we do. So, how can you be sure that your team shares how you do Core Values with the judges?

We asked some of our FIRST® Championship Judges for tips to help teams recognize the importance of the Core Values throughout the season, and how to share your Core Values with judges at events. Here are some ideas to show your Core Values at team meetings: 

  • Set goals for your team! What do you and your team hope to accomplish this season? Team members could keep notes on how and why they chose their Project ideas, robot missions, and robot designs. They might want to create a process to track their progress toward their goals. This is a good chance to hear everyone’s ideas! You never know where inspiration might come from. 
  • Divide and conquer! Share with judges how you approached your work. How did you make group decisions fairly? Did you take a vote? What if there was a tie? Did team members take turns leading tasks? 
  • Try coming up with a way for team members to spotlight other members for demonstrating Core Values. Keep track of this, so at the end of each meeting your team can have a place to record all the ways Core Values are being used! This could be a good opportunity to reflect on the day and find areas that could be improved. How can you display this creatively? Your final product could be taken with your team to the judging session.  

Judging sessions at events are the time for your team’s Core Values to shine! Here are more tips to help you:  

  • Get your team ready for the judging session by reviewing the Judging Session Flowchart. Judges will spend three minutes at the end of each session asking teams about Core Values.  
  • That might not be the only time to talk about Core Values! Judges will be looking for the team’s Core Values during the whole judging session and may ask Core Values related questions during the Innovation project and Robot Design Q & A times. 
  • Can’t get enough of your Core Values? Help the judges complete the rubrics by incorporating the Core Values key words into your team’s presentations. The team might share what they discovered about their Innovation Project topic, how the team came up with creative ideas, how they showed persistence in testing the robot, and what they found challenging and how they overcame it. 
  • The Core Values reflection is also a great time to talk about how the coach supported the team. Don’t forget that team members can nominate their coaches to be recognized with a Coach/Mentor Award – ask your Tournament Director how. 
  • Gracious Professionalism® is scored at the game table, too! Referees will award points for Core Values as part of each robot game match. 

Not sure what extras you should bring to your tournament? We asked veteran coaches for some suggestions: 

  • Lots of snacks! Tournament days can be long, it’s important to stay fueled for all the excitement. Check with your local tournament director if snacks and/or lunch will be available for purchase. 
  • It’s a good idea to bring a toolbox filled with extra LEGO® elements for your robot. Don’t forget to make sure that your team’s equipment meets the requirements explained in the Robot Game Rulebook
  • Bring a battery pack for an extra power source.  
  • Think about how you will move your robot and attachments around the venue and ask your tournament director what is recommended. 

Don’t forget to watch the Prepare for your MASTERPIECE Event video for some tips and tricks to having a successful tournament day and check out the Prepare for Your Tournament Checklist in the Team Meeting Guide

We can’t wait to see the #MASTERPIECE you created this season! 

Calling all coaches! Do you have any tips to share to help teams prepare for their first tournament? Let us know on social media using #MASTERPIECE, and don’t forget to tag @FIRSTLEGOLeague